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December 2010

TRIPLE (DOUBLE)

THREAT

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2 Compliance Corner When are gifts appropriate? 4 National Commodore Club Jr.NCC / Parents Weekend 6 My Game Redshirt-freshman Stephanie Holzer 7 More from McGugin By the numbers 9 SAAC Christmas Party “Smo” hands down Santa suit 0 Remembering Roy Skinner 1 Legendary VU coach passes away 13 It’s My Turn: Rod Williamson

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Mythbusting

4 Music City is Tinsley Town 1 Family at home in Oregon or Nashville 17 Swimming in History Fargo, Molchan complete 4-yr journey 20 WBB’s Fresh Look

Newcomers make immediate impact

3 Commodore Calendar 2 What’s on tap in December To submit a letter to Commodore Nation, you can e-mail: commodorenation@vanderbilt.edu or write to Commodore Nation, 2601 Jess Neely Drive, Nashville, TN 37212. Letters should include the writer’s name and address and may be edited for clarity and space.

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4 Last Shot 2 Basketball season already flying high

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COMPLIANCE

CORNER Q: A:

Big Fan, a long-time supporter of Vanderbilt athletics, wants to provide dress clothes for the graduating seniors as a gift to help in their transition to the work world. Is this permissible? No. According to NCAA Bylaw 16.1.1.4, awards limitations apply to enrolled student-athletes who have exhausted their collegiate athletics eligibility. An institution shall be held responsible through the Association’s enforcement procedures for the provision of improper awards to graduating seniors by the institution or its booster organizations. Awards to graduating seniors may not include cash, gift certificates, gift cards that are redeemable for cash (original amount or any balance thereof), a cash-equivalent award (an item that is negotiable for cash or trade or other services, benefits or merchandise) for athletics participation, or country club or sports club membership.

Compliance questions? Please contact: Candice Lee Director of Compliance 615/322-7992 candice.lee@vanderbilt.edu

George Midgett Compliance Coordinator 615/322-2083 george.d.midgett@vanderbilt.edu

John Peach Compliance Coordinator 615/343-1060 john.w.peach@vanderbilt.edu

Andrew Turner Recruiting/Compliance Coordinator 615/322-4543 andrew.turner@vanderbilt.edu

Editorial Publisher: Vanderbilt University

Editor-in-Chief: Chris Weinman

Director of Communications: Rod Williamson

Designers: Jeremy Teaford

Chris Weinman

Digital Image Specialist: Julie Luckett Turner VU Photography: Mary Donaldson

Daniel Dubois Steve Green Joe Howell Jenny Mandeville Anne Rayner John Russell Susan Urmy

Contributors: Laina Balafas

Andy Boggs Sterling Frierson Larry Leathers George Midgett Ryan Schulz Jennifer Stevens Donald Turnbaugh

Administrative

Chancellor: Nicholas S. Zeppos Vice Chancellor for University Affairs: David Williams II Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs: Beth Fortune

Vanderbilt University’s Mission, Goals and Values Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry; and equality, compassion and excellence in all endeavors. Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university. ON THE COVER: Brad Tinsley; photo by John Russell, VU Photography. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to National Commodore Club, 2601 Jess Neely Drive, Nashville, TN 37212. SUBSCRIPTION: To subscribe to Commodore Nation, please contact Chris Weinman by phone at 615/343-0019 or by e-mail at commodorenation@vanderbilt.edu ADVERTISEMENT: To advertise with Commodore Nation, please contact Vanderbilt ISP Sports. Jeff Miller, general manager 615/322-4468 jmiller@ispsports.com

Commodore Nation is printed using recycled paper.

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C O M M O D O R E C LU B

CORNER

PHONE: 615/322-4114 • ONLINE: vanderbilt.edu/ncc How can I involve children I know that are Commodore fans?

NCC 101

We are launching a new program called the Junior National Commodore Club (Jr.NCC) aimed at engaging young fans who love the Black and Gold. Jr.NCC members automatically become members of Mr. C’s Kids Club with benefits including an official T-shirt, birthday gift and admission to select Commodore athletic events. Membership dues are $50 per year and open to children 13 and younger. Memberships make great holiday gifts and are a great way to start building a child’s NCC priority credit. To learn more or to enroll your young Commodore fans, call the NCC office at 615/322-4114 or log on to www.vanderbilt.edu/ncc.

