VandyMania: Dee, we'd like to talk to you about being a freshman point guard. What's a typical day like for you?
Dee Davis: Wake up pretty early in the morning. Go to class. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have three classes, and on Tuesday and Thursday I only have two. Throughout the day I try to run back to my room as much as I can to get a little quick nap in before practice.
We usually have weight lifting in the morning or after practice. Right now, we're lifting two days a week. Since we have a game on Thursday, we're lifting Monday and Friday, or Tuesday and Friday, but I signed up for Monday. It gets pretty long after a while. Your days get pretty long, and you get very tired.
Mostly they like you to be here no later than an hour before practice time, so you can get treatment or whatever you need to do, or just being in the locker room getting ready for practice because you don't want to ever be late. Usually you come and get your ankles taped, do treatment on whatever might be bothering you in the training room, and get dressed for practice and get out there and have a good practice.
Practices usually run three hours. Then later on tonight I'll be studying and have a review session for a statistics class. Anything else that I need to do, like read a book, I can do that later on. Usually you have enough time after practice to get what you need to do done, you just have to be motivated and willing to do it. I know it gets tiring, because after practice most of the people want to go to their rooms and go to sleep, but sometimes you have to say "No, I have to stay up and do some work."
VM: Coming in for the first time into the system, especially you as a point guard, there must be a lot to learn. How does the learning process go?
Dee: Well, I'm learning every day. After each game I learn more. I'll sit around and watch film with Coach, and they'll tell me what I need to improve on, and what I'm doing good at, so I know exactly where I'm at, and every day is just a learning process.
VM: Is watching film with a coach a new experience for you?
Dee: A new experience? I would say yes, because in high school I would ask my coach for my game tape, and I would go and watch it, because I never really thought in high school you were supposed to watch game tape with your coach. But when I got here, it was like all the time I could do that, and they're willing to watch it with me, and they offer as well. It helps me out a lot, because I can see where I'm at, and what I need to improve on.
VM: Can you think of any particular things you've learned from watching yourself on tape?
Dee: I'm in college. (Laughs) That's the biggest thing right there. It's just unreal. Right now I'm a freshman point guard, actually starting my first year in college, and it's a lot of pressure on me. I'm trying to play up to everybody else's standards and expectations, but then again, it's just my game. I'm just going out there and playing every game to my fullest. Watching film, I can say, "Okay, I need to push the ball more," "I need to play tighter defense", just little things that you need to take care of, and film helps me out with that.
VM: When you're watching film are you able to watch it objectively, or is it ever painful to watch?
Dee: I'm my worst critic, anyway. I could have a lot of assists and still be upset because I missed a certain pass. I've always been like that. I'm the hardest on myself, so it's just going to make me better in the long run, I believe. Film helps out a whole lot, because you're like, "Oh, that's a good thing I did", or "Oh man, I should have done that", so it helps out a whole lot.
VM: How often do you watch film?
Dee: With the team, after a game, we usually watch it once or twice. Sometimes we might watch half of a game, or 20 minutes or so of a game, because you stop it all the time and rewind, so it's long. From the tipoff, if she sees something that wasn't correct, or something that was good, she'll point it out, stop, rewind, and show us exactly what we needed to do, or what we did right, so it's a learning process. It's a lot of tape because you have to point out different things. You can't just watch the game. It takes a while.
And with the coaches, it depends. Most of the time, it's just myself and Coach Balcomb, or a few of the other guards as well. I could watch it two or three times, or once, it doesn't matter. Coach will ask me to come up, or I'll offer.
VM:I'm guessing when you're out on the court, it doesn't matter who's a freshman, who's a sophomore, you're just a team out there playing together.
VM: But when I was in Vermont, I saw Katie (Antony) and Jenn (Hall) carrying out a huge bag. I thought that might be related to being a freshman. Do you have special jobs you have to do as freshmen?
Dee: Yes, the managers have us carry certain things when we travel, like I had to carry a tripod, for instance, or a bag. you have to make sure it's in the managers' rooms, and you have to bring it down to the bus, and take it to the gym, and make sure it comes back with you from the gym. It's like a little responsibility you have to do. It all depends on what the managers want us to do. It's not like it's torture or anything. It's just paying our dues, I guess.
VM: What are the biggest changes between ball in high school and college?
Dee: For me, I believe it's that you don't have to be the best player on the court now. I get to play with people of the same caliber or higher, and I enjoy that because it challenges me more. I don't have to go out there and have to do everything. I have help this year. Like in high school I had help sometimes, but it was like, "You're the person." I would say that about any girl that's in college right now, they had to be the backbone of the whole team. So I feel like I have more support and more help, so it's a lot easier.
VM: That must be a pretty good feeling.
Dee: It is. It's a great feeling.
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Photos of Dee Davis lacing up her ankle braces before practice, Katie Antony and Jenn Hall in Vermont, and Carla Thomas, Dee Davis and Cherish Stringfield in Memorial Gym by WhitneyD for VandyMania.com. Photo of #10 Dee Davis on the court with Katie Antony in background by Micah Miller for VandyMania.com.
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