Tuesday, January 26, 2010

As the Mustache Goes, So Go the Commodores

Anchor of Gold has a mesmerizing post up on "Who Drives the 'Dores." They analyze the stats of Vandy's starting five and correlate the numbers to determine whose play bears the strongest relationship to wins and losses. As you might guess, their conclusion is that A.J. Ogilvy is the "driving force" behind the team. While I question the validity of a statistical analysis that compares performance in wins and losses when there are only 3 losses to work with, it's an interesting parlor game nonetheless. The author also notes that the stats show Brad Tinsley's play is significantly worse when Vanderbilt loses, while Jeff Taylor "can be counted on to deliver" whether we win or lose and Jermaine Beal is "Mr. Consistency" as a scorer. I'll let you be the judge of these labels.

Other notables:

Jeff Lockridge has an interesting article about Brad Tinsley's turnaround over the past three games compared to his dismal performances in the first 15 games of the season. My takeaways from the focus piece are (1) that Brad works especially hard on his game after he's played poorly, and (2) that his problems in the early going were mostly mental. Did I say the article was interesting?

CBS has a preview on the UT-Vandy matchup that focuses on the inside matchup between Ogilvy and Tennessee's Wayne Chism, who has a hyperextended knee and did not practice Monday but is expected to play. Bruce Pearl, ever the exuder of confidence, sounds a tad concerned about his team's ability to score from outside when faced with a zone defense.

Those of you considering a wager for tomorrow's contest might be interested to know that your team is 10-6 against the spread this year, good enough for the #2 spot (down from #1 last week) and a "good bet" distinction in BetUs.com's SEC power rankings. (Editor's Note: It is the official position of VSL that VSL does not condone gambling on intercollegiate athletics.)

Check back tomorrow for Stanimal's killer preview of the big game at Rocky Top.


Douglas James said...

I agree it was an interesting read but def has some flaws in its analysis. Looking at AJ's scoring totals he has failed to score in double digits four times this season. In those 4 games we are 2 and 2. He scored a whopping 8 points combined against St. Marys and Chaminade combined. He scored 8 each in losses to to Illinois and Western Kentucky.

Looking further AJ outscored Taylor in the loss against Cinci.

In the loss against the Illini we had pretty diverse scoring having all starting 5 and the Future score at least 8 points a piece. However the problem there was Beal and Jenkins not shooting efficiently (which I think can get blamed on having to shoot our way back into the game after being down so much).

Finally in the loss to WKU, AJ only played 15 mins.

I've always believed that you can make statistics say whatever you want. We all know we need a healthy and effective AJ to win games. But clearly Jeff Taylor, Beal, Andre, Brad and Jenkins are all very important too. Much more goes into winning games then scoring. Defense, Rebounding, Ball Handling, scoring efficiency...etc, etc, etc.

God I want to embarass UT tomorrow night.

Douglas James said...

On a related note there is a discussion thread on Vandysports.com about AJ's future. A couple people there believe AJ won't be back next year (I guess he could go in the 2nd round but I really think he would go undrafted) but more likely go play in Europe or something like that. Not sure why he would want to do that. I mean at this point might as well graduate, get your degree and then go pro afterwards. I don't see how any of those opportunities would dry up after one more year of college ball.

While AJ drives me crazy, if we were to lose AJ and Beal this team would take a major step back in my mind (unless Festus takes major strides forward)

Bobby O'Shea said...

Is it too hyperbolic to say the Devan Downey could be the next AI? Kid is disgusting

Douglas James said...

I really wanted to be the team who knocked off UK. Dammit now we have to face UT and UK coming off losses. I know that shouldn't matter but I think that hurts our chances of winning either game.