Thursday, December 6, 2007

CBS Sportsline Digs Oglivy

Shout out to Douglas James for bringing this Sportsline article to my attention.

Australian import Ogilvy paying immediate dividends for Vanderbilt
by Gary Parrish

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Most people have these wild ideas about what happens at AAU events, that coaches sit in gyms from dawn to dusk and meticulously search for their next program-changers.

But that's not always true. More often, the bleachers are filled with guys standing around chatting, just telling stories and reminiscing because the prospects they want have usually long been identified and offered.

So that was the scene in the spring of 2006.

Kevin Stallings and Ray Giacoletti were just talking.

"And we just sorta started talking recruiting," recalled Stallings, the Vanderbilt coach and good friend of Giacoletti, who was at the time coaching Utah. "So I told Ray I was looking for a big guy, and he told me he knew where there was a good one if I didn't mind going to Australia to recruit him."

Needless to say, Stallings didn't mind.

In this business, you do what you've got to do.

But he naturally wondered why Utah wasn't interested.

"I asked Ray, 'What about you guys?' " Stallings said. "He told me they only had one scholarship (available), and he needed a point guard."

And thus it began, Vanderbilt's cross-world recruitment of the 6-foot-11 center that has the Commodores off to an 8-0 start following an 83-80 victory against Wake Forest on Wednesday here at Memorial Gym. It's a magnificent tale, one about how a random conversation between friends led to three separate trips to Australia by the Vandy staff and a subsequent commitment. And it makes me wonder if Giacoletti had a chance to do it over again, would he have kept his mouth shut, made an offer to Andrew Ogilvy and put off worrying about available scholarships -- even run somebody off to create a spot, if that's what it took?

I mean, the kid is from Australia and named Andrew.

Utah was the perfect spot given recent history (see: Bogut, Andrew), right?

"There would've been a lot of obvious similarities if I would've gone there as an Australian named Andrew," Ogilvy said. "I was definitely looking at Utah."

And now Vanderbilt fans can't stop looking.

And cheering and clapping and, well, yelling.

"Throw it to the big guy!"

Those were the instructions from a gentleman in the crowd late Wednesday. The Commodores were tied in the final minute with a scrappy Wake Forest team that had made 13 3-pointers and in turn given itself an opportunity for a huge road victory. But Jermaine Beal had other plans, and they involved doing precisely what that Vandy fan had yelled from the stands, which is to say he was determined to throw it to the big guy.

So he did.

On the right block.

And Ogilvy caught it and sank a hook shot that gave the Commodores a lead they never relinquished while providing the perfect highlight from his 23-point, five-rebound, two-block effort that is becoming something of the norm.

On the season, Ogilvy is averaging 18.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, and he's the early favorite for SEC Freshman of the Year despite being an unknown in the United States a year ago.

Meantime, fellow countryman Patrick Mills is averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 assists at Saint Mary's, where he's a virtual lock to be the West Coast Conference's Freshman of the Year.
So the Australian invasion is under way.

Focused on O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose, most never saw it coming.

"Both Patrick and I are starting to get the respect we deserve," said Ogilvy, who played with Mills for two-plus years back in Australia. "Coming from Australia, nobody here had ever seen us play except for the coaches who were recruiting us, so we weren't expecting to be blown up before we got over here. But we knew once we got here, we'd have a big impact."

More like humongous.

"(Ogilvy) is a terrific, terrific player who uses his body incredibly well," Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said. "I've probably coached eight to 10 post guys who have played in The League, and he uses his body as well as any of them. He uses both hands and he can finish at the cup. He's just a terrific young player."

Terrific enough to be in the Kevin Love/DeAndre Jordan/Patrick Patterson conversation?
"I don't know that he belongs in that conversation, but I don't know that he doesn't either," Stallings said with a smile. "All I know is that he's really good for us, and he's off to a great start."


Anonymous said...

Aren't you all law students? You should know that it's a copyright violation to post an article in full that belongs to another website. Next time, post a blurb (if you must) and then link to the original site. It also looks more professional that way.

Anonymous said...

bite me