Monday, March 8, 2010

It's times like these...

…that I am reminded of how far we've come since the transfer of Keegan Bell. The loss to South Carolina at home on senior day was a tough one to swallow, no doubt about it, partly because of the consequences: dropping to #20/23 in the polls and a 4/5 seed in the projections. Players and coaches alike made mistakes that had me thinking Saturday's team looked all-too-reminiscent of the old Vanderbilt squads that would drop this type of late-season game en route to limping into an underwhelming performance in the SEC tournament. Not so uplifting.

Alas, the silver lining(s). At a time like this I find comfort in the knowledge that we have a great basketball team and can afford to be bummed/critical about dropping a game to a club dangerous enough to be one of only two to knock off Kentucky this year. Meanwhile, Keegan Bell is wallowing in mediocrity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his season over after a nearly 30-point loss to College of Charleston on Saturday. That loss for the Mocs was the capstone of a 15-18 season in which their highest home attendance was 4,734 (in a 95-64 loss to Georgia Tech) and Keegan shot the 12th best FG% on his own team (out of 15 players on the roster).

For those who are unfamiliar, Keegan Bell is the former high school coach's son who transferred out of Vanderbilt after his freshman season, evidently because he was miffed that CKS wouldn’t allow him to express himself artistically on the court (e.g., with between-the-legs passes and 30-foot shots ill-advised times). Don’t get me wrong: there is a strong-to-quite-strong chance that Bell is better at basketball than I will ever be at anything. But he also dogged the program in pretty bush-league fashion when he bailed, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of many a Vanderbilt fan. I hope that his And-1 mix tape production is going well and that he is pleased as punch with the decision he made. Luckily for the Mocs, it appears Bell hasn’t backed off of the self-glorifying comparisons of his own game to that of Steve Nash.

Forget the rankings we got today and forget the bracketology. You can do serious damage in the tournament from any of the top 4 or 5 seeds – what matters from here on out is winning. Let’s be thankful that as we head into the postseason, we have Jermaine Beal, John Jenkins, and Brad Tinsley in our backcourt. And while we’re at it, we should also extend a hearty thanks to Keegan Bell ... that scholarship space he cleared up really came in handy.


Chuck Heston said...

I remember worrying when I heard that KB transferred that Vandy would have backcourt issues. Am I not correct that in the game vs. #1 TN that KB was on the FT line to ice the game and shot 2 errent misses. TN inbounded the ball and put up a final shot that, while not close, I was not alone in dreading that it might go in. A bizarre dude.

Anonymous said...

Last I saw, K Bell was averaging about 7 points a game in about 30 minutes a game for the Mocs.

That's going about as good for him as the time Charlton Heston said to Michael Moore:
"I can give you some time tomorrow at about 10 a.m. - can you be here in the morning at 10 a.m.?"

I love that part of the movie. Great interview you ended up giving there "Chuck."