Rebel Head Coach Rod Barnes Talks About Vanderbilt

Jan. 30, 2003

(On Vanderbilt)
It's going to be an extremely tough game for us. Vanderbilt is probably not the most favorite place to play from a coaching standpoint because for one half you feel disconnected from your team. I have a concern about that since I have a freshman point guard (Trey Pearson) playing in his first game there. I hope David Sanders, Emmanuel Wade, and maybe even Aaron Harper can help in the backcourt because we will need experience there.

Vanderbilt is a good basketball team. You can't look at their record (9-8 after their Jan. 29 win over No. 17 Georgia). They have played great competition, and they play very well on their homecourt. It's going to be a challenge for us because that (Memorial Gym) is a place where not too many visiting teams win.

(On Vanderbilt's Matt Freije)
I think their first option now is Brian Thornton, their big guy in the middle. He can catch it and score. They are also looking for a lot from Matt Freije because he can play both inside and outside. He's a player that needs to perform like we need Justin Reed to do for us. Justin Reed has to score points and grab rebounds game after game for us to be successful. Matt Freije has to play well night in and night out for them to be successful.

(What do you do differently playing at Vanderbilt)
We've won only one time up there recently (81-68 win in 2000-01), but we had veteran point guards. What we try to do is call our plays with our center or post player because he is the one facing our bench (on offense in the first half). We were very successful with that a couple of years ago with Rahim Lockhart. That helped us because we were able to communicate without our guards having to turn around and look for the play call.

I also think you have to script part of your gameplan. You have to script it out and follow it. As time goes on, you hopefully can make adjustments during timeouts. But, you can't get too caught up in playing in their gym. Basically, when we break the huddle on Saturday, I'm going to say, "Trey, it's your game. Call the game." Hopefully, he's got enough experience now to call a good game. In the first half (with the offense on the other end of the court), the coach is basically out of the game, except for talking with the official in the corner every once in awhile.

 

 

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