Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vanderbilt Loses to Arkansas 89-78

Rotnei Clarke and Michael Sanchez had the games of their lives, and Arkansas shot nearly 60% from the floor. Hard to know how much more could have been done to stop what just happened. What's not hard to know is that this is easily the worst loss of the season so far for Vanderbilt. At home no less. Begin ranting/commiserating.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a huge Vandy fan and alum I am crushed. By this one awful loss? Nah, I'll get over that. What I'm crushed by is finally coming to accept that Vanderbilt University will never house an excellent champion in any college sport that matters (read = men's football and men's hoops, not women's bowling).

What do I mean by this. Look, this was supposed to be our year on the hardwood. SEC title contenders. Please. We are slightly above middle of the pack.

Hoops is supposed to be "our" sport since Football sure as hek aint. Yet, we can't even manager 1 year where we live up to the talent.

Every other SEC school can hang their hat on something (save maybe Ole Miss and MSU).

Kentucky: they may suck at football but they win basketball titles

UT: they have won a national football championship in the past 2 decades, SEC titles in football, and elite 8 in hoops

FL: won titles in both

LSU: danced deep with big baby and has national titles in football

Auburn: national title in football

UGA: SEC championships in past decade in football

South Carolina: winning football seasons, decent ranking in football

Arkansas: National Champions in basketball in the past two decades and football success of late

Never have I been so down to be a Vandy fan. We have done nothing. We have nothing to talk about at the water cooler in the office when it comes to sports. Sure a good game here or there, a few sweet 16s, but absolutely nothing to shut up the big time athletic schools. NOTHING. Oh I guess we have a good engineering program. Yawn. I am sick of it!

Bobby O'Shea said...

This is a game we all looked past. You have to give Arkansas a lot of credit, they played a tremendous game and withstood every run the Commodores went on. Vanderbilt was never able to get over the hump.

Rebounding was a serious problem, but when a guy goes off like Rotnei did, and a kid like Sanchez scores 20 (averages 2), you're in for a tough night

Anonymous said...

Tough being a Vandy fan…the problem was we had no one who wanted to shoot. Listened to the radio show after the game and they said Tinsley only shot 4 times in the 1st half and 1 time in the 2nd… he’s our starting point guard and those are his numbers. I saw Taylor get the ball, dribble in, see Sanchez who had 3 or 4 fouls at this point and pass the ball out. Pathetic. I know we have a depleted roster but that should make our veterans (WANT TO) step up. Also, what the heck are we doing with Kyle Fuller? He’s a quick, decent freshmen point guard but has NO SHOT?! What are they doing with this kid in practice? Are they even helping him develop a shot? We are out of the SEC race unless we in our next 10 or 9. Don’t see that happening… I think we will finish 9-7 or 8-8.

Also, I know we will get Andre back soon but that’s not going to fix all of our problems. This team has issues.

Anonymous said...

@ Florida, @ Georgia, @ UK, and have UT, UF, Alabama (yes Alabama), and SC at home… this is going to be rough if we play like we did tonight

Anonymous said...

This was another pathetic loss that should have been avoided. This team does not have a closer. Jenkins tries but he is too limited off the dribble and opposing teams focus heavily on him.

We should have won at Missouri earlier in the year, but Tinsley choked down the stretch. We should have won at South Carolina but blew a huge 2nd half lead. Should have won at Tennessee too but blew a huge first half lead.

I don't think we have much toughness on defense. Jeffrey Taylor is a superb athlete but Rotnei Clarke destroyed him today. Sanchez took Ezeli off the dribble multiple times (Why was Festus even pressuring him outside the paint?)

I also thought this was the year Vandy could do something special, but I know think it's going to be another so-so year with an early NCAA exit (if we're lucky.)

Chainsaw said...

We, the Vanderbilt fans, need to stop freaking out so consistently, and over individual games, instead of looking at the larger scope of the season. The only two things that matter are: 1) Making the Tournament; 2) Winning games in the Tournament.

