Thursday, April 8, 2010

A.J. Hiring Agent and Turning Pro

Folks, the time has come. A.J. Ogilvy will not be returning to Vandy next year.

In the back of our minds, we knew this was going to happen. We had hopes that perhaps he would only enter his name in the draft and would refrain from hiring an agent. But now we know that A.J.'s run at Vandy is over.

Though this news has been a long-time coming, the interesting question is how this affects the team dynamic. Having come to terms with our loss to Murray State, I am now ready to consider those questions before putting an official bow on the 2009-2010 season and looking forward to 2010-2011.

In my mind, this team will have to lean heavily on Tinsley, Taylor, and Jenkins next year. We certainly could be in a "worse" position, but with A.J. I thought we would be much more formidable. At least one thing will be certain: next year, we will no longer debate about A.J. as a Commodore. Let me say that I loved having A.J. on the squad for 3 years, and he will be remembered as one of the best to come through the program.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sucks.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Prediction: A.J.'s living in Europe by end of summer and Festus makes 2nd team All-SEC next year.

Stanimal said...

Agree with the first, do not agree with the second.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Stanimal - "Your gosh-darned negativity, I don't need it. I'm an idea man. I thrive on enthusiasm. Don't think take the wind out of my sails."

Stanimal said...

Believe me Seamus, I WISH that it would come true. But I think you're better off hoping that Tinsley, Taylor, and Jenkins average at least 17 a game a piece.

Anonymous said...

Steve Chaingang become the new starting post player and has a breakout year.

Festus will be a reserve.

Goubourne will get lots of minutes.

Stanimal said...

Zero doubt about it. Unless Fez VASTLY improves on the offensive side of his game, I just can't see him beating Steve T. out for the job. I love Fez, I love what he brings. But he simply turns the ball over too much as a post player to get a multitude of minutes. Although I do like the possibility of him playing a Zoubek-like role where he simply gobbles defensive boards and grabs everything that Tinsley, Taylor, and Jenkins don't hit.

Bob Loblaw said...

A.J. is the next Darko Milicic but not drafted nearly as high.

AD said...

AJ's agent predicts a late first-round selection, according to CKS.

I mean, really?

Anonymous said...

honestly, how can you be sad this loser is leaving. he has done nothing but underperform his entire career. he has talent and has had no work ethic. I am extremely happy he is leaving. If you aren't--then you are SERIOUSLY underestimating Steve and Festus. SERIOUSLY underestimating. AJ put up great numbers against terrible competition--when push came to shove he fouled out or played like the girl he is.

Stanimal said...

Anonymous, I honestly can say that the ONE thing that I am happy about with AJ leaving is that he will no longer permeate posts with things that are as ridiculous as that comment right there.

AJ may not have been the one and done star we thought he could be, but he was far from a loswer and far from a girl. He leaves Vanderbilt as one of TWO players to have 1000 points and 100 blocks. He was fully capable about putting this team on his back when no one else could put the ball in. AJ's career with the Commodores, while not what we all hoped, was far from one of a loser and far from a disappointment.

As for Steve and Fez, that is a totally unrelated point. Just because I am not happy to see A.J. leave does not mean that I underestimate Steve and Fez. Maybe Fez and Steve come out and average 7 ppgs a piece while averaging 4 boards a piece and thus equal the average production of the big Aussie (except at the free throw line, which you KNOW they will not be able to replicate). But you absolutely cannot guarantee that kind of production out of those two. A.J. was a guarantee of at least that. Like it or not, he was a valuable cog.

VandyGold28 said...

AJ will be missed no doubt. Steve T. needs to keep his progression up and Festuz needs to get a lot better. The Henderson kid is 6'11 but looks lanky. If he doesn't red shirt and bulks up he could also be a help. 3 shall replace 1. AJ will definitely be missed no matter how awful he could be at times.

Stanimal said...

Gosh, forgive the awful grammar. In my rage/jubilation over the end of these AJ posts I managed to typo-butcher the hell out of my comment.

Anonymous said...

Obviously a huge loss for the Dores, but I think it will help quicken the development of Taylor, Tciengang, Fez, and Goulbourne. Without a lanky big man with a sneaky good touch near the basket, those other players will have to step up and play to their abilities.

Anonymous said...

Guys, I really don't get how this a "huge" loss. Did AJ play consistent defense? No. Did he get owned by every other decent big in the conference? Yes. Did he fail to work hard since he was a freshman? Yes. Did he become invisible when push came to shove? Yes.

You can throw out the points/rebounds or whatever statistics you want. But this guy had no heart. Stallings comments about him leaving said it all. 7 pts and 4 rebounds is pretty ridiculous for both Festus and Steve. Are you guys just blinded by the fact that AJ is a White Big? Another wanna be Will Purdue?

have some faith in steve and fest who play with toughness, grit and determination. I guarantee you we will get past the first round without this pansy. Addition by subtraction.

