Oct. 26, 2013
TODAY'S FEATURED PLAYER: Marqu'es Webb
Fr., Forward, 6-1
Hometown: Hoover, Alabama
Although there is usually a great deal of unknown surrounding an incoming freshman, there is one element about Marqu'es Webb that is undeniable: She is accustomed to winning.
During her high school career, the Alabama native was a member of three state championship teams -- winning her first at Brewbaker Tech (Montgomery) as a sophomore, followed by back-to-back titles during her junior and senior seasons at Hoover High.
In the process, she collected a bevy of individual awards, including being named Miss Basketball in Alabama as a senior. She also led the nation in rebounding as a sophomore, and was a two-time MVP of the state championship game.
Today, Webb is the featured player as we continue our Countdown to Tipoff -- a two-week preview package that will spotlight a different player or coach each day. Webb 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 MARQU'ES
QUESTION: Do you feel like the culture surrounding the Vanderbilt program is similar to the culture surrounding the Hoover (Ala.) High program, since both have a history of success?
MARQU'ES: Hoover is a dynasty - in all sports - and I feel like that's how Vanderbilt is here as far women's basketball goes. That's one of the reasons I came here. You look up and you see all the flags up there hanging (from the rafters in Memorial Gym) ... Going to the (NCAA) tournament is not a goal for us, more so an expectation. It's definitely one of the reasons I came here: because it's known for success.
QUESTION: How different is the game of basketball at the college level -- even just during practice -- than high school?
MARQU'ES: I definitely noticed when I came here this summer, (even) in the weight room ... It's so much more intense. Every little detail matters in college. It's a lot more quicker and intense than high school.
QUESTION: What were some of the main factors that prompted you to choose Vanderbilt over some of the other schools that were recruiting you?
MARQU'ES: The success that Balcomb and her staff have had here. The main reason I came to Vanderbilt as opposed to other schools that were recruiting me was the team. When we're on the court, we mean business. When practice is over, everything stays on the floor. ... We are a very, very, very close group. We're all really close friends. (It's) a family atmosphere around the team. A lot of teams don't have that. We are just really fortunate to have that. And the same is true for the coaching staff. ... So just the family feel around team.
QUESTION: What would you say is your favorite memory from your high school career?
MARQU'ES: I have three -- when I won my three-straight state championships. It was just a feeling that just can't be replaced. Even if we were to win, which we will, an NCAA title here, (the high school championships) will still be a memory that (stands outs). It was really special. It feels like all your hard work meant something and you're with a group of girls that meant something.
QUESTION: This always a tough question, I'm sure, but was there one of the state titles that meant the most to you? Or are they all special in their own way?
MARQU'ES: People always ask me (that). Like after the second time, was that one better? After the third time, was that one better? I'd probably say my first one because (Bru-Tech's basketball history) was horrible. ... I'm going to be honest, just horrible. ... I think that was more special because I was a part of history - the first-ever state title (in the history of the girls' program).
Favorite movie: Man on a Ledge
Favorite fast-food place: Chick-fil-A
Favorite athlete (past or present): Lebron James
Favorite vacation spot: Miami
Favorite celebrity: Nicki Minaj
Favorite TV Show: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite band/artist: Nicki Minaj
Favorite thing to do on an off day from practice: Sleep
Favorite book: N/A
Favorite song: Right by my side
Most famous person you've ever meet: Pat Summitt
Famous person you would most like to meet (past or present): Nicki Minaj
What is your oddest talent: I can talk like Stitch
My ultimate dream job: Sports broadcasting
Name one thing on your bucket list: Nicki Minaj video star