Germantown coach talks about Ted Skuchas

VandyMania interviewed Jim Fenerty, who is the head coach of the storied Germantown Academy basketball team in the Philadelphia area. Fenerty talked extensively about Ted Skuchas, a highly touted post player, who has signed with Vanderbilt.

VandyMania: How long have you coached Ted Skuchas?

Jim Fenerty: Teddy came to our school in the eighth grade so I've known him for the last five years. We're an independent school, a private school, that goes from pre-kindergarten all the way up to the twelfth grade. Teddy came in during middle school.

VM: What is Ted's greatest strength as a basketball player?

JF: As a basketball player it's his willingness to accept coaching and work hard. Teddy had the dream of being in division I basketball, of being able to play at a school like Vanderbilt. A lot of kids have that dream but not every kid has the desire to go out there and work every single day to make themselves achieve that dream. Ted Skuchas is one of those guys who just wanted to get better and just did whatever he had to do to get better. I couldn't be happier for him. I think if you ask me what his strength is as a person it's his enduring character. He's just a great, great person. He's been a tremendous teammate for our guys here.

VM: What teams recruited Ted?

JF: You name it. Everybody from North Carolina, Notre Dame to Villanova. It basically came down to Teddy going on a bunch of unofficial visits. He went down to Vanderbilt on a Thursday, we had off on Friday. He came back on Monday and said to me "That's it". I said "What do you mean 'That's it'. " He said "That's where I want to go to school." He fell in love with the campus. He's a tremendous student academically with a great variety of interests. He just came back and said "Coach, that's where I want to go." He said "I really like Coach Stallings; I like Coach Jeff Jackson." I think he made an excellent choice.

VM: What schools offered Ted scholarships?

JF: He was offered by Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Villanova, Georgia Tech and many more. Those were basically the finalist.

VM: Why did he choose Vanderbilt?

JF: I think it was important to him that he find a place he felt comfortable, that he could be a student athlete and a place that has a great reputation for academics, which Vanderbilt certainly does but also a program that he feels is definitely on a par to compete on a national level. He felt very, very comfortable with Kevin Stallings. In my dealings with Kevin Stallings, I think Vanderbilt is very fortunate to have him. He's a class act. I've been able to watch a little bit of the team's play this year since Teddy got an interest in them and I think they do a great job. I think he's a excellent coach. I think it's going to be a good relationship. Skooch is a very special kid to me and to our program up here. I'm really glad he is going to be with a class act like Kevin.

VM: "Skooch?" Is that a . . .

JF: That's his nickname. He's been called that since about the fifth grade.

VM: How do you spell that?

JF: I guess it's "S-K-O-O-C-H." Ted's probably one of the most popular kids on campus. It is not uncommon to see Teddy in the cafeteria up here surrounded by every little kid in the lower school. He's just that kind of kid. We run clinics on Saturday mornings for our little kids and my varsity kids are there and work. This past Saturday we had picture day in which the kids can come in with their cameras and their parents and they can get their picture taken with our varsity players and then the players sign autographs. Well Skooch had the longest line. It took us almost an hour to get through all the kids that wanted Teddy's autograph and picture. He's just a great kid.

VM: How is Ted doing so far during his senior season?

JF: We finished up our season last night. We don't have playoffs. There are three leagues in Philadelphia and none of the three leagues are in the state association so our season ended last night. He's had a great year, actually, the other day, he became only the second person in our schools history to collect 1,000 career rebounds. He finished up with like 1,020, I haven't done the final stats yet because we played last night but scored like 700 points and had over 1,000 rebounds. Because we have two other kids, one kids going to Duke and one kids going to Florida to play; so Teddy wasn't always called on to score as much. The kid going to Florida averaged 20 a game, the kid going to Duke averaged 17 a game and Teddy average 11 a game. A typical game for Skooch would be, like he had the other night in his last home game; he had 12 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. He had seven triple doubles this year. He is the consummate post player. It's one of those things where you got a kid that's going to Vanderbilt. [For instance] You think he's in this day and age an instant gratification. He's probably going to be complaining that he is only averaging 11, 12 points a game because he's not getting the ball because the other two guys are kind of wing players. NOT A COMPLAINT. The only complaint he ever had was if we lost and he felt we didn't play hard enough. He's just a great young man. He's a consummate team player. Your not going to have any problems with him. It's just going to be a situation where he's going to do whatever Vanderbilt needs to win. Your number one source for Vanderbilt news, forums, and fan fun.

VM: What do you think is Ted's greatest during game accomplishment?

JF: In our league opener, which was against a school called Penn Charter, our big rival. We played the game at LaSalle University. In that league opener they threw a triangle and two on the kid going to Duke and the kid going to Florida. Ted Schukas in that game had 27 points, 19 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. We thumped them by about 20. Nobody ever did a junk defense on us for the rest of the year. I think his offensive game has developed to a point where if you get him the ball down low he's going to score. He's going to dunk on people or he's got a nice little hook shot coming and he can knock down the 10-12 footer facing the basket. We never asked him to do that much but he does it on a regular basis in practice. People ask "why is he only averaging 11 a game?", because his high schools coaches, myself, am an old fashioned guy and I think we need to play as a team.

VM: Is there anything else you would like to say about Ted Skuchas?

JF: I'm thrilled for him. I've been doing this a long time. He's one of those kids that is just a very special young man. Like I said, he had a dream of being a division I player. He had the willingness to work to become a division I player and to choose a great school like Vanderbilt, I couldn't be happier.

VM: Thank you coach.

Germantown Academy Patriots head coach Jim Fenerty in the last 10 years has coached Germantown Academy to eight Inter-Academic titles. His teams have been ranked in the USA Today National High School Top 25. Fenerty has a 228-81 record. For more information on this outstanding coach see this LINK Top Stories