Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Men's Basketball 2006-07

8 comments:

RWilliams said...

Heading out to watch the Vandy-Georgetown game. I'm told this is a pick 'em in Vegas. Expected lineup: 1) Beale 2) Foster 3) Byars 4) Neltner 5) Metcalfe...Beale and Metcalfe beat out more experienced guys for their spots; this is Neltner's first game for us; G-Town is preseason #8; we've won 82 of our last 86 non-conference home games--enough said.

RWilliams said...

Ok, let's go ahead and get past the fact that 86-70 in your home opener is disappointing no matter who you're playing. G-Town is a better team than Vandy, which we have to accept. But our lack of intensity on defense, our inability to capitalize on their mistakes (which they made a lot of in the first half), and our inability to establish rhythm on offense were the big disappointments to me. Sometimes the shots don't fall, like tonight, and that's fine. But the forced shots and defensive laziness were what bothered me most. We shouldn't turn the ball over that much, but a lot of those were mistakes by young players (mostly Beale). In the end, the death knell I think was the fact that the 3s would not fall. 5 of 21 from behind the arc won't cut it--not against a team like that, and not when that should be the strength of your offense. I was encouraged by the fact that we look a bit more balanced with the solid inside play of Neltner and the Skuchcalfe duo, but it looks again like we could be in for a roller coaster season in which we win when the 3 is on (and Foster scores more than 2 points on better than 0 for 5 FG%) and lose when it's not there.

Bobby O'Shea said...

When you all look at the stats tomorrow, a few things should strike you. First, all SEC player Shan Foster scored 2 points, going 0-5 from the field, and 0-4 from three point land. That is unacceptable for several reasons. One, the best offense player on the team has to get more then 5 shots from the field. Two, Foster only played 26 minutes. I know I harp on this, but it seems to me that Stallings has no idea how to use his personnel. In a 16 point loss, you can't tell me that the most explosive player shouldn't be playing at least 30 minutes, especially when you consider he had 0 personal fouls (that, by the way, speaks to a lack of defensive intensity...but I digress).
Second, you will notice that Vanderbilt shot an abysmal 24% (5-21) from downtown. This team lives by the three and will, clearly, die by the three. We were 53% from inside the arc, that, coupled with the fact that the Hoyas were in foul trouble for most of the night indicates that this coach is not willing (or able) to adjust to the flow of the game. Push the ball inside and see what happens.
With all that said, there were a number of opportunities that Vanderbilt did not capitalize on. This was a game where Vanderbilt needed to execute better than they did. All is not lost however. I was impressed with Ross Neltner (transfer from LSU), who had a pretty quality outing with 9 points, 8 boards, and 4 assists in limited time due to a few terrible foul calls.
Derek Byars, right now, looks like the leader out there. He played a solid game and was the only person that I saw really stepping up when the opportunities presented themselves.
Both Dan Cage and Alex Gordon played well off the bench with 10 and 15 points off the bench respectively. "Dollar" Beal was unimpressive and the offensive looked totally out of wack when he was in the game. He is freshman, and this was still a game against the #8 team in the country. Stallings sees something, and he deserves time to mature, with that said, the wisdom of starting a freshman, in his first game, EVER, against the #8 team is suspect. That, however, is par for the course with Kevin.
Finally, and you will notice this is a theme with regards to Stallings’ personnel decisions, why is Dan Cage getting as much time as Shan Foster? Cage played a very good game, but this team will live and die with Shan, the only players who might get more time should be either Byars or Neltner, no one else. Cage is a great option off the bench (especially if he plays this well defensively), but he is not an all-SEC player and his time should not be on par with that of the only First Team all-SEC player on the team.
This was a tough first game. Georgetown played poorly in their opener, Vanderbilt beat them in D.C. last year, and they are the #8 team in the country. What is frustrating, however, is this team had its chances. A lack of execution, particularly in the second half, made this game look much worse then it was. With the depth of the SEC this year, games like this will matter in March when bubble teams are destined for the Dance or the NIT…Vanderbilt is now behind the 8-ball.

Jonathan said...

This game was a great character test for the Commies. Granted we got trounced in the second half, we did show some grit by piling up the fouls on Georgetown which led to various opportunities [which in turn were clearly not exploited].

Die by the three couldn't be more on the money. Not only did we shoot abysmally from beyond the arc, but that string of misses takes the Vandy crowd out of the game. And as we all know, that has been a huge advantage in Memorial.

Chad Thompson said...

Kevin Stallings is a terrible coach. My vote is for John Pelphrey of South Alabama. Although his current team doesn't have a great record, Pelphrey played under Pitino at Kentucky and coached under Billy Donovan for 8 years at Marshall and Florida. He will eventually be a great SEC coach and Vandy would be wise to scoop him up.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Chad is dead on!
Stallings' in-game exploits are laughable. It's almost as if he isn't watching the game. He gets inopportune technicals, refuses to call time-outs when they are obviously necessary, and misuses personnel.
Pelphrey is a great coach, who has done a lot with a South Alabama team that is not very good. He can recruit, has the pedigree, and is not Kevin Stallings.
Anything short of an NCAA berth, and Stallings should be run out of town on a rail. Best-case scenario, Vanderbilt makes the tournament, and some team that had a disappointing season takes him off our hands.

RWilliams said...

If Stallings weren't a good recruiter, he'd have been gone long ago. I might even stick up for the guy every now and then if he wasn't so bad to our players. Not only is he one of the worst in-game decision makers I've seen, but on top of that he is an SOB to his soldiers. Unless you're Bobby Knight (and even then it's a stretch), there is no excuse to be as condescending and disrespectful of your players as Stallings is. Ask anyone who has ever sat near the Vandy bench at a game and they will surely have a horror story for you. Constantly breaking kids down and never building them up. Why would anyone want to win for a coach like that?

Stan said...

Here's the thing about Stallings. One thing that he has done, to his credit, is recruit. He's done an excellent job at bringing talent into the program.

Unfortunately that's about all I can say in his defense. I completely agree that his in game decisions are suspect and that he's horrendous to the players.

If the Dores don't have a better season with the amount of talent they have on this roster (and it's more than we had when we went to the sweet sixteen, yeah, I said it), I'm not sure that Stallings will be around much longer. For one thing, this is THE sport of the big two where the expectations are high. The school is dying for a repeat performance of 2003-2004. If we don't get SOMETHING out of them this year, then Stallings will doubtlessly be on the hot seat.