We're still playing well enough to make the tournament, and there's still plenty of parity in the SEC East to place well enough to win a few games in the SEC Tournament.

Yes, losing at home sucks, especially to Arkansas, which has been documented in Vanderbilt publications as the worst state in the Union, but there are still lots of games left, including many winnable home games against the UK, Florida, UT type schools that will bolster our confidence and respectability.

To the fans that piss and moan about Vanderbilt not winning such-and-such compared to other programs, get a life. You sound like someone looking for welfare. We haven't earned anything yet, but we will--eventually--if we keep gaining inches at a time, painful though they may be.

Chuck Heston said...

Last Sat. Bobby O'Shea posted 3 things that should concern CKS:

http://www.vanderbiltsportsline.com/2011/01/3-things-that-should-concern-coach.html

All were painfully evident against AK. At a certain point, when a player like Rotnei starts hitting from beyond the NBA arc, there's little that can be done. After the first couple, however, those shots should not be uncontested. Even well into the 2nd half, Rotnei was getting wide open looks, and for the most part he wasn't coming out off pick-n-rolls. There simply was nobody on him. Given the kid's stroke yesterday, I'm not sure it would have stopped him, but at least a couple would have missed.

In the end, AK displayed gonads-to-the-wall intensity on both ends of the court. A good lesson for VU for the rest of the season.

As for the 1st poster, I would simply say that the following SEC teams really don't have much to brag about when it comes to men's basketball: Alabama, Auburn, MSU, LSU, Ole Miss, UGA and USC. And when it comes to football: UK, USC, MSU, Ole Miss and Arkansas. So if nothing else, we're in good company and, oh yeah, playing as 1 of 12 teams in what is widely regarded as the best major conference for college sports.

Anonymous said...

I'm the first poster. You seemed to have missed the main point. So let me spell it out. Main Point: We've never been at the top of the heap for even one season in either of the 2 big sports in the past decade or two. NEVER! Every other SEC school save MSU and Ole Miss had their day in the spotlight where they were king of the hill. Us = never.

Anonymous said...

Chainsaw,

You write "We haven't earned anything yet, but we will--eventually--if we keep gaining inches at a time, painful though they may be." Please explain how Vandy is gaining inches. When I look at this team I see a regression. The early seasons losses (West Virginia, Missouri) were close games that came down to the wire, where the teams went back and forth the entire game. The scores of Vandy's next two loses may look close, but they were blown out in the second half against UT and USC, but those games were on the road, and UT does have a ton of talent, and the prognosticators told us UT would be really good, so perhaps one could argue we still made progress forward in that loss. I think that would be an extremely optimistic argument. I have never seen a team, with such a weird coaching situation, that had clearly given up on the game, come back and win, but UT did. I think this should have made it clear that this Vanderbilt teams lacks an important intangible, the ability to close, mental toughness, or whatever you want to call it.

I think many Vandy fans saw the win at Mississippi State as redemption and a sign of progress. However, Vandy immediately followed up that win with a game in which they got worked throughout the entire contest by a mediocre Arkansas team. Sure Sanchez and Clarke had the games of their lives, but good teams don't let a guy who had 17 points in the past 8 games go for over 18. So we have gone from losing close road games to good teams at the end, to being worked over at home by average teams. I don't see the inches we are gaining.

I, like many of us, was indignant when Vandy was picked to finish 5th in the East. At this point, I have to say it looks like the media go it right. We have one point guard who cannot break pressure, and who is too afraid to shot it after his terrible sophomore season and other point guard is a freshman who doesn't have a shot. JJ is a great shooter, but his game is limited, and he can be neutralized by defenses focused on him. Festus is the one bright spot. I am sure having Andre Walker back will help, but lets keep in mind he will not be in shape when he returns and he is already talking about quitting basketball. This worries me, because our team seems to lack passion, so I am not sure I want a guy who has already checked out in the locker room.