PAVE THE WAY Be a part of Vanderbilt history by purchasing a brick toward our Pave the Way brick campaign. Your personalized brick will be placed in the plaza around Vanderbilt Stadium. Proceeds will go toward facility upgrades for our outstanding student-athletes. Log on to vanderbilt.edu/ncc for more information.

CONNECTICUT - OCT. 2, 2010

NCC Executive Director Christy Passmore, Vanderbilt Alumni Association President John Hindle (’68), Tom Rupp and Carolyn Baker.

NCC members Betty Goodall (’55), Fred Cassetty (’60), Jimmy Stein (’61) and Bobby Goodall (’57).

PARENTS’ WEEKEND - OCT. 8-9, 2010

Dr. Matthew Gornet and Dr. Valery Ratts with Head Women’s Tennis Coach Geoff Macdonald (far left) and Vice Chancellor David Williams.

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Football alumni Clarence Sevillian (’92), Doctors Hospital President & CEO, and Dr. Derrick Gragg Jr. (’92), Eastern Michigan Athletic Director.

PARENTS’ WEEKEND - OCT. 8-9, 2010

Dr. Ira and Elsa Fox, parents of Victor (’13).

Deborah Tipton (’72), mother of Mary (’14), and Kendra Hayworth.

NCC members Dr. Allen Sills, father of Hannah (’13), and wife Shawne.

Marsha East, mother of Andrew (’14), with George, Mike and Gail Gowder, family of Blake (’14).

WELCOME NEW NCC MEMBERS Below are the names of NCC members who joined in October. We welcome you and look forward to seeing you at Commodore games and events this year.

Dawn and Steve Moore, parents of Brett (’11) and Blair (’13).

Show us your Commodore spirit. If you are interested in having your photos appear in a future issue of Commodore Nation, please e-mail your images to ncc@vanderbilt.edu. To ensure you receive important updates, please make sure your most current e-mail address is on file.

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Leslie and W. Michael Arthur - Brentwood David Burge - Atlanta, Ga. Jama Clark - Murfreesboro Charles Dale - Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Jordan Kendig - Nashville Gregory Martin - Nashville Julia and Robert Parks - Columbia James N. Phillips - Brentwood Cynthia Carvalho-Recchia and Franco Recchia - Nashville Pamela Reese - Nashville Virginia and Scott Ross - Orange Park, Fla. Veronica Carter and Cliff Sampson - Whitleyville Janet and John Simonson - Menlo Park, Calif. Matt Ungs - Nashville Georg Venturatos - New Orleans, La. Janet and G. Wayne White - Hendersonville Freddie Williams - Brentwood

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My Game Redshirt-freshman Stephanie Holzer posted a double-double in her collegiate debut—nearly 18 months after arriving on campus as a McDonald’s All-American. The 6’4” post player discusses sibling rivalry, injury recovery and Pennsylvania geography.... On why she chose to wear No. 21: “My older sister, Katie, has always played basketball, as well. She played at the University of Richmond. When we were younger and growing up, she was No. 23 because of Michael Jordan, and I wanted to be No. 23 like her. But when I turned 12 I decided I wanted my own identity so I chose 21.” On growing up with a sister who played basketball: “We are both A-plus personalities, and we are both competitors. We never really went one-on-one with each other, never went out on the driveway and did that. It was just too dangerous. We would shoot and work out together. I just idolized her, and she really made me better.” On missing last season due to injury: “It was tough. We dedicate so much time to each other and to the program—working out, lifting, being here at practice—and it was just a lot, not being able to play. The only way I got through it was because I had the support of my teammates. I can’t imagine getting through what I’ve been through in the past year without them.” On recovering alongside teammate Jordan Coleman: “Jordan and I have always been close. We’ve known each other since we were 14 just from being in the same Nike Elite bracket for AAU. She’s awesome and has a great personality, and she brings the best out of people. She’s very positive, and I think that helped me a lot because I was upset about not being out there. She really turned my attitude around and was able to help me.” On her excellent free-throw shooting: “We started this year with a rule that you have to make 10 free throws in a row before you leave practice. That’s helped everyone I think. As far as my range, I’ve always been able to hit the 15-foot shot. That’s one of the shots I love to take.”

