Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: Dear SEC, Derrick Byars is Better than You.

Derrick Byars should be the SEC Player of the Year. Would Vanderbilt be 10-6 without Derrick Byars? No chance. Derrick is one of two SEC Players who leads the league in 8 statistical categories and he has led the Commies to victories over 6 - count them 6 - Top-25 teams in Vanderbilt's improbable drive to a second place finish in the SEC East and a first round bye in the tournament. Derrick Byars is the teams emotional leader and their "go-to guy." Derrick has a
few things working against him. One, he goes to Vanderbilt. Two, he was not named to the All-SEC preseason team and has been below the radar of SEC fans and writers for much of the season. Right now, I think its a two horse race between UT's Chris Lofton and Derrick. The Vols struggled without Lofton and their recent resurgence with him back in the line-up certainly helps his case. Chris Lofton is a fantastic player, as are the other players mentioned in the SEC POY discussion (Tre' Kelly, Jamont Gordon, Glen Davis and Joakim Noah), but for this Vanderbilt homer it really is a no-brainer. Vanderbilt finished second in the SEC East and is a shoe-in for the NCAA Tournament because of the Memphis senior.

Now, what I don't understand is how of the 5 Wooden Award All-American candidates from the SEC, Derrick Byars isn't one of them. I have no problem with Joakim Noah, Chris Lofton, and Glen Davis being nominated, but for Taureen Green and Corey Brewer to be nominated over Derrick Byars is ridiculous. How is it possible that neither Brewer or Green are in the running to be named the best player in their own conference, but yet could be considered one of the best players in the country? Am I crazy, or is this insane? It reminds me of a few years ago when Oklahoma lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship and still got to play for the National Title. That was crap, and so is this.

The Vanderbilt DeFKA has become the stub hub of the rest of the SEC. Need tickets, call Nashville. This strikes me as pretty sad. We have a fantastic draw, a first round bye, and a team that is capable of winning the whole thing, and we can't even go through our allotment of tickets for the SEC Tournament? Commodore Nation, where ya on this one!

Vanderbilt is holding at an 8-seed in Bracketology and probably won't move today. The Lady Commies are currently a 2-seed in Bracketology after moving up the ranks to #9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. As discussed yesterday, the men were knocked out of both polls are Saturday's loss to Arkansas.

The baseball team travels to Western Kentucky for a game later today, and spring football practice starts a week from today on March 13th. Also, David Price was named one of the National Pitchers of Week.

Don't forget to nominate a Hoser of the Week. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Duke/UNC "incident" will get a little play. Also, we will be unveiling our SEC Tournament Pick'em later in the day, so make sure to check back.

Congratulations to Austen for winning the regular season title. Despite not knowing, well...basically anything about basketball, he was able to beat the crap out of all of us. I don't know about you, but I am embarrassed.

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