Tim Corbin talks Rice

The Vanderbilt Commoodore baseball team opens the 2007 season tomorrow (noon) when they visit the Rice Owls. VandyMania talked with head coach Tim Corbin about Rice and preseason practice.

Don Yates: How has preseason practice been going?
Tim Corbin: Good. Good we've been able to get outside with the exception of one. The weather hasn't been a deterrent. It's been uncomfortable at times but it hasn't been a deterrent. It's gone pretty well to this point.

DY: I know it's been a little chilly on Saturday it was freezing but there was a little sunshine. You must have been pleased overall with the weather.
TC: Yeah, as long as it's dry and that's the biggest issue right there. You can't really control the temperature and we won't even go there with my team so they understand if it's dry we're going to play and in most cases if it's wet we're going to play. I'd rather have it that way than any other way.

DY: One good thing is you guys have a lot of good indoor facilities now. I noticed your guys doing some batting practicing the other day at Memorial Gym.
TC: Yeah we've got good batting cages, we've got a good indoor pitching area so it enables us to do maybe individual work in there and also during practice we can do some team stuff as well. Sunday when we couldn't get out we did a team type scrimmage in there so it's big enough to accomplish all those things.

DY: So looking at the team right now, compared to last year, are there some areas you think you are stronger in or an area where you feel you need to improve?
TC: No not really. I think the biggest thing is they're all a year older and they're back and they kind of have a sense of what's going on which is important and I think from that point on it makes it easier to move on to other things and to get better in certain area. I just think the experience is the key factor right now. Whether we are better or not time will bear that out and I'm not going to forecast that. It's just a matter of going out and trying to play well initially.

DY: So when are you guys leaving for Houston?
TC: Tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 6:45 out of here. The plane takes off about 8:30.

DY: So what do you know about Rice?
TC: Not too much. They're experienced too. I've seen them on TV a little bit from last year and got to coach one of their pitchers last year but didn't get to coach Joe Savery (Jr. P/IF All-American). He was supposed to be on that USA team but he had an injured arm so he didn't play but we recruited Joe so I know something about him but, you now, we just have a lot of respect for their program. It's a program we tried to emulate here at Vanderbilt because they have got a similar situation to us but they've got Houston and there are a lot of good players in that particular area. But Coach Graham, for a younger coach like myself he has been a guy that I looked at that is kind of a role model so to speak in college baseball. A guy who has won a lot of games down at the junior college level and at a academic school. So that says a lot about a guy and I've just got a lot of respect for him.


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