Interview: Vandy's Keegan Bell (part II)

Keegan Bell talks about the mentoring he's received from Alex Gordon, the life of a 3-point shooter, how the team will rebound from Kentucky and comments on Vanderbilt's upcoming opponent Tennessee.

Mike Kranzler: On a team with such a strong youth presence, how important is it to have strong senior leadership from players like Shan, Red, and Ross?
Keegan Bell: It's very important. I mean, they've led us, they're the reason we've been as successful as we've been this year. I mean, they push us every day, on and off the court, and they've just been wonderful. Without them, I don't know where we'd be.

MK: How much has it helped you especially to have a senior like Alex Gordon mentoring you and giving you an opportunity to learn the ropes as a true freshman?
KB: I say it all the time, I dedicate all my success to Red. He has worked me since Day 1 in the summer, and he has kicked my butt a few times, and he's just that guy that, if I need help, I go to him, and he's such a great defender and such a great player, he has helped me not only on the defensive end but on the offensive end.

MK: You mentioned that Red was really handling you at the beginning of the summer: While you've played above and beyond what is normally expected of a true freshman, have there been any specific moments that you can think of, either in practice or during a game, where you may have really felt like a freshman?
KB: I think I was overwhelmed when I first got here because the first few weeks I mean Red was, I couldn't even dribble up the court without him getting into me and being real physical and all that kinda stuff. But other than that, he made me feel so welcome this summer he came, and when he was doing that he kept encouraging me, so I always knew I made the right decision.

MK: How important is it not to have an off-day shooting the ball when you shoot almost exclusively 3-pointers?
KB: You know, it's weird, it's different but I've been taking 3-pointers just because they're there, they're just kind of wide open. I don't like to just shoot 3-pointers, but that's what has been coming to me.

MK: Well you definitely came to the right place to shoot 3-pointers. What do you feel you bring to the table when you step onto the court?
KB: I just try and bring energy, I just try and, you know, be a distributor and give all the guys the ball and get Shan and A.J. what they need.

MK: Coming off of a tough first loss to Kentucky over the weekend, what will the team have to do in order to be prepared to come out swinging against Tennessee on Thursday?
KB: I think amnesia right now, you just gotta not think about the loss. We weren't playing to be undefeated; we're playing to get better every day. It was a tough loss, but we had a great day of practice yesterday, we're about to have one today, and we'll just look forward to going out there and turning things around.

MK: Does anything about them really stand out on film?
KB: They're just a really athletic team, with great pressure and all that kind of stuff. We play our game, and we'll be fine.


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