Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: Better late than never?

Commie fans, I apologize. Often, Bobby has time to put out the most authoritative outline of Vanderbilt Sports news by 10:30 or 11. Today however, Bobby's boss was in the office and Bobby needed to work to get Bobby's Betty in diamonds and jewels. So, I apologize.

Vanderbilt has a HUGE game tonight against South Carolina, made all that much bigger by Tennessee's win over Florida last night. Vanderbilt can clinch second place in the SEC East with a win tonight, with which also comes a first round bye in the SEC Tournament. With the Vols win last night, Tennessee is now a 1/2 game back of the Dores, and have a shot to over-take the Commies if they beat Georgia in Athens on Saturday in Vanderbilt can't take care of business tonight. The scenarios are unimportant right now, but if necessary I will delve into them tomorrow when there is a clearer picture of what Kevin Stallings and his squad are looking at.

Vanderbilt's 10 point win over the Cocks was a little too close for comfort a two weeks ago, and the Commies have not, historically, played well in Columbia having lost 3 of their last 4. Having come out sluggish in their past few road losses, Vanderbilt will be looking to land the first punch tonight against Dave Odom's squad. The key in tonight's game will be the containment of Tre Kelley, South Carolina's 6-1 Dynamo who is averaging over 20 points in SEC play. In Nashville, Tre was a factor, but USC was helped by strong games from guard Bryce Shelden and forward Dominique Archie who scored 18 and 15 respectively, 22 of which came in the first half. Vanderbilt must do a better job containing the Cocks' secondary options, particularly on the road.

Derrick Byars counteracted Tre with his career high of 32 points, but the key for Vanderbilt will be having another player (read: Shan) step up an provide the "2" in the "1-2" punch you so often hear about. In the earlier contest, both Shan and Red netted 14, with Danny-boy adding 11. If Vanderbilt can get that kind of scoring out of them tonight, they will put themselves in a position to win. For his part, Dave Odom is worried about Vanderbilt's ability to hit the three. As you have by now hear, Vanderbilt relies on the 3. The Commies are 11-4 (73.3 winning percentage) this season when hitting 10 treys or more, they're 8-5 (61.5 percent) when held to nine or fewer. Vanderbilt doesn't HAVE to hit the long ball...but it certainly does help. Another note, South Carolina takes care of the basketball, only coughing it up 11.3 times a game. In their game in Nashville, the Cocks only turned it over 8 times. Vanderbilt will need to force more tonight on the road.

Big props to the 4 Lady Commies who were voted to various All-SEC Teams. Is it just me, or are a couple of these ladies lookers?

Finally, Pat Summitt dressed up as a cheerleader last night. Isn't it cute?

Rocky Top never looked so good.

We have quite a horse race for Hoser of the Week, so make sure to get your votes in.

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