Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stallings' Next Steps: Get Someone to the NBA

I think we can all agree that Stallings' step #1 to the next level is getting us through the Sweet 16 into the Elite 8.

But there's another step that Stallings has to take, one that may be just as important, if not more subtle.

Stallings has done a remarkable job of recruiting over the past several years. He's flushed the roster with talent and we've seen the fruits of that labor turn arise in wins. Though we are young, there is no doubt that we have the guns to make some noise in the SEC this season.

But after losing Casey Prather to Florida, which in itself is not a huge defeat, it dawned on me that Vanderbilt has not had anyone drafted in the first round in quite some time. As a matter of fact, the last person drafted in the first round was Will Perdue in 1988.

Yes I know that Dan Langhi, Matt Freije, Derrick Byars and Shan Foster were all selected out of this decade. I have tremendous respect for all, especially Freije, Byars, and Foster, who I was lucky enough to see play in some way shape or form during my time at Vanderbilt. But each are trying to find there way onto NBA rosters through development leagues. Freije has been on a couple of teams, but hasn't managed to stick. The point is that these guys haven't emerged as diamonds out of the second round rough....though they should not be counted out yet.

This isn't disconcerting. Finding real NBA talent is difficult, and even more so finding some that can handle Vanderbilt's academic requirements. But that's not to say that talent isn't out there, it's just choosing to go somewhere else.

But we are at a really bright time in Vanderbilt basketball. We are in the discussion for guys like Prather. Last year, Ryan Kelly, who signed with Duke, had us in his top 5. We landed John Jenkins thanks to a good recruiting effort of the hometown talent. We picked up Kyle Fuller, a talented PG from California. Just two years ago we pulled the #15 recruiting class in nation with Taylor, Tinsley, Goulbourne and Tchiengang. Before that, it was A.J.

We're on the up and up, but if we want that next step, we need recruits to be able to say "not only can I play for a real good basketball team at a real good school in a great town, but Kevin Stallings can get me to the NBA." That right there will get us the biggest fish, and that right there will make us competitive year in and year out.

But in order to do that, we have to show some proof. Calipari may be a sleaze, but he can point to his NBA minions and say "come play for me, you can end up like him." I'm not suggesting that we should be taking guys who can't take their own SATs, but I am saying that it would go a long way to make us marketable.

What say you Vandynation?


Anonymous said...

i imagine both ogilvy and taylor are going to be drafted. could either of them or both even be in the first round? maybe one of them will make noise. i don't want to speculate on jenkins seeing as he haven't even played on college game yet but let's hope he's another.

Anonymous said...

AJ and Taylor will be taking care of this in the next year or two. Jenkins to follow.

This is a big year for Vandy Hoops. We need to have great 2011/12 recruiting classes to replenish the talent on the team, so a huge year this year would help that dramatically.

Stanimal said...

I agree that if it's to be done, Ogilvy and Taylor are the ones to do it. They both have first round upside.

If they both get drafted in the first round and are sticking around on NBA rosters, then you can bet Stallings will say "I can get you there if you come play for us. We've got the pieces in place, be a part of something special."

That's a difference maker.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Looks like we've emotionally moved on to Basketball season and it's not even the middle of October.

Big year for Vanderbilt basketball. We need to be a second weekend team in the tourny for this season to be considered a success. With that said, we've got a lot of things going for us: Maui gives us a chance to show how good we are early against quality opponents; Nashville hosts the SEC tournament; and this is a team with experience playing together. The real question is how fast will Jenkins hit the ground running

Anonymous said...

Only true Vanderbilt sports fans "move on emotionally" to BB with over 1/2 of the FB the season left. Bravo.

If FB does surge this year, make sure you keep posting BB previews.

Stanimal said...

What would a true Vanderbilt sports fan be without serious skepticism and a penchant for apathy?

Anonymous said...

Let's be serious, the most interesting story concerning Vandy football this year is that Ms. Andrews was creeped on at the Vandy Marriot.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I think Taylor's definitely got a shot to make it. AJ really needs to show me a better season than the past two before I can honestly give him the nod. He's good, but I'm not sure that he's developed enough to be a pro big man.

Off topic, can we please do something about the schedule widget? That "loss" to Rice is killing me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

sec tourney being hosted in nashville means crap. it will be full of kentucky fans and tennessee fans/arkansas/miss st will fill the rest. sure we'll have some but they'll all be old NCC members and maybe a few students. hopefully.

Aaron said...

AJ needs to improve drastically to be a first round pick.

Anonymous said...

DeMarre Carrol scored 10 in his NBA preseason debut...so we SORT OF have a guy in the NBA.

american idol SORT OF sucks. No, actually, it really does suck.

Stanimal said...

We lost out on a recruit, Rod Odom Jr., to Arizona. He was a SF, so it's not a huge deal. The big two holes we need to prepare for are PG and C, which we already have at least one PG.

Anonymous said...

There is a 6-10 forward (rated 4 stars, rated #15 h.s. player in America) in Chattanooga with a 25 ACT score and Stallings isn't recruiting him. The kid will probably end up at UConn.