Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This is Where the Fun Begins

Ever since the Cincinnati loss, we've been waiting for this team to demonstrate some signs that it was jelling.

That wait is over folks.

The Commodores took a punch in the mouth Saturday that put them on the canvas last year when Florida came out shooting over 57% from three in the first half of play. The rather uncharacteristic three point performance was incredulous to say the least. Though they ended the game at 48% from long range, that is still a ridiculous statistic for team shooting from three.

That effort from the Gators was not entirely a result of our defensive play. Boynton was taking some ridiculous shots. And though we had trouble finding little Erving Walker at time, I was plenty impressed by our defensive presence. In truth, Florida gave us what I would consider to be its best performance and we took it completely in stride on our way to an 8 point victory.

That's the sign of a team that's maturing. There were so many indications of our promise on Saturday. We broke the press almost effortlessly, thanks to smart decision making and the incredible value that Andre Walker's ball-handling brings. Though we missed what I thought to be some open looks (such as Jeff Taylor standing wide open on the baseline), we passed the ball effectively and got people in position to score. We absolutely killed Florida in the paint, getting them deep into foul trouble and ending their possessions with good rebounding. We forced them to take shots with minimal time left on the shot clock.

This is what Commodore fans had hoped to see when the season started. A team that had a gameplan that it stuck to, and that clicked on all cylinders. As a result, we got a huge opening SEC win. Make no mistake of its importance, this is a massive confidence booster for our young squad. Seeing the fruits of playing disciplined ball as wins against good teams encourages them to continue to hone that disciplined game.

As a result, this is where the fun begins for us fans. Though we still must prove ourselves on the road, I feel confident that we are going to be a big obstacle in the confines of Memorial, and I believe now, finally, that we are heading in the right direction as a team.

5 comments:

Chuck Heston said...

As a long-time 'Dore fan, I've yearned for the day when Vandy, like other big-time programs, could build momentum coming off a great victory and real off 5-6 straight conf. wins. Needless to say, I'm an eternal optimist, however, it has happened, and even in recent memory. I believe the 2007-2008 squad had a string of consecutive wins in Jan. The question is, does this team have the stamina to play the next several games like they played against FL? All of the leaks that were of such concern earlier in the season have been plugged. Would love to see the 'Dores go on a roll, especially before facing KY and TN.

VandyGold28 said...

i would agree that we should do quite well in memorial. in fact we have a very good shot of going undefeated at home. UT, UK, & Miss State are going to be obstacles but i believe in memorial it could happen. alabama is a huge test on the road tomorrow and if we can pick that game up we can start off really well. in fact i think it's necessary. if we drop two on the road this week, beat auburn we're 2-2 and in trouble as we have @ UK & @ UT up next. that will surely get us to the 2-4 mark. however, if we can sweep on the road we have a very good chance of being 4-0 heading to these two games with a potential top 25 ranking. it could make all the difference for the entire season. i really hope they don't disappoint....

VandyGold28 said...

ryan hamilton was denied a 6th year of eligibility after missing pretty much every game this year. that really sucks....

E. Adams said...

Great read. I agree, its a lot of fun to follow this team.

I think the Florida win gives us the ability to split these two road games. But, if Vandy is going to be a great team, they will take care of these next 3 (like VandyGold28 said) and start 4-0 in SEC play.

Remember that Bama almost took down Purdue, so they are a very capable team. Their other losses are Kansas State, Cornell, and FSU. All pretty good teams.

GREY said...

and cornell came at the very first of the season when teams havent quite found there groves...now vanderbilt defintly needs to hit the gates running because fallin behind early could cost them...If brad starts clinkin we should be even better