The 2014-15 college basketball season officially got under way last week with teams having their first official practices of the year. Our Twitter feed was full of teams sharing photos of the guys back on the court, working hard to get ready for the upcoming season and we couldn’t be happier.
In the month and a bit leading up to the season, we will be reaching out to NCAA coaches, players, and fellow bloggers to discuss different things going on around college hoops. We will look at what people are expecting for the 2014-15 season to get their opinions on a wide variety of topics.
Tyler Hood, the senior forward from the Samford Bulldogs, was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to field some questions from us. Hood will be one of the leaders of the Bulldogs this season, who are ranked 9th in the pre-season polls. But, as we know all too well, polls are only predictions. The on-court play will determine where they finish, and I have a feeling that the Bulldogs, led by Hood, will play their hearts out each time on the floor.
We asked Hood a variety of questions, stemming from the basics to get to know the Tennessee native, to his basketball talents on the floor.
Get to know Tyler Hood, Samford Bulldogs
Position: Small Forward
Weight: 210 pounds
Hometown: Lenoir City, Tennessee
Favourite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favourite Artist: Thomas Rhett
Favourite Athlete Outside of Basketball: Clayton Kershaw
Favourite Food: Medium rare steak
Biggest Basketball Accomplishment to Date: Scholarship to Samford
CCR: What was it that drew you to Samford to play collegiate basketball?
TH: The slogan, if you will, for the university is “For God, for learning forever.” If I got a chance to place myself at a place that has a goal such as that, I felt like that was the best place for me!
CCR: It appears that it has indeed been the best place for you, as you were named to the SoCon All-Freshman team after your first season. How were you able to come in and contribute right from the outset of your career for the Bulldogs?
TH: Unfortunately John Peterson, who played my position, got injured and I was ready to step in and fulfill his role on the team. I think the key to my game is keeping things simple. I’m not super athletic, quick, or strong, but I can shoot at a high % and play hard on both ends of the floor.
CCR: That kind of ties into my next question. People are always quick to judge players and form their own opinions of their talents based on what they see on TV, and they begin to make assumptions. What’s the one area of your game that you feel needs improvement?
TH: Defense, being able to contribute on that end more; getting reflections, keeping my man in front, and being inside help to be there for my teammates.
CCR: Last season, you were one of the team’s best free throw shooters at 77.8 percent. What makes you so successful from the line?
TH: Practice. I get up a lot of shots during the offseason and outside of practice. Plus, like I said, keep things simple. That is one thing that is important for a team’s success, and it’s called a free throw for a reason; it’s FREE. Granted, I would prefer that percentage to be in the 90s.
CCR: Even on free things, there’s a catch sometimes. Last question is a two-parted. Describe this year’s team in one word, and what type of play should we expect from the Bulldogs in ’14-15?
CCR: Took the word right out of my mouth… was thinking the same thing.
TH: Good! Exciting would be another word but hopefully it was implied!
CCR: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s much appreciated, and taking the time made me more of a Samford fan! Best of luck this season!
TH: Thank you so much!
Once again, I would like to personally thank Tyler Hood for taking the time out of his pre-season preparations to answer the questions I had for him. While they weren’t the hard-hitting questions he will undoubtedly endure over the course of his career, they provide us with a bit more insight into the work that he puts in to be successful at the Division I level.
I wish Tyler and his teammates the best of luck in the upcoming season, and wherever his basketball career will take him upon graduating from Samford.