Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What the heck is this?

This Washington Post article is strange to me.

1. What is this "shortage of athleticism" business? Alex Gordon, Shan Foster, and Derrick Byars are among the most athletic players in the SEC, and not many big men have the mobility of a Ross Neltner. This just seems like the same old knock on Vanderbilt (like us playing a "Princeton offense") that simply isn't true when you actually watch us play.

2. What the heck is this quote from Stallings: "Maybe it's one of those things where we're small but we're slow"? I just don't see it. Is he trying to bluff or something? Make GW think they can outrun us? Vandy gets out and runs a lot more than we ever have in the past, and well enough to put pressure on good defenses. Are we usually outsized? Yes. Outquicked? Again, I just don't see it. Every team has a Dan Cage.

3. This is the most absurd thing of all:
"I'm not overly concerned about those two losses. It certainly hasn't diminished in my mind what our team has done and how they've played. I'm not concerned with those two losses at the end. Those could have come at any time."
--Kevin Stallings

Let me tell you something coach, if you think it doesn't matter how your team is playing--excuse me, limping--into the tournament, then George Strait and I have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

This comment makes me very very nervous. Losing the last two should have been a huge wakeup call to the coaching staff and team that we cannot afford to go into any game without 100% focus and a desire to play to win for 40 minutes. Again, I hope this is some kind of bad attempt at a bluff to make GW think we're going to be an easy upset, because I shudder to think of how the team will play when Stallings is "looking forward to the see how we play."

These quotes simply don't fit with the take-no-prisoners and hell-bent-on-winning attitude that characterizes tournament success. Is it possible we're just going to be satisfied with a coach of the year award and second place finish? I confess to having never played Coach Stallings in poker, but someone who has please chime in and tell me I'm worried for nothing.


Bobby O'Shea said...

1. This team is not at all short on athletes. In fact, what distinguishes this teams from other Commie teams is their athleticism.

2. Media savvy, Coach Stallings is not.

3. I understand what KS is saying here. That is, let downs happen. Should they happen back to back in games with as much juice as Senior Day and the SEC Tournament? Certainly not, but there is also no reason to hit the panic button. I think Stallings is a little too laissez-faire here in public, but you have to think Stallings is singing a different tune in practice.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Again, I hope so, but we didn't exactly have much to "let down" from going into the last two games. The reality is we haven't played especially well since Florida, and that should be a major--the major--concern in the locker room.

I'm not saying I don't think they're concerned, but this article and the Derrick Byars interview (about how he's trying to enjoy it, soak it in, couldn't be happier to be playing in the tourney finally, etc.) strike a tone of "we're just happy to be here" that this team should not be satisfied with.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand propaganda in the sports section, I can't stand bad vandy pr, and I especially can't stand GW.

Here's to the fustigation of a century.