'That big fool loves to practice shooting'

Matt Freije said it affectionately about Dawid Przybyszewski: "That big fool loves to practice shooting." Vandy's 7-2 forward/center earned notoriety as a shooter last year, but in the offseason he's been called upon to step up his inside game. In this VandyMania exclusive, the Torun, Poland looks ahead to the coming season, and also gives his impressions of the team's newcomers.


VandyMania: Dawid, last season in the SEC Tournament, Coach Stallings told the press something Matt Freije had said about you. He quoted Matt as saying, "that big fool loves to practice shooting." He said it very affectionately of course. But there is something about you that loves to get in the gym and practice shooting, right?

Dawid Przybyzewski: I really like it. I see it as one of my strengths. I thing lots of time spent shooting really helps develop your shooting. But in the offseason I haven't really focused that much on shooting. I've been focusing more on rebounding.

VM: How much are you weighing exactly these days?

Dawid: About 264 today.

VM: Do you expect that to drop as you get into the season?

Dawid: I've dropped a little bit already. I weighed 268 at one point. But I'd like to stay around 265 or so. That would be good.

VM: In practice have you been focusing more on moving people around with that extra weight?

Dawid: I'm trying to get as physical as I can, without fouling. Getting rebounds is very important for our team this year. We weren't doing so great in the league in terms of rebounding. That was the emphasis for me for this year.

VM: I'm going to go down the list of some of the newcomers to the team this year, and you tell me your impressions of them. Start with Derrick Byars, because none of us have seen him play yet in a Vanderbilt uniform.

Dawid: He was a great pickup for us. He had shoulder surgery in the summer, so he hasn't been able to practice. But he's a very skilled player, a 3-man. He can shoot very well too.

VM: Do you think DeMarre' Carroll will turn out to be a 3 or a 4 man?

Dawid: I think he will be somewhere in between. He has a little baby hook that looks great, and a turnaround hook, and it's going in most of the time. He also has some touch from the 3-point line. He's really been all around in practice. He can go inside out. He has great potential.

VM: Shan Foster?

Dawid: Very sharp shooter. He can shoot the ball, like, almost good as me! Just kidding. We play sometimes a contest after or before practice. I haven't lost yet, but... he's very good. Great athlete and shooter.

VM: Is he going to play defense good enough to play a lot?

Dawid: He has some lacks there a little bit. He'll learn though. He can learn very fast. Defense might be his strength later on with his athletic ability.

VM: Alex Gordon.

Dawid: He really reminds me of Mario. He's really quick. He's a little smaller than Mario, but he has deep range. He can shoot the ball from way downtown. He's very quick on the ball too. On defense he can pressure. I'm very excited about him. I think he has the best range from our team.

VM: And I know Davis Nwankwo has also been hurt.

Dawid: Yes, he twisted his ankle and hasn't practiced. But he has long arms. He's a great shot-blocker. He can rebound. He has some post moves also. He's very strong for a freshman. He has a great body frame. He's a really rough talent, I think. He just needs some polish, but I think he'll be great in time.

VM: Alan Metcalfe.

Dawid: Alan is my European buddy. He plays somewhat like me, I think. He plays outside and inside, probably in that order. He shoots well. He has some running hooks. He has a lot of European game. He reminds me a lot of me.

VM: Have you been able to find any Polish food in Nashville?

Dawid: Actually in my freshman year I came over to my teammate Sam Howard's house for dinner. His mom made this Polish food out of a recipe on the Internet. It was great! I can't cook, but if I could, that's what I would make.

VM: What's your favorite Polish food?

Dawid: I like pirogis, which is kind of a bread with a filling, like mushrooms and cabbage inside. It's very traditional. I'm going to eat it in May or June when I graduate. I will go to Poland for a week.


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