Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Seth Davis Examines Vanderbilt: Says "Sell"

We tweeted SI's Seth Davis about why he omitted our beloved Commodores from his "Stock Picks" of the 2009-10 College Basketball teams. Well, he took heed and took a look at the Commodores. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to like what he sees:
Vanderbilt (11-3, not ranked): SELL
Tennessee's woes present the Commodores with an opening in the SEC East, but even if they do a little better than expected in the conference, I still don't see this as a team that can make hay in the tournament. Kevin Stallings likes full-court pressure, but he doesn't have the personnel to pull it off. The Commodores are high on skill (A.J. Ogilvy) and agility (Jeffery Taylor), but they are low on toughness. That shows up at the defensive end, where Vandy ranks 10th in the SEC in steals and seventh in rebound margin. When Vandy lost to Cincinnati in Hawaii, they got outrebounded by 18. That's the kind of rugged team the Commodores will face in the NCAA tournament (presuming they get there). Vandy hasn't made much noise thus far, but to me this is not a stock on the rise.

I think Seth Davis is one of the best analysts in the game, but I have to respectfully disagree with his assessment. Admittedly, I am a homer, so there's that. I think he's right about Vanderbilt's pressure and it's lack of effectiveness. I'm not sure however, it's a personnel issue. I think they have the personnel to pull it off, they just don't pull it off particularly well. Running the press makes sense when you are a deep team, which I think the Commodores are. However, if you don't run it effectively, it doesn't do a lot of good.

As for the toughness indictment, I think the jury is still out on that. Vanderbilt has never been the toughest team in America, but I think they are getting better. The rebounding statistics that Seth highlights are important, but looking at the Cincinnati game as an aberration (a reasonable conclusion given that it was our 3rd game of the year), Vanderbilt has a +3.9 rebounding edge over it's opponents (compared to just +2.1 when the Cincy game is included). Just to put that number in perspective, +3.9 would be good enough for 4th in the conference. I'm not making excuses, Vanderbilt's rebounding hasn't been as effective as it should be. With that said, since the Western loss, the Commodores have been much better at boxing out and going after loose balls. Vanderbilt runs a very effective 2-3 zone, but it's all for naught if they can't limit opponents to 1 shot a possession. Again, that will hopefully get better as the season progresses.

There is certainly reason for commentators to be skeptical about the Commodores, but I think (hope) this team shows how good they can be starting this Saturday on ESPN2 against the Gators.


Dr. MZ said...

Seth Davis went to Duke.

His association with Duke bleeds over into his coverage of all other teams.

He sucks.


Anonymous said...

I'll hold judgment until after the Florida game. That result will tell us about all we need to know.

Chuck Heston said...

Seth may be more accurate than I want to admit, however, I don't think it's a question of toughness. What is open to debate is Vandy's ability to execute the 2-3 zone against team's that have effective perimeter shooting. The last several teams have not shot well at all from the outside. That's not going to be the case in conf. play. I can see teams lighting up Vandy from the outside, and when Vandy goes man-to-man, the opponent just pounding the boards.

We will see.

Stanimal said...

Chandler Parsons is a special thorn in the Commodores side. We have to shut him down.

Andrew VU '04 said...

Are you claiming Parsons needs to be the new Matt Walsh/Nick Calathes? If so, I throw my full support behind thee. Vanderpersons, take heed: We must do anything and everything to get into this man's head. 1) Find a Ted Skuchas-esque Deep Throat who knows Parsons' contact information and email/text bomb him. 2) Riddle the gym with signs with Alan Parsons Project references. 3) Riddle the gym with signs filled with signs with pictures of Matthew Perry and write "Parsons" under the photo. 4) Boo every time he touches the ball. 5) Photoshop Parsons' face spliced with Joaqim Noah. Caption: Parsons is ugly.

Savor this moment, for tonight, we dine in hell!

Or something less dramatic.

Colin said...

That assessment is spot on through this point in the season. Disagreeing with it is pure homerism, and any arguments that start with well if you look at the last few games... are flat our retarded. Not saying we can't develop some toughness and turn things around, but no one other then Fez has shown any thus far. Personnel issue isn't changing though and the sooner we give up the press the better, a point many of us have been making since Maui