Monday, November 16, 2009

Vanderbilt Wins Opener 95-73

Check here for the box score and the story from

I saw the last 30 minutes and was overall impressed. We played sloppy at times, but I was very impressed with how we played an up-tempo game, and moved the ball. This is a very deep team and it will be interesting to see how CKS makes sure all his guys get time. The team turned the ball over too much, and they were killed by Lipscomb's Josh Slater, who scored 20 and was pretty much unstoppable. If Vanderbilt can't stop him, want happens when Devan Downey comes to town?

For all the talk about A.J., the best player on this team very well might be Jeffrey Taylor, who poured in 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Beal netted another 17. But the highlight was definitely Jeff Jenkins knocking down his first career 3 pointer.

Who else from VSL Nation was there? What did you think?


Stanimal said...

It's very encouraging to see the level of balance we have on offense. Jermaine Beal has taken the next step as a three point shooter, and Tinsley is an extremely effective complement in the backcourt.

Folks, Jeffery Taylor is going to turn some serious heads this year. While these games aren't amazing measuring sticks, Taylor has performed extremely well in both openers, and it really seems like he's taken the next step in terms of his offensive production. Sky's the limit for Taylor.

I actually think that the performance of those three is going to lead to a more effective use of A.J. Perhaps an underrated point is that it mitigates A.J.'s weaknesses, namely, his endurance and his difficulty dealing with double teams. With both Big Fez and Steve T. capable of coming off the bench, I think we'll be able to keep A.J. fresh without losing very much in offensive production. That's not a knock on A.J., it's simply a point about how DEEP this team is, and it's really the best way to use A.J. as a whole (see the 2007-08 team).

Very encouraging performance from Lance Goulbourne tonight as well. His talent is unquestionable. If he keeps developing, just another weapon off the bench for this team.

This is absolutely the best situation for John Jenkins. No doubt playing in your first for real college game requires some adjustments. But contributing 7 points off the bench right now is solid production. The threes will start falling, no doubt about it.

Need to limit the turnovers, and perhaps that's the result of getting back into real game action for the first time. Defense also needs to improve. Finally, our post players HAVE to be more mindful of fouls. That's really the only thing that limits Fez's ability.

Slimbo said...

Caught most of the second half and was pleased with our overall energy level and J Tay's slash and shoot game. He's our star player now.

Flipside, Fez's rawness cannot be understated - I know everybody saw that first free throw. Also, Tinsley had the most assists for VU with 3. Three assists.

Way too many turnovers. I think we're still adjusting to a faster pace, and to Bobby's point, I think it's all to the good in the long run. Still, I'd rather see Dolla beat teams with assists and control now that we have so many legit scoring threats (though he did have some ESPN-worthy dishes with poor finishing).

Overall, I was disappointed that Lipscomb seemed quicker than us at some points. Size and shooting were always going to win it for us, but from what I saw, we seemed a half-step behind on D way too often.

If I sound pessimistic, I'm really not. This is the best Vandy team I've seen, but we've got some work to do if we're gonna make serious runs in Maui and the SEC.

Seamus O'Toole said...

No question in my mind Jeff Taylor is the best player on this team right now. Go Dores.

VandyGold28 said...

I was there and for the majority of the game I was not happy. AJ ended up with 13 but after the first half I think he only had 2 or 4. He looked weak, tired, and wasn't aggressive. He got some more baskets and foul shots in the second half but overall I didn't think he looked very good.

Jenkins went 1 for 5 from beyond the 3 line (or something along those lines - I didn't check the exact stat - just my memory). He had some good flashes and overall I think he may have been nervous for the first real college game. Hopefully his 3's drop a little better. All of them appeared to hit almost perfect but then bounced right out.

I wasn't impressed with our press. UT or UK or any athletic team (like Cincy) would break it down I think. We were definitely sloppy and even Beal was throwing the ball away a lot (at least it seemed - again, not sure on actual stats). I'm not sure the up tempo is the way to go. Look what happend to the football team when they changed to the no huddle. It may be because we are deeper than Lipscomb and we wanted to wear them down but against a more athletic, deep team I hope that is not the strategy we take.

Like all of you have said, Taylor is the man. He was the one positive thing I took away from the game. Beal's shots look good and I was also happy with Tinsley's performance. I recorded the St. Mary's game last night (I think it came on at 1 or 3am) and plan on watching it before Friday to see what these guys look like. Hopefully we can get that W on the road before Maui.

Stanimal said...

I would be surprised if we become a consistent press team. I actually imagine you'll see less of the press as the season goes on, but that it will be there when we need it to come out. We've never had the athletes to press before.

Steve said...

I was at the game as well. This team has tremendous up-side- (who knew brad tinsley could take it to the hoop with authority). However, many of the same problems are still present: sloppy defending on opponents key player (Slater), J Taylor missing mid-range jumpers (one wide open one on a break, I remember being particularly terrible), and of course AJ not being fit to play (I know, I know he is hurt/sick whatever- still, its been 2 years since he was healthy).

I think we are going to be in for a really really large challenge in our non-conference schedule. Mizzou and Illinois.

Anonymous said...

You guys are being overly critical in my mind. I watched the entire game. For those that only caught the second half or whatever, the first 10 minutes Vandy looked awesome. If anything Lipscomb got lucky to keep it as close as they did. Odd bounces, weird boards where we took it away from each other, deep 3 pointers as shot clock expired, bailout calls by the refs. Those guys were on the ropes the whole game. It could have been a 30 point game or worse. I was impressed Lipscomb was able to keep it as close as they did.

Even with our lack of assits, turnover, and poorly timed rebounding, Vandy still nearly dropped triple digits.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a pretty entertaining summary of the game. Not sure if it's cool to post about another Vanderbilt sports blog though.