Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vanderbilt loses heartbreaker to Kentucky 68-66

The Commodores trailed twice by 13 in the second half. While the team came up short, you have to like the way the team fought back and put themselves in a position to win. Say what you will, but I don't think the Commodores have anything to hang their heads about with this one.

20 comments:

christine said...

I agree completely. I'm actually happier with/prouder of this loss than I am with a few of the wins because the heart and soul of the team was there and we managed to fight back. Let's learn from it and make sure the same doesn't happen in either of the tourneys. Go 'Dores!

FiveStarDore said...

My thoughts exactly. They played a tough game against eight players (three zebras) but fought like lions to come back and have a chance to win. UK is a young, infinitely talented team that should have put us away, and earlier in Stallings' tenure they would have. But I give CKS credit tonight for making a lot of good moves, feeding Festus in the post all night, getting some great looks for Jenkins and letting Tinsley run wild with the ball. Nine assists and zero turnovers, Brad is not a small part of what makes this team so fun to watch and so dangerous heading toward the Madness of March.

Chuck Heston said...

Allow me to quote Charlie Sheen on what matters from here on out . . . . "winning!"

Anonymous said...

I'm still sick of moral victories, we've got to beat Florida and turn into UT and Georgia fans.

DRW said...

Couldn't agree more. Not only was this a great game (albeit a tough loss), but i was so proud of the way we fought back in the second half. If/when we beat Florida on Saturday, I'll consider this a very successful week, bye or no bye.

Bobby O'Shea said...

No one is calling this a "moral victory," and I don't think anyone is satisfied with this result. With that said, there is reason to feel OK after the loss (something that's unusual). Part and parcel of "same old Vandy," are fans who seem to think the sky is falling every time we lose. Good teams lose all the time and all losses aren't created equal.

Anonymous said...

Question. What IF we loose to Florida and UT beats UK...do we finish 4th?!

Bobby O'Shea said...

If UGA wins, we finish 4th

Douglas James said...

I'm sorry I could care less about how well we played and how tough we played against a very talented UK team. This team (for 2 years now) has consistently come up small when it matters most. Whether it be blowing leads against inferior teams, failing to show up completely against inferior teams or not having that one or two baskets needed to beat more talented teams.

While losing this game is not that big of a deal all I could think the whole time is how talented the past 2 Vanderbilt teams have been and how disappointing and uninspiring they have been. We have had point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and centers. The only thing you could say we have been missing is a true dominant power forward. But what have they accomplished? I would argue unless this team really turns in on RIGHT NOW, then they have accomplished NOTHING. I could care less about making the tournament. I want and expect a team this talented to make the sweet 16 and to battle for an elite eight or final four.
I expect a team with this many veterans to be a top 15 team for the entire year.

I really hope they prove me wrong but I haven't seen anything (when it actually matters) to prove that this team is anything more than a very generic team who is guaranteed to make the tourney and maybe win a game.....

I think this program has moved past that being the end goal.

Because its nothing that this team isn't talented, its that guys miss layups in the beginning, guys turn the ball over, guys take terrible shots. You can do that when you are uber-talented like UK, but not when you are Vanderbilt. And thats not what I expect from Juniors like Taylor, Gouldbourne, and Festus.

Sorry for the venting but I watched my New York Islanders blow a game against the Washington Capitals just to come home and watch this. Just once I want to have a special season where things come together. Maybe it will be next year for the Vanderbilt Men's basketball program.....God I hope so.

Anonymous said...

We finally showed some heart, which is very encouraging. This is not a loss, in and of itself, to be ashamed.

I am, however, afraid to report that this loss is part of a disturbing trend: Vanderbilt loses a close game, to a quality opponent, outside of memorial gym. Look at the schedule, this team has not won a close game outside of Memorial.

The unfortunate about thing about March basketball is that the games are close, not played in Memorial Gym and the opponents are good. I hope I am wrong, but I just can't let myself believe that this team can win a game in the Tourney. I guess it is a case of fool me once Vandy, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

thegoche said...

For one, FiveStarDore mentioned the refs, and I have to disagree about that. This was one of the few games that I've had no real complaints about.

If you were annoyed today, I don't know that you'll ever have an SEC crew satisfy you.

And for DouglasJames, I just have a problem with calling this coming up small. We played really well, with a lot of heart. We didn't choke. I don't know, just compared to the other losses this season, especially in SEC play, this was the least frustrating. Honestly, I think on a neutral court, playing like we did today, we would beat Kentucky and probably most other teams.

Anonymous said...

Go beat UF.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to dismantle Florida

Khayes said...

