VandyNation talked to Vandy senior guard Chuck Moore at the recent SEC Media Day in Birmingham. Chuck talked about his transfer to Vandy three years ago from Seton Hall, and his role on this year's team as senior leader.
VN: Your picture is on the front of the media guide, and it looks like you're soaring a couple of feet above the basket. How'd you get up that high?
Chuck: (Laughing) Uh, that was off a chair. I think they got me a little too high. It was a little bit of trick photography.
VN: You played two years at Seton Hall before coming here. Tell me how your transfer to Vanderbilt came about.
Chuck: I transferred, not because of the coaches and staff at Seton Hall-- I did it on my own terms. I just felt I could do a lot more than the coaches were asking me to do at Seton Hall. One of our assistants there knew Coach Stallings, and before I got out, I took a visit and fell in love with the place-- SEC, I liked Coach Stallings, and enjoyed the team. The rest is history.
VN: You visited right after Coach Stallings was hired, right? So you're really one of his first "recruits."
VN: What's it like when you come for a recruiting visit? What does the staff do for you, and what really impressed you that they did that weekend?
Chuck: What really impressed me was how laid back the staff was. A lot of jokes, a lot of laughter. It made me feel very comfortable. I knew when it came time to play, it would be hard work on the floor-- no joking then. But off the court I could also relax a little bit, enjoy myself, and enjoy being around Coach. A lot of players, when they're off the court, don't really want to associate with the coaches. It's like a business thing. But I have a great relationship with Coach, and that's what really impressed me the most.
VN: In what kind of settings do you relate to him off the court?
Chuck: Personal meetings off the court, during the week, anytime. He makes you feel comfortable. He's not going to get onto you for something you did in practice the other day. He's going to be a friend. You can go to him with any type of a personal problem, and he'll relate to you as a friend.
VN: You're a senior now, and you're going to be a leader on this team. Is that a role you embrace?
Chuck: Definitely. Leadership is big to any team. It's definitely going to be the key to our success this year. As a leader I have to be the one who steps up in certain situations, not just on the court, but I have to be the one to "hold the family together" so to speak, and make sure that everyone does what they're supposed to do. It's a responsibility that I'm up to taking.
VN: Coming into the season, does Coach Stallings say, it's your turn now to step up and lead?
Chuck: He doesn't put pressure on me. He just lets me know what I need to do to help me be successful. He has told me something like, don't worry about yourself-- worry about us as a team. What can we as a team do better-- instead of individual goals. Stuff like that should just come naturally for a senior. I've been here the longest. It's not added pressure, it's just something I should be able to do by now.
VN: Is he looking to you for a certain amount of minutes every night? A certain amount of points every night?
Chuck: I don't think so, no. He just wants me to compete for 40 minutes. At certain points in the game, to say the right thing in the huddle, to make sure we're all on the same page.
VN: Tell me about your knee injury.
Chuck: I tore a meniscus in my right knee last week. I went up wrong for a shot, and felt a little pop in my knee, and didn't know what it was. I had an MRI and had surgery last week. My goal is to be back for the second exhibition game, if not then, the opener. I'm recovering really well. It's not as serious as an ACL. A lot of people have come back in a week. I'm walking and jogging pretty good right now, but not practicing.
VN: I saw in the media guide you're a business major. What are you hoping to do with that?
Chuck: Actually my major is health and human services. I'm from the Philadelphia area. I would love to go back home and give back to the community where I was raised, because I've come a long way. But I really want to keep playing basketball. You put so much time and effort into it, since I was 5, and you hope somehow it will pay off. That's my true goal right now.
VN: But if you don't make it in basketball, what would be your dream job?
Chuck: Working somewhere for a big company, wearing suits every day with a briefcase, working and going up to those big high rises-- something like that. I kind of like these suits, and wouldn't mind buying a couple more!
VN: You guys have a game right off the bat up at UConn. You'll be getting back to some Big East competition.
Chuck: That should be fun. It's a great place to play. I definitely hope I'm ready for that game.