Written by: Brian A. Carlson
It was a tough week for Vanderbilt basketball fans. Aaron Nesmith, as most expected, declared he was leaving the program for the NBA draft. Saben Lee following suit a day later was not as expected. While Lee hasn’t hired an agent keeping his status up in the air, it was still somewhat disheartening news for fans looking for silver linings during a worldwide sports limbo.
Fortunately for Commodore fans the news isn’t all bad. Backcourt help is on the way. The Dore Report’s Billy Derrick caught up with Issac McBride who wants fans to know he’s coming and he is fully committed.
“Yes sir, I am 100% committed.” McBride said when asked about rumblings in the community questioning his commitment level to Vanderbilt.
“Some people are questioning the commitment abilities because I went to KU and all of the sudden left but that wasn’t just an impulsive decision.”
McBride, a 6-1 combo guard, played at Arkansas Baptist Prep., earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors his senior year. He enrolled at Kansas in July before leaving the school in September. McBride had nothing but praise for the Kansas program, claiming it “just wasn’t the right place for me.”
It isn’t often that Vanderbilt gets a transfer from one of college basketball’s “blue bloods.” So how did McBride settle on Vandy? He says it took a lot of prayer and discussions with family members. He also speaks glowingly about his relationship with the coaching staff, Coach Stackhouse and Coach Phillips in particular.
He called Coach Stackhouse a player’s coach noted how family is something that is important to him. More than building players, McBride was impressed with how Coach Stackhouse builds young men on and off the court.
McBride already had a positive relationship with Coach Phillips from playing under him in AAU. McBride said he was “like another father.”
One question is exactly when McBride will be able to help the team on the court due to his transfer status. As things stand now, he would enroll this fall and must redshirt his first year at Vanderbilt while having four years of eligibility remaining. There is the possibility that the NCAA might approve a waiver to allow him to play his first year on campus, but McBride says he has no idea how that will work out.
“The Vanderbilt staff… have done a great job… making sure they can do whatever possible… to play next year.”
McBride is modest when asked to describe his game, refusing to compare himself to other players or discuss specific strengths. He doesn’t focus on how many points, rebounds, or assists, he just wants to do everything he can to help the team win.
If you want to know what his game is about, he says “You will have to come see.”
Vanderbilt fans can’t wait. Until then, they can rest assured McBride is dedicated to the program and he isn’t going anywhere.
“If people are questioning my commitment, I’m just going to try my best to do the best that I can do to help to help the community and also strive my hardest on and off the court to show people that I’m 100% committed. I won’t talk about it, I’ll just let my actions try to lead.”