Not to be a Debbie-Downer, but the 8 missed lay-ups in the first half makes the W in our column! I'd have them practice those type of shots @ least 150 times before we take on FL. I have every belief in the world that we can shake things up in the tourney, and we can even go deep, but we have to have all five players on top of their game, and even 6th & 7th man off the bench wouldn't hurt. I am especially proud of the fouls that we haven't been committing, that's a key to any game!

Shake it off boys, you did great! Let's go get us some Gator tail on Saturday! GO 'DORES!

Andrew said...

I'd agree with a lot of what Douglas said, but I think this team can still redeem itself -- the entire season up to the tourney matters about 1/4 as much as the tourney itself -- and I think the way they lost this one shows they have at least a shot of doing so.

They just have to believe in themselves -- not in that sad, underdog way of believing that miracles can happen and not in that complacent way that sends you out flat and lets inferior teams beat you.

They need to believe in themselves in that cocky, arrogant and energetic way that not only allows you to beat good teams but gives you extra energy to crush bad ones because there is nothing you enjoy more in life than embarrassing lesser men.

And this team can well do that because it's easily the best man-for-man team in the SEC.

My hope is that the second half of the UK game spurs something inside of them, something called anger, when they realize that they utterly dominated the supposedly more talented UK -- at Rupp -- any time they simply played competent ball.

What would indicate that they have finally woken up?

A win against Florida, obviously -- but not a hard fought victory against a great opponent that you folks here would call a good win. It needs to be a drubbing of a vastly inferior team, because that's what Florida is.

Then comes a victory in the SEC tournament, not a squeak-by victory but a big resounding victory with us not playing a second-half minute with less than a 10-point leade because -- again -- there's not a team in the conference that should have any real shot of beating us on a neutral court (or its home court for that matter) -- if we wake up.

That may sound overly optimistic, but if you don't believe that Vandy can win the SEC tournament very easily, you don't believe that we can do all that well in the NCAAs, because the SEC is not good this year.

As for the NCAA tournament, anything under the Elite 8 will be disappointing. (Ok, assuming we don't get such a lousy seed that we end up playing Kansas in the second round.)

Do I believe this could happen? Yes. The good thing about mental blocks is that it's possible to overcome them in a moment. If this team had no physical talent, there'd be no chance of that changing, but that isn't the problem with them. (I'd argue this is the second most physically talented team in the SEC and our least physically talented player, BT, finds ways to play with everyone. As for basketball talent, which is what actually matters because bball isn't a track-and-field event, we're easily tops in the league.)

Do I believe it will happen? No. The thing about mental blocks is they tend to escalate as the pressure does. I think we'll eke out a close victory against Florida that will wrongly excite people here. Then I think we'll win a game or two in the SEC tourney but lose the instant we face a decent team and then bow out in the second round of the NCAAs -- because we're generally gutless.

If we do underperform -- again -- the offseason practice needs to be just as intense. If JJ, LG, BT and Fez all improve as much this summer as they did last year, this team will have as much basketball talent as any team in the country. But the off season regime will also need to include daily sessions with sports psychiatrists because basketball ability is not what it's about for this team.

AD said...

@ Khayes: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gator+tail

I share Douglas' frustration. Got to get on a roll here and play up to our potential consistently from here on out.

Anonymous said...

No one stepped up at crunch time - need to smack UF on Saturday.

I see students on spring break - any tickets availabe?

Anonymous said...

Stallings is 1-10 in the last game of the regular season at Vanderbilt. Just saying.

Seth said...

Haha is he really?! That is a TERRIBLE Stallings fun fact!

I’ve been hard on Taylor but have to give him credit in his last two games. He typically plays a great game, gets fan expectations high, and then doesn’t show up the next game or 2. I thought his back to back performances against LSU and UK were the best he’s had had all year.

He’s also doing better about shaking off bad opening shots. I think he started 0-4 last night on easy lay ups and recovered to score 16. He wasn’t doing that at the beginning of the year. I really think the guy is playing his best basketball right now and that’s great for us.

Anonymous said...

Ive said this before and I'm gonna say it again...

Until this team fixes the problems that have plagued us all year, they are going no where. We have not played a full 40 minutes all year which is inexcusable at this point.

Yesterdays first half is a glaring example- we turned the ball over something like 8 times in the first half, missed several layups..this all led to us being down double digits and giving up way too many points for one half...We end the game with a total of 12 TOs, we out rebound them, and the game is played in the 60s. Unbelievable how two faced this team is. We have come out flat every game the since the Georgia game. This needs to stop. We let teams hang around far too long by unforced errors and stupidity. Until Stallings gets through to these guys, they are a first round ncaa upset special again.