Friday, March 13, 2009

OK, so Vanderbilt is not going to the NCAA tournament

Is anybody really surprised that the Commodores are one and done in the SEC tournament? Stallings has never had success there, and this young team seems shell-shocked the first time they do anything — first home game, first road game, first SEC home game, first SEC road game, first Raycom game, first ESPN game, first CBS game, and now first conference tournament game. And soon to be first NIT game.

This has been a fun season, though, with a lot of hope for the future.

As for last night's loss to Alabama, let's just forget it ever happened. The foundation of our team — A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal — combined for 13 points on 4-18 shooting, and 1-10 from three-point land. Ogilvy got off only seven shots, but tried to make the best of it with six assists and eight rebounds.

Late in the season, the Commodores were successful because they went to the charity stripe an insane number of times while keeping the opposition off it. Not last night. Vandy shot 17 free throws, making 13, but sent Bama to the line 28 times, and the Tide responded by making 25 of them.

Vanderbilt couldn't make three-pointers early, while Bama didn't even try, instead launching a dunk-a-thon that was pretty entertaining.

Bright spots included Brad Tinsley, who had 20 points on 5-10 shooting from three-point land, and Jeffrey Taylor, who scored 17 points on 11 field goals, grabbed six rebounds and did a nice job of passing the ball and playing within the system. And George Drake had 14 points and four steals in 19 minutes, though it's not necessarily a good sign when Stallings takes the wraps off Drake — his biggest games have come when the guys who are supposed to step up don't and the team falls behind.

Anyway, hopefully we'll get to host some NIT games instead of, say, having to travel to Robert Morris. Wherever that is.

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