On her pre-game rituals or superstitions: “I have one superstition. I have to wear my hair in a bun. I can’t wear it in a ponytail. I think I started doing that junior year of high school. I just never played well in a ponytail so I put it up and got out of the funk that I was in.” On learning from senior Hannah Tuomi: “Hannah has taught me to do all of the little things. Coaches say it and preach it, and it really comes out in Hannah’s game. You can see how all those little things make such an impact and can help make you successful.” On playing in her home state against Duquesne in Pittsburgh: “My dad and my sister are coming. But Pittsburgh and Philly are basically two different states. It’s like a six-hour drive.” n

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JOHN RUSSELL

On her routine at the free-throw line: “As far as my ritual, the coaches asked if anyone had anything they do and I said ‘no,’ but the more I thought about it, I count my dribbles in my head. I dribble four times.”

Stephanie

Holzer

More from McGugin

Duffy hits the Quad on NYTimes.com Joe Duffy, a senior on the men’s basketball team, will be a regular contributor this season to the New York Times’ college sports blog, “The Quad.” Duffy is one of only three seniors for Head Coach Kevin Stallings’ Commodores. The Charlotte, N.C., native is majoring in economics, but may have a future in the blogosphere. For a taste of Duffy’s writing style, here’s a short excerpt from his first post on NYTimes.com, dated Nov. 15 and titled “New Nickname for a New Season.” I promise to keep it fresh, never boring and as spontaneous as a Bill Raftery comment after a ridiculous play—”Like a Belgian waffle…sweet!” As I told the freshmen on their first day, there is no “I” in “Team,” but there is a “We” in “Awesome,” so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride that is the Vandy basketball season. Duffy is not the only Commodore basketball player updating a blog throughout the season. On the women’s side, junior transfer Angela Puleo has diligently updated a weekly blog on Vanderbilt’s official athletic website, vucommodores.com.

Duffy also is not the first Commodore to be regularly featured on NYTimes.com. Head Women’s Tennis Coach Geoff Macdonald has been writing for the Times’ “Straight Sets” blog for more than a year and a half.

WNCAA Tournament returns to Memorial in 2012

By The

NUMBERS 4

teams with a 100% graduation success rate—including lacrosse, women’s basketball, men’s golf and men’s tennis—in the NCAA’s recent report of students who began attending Vanderbilt from 2000 to 2003.

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—national ranking for Baseball Head Coach Tim Corbin’s recruiting class for the upcoming 2011 season, according to Baseball America.

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points scored in the women’s basketball opener by players donning the black and gold for the first time in regular season action.

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rushing yards for redshirt senior Kennard Reeves in his first career start on Nov. 13 at Kentucky.

Vanderbilt will serve as a host institution for the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced recently. The games will be played on campus at Memorial Gymnasium. “We are pleased to help bring such a quality sporting event to Nashville and Memorial Gymnasium,” Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams said. “Hosting these rounds will spotlight our program and give Middle Tennessee sports fans the opportunity to see the NCAA Tournament up close. We look forward to it.” This is the 11th time Vanderbilt will have hosted the NCAA Women’s Basketball Cham-

pionship at Memorial Gymnasium, and the first time since 2006. Vanderbilt is 15-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played at Memorial Gym. If the Commodores are selected to play in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, they will be guaranteed to play at Memorial Gym. The next two SEC Women’s Basketball Tournaments (2011 and 2012) will also be held in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville will be an extremely popular postseason destination over the next few years, with nine SEC or NCAA Tournaments currently scheduled in the Music City through 2019. The list includes:

• 2011 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 3-6 (Bridgestone Arena)

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victories inside Memorial Gymnasium for late Head Coach Roy Skinner, who passed away in October.

505

participants in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at the Vanderbilt Student Rec Center last month, including 39 McGugin staffers.

