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Vogelsberg making himself at home at Middle Tennessee

December 19, 2005 · MT Media Relations
Folks in the South are finding out what people in the Midwest have known for a long time when it comes to the basketball talents of Middle Tennessee junior guard Adam Vogelsberg: He's a winner.

He helped lead Marysville High School to only the second state championship in its history as a prep standout, and Vogelsberg helped Cloud County to the Region Tournament during his stay there.

Now, Vogelsberg, the left-handed sharpshooter from Home, Kansas, is providing instant offense and helping Middle Tennessee (5-2) enjoy success on the hardcourt early in the 2005-06 season. Vogelsberg and the Blue Raiders face No. 10-ranked Louisville Tuesday at 6:05 p.m., (Central) in the Billy Minardi Classic.

Vogelsberg has quickly become a fan favorite with his all-out hustle and uncanny accuracy from beyond the 3-point line.

Vogelsberg is among Sun Belt Conference leaders in scoring at 12.1 points per game through the team's first seven contests and he's one of three players to have earned starts in each game this season. Hundreds of miles from the heartland, Vogelsberg is making himself at home in the heart of the South these days.

It's the type of sudden impact Vogelsberg had hoped to make in his first season at Middle Tennessee, especially considering he was heavily recruited to pick up scoring slack lost from a year ago.

"When you go anywhere there are no guarantees so I didn't assume anything coming here, but you don't want to go that far and not have a chance to play and help your team," Voglesberg said. "I definitely wanted to come in and play and help our team win games. That's what mattered most to me."

He has done his part. Not only has Vogelsberg been among team leaders in scoring all season, but he also is shooting a high percentage and performing like a seasoned veteran in the clutch. His 42 percent shooting clip from 3-point range is among Sun Belt Conference leaders, and he's third in the conference in free-throw percentage at 88 percent (29-of-33).

"Adam has a great art, he can shoot it, and if you get a shooter who has some toughness to him, then you've got something," Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. "Adam can shoot it and he has toughness to him. He needs to get better defensively, but I do know this: He can play through injuries, he can play through fatigue, he's in great shape, he moves well without the ball, he doesn't get tired very much, and if you make a mistake on him, when he shoots it you think it's going in."

Close to the majority of his shots have found their mark and he's connected for at least two 3-pointers in five of the first seven games, including a career-best 17 points in 33 minutes against Chattanooga. He has recorded double figures in points in five of the first seven games.

Twice this season he has been called upon to deliver game-tying 3-pointers in late-game situations with the contest hanging in the balance on the road, and twice he has delivered.

"I think you play for those times," Vogelsberg says of clutch situations. "You have to want the ball in those situations. If the coaches and players trust in you then you have that much more confidence in yourself."

Davis says Vogelsberg has earned the confidence through consistent performances not only in games, but also in practices.

"I have a lot of confidence in him because in practice we do a lot of competitive games and he makes a lot of shots to win games in those mini-games," Davis said. "We have a lot of confidence in him with the game on the line because he's earned that confidence. He also has a lot of confidence in himself. He's one of those guys that if he misses three or four he thinks the next one is going in all the time."

There's a simple reason for that mentality, according to Vogelsberg, who said many hours of extra shooting after practices helped hone his skills.

"You have to believe the shot is going in every time you take it or you aren't going to make many," Vogelsberg said. "My dad (Dave) was a high school coach and he quit coaching when I got to high school. Every night after practice dad and I would put shots for another hour or longer. There were a lot of shots taken."

Vogelsberg's work ethic is paying dividends as he has proven to be a success at each level of his basketball career.

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