NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt incoming freshman Myles Stute hasn’t slowed down this summer.
Instead, the 6-foot-6 wing has spent time in Orlando, Florida, working with professional basketball players in an effort to improve his play and be better prepared for the jump from high school to college basketball.
“We’ve been getting a lot of reps up – just really working on my game and fine-tuning everything, trying to make more of a transition to being out on the wing,” Stute said. “In high school a lot of the times I was just termed a Power-4 and a 4 guy, but (Vanderbilt head) coach (Jerry) Stackhouse has a vision for me to play on the wing and I feel like that’s my natural position.
“I’ve been working a lot on it and I definitely am looking forward to it.”
Stute, who said he’s been training with Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Tre Kelley (NBA G League) and a few other professional players, signed with Vanderbilt in November. He then helped lead Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) to the D.C. State Athletic Association Class AA boys’ basketball championship and was nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-American game.
Now he’s ready to take on the challenge of being a Vanderbilt student-athlete before moving to Nashville ahead of his freshman season. Since he’s only been to campus one other time, he’s anxious to make his return to West End.
“I can’t wait to get back and get to work – especially with the team,” he said. “I’m really, really excited for the things we got going on. And even just talking with the team on Zoom calls and getting to know everyone so far we’re really starting to build a good vibe and a good relationship team-wise so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Stute is one of four newcomers on the 2020-21 roster, thus building camaraderie and relationships will be key for the Commodores next season. Stute said he and his new teammates all try to virtually meet once or twice a week to hold each other accountable in studying the playbook and working out while also getting to know each other’s personalities.
As for the returning players, Stute said he watched them play during the 2019-20 season as much as he could and that Vandy’s competitive spirit stood out to him above all else.
“I love the style and the way the guys played this year, with a lot of heart and tenacity,” Stute said. “They really never backed down. They were down a lot of games and they never gave up and they never folded. That was something that I really admired about the guys.
“Coming in I really want to keep that energy up and bring even more tenacity. I like to play with a lot of tenacity and aggression – I definitely look forward to bringing that to Vanderbilt.”
Stute scored 352 points during his senior season to go along with 150 rebounds, 53 assists, 35 steals and 17 blocks. He fell just short of 1,000 points for his prep career and collected more than 500 boards during his time at Gonzaga.
But the winger said he won’t be focused so much on putting up big offensive numbers as he will on becoming a reliable force on the other end of the court.
“One of my main priorities is defense,” he said. “You got to play defense in order to stay on the court, so strapping to my man is definitely the one thing that I can assure I’ll do.
“Go take the bull by the horn, that’s really my mindset. I’m excited to finally go play on the big stage and really just get my name out there. Really just excited to go hoop – no ifs, ands or buts about it. No strings attached, just go play my heart out and give everything I can for Commodore nation.”