• 2012 NCAA Women’s 1st/2nd Rounds, March 17 & 19 or 18 & 20 (Memorial Gym) • 2012 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 1-4 (Bridgestone Arena) • 2012 NCAA Men’s 1st/2nd Round Tournament, March 16-18 (Bridgestone Arena) • 2013 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 14-17 (Bridgestone Arena) • 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four, April 6-8 (Bridgestone Arena) • 2015 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 12-15 (Bridgestone Arena) • 2016 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 10-13 (Bridgestone Arena)

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games played prior to Nov. 12, 2010, in the history of the men’s basketball program without a Commodore achieving a triple-double.

• 2019 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 7-10 (Bridgestone Arena)

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Student-athletes spread holiday cheer

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Frank D i Brango

STEVE GREEN

hen the Vanderbilt Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosts its annual Christmas Party for the students of Ross Elementary School this month, there will be a noteworthy change in the Commodores’ starting lineup. For the past three years, defensive tackle Adam Smotherman has played the role of Santa Claus at the event. But this year Smotherman will be forced to hand over the proverbial reins. The same knee injury that kept Smotherman on the sidelines for nine of the Commodores’ 12 football games also will prevent him from suiting up as Kris Kringle. But the show must go on, and Smotherman and fellow captain T.J. Greenstone—who will dutifully play the elf for the third straight year—have decided the time is right to pass on the white beard and red hat. Their choice to continue the SAAC Santa legacy was redshirt-sophomore Caleb Welchans, and the Wildwood, Mo., native eagerly accepted the responsibility. The transition from defensive line to offensive line will be an easy one for the Santa suit, which was worn by current Chicago Bears tackle Chris Williams four years ago. SAAC throws the Christmas party each year on “Reading Day”—the day before the beginning of final examinations —and each year Santa reads a pop-up version of The Night Before Christmas. “My advice to Caleb,” Smotherman said, “is to show the kids the pictures in the book as you read it. Don’t just read it to them.” Pizza is the chosen holiday feast, and Vanderbilt student-athletes chip in to purchase gifts for the elementary students. The Commodore contingent is just as excited about the day as the youngsters are. “It’s something I look forward to every Christmas,” Greenstone said. “You get all the student-athletes there, and nothing but smiles all over the place. It’s one of those things where you know you’re making that kid’s day, and maybe his holiday.” n

For this year’s SAAC Christmas Party, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Caleb Welchans (78) is scheduled to don the Santa suit that has belonged to Adam Smotherman (above, left) for the past three years. T.J. Greenstone (above, right) is expected to continue to his role as elf.

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Remembering Roy

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Late Skinner is VU’s winningest coach

oy Skinner, who won more basketball games than any other coach in Vanderbilt history, died of respiratory failure at Southern Hills Medical Center Oct. 25. He was 80. Skinner won 278 games in 16 seasons. He was named the SEC coach of the year four times—1965, 1967, 1974 and 1976. Skinner, inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletic Hall of Fame last year, joined the staff of Commodores Coach Bob Polk in 1957. The next season he became acting coach when Polk fell ill, and two years later he got the job permanently when Polk retired. Skinner coached many standout players during his 1961-1973 tenure as head coach, including All-Americans Clyde Lee, Tom Hagan and Jan van Breda Kolff, along with Vanderbilt’s famous F-Troop and Perry Wallace, the SEC’s first black scholarship basketball player. A native of Paducah, Ky., Skinner started his coaching career at Paducah Junior College, where he was also a player. He went on to play and earn a degree from Presbyterian College in South Carolina. A memorial service was held Oct. 30 at Vanderbilt’s Benton Chapel. Memorial gifts may be directed to the Roy Skinner Scholarship in Men’s Basketball, Vanderbilt Gift Processing Office, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN, 37240-7727. n

“Coach Skinner was a winner in every way, and he represented the very best of Vanderbilt University. While he will be sadly missed, his memory will live on, and he will forever be a Commodore.” — Vice Chancellor David Williams II



Head Coach Roy Skinner led the 1964-65 Commodores (below) to a victory in the Vanderbilt Invitational (above) before claiming the regular Southeastern Conference championship.

“Roy Skinner set the bar for all Vanderbilt basketball coaches, not only for success on the court, but especially being a gentleman off of it.” — Head Coach Kevin Stallings

The 1964-65 Vanderbilt basketball team. Seated (left to right): John Ed Miller, Coach Roy Skinner, Assistant Coach Don Knodel, Kenny Campbell. Standing: Trainer Joe Worden, Garner Petrie, Bob Grace, Ron Green, Wayne Calvert, Keith Thomas, Wayne Taylor, Kenny Gibbs, Clyde Lee, Manager John Tarpley. Not pictured: Roger Schurig, Jerry Southwood.

