VUcommodores.com recently conducted a Question and Answer session with Commodore freshman, forward Jordan Coleman, addressing topics in basketball and life outside of Memorial Gym. Check out Coleman and the rest of her teammates at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, as the `Dores tip off their season with a home exhibition game against Tusculum College.
Coleman on Basketball:
How have the first couple weeks of practice gone for you?
"Practice has been pretty intense, but it's pointed out what I need to work on, and it's been a big shock going from high school level ball to college level, but it made me realize, as well as Tia (Tia Gibbs), what we need to work on to play at this level. So, it's been a learning experience."
What are some of the things that you've realized you need to work on?
"In order to play at this level you need to be able to take contact a lot more than you did in high school. Contact's a big thing. You always hear that basketball is a contact sport, but not until you play at this level and you play against the defense at this level do you really understand the concept of that statement."
Has the college basketball experience matched your expectations?
"It's actually been better. I expected, coming to Vanderbilt, for it to be very hard - the classes being challenging and for me to be challenged a lot, and I have, but I didn't expect for us to have as much fun as we do."
The Commodores are picked to win the SEC this season. Any added pressure for you in your first year?
"No, there's no added pressure. I just feel like we have a lot of high expectations that we need to live up to, and I think it's exciting to have a set, common goal that everyone is hoping to obtain. So, I think it's cool."
Have you set any goals or expectations for yourself?
"Well, a big thing that I want to do is focus on defense, because a big part of my game is when I focus on defense, my offense comes from my defense. So, I just want to develop being a good defender, and then hope that that turns over to my offensive contributions."
Coach Melanie Balcomb stresses defense, and the `Dores are a very good defensive team. Have you been able to really work on your defense so far?
"Yeah; our defensive strategies are a little different than what I'm used, but it's a really good system; and I'm really excited to be in it."
Is there anyone on the team who you've looked up to and are learning from?
"As far as a role model on the team it would probably be Tina (Christina Wirth), because a lot of times I find myself going too fast and just trying to get through the drill, but she takes time and does every little thing, which helps me focus on the little things that need to be done in plays and drills. She's really disciplined, and I think I need to take up after that."
Do you have any motivation or philosophy when you play?
"I just try to take it one day at a time. You can't just look at it like you have five days of practice until another break. You have to look at each one-day-at-a-time."
You're going to play in a very competitive conference now. Are you looking forward to the challenge?
"I think every freshmen going into that is like, `Wow, we're going to play Pat Summitt's team,' but I think it's going to be interesting and exciting. I think I'm more excited than nervous."
Off the Court:
How's your first semester at college going for you? Quickly?
"Yeah, it's actually going by really fast. There are weeks where you have so much to do, but it's pretty chill and laid back. Just as long as I don't procrastinate, nothing's really that intense. They always say that your freshman year is all about learning about time management, and that's absolutely true. You always need to be doing something if you want to stay consistent and ahead of where you need to be."
How have you been able to balance basketball and class?
"It was really hard at first. I felt like I had sleep deprivation, but it's gotten better. You get time to yourself sometimes, which is always good."
What do you do in your off time?
"Sleep. That's it."
What do you do for fun?
"A lot of times we'll go out as a team, go out to things on campus, like they'll have little parties and little fun stuff that you can do, or we just go out to dinner or go to a movie. For the most part, we all go out as a team, and I like that a lot."
What do you think about Nashville so far?
"I like it. I'm not used to the cold, because in Florida we have possibly four days of cold weather in a year, but it's different. Overall, I like Nashville. I like the scenery. I like the campus."
Have you found any good places to eat or hang out?
"I like Mellow Mushroom. I didn't know that we had one at home, but my mom apparently says we do."
What are your hobbies?
"I like track and field a lot. I used to run in high school, but obviously I can't run in college because it's too conflicting with my basketball schedule. But, I like to keep tabs of my friends who are running in college, and I like keeping up with college track and stuff like that."
You're majoring in Arts and Science. Do you know what you want to do with that?
"At first I just picked Arts and Science at random and I had no idea about it. But, I think I want to go in to sociology or psychology, one of the two, and whichever one I major in I want to minor in the other, just because I'm thinking about going into pre-law, and I feel like either would be a good major to have going into that field."
What are you favorite teams, and who are your favorite athletes?
"I am a Florida Gator football fan, don't tell anyone on our team. I have friends on the team. Jeff Demps is a freshman this year, and he's going to be really big time. He's really cool. We're really close friends.
"With basketball, I have a few select players, but I don't have a specific team. I really like Ray Allen. I like his game. I like Dwayne Wade."
What are you doing for Halloween? Are you getting the night off?
"I doubt it, but I don't know. I'm just going to play it by ear, and see what people are doing on the team. I have no costume, so I'll just go as myself."