Freshman Dan Cage settling in to college life

VandyMania spoke with freshman Dan Cage immediately after his first practice with the Commodore men's basketball team. The 6-4 guard talked about making the transition from high school star to college freshman.


VandyMania: What were your impressions of the first practice today? Was it as tough or tougher than what you're used to in high school?

Dan Cage: Well, the intensity is definitely a step up from high school. We've been doing three-a-days and four-a-days here the last few weeks, so I feel like the coaches eased me into the first practice today, so that there was nothing too surprising. But it is a whole 'nother step of intensity, and attention to detail. It was really great to get in there.

VM: You're at a little bit of a disadvantage, because all the other players went on a trip this summer. Is that going to work against you? How have the coaches worked to get you into the flow of things?

Dan: Yeah, it works against me a little bit at first, because the offense is so intricate. It works against me because these guys have all been working with the offense for a couple of months. I'm just now getting into it, so it's a little tough right now to adapt to the new style of offense that we're playing, the defense, the pace of the game. But I'm confident that I'm gonna step up in the next few weeks. The coaches are taking care of me. The strength coach, Mark Davis is getting me ready. So I'm pretty confident I'll be ready.

VM: Have you put on any pounds yet?

Dan: Not really. I've put on pounds in the weight room, but I haven't put weight on. So I'm pretty happy with that.

VM: Tell us exactly how tall you are, and how much you weigh.

Dan: I'm 6-4, 205.

VM: Talk about the adjustment you've had to make from high school to college. I know you came here this summer. That kind of got you settled in, and now I assume you're studying hard and working hard. Also, talk a little bit about the fall workouts that have led up to today.

Dan: The summer workouts are a lot easier than the fall workouts. But it's the time you put in during the summer that makes you a good individual player, and it's the time you put in during the fall that makes you a good team. The step from high school to college is so vast, because the academics, especially here at Vanderbilt, are top notch. It takes a whole lot of effort in the classroom. Then you step right out of the classroom... some of these students are going back to the dorm, taking naps, playing video games... I have to go straight to the court or the weight room and work my butt off there too. So it's definitely an adjustment, but the coaches have been very understanding and patient. They're excited about me, and I'm excited about them.

VM: Schoolwork going OK so far?

Dan: Pretty good. I'm doing OK. Some classes better than others, but I think I'm going to be OK.

VM: I know you don't get much downtime, but when you do get a little time off, how do you like to spend it?

Dan: The guys are all really close this year. Even when we're not hanging out on the court, we go to the movies, or we just go hang out at the dorms with the upperclassmen. We just have a good time-- play video games, play cards. I feel like we're pretty close as a team this year, so good things are probably going to happen.


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