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STEVE GREEN

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“Coach Skinner was a crucial and central person in my contribution as the first black varsity basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. In that important journey, he provided a steady, sincere presence, and I could not have survived without it. I join the ranks of those who respected him, who loved him, and who will always cherish his time on this earth.” PAUL LEVY

SUSAN URMY

STEVE GREEN

Below: In 2007, Skinner was honored on the court at Memorial Gymnasium during halftime of the Vanderbilt-Ole Miss game. Above and right: Last year, Skinner was inducted into Vanderbilt’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

— Perry Wallace (Vanderbilt Basketball, 1966-70) C O M M O D O R E N AT I O N

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It’s My Turn By Rod Williamson

Back to School: Myth Busting 101

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ood afternoon, class. Today we are going to take a refresher course on a few common myths about Vanderbilt Athletics. We have studied most of these before, but the subject matter apparently hasn’t stuck. Myth #1: Vanderbilt has a gargantuan endowment, and if it really wanted to excel in athletics, it would dip into those billions and buy sports success. Reality: That’s a nice fantasy, but here’s the catch. Virtually every dollar in Vanderbilt’s endowment was earmarked by the donor for a specific purpose. There are gifts designated for specific scholarships, particular colleges, research, facilities and student life. Yes, the athletics department has its own endowment, aimed almost entirely for scholarship use, but that total is a fraction of that proverbial pot of gold. Understanding this will give perspective when you read that “we need your financial help;” we actually do! Myth #2: Vanderbilt cannot compete against the SEC big boys because it has problems with admissions. Reality: Of course students at a Top 20 academic institution must be able to read and write. But over the years we have developed an excellent relationship with our admissions office. Our coaches would not say that tough admission standards are holding them back from success. There are plenty of quality high school student-athletes that can compete in our classrooms and win on our fields of play. Myth #3: Not having a traditional director of athletics is a handicap. Reality: Being led by a vice chancellor who is a member of the university’s senior management team is actually an advantage, and some other major universities have since included their A.D. in senior management. Having served under both systems, it is clear that we spend far less time trying to posture and “better communicate” with university administration because David Williams IS university administration. Our athletic budget has grown 50% since Williams took control; we have a terrific retention record of head coaches in what once was a revolving door; our relationships and resulting cooperation all across campus have possibly never been better. And don’t forget that while at The Ohio State University, the athletic director and the athletic department reported to Williams. Myth #4: Those brainy Vanderbilt faculty members dislike athletics. Reality: No more and no less than any other group of several thousand adults like or dislike sports. Sure, there are some faculty members who would prefer we played intramurals, but not any bigger population than you would find at your State School U. The average fan might be surprised at how many faculty members buy tickets and/or tell us how they admire the excellent student-athletes in their classes. Myth #5: Vanderbilt doesn’t care about winning Reality: This one is so far out there that it almost seems foolish to give it credence with a retort. Of course “Vanderbilt” cares about success; the entire university is about excellence. But our university community also cares about integrity, character and fair play. Together we value winning the “right way,” but make no mistake, winning is a vital component to a quality student-athlete experience. One of our department’s 10 goals for this year involves a strong Director’s Cup finish, so winning is certainly on our minds. Myth #6: Vanderbilt doesn’t care about its sports fans Reality: This is simply not true. We have the smallest alumni base in the Southeastern Conference. As a private institution, we are not the default public favorite. We value each and every fan, and we strive to treat everyone as we would want to be treated. n

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AP Photo/Frederick Breedon

11 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, one family

Guard Brad Tinsley is congratulated by his cousin, Chuck McKinzie, and mother, Kathy Tinsley, after becoming the first player in school history to record a triple-double.

