Commodore fans got their first view of Vanderbilt's 2002-03 men's basketball team at Saturday's open scrimmage. Freshman Mario Moore delighted the crowd by making five 3-pointers. VandyMania talked with Moore, Coach Kevin Stallings, and guard Jason Holwerda immediately afterwards to get their impressions.
Kevin Stallings: It was kind of what we're used to the first time we get them in front of a crowd. They don't guard... and we hit a bunch of shots that make it look like we're this prolific offensive team. There's just no defense yet. But it's just sort of typical. Every team I've ever had, the first time you put them in front of people, they don't guard. But this didn't tell me anything, to be honest. We like our team... but that's based on what we've seen over the course of 18 or 19 practices. Mario obviously shot it very well. I think he hit five 3's, and I don't think he missed any. I thought everyone just, to some degree, did what they've been doing in practice. Mario stood out because he shot the ball well, but no one that I would say was truly outstanding.
(Is this team on track based on where you are in preparation for the season?) You never feel like you're on track. We just hope that we can get a heck of a lot better in three weeks, that's for sure. But we certainly have some pieces. We have some guys that are trying to play hard.
Mario Moore: I felt it went pretty good. I mean, we all practiced this morning, so we all started off a little tired, but Coach called us over and told us to get our energy up. It felt good after a while getting in the flow, for our first time being in front of people. We just came out there and tried to work on some of the things we've been working on in practices, and it all came together pretty good.
Jason Holwerda: We came out just like a regular team does at the beginning of the season-- anxious, a lot of energy, and people weren't in the right places. There was a lot of adrenaline with the crowd. But as we kept going a lot of people started settling down, doing the things we've been working on for a month or so. We started looking good. I felt pretty good about [my own performance]. I wasn't coming out here trying to be a superstar. I was just trying to fit in, do what I can to help the team.