The Ramblings and Ruminations of a Vanderbilt Undergraduate from Franklin, TN

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back in Busines

We'll be in touch soon...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Practice 2009- The Best and Worst in Nashville's Springtime Weather Patterns

The 2009 Vanderbilt Commodores opened spring practice at The John Rich Practice Facility on Tuesday afternoon. The players and coaches were treated to record high temperatures (80 degrees) and not having to answer the normal "is this year the year you go to a bowl?" line of questioning after knocking off Boston College 16-14 to win The Music City Bowl on New Years' Eve 2k8. Three months later the 'Dores seem eager to put it all behind them and get back to work, and who would blame them? Vanderbilt returns 19 starters from a year ago including the entire offensive and defensive lines. The biggest task for coaches this off season will revolve around replacing the play-making ability of departed CB/WR/PR D.J. Moore, who elected to fore go his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. BoJo & Co. find themselves with another difficult decision at QB for the second consecutive year as R-Sr. Mackenzi Adams and R-So. Larry Smith figure to compete for the starting spot. Though the WR corps will certainly miss departed seniors George Smith and Sean Walker, UCONN transfer Terrence Jeffers will look to make an impact this fall with his freakish combination of size (6'2", 225lbs) and speed (4.4 ). Speedy WR John Cole will also return to action after missing nearly his entire freshman year due to a knee injury sustained in the Commodores' first game last season. The increased depth at WR this season allowed coaches to return do-it-all player Jamie Graham to his natural CB position to address depth issues there.

Despite the nearly ideal weather for practice on Tuesday, today's session was cancelled due to inclement weather. Temperatures are in the 30's and Nashville has been bombarded with a lovely concoction of snow and ice all day. Friday's session is still slated to take place.

This spring seems to be all about getting reps in for the younger players in an effort to help the coaches evaluate players that they haven't seen as much, as well as to help the players who don't normally get first team snaps. Several key returning players including DE Broderick Stewart, RB Jared Hawkins, and CB Myron Lewis will miss part or all of spring practice as they rehab injuries. Lewis' absence is of particular importance as CB's such as Alan Strong and Casey Hayward will have ample opportunities this spring to earn some playing time next fall. Coaches have also stressed the importance of using the spring sessions to help the players gain a greater theoretical understanding of Vanderbilt's offensive and defensive schemes.

From what I've gleaned from various interviews with coaches and players is that it's back to business for the team. They understand that winning the MCB was a watershed moment for this program, and for the first time in forever they have momentum going into next year, but that was all last year. This is 2009 and for Vanderbilt to capitalize on the hard work from the guys last year, this year's team needs to go out and work even harder.

As Always,

Go 'Dores!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On to Tampa

Just thought I would drop in for a quick update.

In case you hadn't heard, the Vanderbilt Commodores are officially HOT going in to the SEC Tournament. Normally Vanderbilt losing to Arkansas is right up there with death and taxes as one of those things you can count on, but apparently someone forgot to tell our freshmen...whoops.

I have followed the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament very closely for the past 5 years or so, and I honestly cannot remember feeling like more teams have a legitimate shot at cutting the nets down in Tampa than I do this year. Obviously you can't rule out LSU, but dropping the final two games of the season after clinching the SEC regular season title doesn't exactly scream "we have momentum" and if we learned anything from Twister II: Atlanta 2K8 (that would be last year's SEC tourney where a tornado hit the Georgia Dome and almost ripped the dang roof off) and Jawja's improbable run to the SECT title it's that momentum is everything. Tennessee looked to be heating up at just the right time after knocking off South Cack in Columbia to win the SEC East, but after the emotionally flat effort against Bama on Sunday it's becoming increasingly difficult to predict which Big Orange Circus will show up. Auburn has an outside chance to make it to Sunday, but in all likelihood will have to go through Florida and Tennessee to get there.

Here are my picks, in order of least to most likely to cut the nets down in Tampa on Sunday.

12. Ole Miss
11. Georgia
10. Arkansas
9. Mississippi State
8. Alabama
7. Vanderbilt
6. Kentucky
5. South Carolina
4. Tennessee
3. Florida
2. Auburn
1. LSU

Also, my picks for SEC teams to make the field of 65
1. LSU-automatic bid
2. Tennessee
3. Florida
4. South Carolina

I can't wait to revisit these picks and laugh at how little I know about college basketball

Until then,

Go 'Dores!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weekly Update

I'll start this post out by throwing you a link to an article my boy wrote for the National Football Post about 5 incoming freshman that look to impact the SEC next fall. I'm sure this is the first of many incredible articles by yet another talented Vandy sportswriter.

In other news,

That faint sizzling noise you might have heard last weekend wasn't just the pork from Obama's stimulus package hitting the pan. That's right: I am officially upgrading the basketball team to "warm" after the 'Dores rattled off their third straight league victory against Ole Miss last Saturday.

A.J. was one board shy of his second double-double in as many games and the team is finally generating quality shots out of the half-court set. Jermaine Beal has been incredibly efficient from behind the arc the past three games, and continues to lead the SEC in assist/turnover ratio.

Lance Goulbourne doesn't seem to be letting the stress fracture in his pelvic bone affect his game too much as he had no problem elevating for a monstrous dunk off an inbound bass from Jermaine Beal under VU's basket in the second half. All told, Goulbourne went perfect (4-4, 2-2 3pt) from the field scoring 11 points (he missed one free throw) in 12 minutes of play.

