San Jose, Calif. --- The Murray State Racers had a busy day at the NCAA Tournament that was filled with news conferences, interviews, and practice in two different places as they prepare for their game with Vanderbilt Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in San Jose, Calif.

The Racers (13 seed) are in the NCAA's for the first time since 2006 and bring many story lines as they enter Thursday's 1:30 p.m. tip against Vanderbilt (4 seed) in HP Pavilion.

MSU student-athletes Tony Easley, Danero Thomas and Isacc Miles attended the Racers' press conference along with head coach Billy Kennedy.

One question was how does MSU view being in the tournament and Tony Easley was very excited to talk about it.

"I've been watching the tournament all my life and now we're here," said Easley, who makes his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament as an active player after being a redshirt in MSU's last visit in 2006. "This is the best show in the world and we're glad to be in it."

The Vanderbilt squad is the tallest team MSU has faced this season and MSU hasn't played since their Ohio Valley Conference Tournament March 6.

"I've watched a lot of tape so I see them from a different perspective," Kennedy said. "Vandy is a very good team so we have to do a very good job on interior defense because they have a very talented team. We have to try and limit them to one shot and keep them off the offensive glass. They were second in the SEC, they're from a power conference and the best team we've seen this season."

Here are more news and notes from media day for Murray State.

New HP Pavilion Court

The Racers were the first team to bounce a ball on a brand new court HP Pavilion, as MSU was scheduled as the first practice session of the day. The court, brought in by the NCAA, is new and used for the first time this weekend. UTEP was the second team to practice after the Racers went from noon to 12:40 p.m.

Jenkins Healed From Finger Injury

MSU junior B.J. Jenkins had the bad fortune to cut the ring finger of his left hand with scissors when the Racers cut down the nets following their OVC Tournament title. The good news is he's fully healed.
"I don't understand how that happened and I'm still trying to figure that one out," Kennedy said. "I think with all the commotion of cutting down the nets after the championship, it happened some how. He practiced yesterday full go and he's 100 percent, so he's ready to go, it has healed up very well."

On another court

After the Racers finished their 40-minute practice session at HP Pavilion, they boarded a bus and practiced for another hour at Bellarmine High School in San Jose.

Courtesy extended by Vanderbilt

When the Racers were in Nashville for the OVC Tournament, they had a short shootaround time at Bridgestone Arena before their semifinal game with Eastern Illinois. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings was helpful to Billy Kennedy and allowed the team to have some more prep time at the Commodores' home court, Memorial Gymnasium.

Watching and listening

Spero Dedes will be handling the play by play of the MSU-VU game on CBS Television, with Bob Wensel providing color commentary. On the radio side on Westwood One, Ted Robinson has the call with color from Bill Frieder.

Game audio and video streaming can be found by visiting or