Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mmmm, gimme some of that deep-fried Gamecock — Vanderbilt whips South Carolina in Nashville

On Friday I was in Columbia, S.C., where everybody was talking about what a great coach Darrin Horn is, and pretty much taking for granted that the Gamecocks would roll all over Vanderbilt last night in Nashville. (Well, everybody but my brother-in-law, who thought SC was playing Tennessee, but then again my sister had just had their third baby and maybe he was thinking how much college tuition's gonna cost in 2027.)

Anyway, the Commodores looked as sharp as they've looked all season, racing out to a huge lead before winning 96-83. And the crowd was great even though most of the Memorial Maniacs were on spring break. (Pretty early spring break, huh?)

AJ Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal each rang up career highs in scoring with 28 and 27 points respectively. (The above photo's by the Tennessean's George Walker IV.) In fact, Vanderbilt's top four scorers — Ogilvy, Beal, Jeff Taylor and Brad Tinsley — scored 88 points on only 41 field goal attempts. By contrast, the Gamecocks' top four scorers scored 72 points but took 68 field goal attempts to do it.

Like Meeks a couple of weeks ago, Devan Downey got his twenty and change but had to take about a thousand shots to get it.

The encouraging thing, to me, was that our young guys are now winning every time they play in Memorial Gym. The loss in Athens hasn't freaked me out like it has some Vandy fans. We always lose to a weaker team on the road late in the season, and everybody else does too.

If we'd visited Florida and Tennessee this season before hosting them, I think we'd have split with them and we'd be 8-6 right now instead of 6-8. Our young guys had to get used to playing at home, as crazy as that sounds. Remember how Stallings said he couldn't believe how nervous the young guys were before playing at home and then playing on TV and then playing on TV at home?

Sure, it would have been nice to sneak into the big dance this year. But I've got no problems with the job Stallings is doing and the way this team is coming together.

How about you?


Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I think we have done pretty well. This is truly a rebuilding year and we have made real progress. Plus, we have had significant player absences at times through the season. Next year should be even better.
Thanks for your blog. I check it daily.


Thanks for the comments and thanks for reading.