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hen junior guard Brad Tinsley put together the first tripledouble in the 110-year history of Vanderbilt basketball, there were a few familiar faces among the announced crowd of more than 13,000. Tinsley’s parents, Carl and Kathy, were sitting in the same seats they’ve occupied for the past two-plus seasons of Commodore basketball. They call Oregon City, Ore., home, but the Tinsleys take up residence in Nashville every basketball season to follow their youngest son. “My parents drive out every year—this is the third year—and get an apartment for the season,” Tinsley said. “So they’re here for about six months out of the year.” Things have worked out perfectly to allow the couple to support their son through his collegiate experience. Carl is a retired teacher and girls’ basketball coach, and Kathy works remotely as an accountant from a home office in Nashville. Tinsley’s brother and sister are older—brother David recently graduated from the University of Oregon, where sister Cassie currently is a graduate student. Brad’s mother appreciates how nicely everything has come together for the family. “We just feel truly blessed that we’re able to come out and support him and be part of it,” Kathy said. “It would’ve been exciting back home, but how much more exciting to be there in the gym and see the ovation that Brad got. It was truly a highlight.”

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Brad had additional family support, as well. His cousin, Chuck McKinzie, had flown in from Colorado Springs to join the family for the weekend. Looking at Brad’s halftime line of 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Chuck pointed out that Brad had a good chance to get a triple-double. The basketball coach inside Carl Tinsley was less sure. “My thoughts were that he had a shot,” Carl said. “But Coach Stallings probably wouldn’t play him much in the second half with the game out of hand. Even if he got minutes, it would be very difficult. It was really nice for Coach Stallings to give him the opportunity.” Tinsley only played a total of 29 minutes in what would become an 88-47 victory over Presbyterian. After he capped the evening with his 10th assist on a three by freshman Rod Odom, Coach Stallings called a timeout, and Tinsley’s teammates mauled him at halfcourt. The crowd erupted into a standing ovation, but even then fans did not know that Tinsley had accomplished something never before achieved by a Vanderbilt basketball player. “We didn’t know that it was history,” Carl said. “My son (David) was listening to the radio in Oregon City, and they said it was the first triple-double in Vanderbilt history. No one in the parents’ section knew.” Even Brad was surprised by the history lesson. “It’s pretty incredible,” Tinsley said. “I was very surprised by it, because there have been a lot of great players and great coaches

that have come through here. I just thought it was a great job by [our team], both defensively and offensively, I thought we were clicking on all cylinders.” Like a true point guard, Tinsley is quick to deflect attention from himself and dish out praise to his teammates. “Our wings are great at running the court and even better at finishing around the basket because they’re so athletic,” Tinsley said. “When guys are hitting outside shots like that, it makes the assists come easier. You can just give them all the credit because they’re putting the ball in the hole.” That unselfish mentality will help Tinsley fill a big pair of shoes as the Commodores starting point guard. He is replacing 2010 graduate and three-year starter Jermaine Beal at the position. But Coach Stallings has no doubt that his Nov. 12 performance is a sign of things to come. “Everybody had big questions about us going into the season,” Stallings said. “‘Can Brad Tinsley handle the point?’ My comment about that all along has been, ‘Not only can he handle it, but I think that will be a strength for us.’ So far it’s proving to be a strength.” n

AP Photo/Frederick Breedon

“It’s pretty amazing, as a mom, to have a talented son, and then to watch him make history. It was really neat to see all of his hard work throughout the years pay off into a public moment.” — Brad Tinsley’s mother, Kathy

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By Donald Turnbaugh

TODD VAN EMST / SEC

Swimming into the record books

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has brought it throughout her four years.” Fargo was a standout high school musician in St. Louis, Mo., recruited by a few D-III schools. She chose to attend Vanderbilt so she could focus on school and get her degree in civil engineering. “I think that Anna’s hard work and determination in the pool has shown people that if you come in every day and work hard, you’re going to get better,” Organ said. “She’s a strong leader for us, in the classroom and in the pool.” The journey has been both long and rewarding, and heading into the 2010-11 season Molchan has become the most decorated swimmer in Vanderbilt history, breaking four school records. Fargo has been a standout student-athlete, helping the team earn numerous academic honors during her tenure. The two have done a tremendous job building the program. It has been no easy task. Freshman year,

the second year of the program, was a challenge for both girls. The team finished last in the SEC and did not post a win in a dual meet all season. Molchan came in with high expectations but was coming off a tough senior season. The medicine, health and society major had to learn how to balance the rigorous swimming schedule and her school work. Competing at the SEC level did not make things any easier. “I was coming off a really bad season my senior year in high school and was trying to get back to where I knew I could be,” Molchan said. “I was also living on my own and had to be responsible for myself, which was a huge change, and it added to all my stress.” Molchan handled it well and was able to put together a successful freshman season, placing second in the 100-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle against the University of Miami.

