Monday, January 19, 2009

Mississippi State Thoughts...

With Anonymous' chide in the comments section of the prior post, I figured I'd post some thoughts on Vanderbilt's Saturday night loss. I didn't watch the game live, but after a night out watched the game with the glory that is DVR. Despite the loss, I was pretty happy with the way the team played. The more I think about it, I've found the team's play better in the 2 conference games we've lost than the one we've won so far. 17 turnovers is unacceptable. Yes, this is a young team, but the sloppiness has got to improve if we're going to beat some of the SEC's better teams. We've also got to shoot better than 27.8% from downtown. Most of all, I'd like to see this team get the free throw line more: 8 attempts in 40 minutes is laughable (especially when you consider State took 22, of which they made 18 almost 2x the margin of victory) and is a sign that the guys on the floor are all too willing to settle for jump shots. Only 3 players attempted free throws, and AJ only took 3. That is absolutely unacceptable for a back to the basket big-man.

On to the positives: we out-rebounded the bulldogs by 9, including a +8 offensive glass margin. This is not a typical Vanderbilt team in that they play aggressive defense and are physical. Their ability to crash the boards is certainly indicative of that. The freshman, especially Taylor and Tinsely, are developing nicely and are becoming real impact players. Between the 2 of them, Vanderbilt had a legitimate third scoring option behind AJ and "Dolla" Beal. I am also liking what I'm seeing from Lance Goulbourne, who can not only slash to the basket, but is a deadly outsider shooter with some size (he's 6'8). Darshawn is, frankly, somewhat of a liability on offense. But he is a bruiser and provides the intangibles and toughness that this team needs (I really miss Damarre Carroll). Steve Tchiengang has the frame and the temperment from what I've seen out of him to play a role similar to Darshawn, but perhaps with more offensive acumen. Still, having Lance and Steve come off the bench gives CKS some nice options. The reality is though, this team is lost on the offensive end without AJ. Guys stand around and then with time running down on the shot-clock, settle for bad outside jumpers. This team has size and players who can make thinks happen. This is not as good a shooting team as we're used to, but they are missing too many open shots when they get them.

The Vols barely withstood South Carolina's late rally and they are not as good (at least right now) as the pre-season prognosticators would have use believe. Tennessee's defensive intensity, especially their full-court press, really scares me. Tempo in this game will be key Tuesday, just as it was yesterday: when Mississippi State was able to quicken the pace, Vanderbilt got down and was never able to recover. That could easily happen Tuesday. The game was on TV throughout the southland (and the rest of the country on ESPN360 I think), what did you all think? What are you looking at heading into Tuesday's ESPN game with UT?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

isn't goulbourne's name lance not jason? i've never seen a mistake on this website and love it but that seems pretty rookie to miss.

the state game honestly worried me. we had been doing great keeping teams field goal % low and state blew us up. i don't know what it ended up being but mid 2nd quarter it almost a whopping 50%. we need an outside shooter big time. jenkins still can't come quick enough. tuesday's game w/ UT worries me. they are going to get after us defensively and keep the tempo up and it could get bad quickly if this team doesn't change things NOW. we could honestly stand at 1-4 come this time next week in the SEC if we keep playing this way and talking about next year.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Apologies...Jason Goulbourne was the name of a guy on my hall freshman year.

Anonymous said...

There was only one positive in watching the Miss St. game: eventually it ended. The offense is nonexistent. Without the shooters to extend their defense, our high picks were pointless, and potential lanes for backdoor cuts were slammed shut. Until we adapt our offense to the talent we have (we're not 3 shooters and two screeners anymore) we're going to look like a woman's basketball team (without the shooters).

Aaron said...

SI has an article today that says Miss St's RPI might get them into the dance. Regardless that does not excuse our play. I am just hoping that at some point in this season we will stop playing so young and making dumb mistakes. I dont know when that will be, but i am almost positive that it wont be Tuesday night.

Anonymous said...

did you guys know beal and tinsley both shoot better than 40% from the trey? from what i've seen i did not think that was at all possible. maybe we're a little better from behind the arc than i thought.

Bob Loblaw said...

Nothing about tonight's titanic struggle? Come on!

http://anythingbutgatorade.blogspot.com/2009/01/sooo.html

Jason said...

I came across my own name in this article. Thought it funny that Bobby would remember my name and mistake it for a distant cousin. I had no influence on him coming to vandy and I don't know him like that. It is great to see Goulbourne on the back of a black and gold jersey though!