Monday, January 4, 2010

MTSU Post-Game Thoughts

I don't think this team is "there" yet, but there is no doubt that this Commodore team is getting better with each game they play. Vanderbilt handily defeated Middle Tennessee State 73-53 and played the kind of game fans were looking for in the team's last non-conference contest. Vanderbilt had 5 players in double figures, with Jeffrey Taylor leading the Commodore charge with 14 points on 3-7 shooting. More impressive to me, was the fact the Jeffrey scored a majority of his points from the free throw line. He attacked the basket and got himself into a rhythm that way. The Future, John Jenkins, had another great game, scoring 13 points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-6 from downtown. A.J. scored 10 and showed some fire early, but he picked up several cheap fouls relatively early in the second half and only played 14 minutes. Jermaine Beal played another solid game, pouring in 11 points, including scoring 8 straight points to help the Commodores build a lead in the first. Finally, Vanderbilt's final double-digit scorer was Festus Ezeli, who is continuing to show real promise. He explodes into the air, is developing some decent low-post moves, and plays with a lot of emotion.

Some team stats to consider: 18 of Vanderbilt's 26 field goals were assisted. Vanderbilt committed only 10 turnovers, a number that has to be (I won't actually do the research and verify) their lowest total of the season. Conversely, the Commodores had 10 blocks.

Watching CKS' body language, it appears as if Brad is in his dog house. It's equally clear that John Jenkins is ready to start. I wouldn't be surprised if Jenkins doesn't crack the starting line-up soon, I'll be surprised. Brad appears to be forcing the issue at times, and isn't as confident handling the ball as he should be. Still, I think it might be time to give Jenkins a crack and really show the league what an inside-out game with A.J. and The Future looks like.

What do you think?



For those who watched or were at the game, what do you think of this team headed into conference play? 11-3 record without a "bad" loss (Western Kentucky knocked off Mississppi State 55-52), the Commodores are getting better at the right time. Could it be that it's officially time to get excited about this team again?

12 comments:

E. Adams said...

Yeah, I've noticed the same thing about Tinsley. Stallings seems to get more frustrated with him then anything.

My only thought is that Jenkins gives the team a boost off the bench.

I guess coach wants to give Tinsley every chance to get going.

Chuck Heston said...

I'll reserve judgment until after the FL game. A solid performance at home against a good (but not great) FL squad would go a long way in jump starting my enthusiasm again. A lackluster performance (win or lose) from Vandy and we will likely be in for a long conf. season. In my opinion, the key indicator will be how well Vandy plays defense. A straight shoot out would concern me greatly.


One last thought, I believe that Vandy needs to get a lot of wins early, given that the 4 games with KY and TN will come later in the season.

VandyGold28 said...

keep jenkins on bench. he's good enough to start but fire from the bench is good.

Drew said...

Now that AJ is showing some "fire," does anybody agree that the missing link to this team being special is Brad doing the same? If he can't figure it out, let's go back to the Future.

B.J. Brinkerhoff said...

I think the rotation is set as is. If CKS was going to have JJ start, he would have tried that prior to SEC play. There's no need for JJ to start as long as he's getting enough minutes to be effective.

Brad's shots last night were on the mark, just a few in-and-outs and shots that just didn't go in. He did hit the nice 15 footer and the 3 point play at the end of the game, lets hope that gets him going.

Owen said...

i understand the thought to bring JJ in as a starter since he is "the future" and all but i think that runs the risk of stopping brad's development. seems to me that brad will be the starting point guard next year because there certainly isn't anyone else out there who can play that role unless stallings is planning to pick up a JUCO player or an amazing high school kid.

Stanimal said...

Jenkins needs to get 20 minutes a game and at least 10 shots.

E. Adams said...

Being able to bring Jenkins and Festus off the bench is a nice problem to have.

I guess the real key is who Stallings will play at crunch time. In a late tie game, I bet he goes with the freshman over Tinsley.

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

Like E. Adams, I'm less concerned with who starts than with who finishes.

Douglas James said...

Some people are already saying Kyler Fuller (PG recruit this year) will be the best PG recruited to Vandy during Stallings tenure. Unless Brad starts to figure it out soon I see his minutes starting to diminish (at the 2 position that is) more and more. I think Jenkins will be starting by the end of January.

Bob Loblaw said...

10 comments and nothing about the Stegosaurus? Come on!

Oh, and every time I see Tinsley with the ball I fully expect him to dribble it off his knee out of bounds. Give the ball to your best players and let them play. Tinsley is a (bad) spot up shooter and not much else.

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Vanderbilt Commodores, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Vanderbilt_Commodores-tickets looking forward to it.