Oct. 25, 2013
TODAY'S FEATURED PLAYER: Kylee Smith
Fr., Guard, 5-11
Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga.
Before Kylee Smith came on the scene, no player in Alpharetta High history had ever scored 2,000 career points. Well, Smith not only reached the mark, she soared right past it. She finished her career with 2,175 points (the 10th highest total in state history) and was a three-time First Team All-State honoree.
Now, she brings her talents and prolific scoring abilities to Vanderbilt, where she hopes to help lead the Commodores to a memorable season and another deep postseason run.
Today, Smith is our featured player as we continue our Countdown to Tipoff -- a two-week preview package that will spotlight a different player or coach each day. Smith recently sat down for an interview with vucommodores.com to talk about the coming season and a few other topics. Here's what she had to say:
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH KYLEE
QUESTION: After having such a terrific high school career, does it now feel almost like you are starting over in terms of your basketball career?
KYLEE: I feel with the term "start over" it can go in different directions. The direction that it's going now is a good direction because you're able to prove yourself again, which you have to do. And ... regardless of whether you had a good high school (career) or not, (that) has nothing to do with what's happening now. That just means you have to prove yourself all over again, which is great because nothing's basically handed to you. ... At the end of the day, you want to be able to work for something and know you worked (hard) to get it.
QUESTION: What do you think of Memorial Gym, and how excited are you about playing your home games at such a unique and historic venue?
KYLEE: That was definitely part -- a small (but) key part -- of what interested me about Vanderbilt. The home court is super interesting and historic. I just love how (other teams) come here, and (they) hate playing on it and coaches hate coaching on it. It's just great knowing that you have that coming in. ... I just love it and it adds to the uniqueness of Vanderbilt.
QUESTION: What has been the bigger adjustment so far - has it been on the basketball court or the classroom?
KYLEE: Definitely I feel like in the classroom, you're prepared if you do your work and stay on top of things. And basketball makes you stay on top of things and use time management. And I've always been good at that and managed my time with practice. I definitely have to say the biggest change is on the court. It's a faster pace, you're playing with people all at your level. ... The whole fact of playing in the SEC, the high level of competition, probably has to be the biggest change. (But) it doesn't scare me.
QUESTION: On a day when you don't have practice, what do you spend the day doing?
KYLEE: I get some relaxation time (because) you don't (normally) get to have some "me" time. I try to catch up on sleep that I may have missed or I try to get ahead on some stuff, maybe clean a little bit. Make sure my dorm is nice. I don't like a dirty dorm.
QUESTION: How would you rate the team chemistry, especially in regard to the freshmen meshing with the returning players?
KYLEE: I feel like as freshmen, Bekah (Dahlman), Marqu'es (Webb) and I are so different (and) that we all bring something different to the table; bring something different to the team. The team is awesome and they are all accepting and super close. They help you in every aspect. You can ask them anything. I just feel like that brings the team closer. The seniors are really influential and they don't just stand off by themselves and think they are better than everyone. They bring themselves down to your level to talk to you, even though they are great players. I think that's really important what they do to bring everyone together, which has caused our team to have great chemistry.
Favorite movie: The Blind Side
Favorite fast-food place: Chick-fil-A
Favorite athlete (past or present): Stephen Curry
Favorite vacation spot: Naples, Fla.
Favorite celebrity: Carrie Underwood
Favorite TV Show: Scandal and Revenge
Favorite band/artist: Rascal Flatts and Darrius Rucker
Favorite thing to do on an off day from practice: Sleep
Favorite book: The Last Song
Favorite song: God Bless the Broken Road
Most famous person you've ever meet: Coach Balcomb
Famous person you would most like to meet (past or present): Carrie Underwood and Michael Jordan
What is your oddest talent: I think I can sing
My ultimate dream job: Event planner for Carrie Underwood
Name one thing on your bucket list: Make it to the Final Four