Friday, February 25, 2011

VSL Hotline: THAT'S Why Jeffery Hasn't Been Dunking, Edition

Jeff Lockridge's Vanderbilt Insider blog on the Tennessean's website caught my attention. The piece is ostensibly about Jeffery Taylor being able to spend time with his father, Jeff, but that's not what jumped out at me. This is:
"Taylor spoke about his dad prior to practice on Thursday, at which time he had his right wrist wrapped in ice as he exited the training room. He said the injury is not serious but has been causing him pain, which stems from his wrist hitting the rim when he dunks. The thunderous breakaway slam he had against Tennessee early in the second half was the cause this time. 'It kind of flares up and gets really sore when I dunk a lot,' he said. 'I feel like it was the one breakaway dunk … I kind of did too much.'"
So that explains it. Jeffery Taylor's wrist bothers him when he dunks. That's why he's been reluctant to throw it down when he's close.

Now, I'm not making excuses for Jeffery's offensive struggles from close range. Whether its done by dunking or laying up, he's got to convert at a higher percentage around the rim than he has been. But this does provide some context.

The next story that drew my attention was this Bleacher Report story by Chad Minton asking "Can John Jenkins Shoot the Vanderbilt Commodores Through the NCAA Tournament." The story, while cursory for anyone who reads the in-depth analysis of VSL, AoG, or, concludes with this: "The reason why Jenkins is so tough to defend is his quick release, and that leads me to believe that NCAA Tournament opponents will have a tough time defending him. Don't sleep on the Commodores in the NCAA Tournament, because they have one weapon that very few teams can match." From his lips to God's ears. I will say that Tennessee's defensive performance showed why, at least now, John Jenkins is not Stephen Curry 2.0: he relies on others to get him the ball. John Jenkins was smothered by the Volunteers defense in the second half (then again, so was the rest of the team). Jenkins was 1-6 from the field in the second half, but 3 of those shots (all misses) were taken in the final 37 seconds. The best scorer in the SEC was held to just 3 attempts in 19:23 of action. If JJ is going to shoot the Commodores though March, he's going to actually have to shoot the ball.

Finally, check out my snapshot on the race for 2nd Place in the SEC East. While it's a little in the weeds, if you're reading this site, chances are you're right there with me.


AD said...

From someone who briefly watched the NBA for a few years during the last decade, I think JJ's closest analogue is pretty obviously Rip Hamilton. He was more about deep 2s than the 3 ball, but in terms of movement on the floor (flying around, running of a million screens), a natural shot, and nearly golden from the line-- but someone you don't trust if he dribbles more than twice-- I think that's the best comparison to JJ.

DRW said...

I noticed that removed Jeffrey Taylor from their 2011 Mock Draft and placed him in 2012 (see: If he stays another year with Vandy, I cannot even begin to fathom our potential. What do you guys think?

Seth said...

I liked the piece on the 2nd place finish. Call me optimistic, but it’s just as likely we could finish 0-3 as it is 3-0. Since Tuesday’s epic debacle, I have a feeling Tennessee will win out and ultimately win the tie breaker. I just think its going to happen.

That being said, I still like our chances to win out. I know Tuesday’s game was horrible (it took me 48 hours to move past it, if I’m over it) but everyone is entitled to an off night. Stalling won’t admit it, but he and the staff probably had the worst of the off night because the coaching was horrendous. Everyone was off, and probably over confident, heading into that game.

We had been too good since losing at Florida for it to be a fluke 5 game winning streak. Our final 3 games are tough but extremely winnable, and if there is anything Stallings has gotten better at in the past few years…its playing on the road. We are a pretty good road team and I think we can pull it off at Rupp.

Hopefully we will also settle on the rotation. We played our first full game with everyone back on Tuesday but sadly it was in defeat. If they can determine which pieces work best where now, we should get ready for an exciting March. Tomorrow’s game is HUGE because LSU has been playing “better” as of late. After Tuesday though, I can ‘t see Vandy looking past an inferior opponent.

CrocDownUnda said...

Calling it now. UK 76 Vandy 65