Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Keegan Bell Transfers.."The Story"

There really isn't one. Citing "philisophical differences" with Kevin Stallings, Keegan Bell has decided he doesn't fit in with the Commodores.

The Man We Love to Hait's got the story in the Nashville City Paper

Mo Patton's got a piece in the Tennessean, and keys in on "Coach Dad" Bell's quote: "We didn't feel like Keegan was a great fit there." I'm going with CKS on this one.

Mike Easterling's got the story in the Huntsville Times.

Seamus pointed this out last night, and I think he is right. There is something quite cryptic in Stallings' quote "We support [Keegan's] decision 100 percent and we wish him well.” He doesn't seem that upset for a guy who now has just one point guard on the his roster.

There are several possibilities:

1. Bell was gone and CKS was just trying to put the best face on it.
2. CKS' got something up his sleeve. As Brett writes in the City Paper, Vanderbilt is very much in the hunt for a highly touted point guard, Brad Tinsley, who is scheduled to visit campus in April. Perhaps the scholarship that Keegan frees up is more valuable long-term, than the certainity of having 2 point guards before the final committments have been made. While this is a glass half-full scenario (something uncommon in Commodore Nation), I've decided, "just [for a minute], just to see how it feels," to not take a turn to negative town.

What say you?


Douglas James said...

I have a couple feelings about this.
1) while i liked keegan bringing up the ball I didn't think he was athletic enough to cover quicker guards on D
2) i know its just part of college basketball but Vandy seems to have alot of players transfer and they often do very well elsewhere
3) I wouldn't be surprised if the main philosophical difference is that "Dolla" Beal is just a year older and therefore Bell was never going to start until his senior year
4) I def think this means we are going to be able to sign at least one more person for 08...maybe two and still have 1 scholarship for 09 to go to with Jenkins

Stanimal said...

This isn't the end of the world, but Douglas James is right about us having a lot of players transferring. I have 3 concerns:

1) It is never good to have uneasiness in your program and a player transferring has the potential to create that. Unless we as fans have some sort of inside scoop, we can't really tell what the reasons are for a player transferring. They could be leaving on either good or bad terms. If it's bad terms, it creates more problems because it effects team chemistry, particularly if fellow teammates (like Bell's roommate Croc OG) feel that the transferring player was slighted. This effects everything about the team, from play to recruiting.

2) Recruits see these players transferring and wonder, what's going on there that I'm not seeing? 3 players in 3 years, in my opinion, is a lot. I would be willing to change my perspective if someone provided a good example of a team that has that rate of transfers, but it just doesn't seem like a good message to send to potential Commodores.

3) We are in a unique position to become something great. To do that, we have to stay the course we are on. We can't rely forever on finding diamonds in the rough, we have to be able to steal ourselves some big recruits in the future. Right now we've built great momentum and the last thing we want is to get off track. While this is only a minor transgression, I prefer to keep change to an absolute minimum.

Aaron said...

Except for the possible "chemistry" argument i dont see this as a bad thing. Why? Because Bell is not that good. He is not a good scorer, and his size and defense leave something to be truly desired.

The bigger question for me is whether Jamie Graham is going to play both football and basketball next year. Although he is also not a natural scorer, he is a better athlete and defender than bell.

Daniel Ryan said...

I agree with Aaron, Keegan simply isn't that good. He realized he would be backing up Dolla the next two seasons, and he didn't like the idea of riding pine (typical coach's son mentality). I haven't liked Keegan since he bricked both free throws in the final seconds against UT. It's not a big deal because we ended up winning the game, but I think it reveals a lot about Keegan's approach to the game. Also, losing DeMarre Carroll, Jejuan Brown, and Keegan Bell in consecutive seasons sounds a lot worse than it actually is. The last I heard Demarre had been shot in the ankle, and Jejuan had to leave school because he got busted selling dope to all the frat dogs. While I certainly won't lump Keegan in with those other two knuckleheads, I think his pipe-dream wannabe-Steve Nash personality will be better suited elsewhere.


Jason said...

It is also important to remember notable transfers TO Vanderbilt -- Byars, Neltner, Neltner's bookie. Bell probably left for the same reason that Plavich left years ago -- Stallings does not have a system built for flashy point guards.

Anonymous said...

But we need a flashy pt. guard nonetheless...it would be fantastic to have a guy who could dribble quickly through Pearl's press.

Stanimal said...

Once again I think y'all are focusing too much on the player that left and not enough on the overall effects of the transfer of a player in general. Losing Bell's ability is not a "big deal" as I stated in the first sentence of my comment. The issue is losing players in general because it disrupts team chemistry if it ended on poor terms and it sends a bad message to recruits if it happens frequently enough.

