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Head coach Melanie Balcomb and senior guard Jence Rhoads met with media members from throughout the country at SEC Media Day on Thursday in Hoover, Ala.
Melanie Balcomb, Vanderbilt, Women's Head Coach
On current practice:
"I like to go longer than most people. Our defense and offense are complicated. I believe in doing it till you do it right, but this time of year you're not doing it right. I don't believe in just moving on, I believe in doing it right."
On this season:
"We have so little experience but at the same time I love the competition of that. We have a lot of spots open. I'm excited about the competition and people not knowing whether they're going to play, their playing time, or their roles or positions. Last spring was the best spring we've had in a long time. Kids worked harder and were more positive than I've seen them in years."
On the team's greatest strengths:
"Hopefully we'll get back to being really explosive offensively and being able to get into transition. We have the height now to play a lot more match up like we used to play. We're trying to create offense off of our defense and get out there and pressure. I think if we do the right things we can only keep getting better. We're going to be a team whose possibilities in March or April are going to be greater than a lot of teams that have a lot of experience, just because we keep getting better."
On getting to take part in the ESPN GameDay experience:
"It says so much about our program and getting our name out there on a national level like that. It's just really neat for our program and our players to be a part of it."
On the league as a whole:
"This conference surprises me every year. I don't think any year there's any one team that you can pick out. I think anybody can play well."
Jence Rhoads, Vanderbilt, Sr., G
On season expectations:
"It's my senior year so I'm looking to go out on a high note. We play in Pittsburg, which is my hometown, so I'm looking forward to that. And also, of course, the (ESPN) GameDay game against Tennessee in Knoxville."
On what sets the team apart:
"Our team chemistry and how hard we do work sets us apart. I can't say other teams don't work hard but I know how hard we work in the offseason and during the season. I think that's one of the things that help us be successful in the long run."
On the youth of the team:
"Overall I think everyone is doing really, really well. They're working really hard and everyone has a really good attitude right now. I think by the time we start games everyone will be ready to make a contribution to the team and to winning."