Q&A with Coach Stallings, part 2

Oct. 15, 2008

Hinkle and Ezeli

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More Links:  Read Q&A Part One  |  Pictures from Preseason Shoot

VUcommodores.com sat down with basketball head coach Kevin Stallings for a three-part Q&A session as the Commodores prepare for the first day of practice this Friday. In part two, Stallings talks about the incoming freshmen and the redshirt freshmen.

On Brad Tinsley

"Brad can play either guard spot...the best shooter and best passer on our team. He is a delightful personality to be around and I think he will have a lot of good success here."

On Charles Hinkle

"He's a good stand still shooter, and is a guy who improved his body greatly. He broke his foot last year that hampered some of his development. But, it will be interesting to see because Charles has made a lot of progress since last year and has gotten better. He was not ready to play for us last year, thus the reason he chose to redshirt. So, we'll have to wait and see whether or not his development has put him in a position where he can compete for playing time on our team."

On Festus Ezeli

"He's one of those guys who has a genuine passion and concern for other people. It's hard not to enjoy Festus because of the warmth of his personality. In terms of a basketball player, he is undoubtedly the most improved player in one year that I've ever coached. He came in last year and really could barely make it through an individual workout. Now, he's a good runner, and has an absolutely incredible body with a 7'5 wing span. I think Festus will, if his head stays right and continues to be the kind of guy that he is, which I think he will be, become a better than ordinary college player."

On Lance Goulbourne

"Lance is a guy who came in at the beginning of the summer and has gained about 15 pounds already. It's very easy to see, he wears it wonderfully. He's an explosive athlete, and I think he's the illustration of why it's good for guys to come in the summer. He does well in the classroom, puts on some weight, and goes through a stretch where I think he struggled on the court where he doesn't play as well as he wanted to. Two or three months later now, his athleticism is starting to show up and he's getting used to the college game, and all of a sudden, he's already looking like the guy we recruited. We thought he could be a special-type player. Lance is incredibly bright, extremely athletic, and we think he can impact this team because of his athleticism."

On Jordan Smart

"He's a guy we recruited as a walk on, but awarded him a scholarship this year because we had two left over. He's a guy that I saw down in Texas one day at a recruiting event where I was watching Steve (Tchiengang) play, and noticed this guy on the next court making jump shots. He is a very fine shooter, very quiet. Again, a guy who really wanted to be a part of our program and at 6'6, he's got an interesting type of body for what could be a two guard. His jump shooting abilities may be able to get him some opportunities. Like all the rest of him, he's got some things he needs to work on, but I think his shooting ability could be very valuable to us."

On Steve Tchiengang

"Steve is one of those guys that plays as strong as he looks. Some guys look strong, but don't necessarily play that way. Steve plays physically and very strong with great effort. He has a tremendous desire, not only to please, but to get better. Again, like Festus and others on our team, he stands out with a heart of compassion and caring about other people that I enjoy so much. He's a power forward-type player who has three-point range. He can put the ball on the floor, he's got some passing skills, and he's a very good defender. He's a high-motor, high-effort guy and I imagine he'll find his way into some playing time because of his desire to get better."

On Jeffery Taylor

"Jeff is a little bit of a freak of nature athletically. He cut his head on the rim the other day, and I can't say that I've coached too many guys I've said that about. Jeff is one of those guys who has a lot of athletic ability - he moves around the court in a very graceful, balanced way. He comes from a terrific high school program and when you do one of those "look tests" and watch him in an individual workout, you just think that there's a lot out there for him. He just has that natural look of a player and he has good feet defensively, and he's really competitive. That competitive nature, combined with his athletic gifts, really have a chance to make him a unique player."

Previous Q&A:
Part One



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