TODD VAN EMST / SEC

f all the achievements the Vanderbilt women’s swim team has accomplished under fifth-year Head Coach Jeremy Organ, none may be more impressive than what seniors Jen Molchan and Anna Fargo have done. They’ve made it. The duo will go down in school history as being the first swimmers to go through all four years at Vanderbilt since the program was reborn in 2006. While their stories may seem similar, each student-athlete has taken a far different path. Molchan was a high school All-America swimmer in Pensacola, Fla., recruited by Louisville, Kentucky, Duke and Vanderbilt. She had ties with Coach Organ and chose the Commodores over the Blue Devils because she wanted to help build a program and compete at the SEC level. “Jen has grown a lot as an athlete,” Assistant Coach Krysten Nemecek said. “She has a tremendous amount of leadership and

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and 2008 seasons. They were also the only SEC swim program to be among the nation’s top 10th percentile in the Academic Performance Review for the 2009-10 season. Of all the records the duo has been a part of, two stand out. On Oct. 11, 2008, Vandy played host to Centre College and Rhodes College and earned its first dual-meet victory since the program started back up. Molchan and Fargo were members of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that took first place with a time of 1:41.48. They were also on the 400-yard freestyle relay team that shattered the school record at the 2009 SEC Championships in a time of 3:30.66. “Getting through this was hard, and I needed someone else there,” Fargo said. “It would have been so much harder if it was only one of us going through this experience. We needed each other to make it.” Despite what happens this season, the two close friends have cemented a place in Vanderbilt history and have set the bar for the women’s swim team. The legacy they will leave behind is something special that cannot be measured with a stopwatch. “Records are made to be broken,” Organ said. “But being the first to get through four years is something that no one can take away.” n

STEVE GREEN

Sophomore year was when Molchan hit her stride, setting personal bests in six events while making her presence felt in the Vanderbilt record books. During the SEC Championships, Molchan set the school record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.21. She was also a part of two record-breaking relay teams that year, including the 200-yard medley relay team that finished with a time of 1:46.31. During her junior campaign, Molchan headed into the SEC Championships and was a member of the 400-yard medley relay team that set a school record with a time of 3:52.71. Fargo came into Vanderbilt with little experience, only competing for her high school team instead of a club team. The Kirkwood High product worked hard and put in extra time to improve. She has set personal-best times every year and has had most of her success in the SEC Championships. “She’s definitely one of these success stories,” Jeremy Organ said. “She came in and didn’t have a whole lot of background in the sport, but she worked her tail off for all four years and has dropped her times and been a competitive swimmer.” Fargo also helped the team become one of the top academic programs in the SEC. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America named the Vanderbilt women’s swim team Division I Academic All-Americans for the 2007

Jennifer Molchan (left) and Anna Fargo have been a part of the Vanderbilt swim team for the past four years.

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JOHN RUSSELL

Balcomb’s freshmen make immediate impact

Vanderbilt’s freshman class. Front (left to right): Jasmine Lister, Christina Foggie. Back: Tori Jarosz, Kayci Ferriss, Clair Watkins.

