Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vanderbilt Wins It's Exhibition 91-56

This game is about as relevant, if not less so, than a super secret pre-season scrimmage, but even so, it's the start of basketball season and there are some things to be very encouraged about.

Let me preface by saying I was unable to watch the game, so I'm going totally off the stat lines. Jeffery Taylor appears to have picked up where he left off last season, dropping 19 on 6-9 from the field and picking up a steal in the process. Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsley also had good games distributing the ball and scoring when needed. Beal had 14 points and 3 assists, and Tinsley had 12 and 5 assists. It appears as though A.J. got a significant amount of breather time, scoring 8 points in 16 minutes of play, but going a perfect 6-6 from the line. He also gave way to Big Fez for the start, no doubt to ensure that he fully recovers from his concussion.

With that said, I think the most value comes from seeing where our other contributors came in. Big Fez is coming along nicely folks, scoring 8 in 13 minutes of play and picking up 6 boards not to mention a MONSTROUS 4 blocks. Another encouraging performance came from Andre Walker, who was strong on the boards with 9 rebounds and also contributed 2 blocks, while also contributing 2 assists.

We've all been waiting to see how good John Jenkins is. Well I think we can safely say he can carry the three point specialist load at least at the outset. Jenkins played 16 minutes and was 3-5 from behind the arc. He also showed some ability on the defensive side of the ball, picking up 3 steals. But perhaps the biggest surprise was the play of Steve Tchiengang. In just 12 minutes of play, Steve T. picked up 11 points on 5-7 shooting from the floor. Steve T. gets lost in the discussion a little bit with the rest of our players, but this is a good indication that he can play the 4 for us this season.

Some overall notes on the positives of the game. After last season where the Dores were plagued by turnovers, there are encouraging signs that perhaps they've learned to take care of the ball better. They only lost the ball 8 times in the mean time forcing 16 turnovers from Alabama-Huntsville. They've also learned to really distribute the ball, as ten players contributed to 19 assists. If we can move the ball around with all the weapons we have on the floor, we're going to be very tough to beat on the offensive side of the ball.

Once again, we'll learn a lot more when Vanderbilt takes on St. Mary's in a few weeks, and Cincinnati after that. But for now, things are looking good.


Unknown said...

Supposedly A.J. was also battling a head cold, which would make sense because he looked slow at times but that could be lingering effects from the concussion.

Stanimal said...

We'll need A.J. down the stretch. The best news, however, is that Fez seems to be developing all his own. That's very encouraging given A.J.'s history of injuries and illness.

Anonymous said...

"Wins Its Exhibition." Possessive, not a contraction of it is.

Grammar check, ho!!!


Anonymous said...

Drawing conclusions from this game is like drawing conclusions from FB's game against Western Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Taylor is a stud. He looked effortless out there. Jenkins shot well, but played very good defense, I think that is going to be big for him. Steveie T was great in limited minutes. Overall the team played a pretty good game, we will have a much better handle on expectations after Maui, but as of now, I saw nothing last night that leads me to believe this can't be the best Vandy team in YEARS, like 20.

Stanimal said...

Disagree about the football comparison. In football, the players position limits their ability to contribute in other areas. There's no such limitation in basketball. A playcall doesn't cause someone to miss a shot.

While I agree that the jury is still out about how the team does against stiffer competition, you can certainly evaluate individuals a little better than in a football game.

VandyGold28 said...

I was there last night and UAH looked awful. I actually think they are better than that and showed some of it early in the 2nd half but they played horrible. I still got frustrated some with Vandy's ball control. We took care of it more than we did a lot last year but against a pesky team like UT we would've lost it a lot more. Beal once threw the ball right to a UAH player, we lost a lot of balls.

One promising thing was some of the second chance shots but the UAH guys were really small. Stanimal I agree with some of your points on how we can't compare like we could for football to WCU, but then again, UAH was not a tall team, not good defensively, and not a great rebounding team. Taller more athletic players are going to give us a lot more trouble and problems in the paint.

And I'll continue to say it. Fez is gonna have a great year. Ogilvy is always either hurt or sick and just like last night all his points come from the foul line. We're gonna need to rely on Fez and hopefully he doesn't get in foul trouble like he did last night (though he is prone to do it a lot).

Stanimal said...

Haha, VandyGold, I would jump in and defend A.J. after the little punch to the kidneys you gave him there, but I know we'd be battling in circles.

Regardless, it's great to see Fez playing the way he has. While I still think A.J. right now is badly needed for our team to be successful this year, I agree that Fez has tons of upside. And if we can get BOTH of them playing well, look out.

Stanimal said...

And also, my only point was that the players still have to hit the shots, and they still have to pass the ball around. I think those are two very positive stats we can take from the exhibition.