Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: A win even Steve Spurrier would be proud of...

For a Wednesday in May, there is actually a lot to discuss. Vanderbilt basketball is dominating the ink in the papers of record on Commie Sports. Mo Patton is focused on Vanderbilt's past and Derrick Byars' future, in today's Tennessean. Mo Patton has SEC Player of the Year Derrick Byars as the fourth best SEC player available in this year's NBA draft behind Al Horford, Corey Brewer, and Joakim Noah. Patton pens that the conventional wisdom right now is the DB is a middle to late first round pick. If Derrick is taken in the first round, he will be the first Vanderbilt player drafted in the first round since Will Purdue was selected #11 overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1988. ESPN Insider Chad Ford ranks DB as the 38th best player in the draft and projects him as a late first/early second round pick, while NBADraft.net thinks Byars will go as high as 15. I imagine we'll be delving more deeply into this in days to come...if for no other reason, than it gives us something to talk about.

While the Tennessean is focused on the past, Brett Hait and the Nashville City Paper are focused on Vanderbilt's future with a story on in-coming freshman A.J. Ogilvey. According to Hait's article and a press release from VUCommodores.com, A.J. was named the South East Australian Basketball League East Player of the Month for April. Ogilvey averaged 29.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4 blocks a game in his three April contests. Shooting 68% from the floor and 72% from the charity stripe certainly helps, as does a 45-16 game on Bobby's birthday. Ogilvy is one of four freshmen signees joining the Commies this fall, with guard Keegan Bell and forwards Andre Walker and Darshawn McClellan rounding out this year's recruits. All the better, it appears A.J's got the shaggy "Southern cut" as my lady friend calls it, down.

Speaking at the Budweiser Barn in Clarksville with Coach Bobby Johnson, Coach Kevin Stallings said he was forcing himself and his staff to take some time off in the off-season. This story was reported by Jimmy Trodglen of the Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville. CBJ and CKS will head from Clarksville to Memphis as part of their "Commodore Caravan" barn-storming the state of Tennessee. CBJ will get in a little recruiting while in Memphis and stressed to Jimmy that: "Memphis is becoming a good area for recruiting." Both Stallings and Johnson see this trip as a way not only to reach out to Vanderbilt fans outside the Nashville area, but also to extend the fan-base across the state. They are doing their part, and so are we.

The National Champion women's bowling team is going where no Vanderbilt team has gone before...The White House. As part of NCAA Division I Champions Day on June 18th, the lady pinsters will attend a recetion held in their (and others) honor, and attended by President Bush. If anyone can get VSL a pass, that would be greatly appreciated.

Now, to the title of today's Hotline. The DC Dores played SEC rivals South Carolina last night...and let's just say, it had a certain "ol' ball coach" feel. The DC Dores unmercifully beat the Cocks 25-12. The DC Dores' are now 2-1 with a showdown against the hated Volunteers of Tennessee next Wednesday. If we win that game, it's called a winning streak. The DC Dores' fearless leader will be sending around a recap, and when he does, I will be sure to post it, either in this space or on another thread.

In celebration of our victory, and because my lady friend got a better offer and therefore was not home (we all know how I hate being alone for any period of time), I missed American Idol last night. I managed to watch the first round of performances by the final four, and honestly thought they were just O.K. I have no idea who will be voted off, but have to think that just because of who is left, Lakisha is in the most danger. Blake is clearly the worst contestant left, the beat-boxing thing is old and OVER, but because he is the only guy left, I think he skates for at least another week. Call me crazy, but I thought the Barry Gibb catalogue was terrible. I didn't know hardly any of the songs and so was more inclined to fall asleep on my couch. At least their is a new Lost tonight.

21 comments:

Bobby O'Shea said...

Informative and funny, and I still get crickets?

Austen said...

I thought the press, and your writing was good. Who do you think will be our best (and or most important) freshman next year on Men's B-Ball?

Stanimal said...

Your hotline was very good, however there wasn't really much about it that led into discussion. Although I do like Austen's question, and I think my answer would probably be Ogilvy since we need him to fill a spot which has been our most obvious need for some time. What do you think Bobby?

Bobby O'Shea said...

One, you can both kiss my @ss.
Two, I agree with Stanimal, that A.J. Ogilvey has the potential to immediately be an impact player. I think it is very possible (if not likely) that the other 3 freshman might be red-shirted. Keegan Bell in particular.

Stanimal said...

Bobby, watch your language.

Austen said...

Gentelmen, how many wins are you predicting for Vandy this year in football? Five months really insn't that far away, and I feel you already have some predictions.

Boyer in the District said...

This should be good. Go!

Bobby O'Shea said...

I have us going 8-4, and am so confident that I have made a wager with Papa O'Shea to that end.

Douglas James said...

If we finish bowl eligible i will be extremely happy.....6-6....we have some great individual talent on the field but besides a sick WR, a nasty LB, and a duel threat QB we don't have the depth to be 8-4....not in the SEC East.....sorry. As for B-Ball why do you see our Frosh being Red-shirted? Most of our recent recruits have played as freshman (Foster, Mario, Gordon, Cage) why would this class be different? I think depending on how Gordon runs the offense without DB in their, Bell could be the biggest contributor. Love the white boy point guards

Bobby O'Shea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby O'Shea said...

I see some of the frosh getting red-shirted, particularly Bell, because there are two point guards ahead of him.

