Men’s basketball held its annual media day on Monday, ringing in the 2013-2014 season. The Technician caught up with redshirt senior center Jordan Vandenberg, who enters his last year of eligibility with the program.
Technician: You’ve talked about how you’ve been dropping weight and getting ready for the season. How’s that been going?
Vandenberg: “You know, I’ve just put in a lot of work this postseason, working on my body and on my game. It’s my last year here so I want to make it count and do right by all my teammates who have supported me throughout the time I’ve been here.”
Q: In practice have you been working as the primary center, or is there any kind of set lineups?
A: “There are no lineups set yet. We’re all still earning the offense and our role on the team. I will work hard to make that the case, but I’m not really about that right now. I’m just concerned with keeping myself in good match shape.”
Q: What are you trying to improve between now and when the season starts?
A: “I want to work on team chemistry. We have a lot of talented players, we just need to make sure we’re on the same page when the season comes around. There’s not a lot expected of us but I think we’re going to shock so me people.”
Q: You’re the only player left from the Sweet Sixteen run, how do you think the team chemistry is different?
A: “I can’t really compare those teams to be honest. This is a very young team with a bunch of new players. We have a different dynamic to the team. Everyone knows they have to prove their worth on this team, where as last year, we had established stars; we knew who was going to play. Because there is no clashing of egos it might be different.”
Q: Coach Gottfried talked this summer about how you, Tyler [Lewis] and Ralston [Turner] assumed leadership roles. Could you speak on that?
A: “I’m the only senior on this team. I try to help the young guys along, teach them small parts of the offense and explain to them my experiences, and how to approach college in the right way.”
Q: What have you seen from Desmond Lee?
A: “Des[mond] Lee is like the x-factor. No one knows about him, really. He came out of junior college but he’s a very, very talented player. I’ve been around a lot of players but for a two-guard, or shooting guard, he’s pretty talented. He’s fast, strong, he can play defense. It’s a really nice pickup.”
Q: What do you think Ralston [Turner] provides to the team since coming in last year?
A: “Ralston is a very quiet leader. When he has something to say you listen but approaches it by example. He doesn’t take days off, he doesn’t take drills off. He works hard and will probably be one of the best shooters on the team.”