Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tinsley Gets First Triple-Double in Vanderbilt History; Commodores Cruise over Presbyterian

Vandy opened up basketball season with a bang last night, and Brad Tinsley supplied the exclamation point that one can only hope is a foreshadowing of things to come in his role as starting point guard this season. For the first time in the history of the program (that's a long time), a Vanderbilt player got a triple-double as Brad dished out a career-high 10 assists, grabbed 10 rebounds, and notched 11 points to lead the charge in the Commodores' 88-47 win over Presbyterian. Just for good measure, Tinsley also got 3 steals, 1 block, and only turned the ball over twice (I'd have to imagine he opens up the year near #1 in the nation in A/T ratio after that). For the first time in Kevin Stallings' 18-year career, he gave out a game ball, calling Brad's performance "maybe as good as we've ever had here."

I realize this was a weak opponent and there's only so much you can tell from a game like this, but you've got to feel good about this team after what they showed last night. For starters, check out the highlights. You'll see a team that looks incredibly confident and fluid across the board, including people like Festus Ezeli, who put up a career-high 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting with 6 boards. The Dores also got a career-high from Jeff Taylor, who played up to his NBA Draft stock by scoring 27 points and legitimating the talk about his stepped-up outside game by going 3 of 4 from behind the arc (he was a very impressive 11 of 12 from the floor).

The only negative in the game looks like a positive to me. John Jenkins struggled mightily from three-point range, putting up a big goose egg on 6 shots. He was 4-14 overall and scored only 10 points. I say this is a positive though, because it's nice to see not only that others can be effective when JJ's shot is off, but also that he's not our only outside scoring threat. Excluding Jenkins, the team as a whole was 9 of 16 from behind the arc.

Again, you can only tell so much from a game like this, but you have to feel like this team is getting off on the right foot. Five different career-highs in one game has to be some kind of record. Apparently Tinsley was gang-tackled by his teammates at midcourt after he got his tenth assist to secure the triple-double -- which has me hopeful that the energy and camaraderie are going to be in good supply this season. I wasn't there to see any of this, so if anyone was please chime in and give your thoughts on the game, the team, and Tinsley being the man.


Owen said...

I was at the game and listened to the post game with Stallings. Tinsley had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists at halftime. He asked his staff to keep an eye on what happened in the second half. When Vandy was up by 30 or so in mid second half, the starters were on the bench. Tinsley needed 1 more assist to get the triple double so they put the starters back in and he told the team, if you get a pass from Tinsley, shoot it if you have an opportunity.

The funny thing is, you didn't really notice Brad having a big game. He did it quietly. I've always thought Brad put himself in a good position to rebound as a guard and that obviously continued last night. It was good to see him distributing the ball so well. The team looked really comfortable out there. Ezeli just seemed way more confident and sure handed. There were a few times when he was trying to bank a shot in from really low on the post and i felt like those were shots he would mostly miss last year. He didn't miss last night. He wasn't defended like he will be later in the season but he just moved more confidently on the floor.

Taylor looked incredible and his shot looked so good. Walker doesn't look for his shot at all but he still does the little things. He'll continue to be a help bringing the ball up the floor on offense when needed. Jenkins was a bit disappointing because he couldn't get his shot down but that'll come around.

Overall, I was happy with the performance last night. I hope we can see the same from Vandy when playing much stronger opponents. I'm excited about the games they'll play in Puerto Rico.

Anonymous said...

Incredible game. And even though we played an insignificant opponent, it should be noted that some of our SEC foes struggled against the same type of weak teams. Does anyone have a link to the Puerto Rico bracket? If we are given the opportunity to play/beat UNC, I will call in sick to work just to watch.

Chuck Heston said...

Does anyone else feel like I do that this team could not only be good, but SCARY good?

Anonymous said...

Yes. If we stay relatively injury free and the defense continues to improve we cd be very, very good. It's nice that Brad has scored his points early, as if to prime the pump and then get back then to distributing the ball. The way he's playing takes away any need to push Fuller too fast. Knock on wood.

Anonymous said...

Good week on the basketball front, with very encouraging pre-season and opening play (albeit against weaker opponents), and Kanter being ruled ineligible (which will hopefully be upheld).

Unknown said...

Ah, VSL + basketball season. It's good to be back. . .

Stanimal said...

You said it Steve.

I've spoken about this with the rest of the VSL brain trust, and I've posted as such on this before, but I really believe Brad will shine at the point this year. He's always been a solid passer and has great court vision. The point about him being an excellent rebounding guard is also a good one. He finds a way to get himself into position.

This is exactly the kind of performance you need out of him. Not only does he contribute offensively, but he does so efficiently while distributing the ball and facilitating the offense. That's a tremendous advantage. His ability to rebound also helps us set up the offense faster and get up the floor quicker. It's obvious based on the way the game was conducted that Stallings and his staff have been coaching to have us speed up the pace a bit.

I thought Fez looked so much more fluid in the post than he has in the previous two seasons. Before he seemed to be either 1) too hesitant to take it to the bucket, or 2) too out of control getting there. Granted there was no one defensively on the floor that could match up with him, but his footwork was so much better than what I've seen in the past. That kind of play with Steve T.'s ability to supplement will really make up for losing A.J. in the offseason.

Get ready Vandy fans, we're going to have a good season.

Heim Thyme said...

If you just google: "2010 puerto rico tip off bracket" you'll get the bracket. It's a PDF file.

Go 'Dores!

Unknown said...

Nice to see Brad raise hell like that. I thought we would be a lil' broke this year without the Dolla...bad pun intended...but perhaps we'll be ok with Tinsley at PG.

I'm not worried about Johnny Cash going 0 for 6. The man in black will be just fine.