Sunday, December 3, 2006

Joe Fisher said Step off...

Vanderbilt’s 98-93 overtime win against Toledo gave Commodore Nation reasons to be encouraged. Make no mistake about it though, Toledo is not a particularly good team and neither is Vanderbilt right now. The fact we were able to eek out an overtime win over an undersized team at home should not be cause for too much celebration. With that said, this game was must win for the Commies and they found a way to get it done. Tonight’s win was a coming out party for Ross Neltner, JeJuan Brown, and Jeramaine “Dolla” Beals, who were all instrumental in Vanderbilt overcoming a 9-point second-half deficit. If Vanderbilt is going to be sucessful this season, they will need significant contributions from these 3. Derek Byars scored 28 and Shan contributed another 21 as the Commies were red-hot in the second half, shooting a season high 64% from the floor and 50% from behind the arc. While it took a gigantic offensive effort to overcome paltry defense and poor rebounding (Vanderbilt allowed Toledo to shoot 58% from the floor, and 55% from downtown), Vanderbilt did get a much needed W. The only way Vanderbilt is going to be successful is if Foster and Byars shoulder most of the offensive burden, the three newcomers continue to develop, and the team decides to play defense and crash the boards.

Now to the negatives: Vanderbilt allowed Toledo’s Keonta Howell to score 32 and showed a complete inability to contain their best player. Further, despite being bigger, deeper, and more athletic, Vanderbilt was outscored 24-8 in the paint and allowed Toledo 19 second-chance points. No one reading this thinks a) this won’t be a problem as we move into SEC play and b) that a healthy Allen Metcalfe will make any real difference. Defensively, Vanderbilt is inept. Once we get into SEC play, there are very few teams that we will be able to get into a track meet with. If Vanderbilt is going to be successful at all this season, they have to rebound and be able to get stops at key points in the game.

1 comment:

Woody said...

This is a general question that someone with some more time on their hands should be able to answer: How is the board of coaches that makes up the coaches poll chosen? Is there any specific criteria, or does it simply rotate? Does one have to be coaching for a specific amount of time? Does there have to be a fair representation of all the major and mid major conferences? The reason for this is that the new poll came out with UCLA on top, Pitt #2, UNC #3, OSU #4, and 'BAMA #5 (AP: UCLA, Pitt, UNC, BAMA, OSU) and the board caught my eye.

Here is the board of the coaches:
Mike Adras, Northern Arizona;
Dana Altman, Creighton;
Tevester Anderson, Jackson State; Ronnie Arrow, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi;
Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville;
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse;
Matt Brady, Marist;
Rick Byrd, Belmont;
Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio);
Dick Davey, Santa Clara;
Steve Fisher, San Diego State;
Pat Flannery, Bucknell;
Tim Floyd, Southern California; Greg Graham, Boise State;
Tom Green, Fairleigh Dickinson; Johnny Jones, North Texas;
Jim Larranaga, George Mason;
Bob McKillop, Davidson;
Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph's; Ron "Fang" Mitchell, Coppin State; Dan Monson, Minnesota;
Dave Odom, South Carolina;
Doc Sadler, Nebraska;
Joe Scott, Princeton;
Jimmy Tillette, Samford;
Bob Thomason, Pacific;
Perry Watson, Detroit Mercy;
Gary Williams, Maryland;
Doug Wojcik, Tulsa;
Ted Woodward, Maine;
Rich Zvosec, Missouri-Kansas City.

I recognize some names, but some of the schools seem like odd, if not random, choices.