Tuesday, March 1, 2011

VSL Gets Your Ready: Vanderbilt Travels to Kentucky in Hopes of Clinching SEC Tournament Bye

We're sticking with our "less is more" previews.

Kevin Stallings' Media Availability (Audio only)

VUCommodores.com's preview

Vanderbilt Game Notes

SEC's Worst Losses: Kentucky (Part 2) - Anchor of Gold

Vanderbilt must play up in order to win in Rupp, Tennessean, Jeff Lockridge

Improving Health Deepens Bench, Lifts VU's Postseason Hopes - Nashville City Paper, Jerome Boettcher

Bobby's Golden Nuggets:-
15+ Points for Taylor: This is taken directly from VUCommodores.com's preview, but it's worth reiterating: Vanderbilt is 15-1 this season when Jeffery Taylor scores 15 points or more (Missouri was the only loss).
- Kentucky Isn't Deep: They only had 6 guys play meaningful minutes in their 4 point loss in Nashville. The Commodores appear to be on the mend, giving them a legitimate chance to go 9 deep. When these teams met 2 1/2 weeks ago, Vanderbilt had 8 guys play 13+ minutes.
- The Wildcats are Young: Worse (for them), they are very undisciplined at times (a big reason why they've struggled as much as they have on the road). Where I expect this to manifest itself the most is on defense. Tennessee did a tremendous job last Tuesday against John Jenkins because they never lost sight of him, and never gave him enough room to shoot. UK, despite their best efforts, couldn't do that when JJ went off for 32 in Memorial.
- Box out Harrellson and Jones: UK grabbed 31 rebounds against Vanderbilt the first times these teams met; 19 of those were hauled in by Harrellson or Jones.
- Vanderbilt Has to be able to take a punch: Kentucky has won 32 in a row at Rupp. They haven't lost an SEC home game during the Calipari era, and their last loss was 2009 to Vanderbilt. This is all to say, they are a very good home team. At some point, UK is going to do on a run. Vanderbilt can't panic. The good news for Commodore fans, is we've shown an ability to hang around on the road and win games despite falling behind (see the Georgia game). Ideally, the Commodores won't put themselves in this position, but if they find themselves trailing in the 2nd half, that's no reason to panic. If Vanderbilt can get it close, they can win. This season, Kentucky is just 1-5 in SEC games decided by 5 points or less.

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