As for Vanderbilt going 8-4, if I can make a believer that it is possible out of Stanimal, I feel like I can make a believer of anyone. Vanderbilt is returning their entire offensive line, have a QB who is not only a dual-threat, but has a year of SEC play under his belt and seemed to get better and more comfortable as the year progressed (see his games against UK and Florida in particular). Earl Bennett is Earl Bennett, and Jonathan Goff is a beast. Is there somewhat of a let down when the second unit comes in? Sure, but the first unit, overall, I don't think has been this good in some time. As good as Cutler was, he did not have the supporting cast around him that Nickson does. Nickson doesn't have to be Culter for Vanderbilt to make it to a bowl.

Where do my eight wins come from, you may ask? Here:

All 4 OOC games (Richmond, Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH), and Wake Forest). Wake won't be a cake-walk, but I think we take that game at home on the last weekend of the year. I think we beat Alabama at home in week 2. Vanderbilt always plays Bama tough, we could have beaten them last year at their place, and as much as they have improved with Saban, I think on the field, we will be a better team. Let me be clear, for Vanderbilt to go 8-4, they gotta have the Alabama game. I'm at 5. Ole Miss and UK make wins 6 and 7. Where does the 8th come from? That I'm not sure of just yet, but I do think we could steal one from any of the teams left on our schedule (@Auburn, @South Carolina, @Florida, @Tennessee, or Georgia). Of these 5, the fact that 4 are on the road and the one home game is to a team that will be very motivated after losing to us on their homecoming is not ideal. But...if we can learn how to win early and go into Auburn 4-0, I really think this team can get to that 8 win mark. Learning how to win is key, and Vanderbilt's early season schedule gives them a chance to learn how to do that at home...am I optimistic? You're damn right I am.

Boyer in the District said...

And I thought Hogs fans were the only optimistic ones out there!

Stanimal said...

I won't shy away from my agreement here with Bobby. 8-4 is feasible. I am not sold on Wake Forest being the best team in the ACC even though they won it last year. Sorry Wake Forest fans, but you had your one year. Expect A LOT of improvement from most of the ACC and look for Va. Tech to likely win it outright. That is THE only OOC game that should be even REMOTELY a question mark.

4 wins now. I expect us to beat Mississippi, especially considering Brent Schaeffer is an ATROCIOUS QB. 5. Alabama is either going to be very good, or they are going to suck royally. I think it likely that they will be very good, but I also think it likely that we will be as well.

I do believe that we can beat Kentucky, the game was a shootout last year. They've got Andre Woodson, but that'll be a good game. That puts us at 7.

Now there are three teams that we have no business running with, and that's Florida, Georgia, and Auburn. I think South Carolina will surprise just about everyone in the SEC and take the leap that people have been looking for since they hired Spurrier. Depending on how Erik Ainge's shoulder surgery plays out, we're going to see how Tennessee is. I think that'll play a huge part in determining how good that team will be. We have a 1 in 4 shot of picking up a win over one of those teams. I think it can be done.

Stanimal said...

Excuse me, 1 in 5 shot.

Stanimal said...

Why would Bell be one of our biggest contributors when Jermaine Beal is waiting right there in the wings? Beal and George Drake are our two biggest landings of the past three years.

Douglas James said...

Are Beal and Drake true point guards or shooting guards with some point skills? A true point guard is a rare commodity in basketball these days. I don't know enough about either of them to say what their skill set is best for. I just think it is alittle presumptious to think that a big man (hardest position to play?) w/ little to no N.A b-ball experience to come in and be the biggest contributor is unlikely. He is lucky that alot of the established SEC big men (Big Baby, UF's guys, Randolph Morris) have all departed. Listen I would love to have a legitimate low post option who could actually grab some boards i just think you are more likely to see immediate impact from the other guys.

Douglas James said...

Andre Woodson is a beast who tore up our secondary last year. Goff is a beast but he can't tackle 11 guys at once. We need some other D players to step up most notably our secondary who got burnt most of the season (i think Stanimal would have done a better job covering Dallas Baker in the UF game then our Db's did)

Bobby O'Shea said...

Beal is a true point guard (and don't forget about Alex Gordon), Drake is not. As it stands, Vanderbilt has 2 point guards without Bell, why lose a year of eligibility when there is not much chance he's gonna play at all?

As for Vanderbilt's defensive prowess, I agree that that will be key. With that said, Vanderbilt lost the Florida game in part on a very very bad spot on 4th and 2 with Vanderbilt driving inside Florida's 30. Vanderbilt's offense kept Florida at bay, which is part of the reason we only lost 25-19 (one of Florida's closest games last season).

Stanimal said...

Sorry if my point was confusing. Beal is a true point guard and was recruited as such out of high school. Gordon is obviously the incumbent starter. Look for Drake to probably start at shooting guard next year.

As for the secondary, yes you're right. But it's important to keep in my mind that they will improve. I have a concern at safety, but I feel VERY good about our corners. D.J. Moore is developing extremely well, had a great pick-six in the spring game, and was very highly regarded by the SEC as a freshman. The secondary will get better.

As I said, the KY game was a shootout, Woodson threw for over 400, but so did Nickson. Kentucky just got one or two more plays. That's a game that we can win (though it certainly is not guaranteed).

Perhaps 8-4 is optimistic, but the point is that it isn't out of reach. There are 3 games on this schedule that we should win, and 4 that we can win. All we need is to play up for one game and for one of those nasty five teams to play down, and you're sitting at 8-4. (Keep in mind that gives us an SEC record of 4-4, so its not like we're dominating the east and we certainly won't win the division).

Bobby O'Shea said...

Stan,

Do you agree that Bell should potentially be red-shirted?

Stanimal said...

I agree that he should potentially be red-shirted (key word being potentially). I think it'll be important to see what CKS thinks in terms of his ability in comparison to Beal and Gordon. If CKS thinks he can contribute immediately in some sort of role, I have no doubt he'll keep him off the red-shirt list. Otherwise, I would expect we probably won't see him in 07-08.