Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Come Early in Chicago

VU 91, DePaul 85 - OT

Wow. After trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half of a game in which Vanderbilt (10-0) played--for most of the contest--an atrocious brand of basketball, the Commies pulled out an overtime win against the DePaul Blue Demons (2-4) on the road.

The passing was terrible. Turnovers were rampant. Poor rebounding. Abysmal interior defense...

And we still managed to pull out the win. A combination of clutch play down the stretch and missed free throws by DePaul culminated with an Ogilvy layup with 22 seconds on the clock that tied the game at 79. In overtime, Foster and Ogilvy came up big and Beal and Gordon made key free throws. Let's put it this way: Beal's second free throw with 14 seconds to go in OT gave Vanderbilt a 91-85 lead, and that was the largest lead we had in the entire game.

O'Shea made two good points after the game:

1) As bad as we played, and as much as DePaul may have given it away, the guys showed a lot of grit down the stretch. This was a very good sign from a team with a lot of youth -- they weren't willing to mail it in, even when we couldn't seem to get over the hump with the deficit seemingly stuck in double-digits.

2) We've got a lot of work to do on the defensive end. There were times when people completely lost their man on defense, and I saw several plays where no one switched on a screen, leading to easy layups for the Demons.

With all of that said, Jerry Wainwright is a very good defensive coach and you have to credit DePaul with a quality game plan in the first (and most of the second) half. What really kept us alive, in my opinion, was the unconscious play of Alan Metcalfe, who dropped 18 points on DePaul while Ogilvy was frustrated in the post. (Note: DePaul blocked something like 10 of our shots -- unreal). I was also very impressed with Keegan Bell, who has finally found his shot and may be giving Gordon a push for some more significant minutes.

Foster and Ogilvy both finished with 19, almost all of which came towards the end of the game when we really needed it. I thought we could have done a better job screening and getting the ball to Shan earlier in the game. I also thought we looked way too lazy with our passes, and the number of turnovers leading to easy points was unacceptable. All things to work on, and we know Stallings knows that. (Side note: Did anyone else feel that we were getting hosed on calls left and right? At least two travels and one double-dribble went uncalled against DePaul, not to mention some seriously questionable shooting fouls...oh well.)

We've got 10 days off to work on all of the problem areas before facing TSU in Nashville on the 22nd.

First 10-0 team in the 'bout them Commies?


Anonymous said...

I'm with you... the refs were abysmal. However, the first thirty minutes we played very sloppy ball. We were being outclassed by an inferior team. But damn... somehow we pulled it off. Let's see how SEC play goes.

Anonymous said...

i'm starting to notice a pattern: i think refs have some kind of trouble calling our opponents for traveling in the last few minutes of the game. i'm just saying...

i'm proud we were able to pull it out tonight. the boys never lost their confidence!


Anonymous said...

A couple thoughts:
- Turnovers killed us in the first half. I think we had a whopping 13 of them. If we want to be competitive with top college teams, that type of play has to stop immediately.
- I agree that Alan Metcalfe's scoring was instrumental in keeping Vandy alive during regulation. BUT, his turnovers were reeealllly bad. I'd like to see a little more offensive consistency with him. (Anyone else find themselves switching between phrases like, "Thank God that Metcalfe can shoot a 3-pointer!" and "Dammit, Metcalfe is starting to remind me of Ted Skuchas.")
- Bring on Tennessee State!

Unknown said...

I was at the game and the refs were unbelievably bad. It was beyond comprehension really. I think Depaul was the perfect test for us before SEC play. the thing that stood out to me was the way a more athletic team with quick guards decimated our defense. Depaul's guards are good, but not that good. they got into the lane repeatedly on beal, shan, and pretty much any other defender. from there, they made easy dump offs to big guys where we had no rotation or weak side help. we need to keep the ball out of the middle of the floor, plain and simple. the offense will take care of itself.

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern taken from this game is whether AJ will be able to compete against bigger, stronger centers in SEC play. He was blocked over and over by a physical inteior defense that we'll surely see again this year.

I hope he learns quickly!

Anonymous said...

Tom, your question should be rephrased thusly:

What will other teams do to adjust when AJ takes a bigger, stonger center farther away from the basket so he can put the ball on the floor?

Sorry Aaron, looks like you're stuck with CBJ. Remember it could be worse, and it might get better.

Aaron said...

Jason, very true. Oh well, i hope he does better. I will now move all my anger towards Cain, he should be fired.

Boys looked good in the last 10 minutes of the game. Depaul pulled a Vandy Football in this one.

Anonymous said...

That first half (and early part of the second) was worse than american idol.

OK, it wasn't THAT bad...but it was almost that bad.

Our young bench is going have have to continue to grow up and improve on the job. It's a big jump from high school ball at Hazel Green, Alabama to NCAA major status hoops.

With Gordon being a senior, Bell has to be ready to step up - maybe even start next year.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think that our 10 day break from bball action will hurt us going into the Tennessee State game?

Seamus O'Toole said...

In response to Anonymous, I'd say Bell is growing up pretty fast. 12 points and 8 assists in just 20 minutes of action off the bench. I think he was actually named Player of the Game.

Anyone see his between-the-legs pass to Andre Walker? I don't remember the announcers (if you watched it on ESPN Classic, you know how terrible they were) making a big deal about it but it was ridonkulous.

Douglas James said...

Lets just say that when i saw that pass i accidentally almost took out the waitress at the bar i was at.....ala the Washington state game last year at Buffalo Billiards (DC style not Nashville)

J.B., M.D. said...

Keegan Bell. 8 assists, 0 turnovers says it all.

Anonymous said...

Keegan Bell is ugly