Stanimal said...

THAT is a productive comment, and I think you're right. The balance of the scoring will shift from the paint to the perimeter, and that group of guys will be counted on in a supplementary role.

Despite my defense of A.J. as noted, I do think that our rebounding has a chance to improve. While I can't knock A.J. for his scoring ability, his rebounding was a very frustrating trait. As long as we can keep Fez and Steve ON THE FLOOR (i.e., they learn to stop fouling), I like our chances to be a better rebounding team in 2010-2011.

Stanimal said...

Not the second anonymous' comment, but the first.

VandyFan said...

I'm not going to lie, I'm excited about him leaving. Mostly because as a fan, I'm ready to move on from the AJ era. Vandy is a better basketball team with A.J on the floor, but I don't think I could take another season of lackadaisical, seemingly uninterested play from AJ. He was single handedly the most frustrating player in Vandy history to watch.

Everything I'm seeing from draft boards online shows anywhere from the 45th overall pick to the 90th. Which puts him somewhere between the mid 2nd round and mid 3rd. I would not be surprised to see him go undrafted, so unless his agent has some very specific information from a team who is very interested, there is no way he is drafted in the 1st round.

My opinion is that AJ did not want to come back to school and work on his game over the summer, so he is declaring, signing an agent and just hopes to make a roster and make a little cash before going back to Australia to play on a team there. In my opinion it's such a shame to have that much raw talent for the college game, that will never be realized due to a lazy on the court work ethic.

Stanimal said...

For all our sakes we need to hope that Jeffery learns to shoot and starts averaging 20 a game.

VandyFan said...

I just realized ending my comment with what I said, made it seem more critical than I wanted it to be. I'm sure AJ is a good kid (frosted hair and emo music aside ;) ) It's just frustrating as a fan to watch someone who has a chance to be really special, wallow in mediocrity and not really seem to care. I've said since the start of his sophomore year, and I still believe it's true, I think AJ is just a big guy, with some God given basketball ability, that really just doesn't care about the game one way or the other. I guess this still sounds critical.. haha.. maybe I'll just stop now.

Steven said...

AJ's departure takes away an invaluable scoring option, but I think we have enough talent to play at the same level next year, if not better. It might have been a bigger loss to lose Taylor, and I only hope he can mature into a consistent player next season. I also second the prediction that Steve T will have a breakout year. He is very talented and a hard worker. He contributed some really valuable minutes this year and played well on both ends of the floor.

Stanimal said...

I too share the enthusiasm over Steve T. Do I think he'll be score 15 a game next year? Probably not. But I think he's going to evolve into a VERY valuable piece for us next year. The future is still very bright.

Thomas said...

I could not agree more with VandyFan!

VandyFan said...

Stanimal I too am excited about Steve T. One thing I see from him everyday via twitter and FB is that he is in the gym working, and is excited about it. If I weren't a Vandy Fan I would never even know that AJ played basketball..he never EVER talks about it. Which is part of why I feel like he just doesn't really care one way or the other about the game or getting better.

Steve is full of energy and enthusiasm.. and whether he averages 15 a game or not, I will as a fan appreciate him for the effort he brings every night.. same with Big Fez... effort and enthusiasm.

I really hope somehow.. someway.. Jeff Taylor finds a jump shot over the summer... he has the potential.. and the opportunity this coming season to explode.. and we will need him to be huge.

Thomas said...

How many Kentucky Wildcats get drafted before AJ? 4- 5?

Doug said...

Uhh, seriously? 5. Without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

As much as this year's team has achieved, and AJ clearly contributed to that achievement, there were not many games of all out hustle by the whole team; the lackadaisical example he set may have been contagious. Even in many wins the team did not play with energy and abandon. Even when they were winning I felt they would break our heats, as they did, because of reserved effort. I'm glad he came here, and truly I'm glad he's gone.

Anonymous said...

Stanimal, here's a productive comment: no fan who knows anything about the college game ever thought AJ had one-and-done potential as you suggested.

You, and many others like you who know very little about the game, have hyped AJ up from the beginning with absolutely no return on that hype.

You said "I love Fez, I love what he brings. But he simply turns the ball over too much as a post player to get a multitude of minutes." Wow. Add in a large helping of downy softness and that sounds a lot like AJ to me.

Will we be better off without him? I think there is a strong possiblity. AJ would have only been another big in a rotation of 3 to pick up fouls while turning it over. However, AJ would have also sucked up too many failed attemps to get the job done inside - and failed per usual.

With AJ gone, we can distribute the ball more evenly to become more efficient, whithout his all too present black hole (but i have this look on my face like I'm awesome and its some one elses fault) play.

Moreover, we can spend more time developing Fez and Steve in the offseason, throughout next season, and in 2 years return as one VERY strong threat nationally.

So long AJ. We appreciate your play while you were with us big man.