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ith 6'7" center Kayci Ferriss and 6'4" forward Clair Watkins both ruled out for the year before the season was officially under way, some may have discounted the impact that Vanderbilt’s freshman class would have this winter. Those perceptions are quickly being turned inside-out—as in, from down low in the paint to behind the three-point line. Beginning with the first tip of exhibition play, freshman guards Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie were both in Head Coach Melanie Balcomb’s starting lineup. And both performed well in their first collegiate experiences. In the season opener against Howard, the duo combined for 27 points (Foggie edging Lister by one point, 14-13) and 12 assists. What did Coach Balcomb see in this pair for them to have earned so much responsibility from day one? “It was their consistency,” Balcomb said. “Every day they brought the same thing. I wasn’t wowed one day and then the next day they played like freshmen. They brought it again and again. Even when they do make a mistake, they get it right back.” Both exude a confidence beyond their years, a confidence that coach Balcomb works to instill through focused preparation. “In practice, coach tells the guards to be ready to shoot,” Foggie said. “And she gives as much confidence to freshmen as any other guard. Every day in practice coach gives us all the same amount of pressure and challenges, freshmen or not. We (the freshmen) see it as just another day, another game.” While her young backcourt tandem appears to be providing an early spark for the Dores, Balcomb will not have to rely solely on true freshman playmakers. She also has a pair of experienced newcomers available to her this season. Redshirt-freshman Stephanie Holzer sat out last season due to injury, but the 6”4” former McDonald’s All-American finally opened her collegiate career with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double. Junior guard Angela Puleo, who was unavailable last season due to NCAA transfer regulations, added 11 points. n

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DECEMBER 2010

DECEMBER Schedule

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Men’s Basketball

NFL Stretch Run on TV

1

Western Kentucky (Memorial Gym)

8 p.m.

4

Belmont (Memorial Gym)

1 p.m.

8

Missouri (Columbia, Mo.)

8 p.m.

18

Southeastern Louisiana (Memorial Gym)

6 p.m.

21

Middle Tennessee State (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

8 p.m.

29

Marquette (Memorial Gym)

8 p.m.

Women’s Basketball 1

Bowling Green (Bowling Green, Ohio)

6 p.m.

5

Denver (Denver, Colo.)

3 p.m.

7

Southern Illinois (Memorial Gym)

7 p.m. 7 p.m.

9

Tennessee-Martin (Memorial Gym)

19

Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

1 p.m.

21

Western Kentucky (Memorial Gym)

7 p.m.

29

Delaware (Blacksburg, Va.)

4 p.m.

30

Virginia Tech/Alcorn State (Blacksburg, Va.)

TBA

Swimming 4

Miami, Fla.

All times Central and subject to change.

TBA

Weeks 13 through 16 of the NFL season fall in the month of December, and every game matters as the regular season heads towards its Jan. 2 finale. The Chicago Bears are scheduled to make a national television appearance on Monday Night Football on ESPN Dec. 20. Quarterback Jay Cutler, offensive tackle Chris Williams, wide receiver Earl Bennett and defensive back D.J. Moore are all playing key roles for the Bears this season. Jovan Haye’s Tennessee Titans will play an NFL Network Thursday night game against AFC South rivals Indianapolis on Dec. 9. Through Week 10, all five NFL teams with active Commodores—including Kansas City, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants—held winning records. Basketball Broadcasts Five of Vanderbilt six men’s basketball games in the month of December will be on television. Home games against Western Kentucky and Belmont will both be featured on CSS, as will a road contest down I-24 against MTSU. Vanderbilt’s trip to Missouri will be featured on ESPNU, while its home contest against Marquette will be aired on ESPN2.

FALL SIGNING DAY 2010 More than 40 student-athletes in 10 sports have signed on to attend Vanderbilt and compete for their respective varsity athletic teams beginning in the fall of 2011. The biggest headlines nationally in the early fall signing period belong to men’s and women’s basketball programs. For the Commodores, the women’s team picked up two National Letters of Intent—from Maggie Morrison and Kady Schrann— while the men inked three—Kedren Johnson, Shelby Moats and Dai-Jon Parker. Another notable addition to the Commodore roster is Ben Folger, son of former VU men’s basketball head coach Eddie Fogler, who signed with Tom Shaw’s men’s golf team along with Hunter Stewart. Tim Corbin’s baseball team led the way with 13 signees, though baseball can be affected by players signing professional contracts after the June 2011 draft. While the early fall signing period only lasts one week, the signing periods for football, soccer, cross country, track and field begins on Feb. 2, 2011, and lasts the better part of two months. The regular signing period for all sports that participated in November’s early signing period begins on April 13.

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last shot DANIEL DUBOIS / VU PHOTOGRAPHY

Vanderbilt’s all-time freshman leader with 72 three-pointers made a year ago, sophomore John Jenkins is proving he can score in other ways this season.

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Commodore Nation, December 2010