Interviews: Chantelle Anderson and Zuzi Klimesov

VandyNation sat down and talked with junior center Chantelle Anderson and senior forward Zuzi Klimesova at the recent SEC Media Days in Birmingham.

Q: Talk about the newcomers on your team this year.

Chantelle: Right now we have 15 people on the roster, and by midseason we might have a rotation of... oh, I don't know, 11 players.

Q: In a Coach Foster system?

Chantelle: Oh, yeah. We have a lot of depth. Last year we got down to 7 players in our rotation, so having those extra 4 or 5 players will really help.

Q: That's a scary thought for lots of teams you play, because your level of execution with 7 players was so high. What does that mean if you have an extra 4 or 5 players out there? Does that raise the bar even more?

Chantelle: It's exciting. It's great because last year during practice, sometimes we didn't have enough to even scrimmage ourselves. We had to bring guys in all the time, and if we didn't have the guys, we couldn't scrimmage. So now we can, with subs. We can make things more competitive, because we can put starters on different teams.

Zuzi: When you put all those returning people together, it's a very competitive thing. Every practice is just hard, hard. They are trying to make the practices as hard as they can get, so hopefully the games get easier.

VN: How does having Candice Storey back help the team?

Chantelle: There are times when-- hopefully it won't happen as much this year-- when I pick up a cheap foul on the post. Zuzi does a great job [substituting at post for Chantelle], but now we can keep her on the perimeter, and still have a post presence inside. She can still be on the perimeter. In terms of depth it definitely helps. When I need a rest, we'll sub in Candice, instead of having me pick up the stupid foul because I'm tired. Plus her leadership-- awesome. She's one of the most special people I've met in my entire life. She's one of those people that, my life is better for having known her.

VN: The Elite Eight game against Notre Dame last year when Chantelle had the great battle with Ruth Riley-- do you two ever have flashbacks to that game?

Zuzi: I'm more or less focused on this season. I'm ready for the first game on Nov. 9. I'm just trying to make the most out of every day. I wake up every morning and think, one day less, one day closer to graduation.

Chantelle: We had the whole summer to think about that. But now it's like, the season's almost here, so let's concentrate on new things.

VN: Zuzi, your freshman year was kind of a down year for the program, but every year you've seen the win total improve. Now the expectations are really high. Talk about the differences you've seen.

Zuzi: I'm excited that the program is getting a lot of respect now. It's gone from, we couldn't have a winning season, to, we had a winning season, to, we made it into the tournament and the Elite Eight. People now actually expect us to be good. It's a good challenge to have. You have to go out and protect what people believe you are and make sure they know it's really true. I like it. We have been able to have more and more people every year. I hope the fact that we have the whole team back from last year will cause people to come and support us and help us go even higher.

VN: I have to say, I think it was a crime that Zuzi was left off the [preseason] Naismith Award list.

Zuzi: Thank you so much, but I am not big on these things. When they happen, it's nice, but when they don't it's not the end of the world. I'm just looking forward to the season.

Chantelle: I was very upset that she was not [named]. If you're going to make that list and tell me that Zuzi's not one of the best 30 players... that just stinks!

VN: Zuzi, I understand that you are engaged now. Tell me about that.

Zuzi: I got engaged last May. My fiance is in the Marine Corps. His name is Tim Humphrey. He just finished basic training for flight school. He is from Pensacola, Florida before he came to Nashville. He graduated after my sophomore year.

VN: Is the WNBA a hope for you?

Zuzi: It is definitely a hope. I'm going to do my best to try to make it possible. If it doesn't work out, being able to stay close to home would be nice too.

VN: Would your fiance be OK with your traveling all over the country?

Zuzi: We have talked about my basketball career and him being in the Marine Corps. It's almost like he's going to have his career and I'm going to travel with him. Since I can't put my career on hold, we decided that I'm going to play for a couple of years no matter what. Then when we get settled down, I'm just going to follow him and let him finish his, whatever he wants to be. Top Stories