Transfers TO Vandy are irrelevant because they generally add to the quality of a program, they don't detract from it. The consistency argument isn't meant to be taken as a deterrence to transfer recruits, it's meant to prevent the loss of valuable pieces you've already gained that have become part of the team. Byars certainly turned out to be a valuable piece that Virginia lost out on. Bell might not have been our starter of the future, but now you have the possibility of running with 1 point guard for an entire season rather than the minutes, assists, and shooting he can provide.
Tinsley is by no means a shoe-in to be ours and now it is essential that we get him.

Once again, I'm not judging the quality of Bell's play or of either Demarre or JeJuan Brown, I'm judging the effect of losing guys in general. If someone can give a specific example of a team that loses guys all the time and is still a contender in the tourney every year, I'll be more than happy to change my mindset.

Aaron said...

Stanimal i can fulfill your request and give you two solid examples in the 06-07 transfer season Georgetown and Gonzaga both lost 2 guys, Mississippi State lost 4, memphis lost 2, Purdue lost 3, and all these teams were in the NCAA tourney, and had good seasons.

I do not disagree with your argument that it disrupts chemistry, but i would contend that it disrupts chemistry more to have a guy on the team that doesnt want to be there. I also dont think recruits really care if a guy transfers. Recruits really want 3 things playing time, exposure, and possibly an education. When someone leaves the recruit is better situated to get the playing time and exposure.

Stanimal said...

Those are all fair points and your statement about having a guy who doesn't want to be there is a good one. I agree with you in that respect.

I still think there's a distinction between guys transferring out in one season and guys transferring out over the course of a few seasons because there's no trend established if one comes out in a year. However, I didn't realize that those teams had lost so many in one year. So I see your point.

Anonymous said...

bell sucked. he wasn't clutch and he couldn't shoot free throws for someone we all thought was so "fundamental". and his defense sucks too. he could dribble and pass but even his average assists per game wasn't anything astounding. beal will hold his own as the starter and we'll find a transfer or new recruit to back him up if drake or grahm can't do it. foster and gordon will be hard to replace. i am not worried about a backup PG at all. does UT even have one true PG? come on. i'm more worried about finding someone who can drop 42 at home when the rest of the team is sucking it up.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Well, with Indiana hiring Tom Crean (a great choice for them, in my opinion) and with Kansas beating Davidson to get Bill Self off the schneid, I think we can at least say with confidence that Stallings is staying put for a while. I don't think he was ever on Indiana's short list, although he was probably somewhere on the radar.

Given the talent he's brought to Vanderbilt in recent years, I think we have every reason to be optimistic that Stallings will bring in a quality point guard to replace Keegan, cryptic press releases and awkward media interactions be damned.

Douglas James said...

Anybody reading the discussion boards on Rivals.com? According to some of the people posting they claim there was alot of unhappy people in the locker room at the end of the season and that the younger guys supported Keegan while the older guys (especially the guys who are graduating) support Beal. This is making me really nervous.

Douglas James said...

you guys see keegans interview?


Aaron said...

After reading that interview I HATE KEEGAN BELL.

"thought it was going to be more of my style, where I’m a little more of a flashy player."

SV: Like Steve Nash, right?
KB: "Right, I kind of like to do that."

Umm sorry you are no steve nash, you will never be steve nash, you will never even be Chucky Adkins.

He wants to make "between-the-legs pass and all that kind of stuff." Last time i checked SEC basketball was not an AND-1 mix tape.

I am glad he is gone. Go find a D3 school where you can do all your flashy shit..eh!

The only thing to take from that interview was the fact that this might influence AJ.

Keegan Bell is dead to me.

Douglas James said...

I agree as a person commented below the interview. He is leaving a top 20 program where his best friend, girlfriend and "brothers" are because he wants to be flashier on the court.

That being said if Stallings has no problem with Red jacking up 3's all day because its "his game" why can't he work better with Bell.

Who knows. We better get Taylor and Tinsley

Anonymous said...

I watched a few Vandy games this year with Woody, and I can say confidently that Bell is a perfectly average college basketball player. And it's hilarious when average players shoot their mouths off like they're NBA material. You guys should be glad he's moving on. Who wants a locker room filled with guys who talk like Starbury and play like Frat-league intramural all-stars?


dcv said...

I realize its a little worrisome that we may not have a backup PG but who could actually be upset with Bell leaving. The majority of the time on the court he was a liability, maybe a decent backup at his best. I don't think this should hurt recruiting but you never know. I am more of the mindset that recruits will see it as more space for themself. Lets also hope that it doesn't affect AJ. Now that I have been nice I will be honest. After reading Bells interview I vomited. Not in my mouth but projectile sytle after he mentioned the glory of his between the leg pass. Last time I checked you have to prove you can make a jump shoot, a free throw, or not be an all around offensive and defensive liability on the court before you can say that you want to play more flasy.

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