Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Still Don't Know What To Say...

But I figure it's time to weigh in on what took place on Friday. It goes without saying that Friday was an unmitigated disater and basically ruins what was, otherwise, a great season.

I think Coach Stallings' press conference after the game was on the mark: this was a great season for a team that probably got as much out of itself as possible. The fact that they came in as a 4 seed and had 26 wins probably hid the glaring deficiencies this team had.

There is no doubt that Vanderbilt backed into the NCAA Tournament. In Vanderbilt's previous 2 runs to the Sweet 16, that was also the case, so Vanderbilt fans just figured everything would work itself out. Obviously, that didn't happen. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Defense: We've known all year that this Vanderbilt team didn't play great defense. It's even harder to play good defense aganist a team that is unconscious to start the game. Vanderbilt was playing catch-up all night long, in part because they could never get a "stop" when they needed one.

2. Weak Guard Play: For whatever reason, it seemed that, with rare exception, Alex Gordon and Jermaine Beal were ghosts down the stretch. Shan and AJ were asked to shoulder an extremely heavy load by being the team's sole offense. Between Red, Dolla, and Keegan (who I still say is a "spark plug", despite the crap I heard at Buffalo Billards in DC) they scored 11 points and had 5 assists (all Beal) in 62 minutes. That is inept. It seemed as the season wore on, Jermaine worked his way into Stallings' doghouse. Next season, he'll have to shoulder more of the load then he did down the stretch.

3. AJ's Wind: Kevin Stalling sat Crocodile OG after 3 minutes and 20 seconds in anticipation of the under 16 TV time out. Vanderbilt was down 3 at the time. He came back 3 minutes later and the Commodores were down 7. While that's not a huge swing, Vanderbilt was not able to establish AJ as an inside presense from the start. Once AJ came back in, Siena got hot and Vanderbilt was forced to play catch-up rather than patiently run an offense that flowed from the inside and worked its way out. AJ is a great player, but he's got to do 2 things this summer: 1) learn how to play without fouling and 2) get into better shape. He's got to play 33+ minutes. He played 29 against Siena.

I know I've missed some things, but these are the things that came to mind right away.

At least we've got baseball and the NFL draft to focus on...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I understand that women's sports are boring to watch, but you could show some love to the lady commodores for advancing to the sweet sixteen with an impressive win over West Virginia. Hopefully they can join the women's bowling team and bring Vandy a national chapmionship.

That being said, I don't follow women's basketball at all, but would be willing to bet that either vomit orangettes, uconn, or duke wins the women's title. There is not exactly parity in the sport as far as I know. Then again, I guess a certain nappy-headed team came out of nowhere to advance pretty far last year. So I guess I am just rambling. Rambling about women's basketball no less. My life is officially void of meaning if this is what I have reduced myself to (and I guess I am ignorant prick for perpetuating the characterization created by Imus). This is what losing to Siena by 21 in the first round does to me.

Jason said...

Bobby O'Shea...you're love of the "spark plug" is both inexplicable and indefensible. I was happy to be one of the ones giving you shit about it a BB's. After watching that game, who wouldn't want Jamie in rather than Keegan? Who besides those with man-crushes?

Anonymous said...

Keegan Bell sucks and has sucked all year, much like this team away from Memorial.

Douglas James said...

Any word on if Jamie plans on playing basketball next year or just focusing on football? (baring any kind of injury that is). Our bench dissappeared in the 2nd half of the season. Also i remember calling for a legitimate 3rd scoring option all year and being told i was an idiot because shan and aj were enough. Obviously not. Who is going to be our shooting guard/wing next year? We have center and point guard and i like McCellan and Walker as inside fowards but we need someone to shoot the ball and i dont see anyone like that on the team (hopefully Lance Goldbourne is that type of guy) but thats asking alot for a true freshman. I think we take a step back next year.

Douglas James said...

SHAN FOSTER NAMED 1ST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN!!!!!!!! Well i mean rivals.com 1st team but whatever....i need some good vanderbilt news these days. Also Jeff Taylor, a sick recruit from NM narrowed his list to Texas, Gonzaga and Vandy.

Andrew Banecker said...

We're in an odd state of limbo as Vandy fans right now. Our basketball team brought about a severe depression that made us long for yesteryear, when we could at least blame a referee for our ouster. Not this year... this year we were smoked by Sienna. Our baseball team, though highly regarded by those that rank such endeavors, is having an average season thus far, and the majority of us are (back to that limbo thing again) relegated to waiting for Pedro to return, and reserving judgment on the team until then. I suppose we could turn our efforts to rooting for the Women's Basketball team, but watching more than a half of such a substandard substitution would serve only to anger our girlfriends (who would most certainly claim, "I don't complain when you're watching Men's basketball"). Limbo it is...

Anonymous said...

Lance Goldbourne is sick. Not only can he shoot the 3, he can also drive to the hole and DUNK IT?!? Who woulda thought that can happen. Lance will likely get an assload of PT next season if he can play any defense.

Also Festus is a load and will get alot of PT next year. AJ will not play 33 mins unless he is playing power forward.

Lastly if Taylor comes, I am calling it now, next years team is in the NCAA tourney.

Jason said...

Let alert you that the Jason above is not the one who despises Joe Biddle and drinks Lagavulin and Johnnie Walker Green Label religiously.

Jason said...

Yes, the Jason above (me) is different. I am mildly indifferent to Joe Biddle and prefer Maker's Mark. I do hate Keegan Bell.

Douglas James said...

Anyway lets get a new posts up so we can talk about some positive Vanderbilt topics
1) Where everyone goes in the draft? Williams/Goff/Earl/Gatewood even?
2) baseball walk off against MTSU
3) Jeff Taylor? Brad Tinsely?
4) Starting BBall lineup next year?
5) Starting QB? Spring practice

Jason said...

Tennessee's loss is a nice soothing end to this hoops season.

Anonymous said...

Rocky-Flop, will always be...

OVER-RATED! (clap-clap; clap/clap/clap)

OVER-RATED! (clap-clap; clap/clap/clap)

Yes, those tobacco spitting inbred whiners had the nerve to bitch about being a 2 seed and then go out and lose by 19.

You know what else inbreds like?

american idol which quite sucks just as well,

Stanimal said...

What's wrong with spitting tobacco

Anonymous said...

Herb Rich, a three-sport star at Vanderbilt and defensive captain of the New York Giants when they won the NFL title in 1956, died Friday. He was 79.

Aaron said...

Vandy women lost...