Monday, August 1, 2011

Top Seniors, Unnecessary Shot at Tinsley

Doug Gottlieb (who I generally like, I mean he does have an awesome first name right?) listed his top 12 returning seniors in college basketball. Jeff Taylor was the last guy he mentioned:

Jeff Taylor

A tremendous athlete who has improved his shooting in his time in Nashville, Taylor could improve his shooting even more, but Vandy's lack of point guard play hurts that. Taylor helps the Dores at both ends and on the boards and is their go-to scorer as John Jenkins is more of a shooter. Look for Taylor to have a huge year.

Couple things, one I am surprised that Festus doesn't get mentioned in this article. I honestly believe that when this season is in the books, Festus will the guy everyone remembers. I can see him leading this team to a Final Four and ending up a Top 10 draft pick if he improves a fraction as much this season as he did last season. He can be dominant like no one else on this team if he puts it all together.

Secondly, what's with the unnecessary shot at Brad? Gottlieb didn't say we lacked "elite guard play", nope he seems to say we lack point guard play altogether. I vehemently disagree and am surprised a smart guy like Gottlieb wouldn't appreciate the things Brad brings to the table. Listen, he isn't an All-American but is a very solid and dependable 1 in my opinion. Also, I don't think Jeff's problems shooting the ball have anything to do with our PG play.

I'd say Brad/Jeff are the most polarizing player's on this team based on what is expected of them and what they have delivered. But I think Gottlieb is being unnecessarily harsh on Brad and not giving Taylor enough of the blame for his poor shooting last season.

What does everyone else think?

That is all, I now return you to the doldrums of summer sports scene.


AD said...

I agree, Douglas. We saw Brad play very solidly last year, and I think he improved as the year went on in terms of stability and control. At the very least, he wasn't the sort of negative that warranted specific mention of an absence at PG.

Kitch said...

Didn't BT lead (or at least top 3) in assists in the SEC? I cannot think of how his play negatively affects JT's shooting.

Furthermore, the absence of Festus discredits the whole article. He will be a top 5 senior IMHO.

Seamus O'Toole said...

In fairness, I think the idea (although maybe Gottlieb phrases it awkwardly) is that Brad doesn't generate a ton of open looks for his wings. Most of his assists are perimeter passes, he's not creating a lot off of dribble penetration. His conservative style of play bodes well for the A/T ratio but entails some obvious tradeoffs too.

I'm sure I'll get slaughtered for this comment so maybe I should put an "I like Brad too" disclaimer on it.

Anonymous said...

Brad's a hybrid 1/2 IMO. I think our biggest Achilles heel last year was our ability to close out games. My uneducated view on this is that we lack a shot creater. Tinsley is solid. But, when compared to some of the quick-twitch penetrating guards, I think he isn't the best for creating open looks for a slash guy like JT.

Agree, it was bad phrasing by DG, but I think Tinsley is a double edged sword. The more we depend on the inside outside game of Festus/Jenkins (fundamentals), the better Tinsley is for VU. But, the more we depend on shot creation, slashing, and closing out games, the worse Tinsley is for VU.

Another view could be that Tinsley shouldn't be counted on for the non-fundamental moments in a game, and instead Jenkins should be better at creating shots and Taylor should be better at ball handling and finishing.

Andrew Smith said...

JT's perceived strengths are exactly the kind that should allow him to score no matter how weak the point guard.

He's not a pure shooter who needs the ball delivered at the very second that he's opened. He's not a low-post player who has nothing unless you can thread the ball down to him near the basket.

He's an athlete, the guy who gets the ball with nothing doing near the three point line and blows past the defense to create points from nothing.

His inability to actually be that player more than 20 percent of the time have nothing to do with BT, nor could they have anything to do with any point guard. I could be the point guard and it would have no effect on JT.

Writing crap like that makes Doug Gottlieb look like an idiot.

KarenA said...

I agree that the absence of Fes discredits the article. I also agree that Brad is solid and that while he isn't No. 1 in any one aspect of the position, he isn't responsible for Jeff's shooting.

Andrew VU '04 said...

Have to agree 100% with Seamus. Brad would make an excellent 6 man/combo guard to take the all the bench minutes from the guard position. This is not a knock on Brad, it's just a statement that he's currently a player playing out of position. Hopefully, Kedren Johnson can be the type of dribble penetration, ball dominating point guard our team needs to bring it all together. I like Brad, too, just not as a starting PG.

BY said...

Doug Gotlieb makes more dumb comments than anyone else at ESPN....I listen to him everyday...not because he is so good, but because he is the only one on when I am driving home....

I would worry too much about his opinion...bc he is rarely correct.

Stanimal said...

The fact that he's not a penetrating point guard doesn't necessarily make him a "bad" one. He's actually quite good at what he does. Tinsley sees the floor well, gets us in the offense, and does a good job of getting open looks. Of course, he doesn't penetrate and break down the D, and only on occasion Taylor has a good flash because teams are watching out for him to do it. Some of it is simply that Taylor has a somewhat one-dimensional game when he is not shooting very well. I fully expect that to change this year where I believe Taylor will finally show his versatility from the perimeter as much as slashing.

That being said, the media is continuing to underrate our freshmen. Two knocks against our team that are constant: 1) we don't have a point guard that can get into the lane, and 2) we play poor defense on the perimeter. Well people fail to realize that our two freshmen guards address that very problem. Kedren loves getting to the rim, and Dai-Jon is a lock down defender on the outside. I think that'll turn some heads this year.

Anonymous said...

brad is a solid ball handler and he is pretty steady. He is a 2 playing the 1. You guys mention the freshmen as hopefully being the saviors, I too hope they can come in and fill some of the gaps we have. The main gap would be our guard defense. Brad and John are not the best at this. While john scores alot of points, he also gives up alot of points. While brad is solid with the ball, he also gives up alot of points. This makes a difference when the team is loosing so many games by 3 points or less. Back up point guard gets no credit for his defense but he is the best on ball defender we have. He is also the best team defense player we have. Yes the freshmen got beat several times. I did say freshmen. Time to learn is what every freshmen needs. The hope of our guards,while we hope the new ones can help is the improvement of Kyle Fuller. Now, if Kyle can also hit some outside shots, that would open up his driving to the basket. He has shown that he can get there, now needs to play smarter and finish. Another problem with our perimeter play is our sreen and roll defense. Often, the big would screen our guards and the bigs do not play it correctly. That allows the opposing guards to have their way. Our lack of rotation on the defense is also a major concern. All we need to do is to tighten up the defense and we are a final four team.