I do agree that we will limp into the NCAA tournament, but I think anticipating anything more than a first-round exit requires the suspension of reasonable disbelief.

Anonymous said...

So much negativity over one loss. Were you this down after Vandy beat Miss St. on the road? This was a tough game.

Arkansas is a good team that really doesn't have bad losses, we played them two days after a difficult road game, and they played better than they usually do.

I'm not making excuses, we should still win our home games and this one stings, but it's not the end of the season. It's a marathon, not a sprint. We learn from our mistakes (poor defense, got outhustled) and do better in the future.

As to previous losses, you can spin them any way you want. The loss to Missouri I put on Taylor for missing free throws not Tinsley for a bad pass or getting stuck with a 25 footer at the buzzer.

I will wait until we make the tournament and see the matchup before worrying about our chances to advance. I think this team is good enough to win their remaining games if they are learning from mistakes. But being in the SEC and having most teams being pretty good, I'd expect 1-2 more losses. Even at 9-7 we should still make the tournament.

Anonymous said...

I see the same problems in most every game… Jeffery Taylors inability to take over a game and Tinsley not shooting. Brad only took 5 shots and played 32 minutes. That’s ridiculous. I’m also tired of hearing Stallings say “our guys are nervous,” if that’s the case he needs to get in his players face with the same anger and frustration that got him a warning in yesterday’s game.

The 05-06 was a pretty big letdown based on the talent we had but a lot of people believe it was off the court issues. This team has been hurt by injuries and I could blame yesterday’s loss of that; however after seeing our starter’s performance it was clearly a lack of “wanting” to win the game. Luckily for us we have to figure out our problems on the road at Gainesville of Tuesday. Can’t wait…

Anonymous said...

Trajectory to even make the tournament is not good - Need to get back to basics like playing hard, rebounding and running offense.

Andrew said...

Is it just me or does Taylor usually play really well when the team wins, and completely suck/shy away/disappear when we lose. What is the problem? He needs to step the F up.

Andrew said...

Also, Tinsley should not be allowed to bring the ball up. I'd rather have Pryzebeski '04 handle the rock than Tinsley.

macpfled said...

unbelievable negativity! we will clearly be the best team to take the floor in almost every game when we have a reasonably healthy 9 man rotation. We have every bit of a chance to make a tourney run as every other team out there losing games like we are. Since when is a final four team required to be peaking in January? We can go 9-7 in the SEC win the SEC tourney and be the team nobody wants to play as a 5/6 seed. While Vandy can still lose to any team we most certainly can beat any team in the country. Quit your whining!

Anonymous said...

I like how everyone makes excuses for this team. The problem here was very, VERY simple. Defensive laziness. I would be extremely embarassed if I were Jenkins or Taylor. Can you seriously not D up Rotnei Clark? Really? Ill be in gainesville Tuesday, they better not embarrass me then.

Anonymous said...

Best synopsis yet!

Anonymous said...

Can we please make a decision on Tinsely? We rag on him for not taking enough shots, and then we rag on him for taking too many shots. I, for one, think he is a good and very valuable player. On the whole, he seems like one of our only guys who has the mettle to make things happen constantly. He made have made some bonehead plays, but he also drains a fair amount of 3s, and he continually sees when defense are off guard and slashes to the hoop for an easy layup. While he's not perfect, I trust him with the ball more than some of our up and down guys.

Anonymous said...

Defense sucked and our big guys didn’t step up when we needed them. Any word on how Lance is doing and when we might be getting Andre back?

Anonymous said...

some how vandy remains in both polls. and florida remains in the ESPN poll. coincedence that UF/Vandy play on ESPN tuesday night prime time and ESPN keeps both ranked? i don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Tinsley has had a lot of success against the press. The team is beginning to look like a disappointment in progress but Tinsley's weakness is not in bringing the ball up the court.