Jeffery Taylor continues to impress and will more than likely be the Freshman of the Year in the SEC. Taylor scored 14 against Ole Miss and looked very comfortable driving to the hoop.

The 'Dores certainly have their work cut out for them with upcoming games at UT and Florida with a visit from the wildkitties sandwiched in between. We saw UK and Florida take it down to the wire last night on ESPN, and we'll find out how UT will respond to their BAD loss at Auburn tonight when they welcome the coachless and winless (in conference) Jawja Dawgs.

Nick Calathes put on a clinic last night, absolutely torching the kitties for a career high 33 points. Unfortunately the resident Florida player we love to hate couldn't connect on any of three free throws with .6 seconds on the clock, and his Gators down by 3, to send the game to overtime. Reminiscent of the over-and-back gaffe he comitted at Memorial last season, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Tennessee remains the most enigmatic team in the SEC after following up a huge win at TBA (Thompson-Boling Arena) against Florida with a gut-wrenching loss at Auburn. My brother (an Auburn student, as I have mentioned previously) was actually at the game, and left at halftime not thinking the Tigers had a chance. I guess someone forgot to tell Korvotney Barber as he made a wide open layup (courtesy of Public Enemy #1 Wayne "The Chump" Chism's stellar defense on the out-of-bounds play) with 4.3 seconds to go to put the Tigers up 78-77. Go figure?

As Always,

Go 'Dores!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

National Signing Day

Congrats to BoJo & Co. for bringing in what in my mind is the best Vanderbilt recruiting class, well, ever.

Wesley Tate was the only real surprise today choosing the 'Dores over Purdue, Stanford and Georgia Tech. That surname might sound familiar to some Vandy fans as Wesley is the younger brother of Golden Tate who spurned the hometown Commodores to attend Notre Dame. Little brother apparently has a little more sense as well as some serious measurables. At 6'2" 205 Wesley is the reigning 100 meter DII Tennessee State Champion (10.9 s) and looks to put a hurtin' on opposing defenses.

For more on the rest of this years recruits check out vandymania's awesome National Signing Day coverage.

The 'Dores gutted out a HUGE win this past Saturday in a back and forth affair defeating the host Auburn Tigers 82-75. Jermaine Beal was 7-8 from three point territory scoring 21 points, and A.J. Ogilvy took advantage of a dimuitive Auburn lineup by adding 14 points. Jeffrey Taylor scored 14 as well to go with 9 boards as the Commodores got back on track snapping a 4 game losing streak. The 'Dores look to go 2-0 against the state of Alabama at home this Thursday at 6 pm (central) on ESPN2. The free-falling Crimson Tide roll in to Memorial after winning the "Interim Head Coaches Classic" against UGA last weekend getting only its (or their, does anyone know what the hell the Crimson Tide actually refers to anyway?) 3rd win in the last 8 games.

As Always,

Go 'Dores!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's been a while...

Admittedly, I have not been the most dilligent in updating my blog. I stopped working at HCA after Thanksgiving so I don't spend nearly as much time sitting in front of a computer wasting my youth.

The blog is dead for now. I just don't have the time, the energy, and the basketball team sucks anyway.

As Always,

Go 'Dores!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Update

Just checking in for a quick update.

The 'Dores travel to Lexington this week to take on the 'kitties. I really don't see us winning this game, but stranger things have happened. At this point I'm really wondering why Jared Funk or Larry Smith isn't getting some pt. I understand that we're still very capable of winning any of our last three games and becoming bowl-eligible for the first time since I've been alive, but I really don't feel like we're giving up that much by benching Mac or Chris.

It is my understanding that Funk has the best arm of any of the quarterbacks, and is now in his third year in the program. Larry Smith was a legit play-maker in high school at Prattville (AL) and red-shirted last year. You have to think at this point either these guys aren't "SEC-caliber", or BoJo is sticking with the upperclassmen to cover his ass after the much-ballyhooed QB battle in fall practice. I can't imagine J. Funk airing it out for 300 yards in his first appearance this late in the season would do anything to help Johnson or Cain's stock among those fed up with the offensive ineptitude that has defined the post-Cutler years.

In other news,

Despite a slow start and running only the base offense the Commodores cruised to an impressive win over Alabama-Huntsville. A.J. looked like a man, but considering UAH's tallest player was somewhere around 6'9" I wouldn't have expected anything less. The Thunder from Down Under looked bigger, stronger, and faster than last year and has clearly worked to further improve his post moves. I saw him go to a baby-hook several times that brought a tear to my eye. I can just imagine Wayne "What a Chump" Chism spiking his stupid headband in frustration after A.J. drops 35 on him in January.

The key to the season will be the play of Jermaine Beal. After leading the conference in assist/turnover ratio last season (3:1) Beal was snubbed by the media when they handed out pre-season accolades. As one of two upperclassmen on the team Beal has his work cut out for him as a leader both on and off the court. While Beal has demonstrated at times a serious ability to get to the basket and hit jump-shots, his main charge will be getting the ball to A.J. down low or freshmen Jeff Taylor and Steve Tchiengang on the wings. Both of these guys seriously impressed me on Sunday, and I only look for their roles in the offense to grow as the season continues. Tchiengang is clearly at home with the ball around the basket, but his range extends beyond the three-point line. His imposing frame and versatility make him a nightmare for opposing defenders trying to stop him. Taylor is the silky smooth all-around shooting guard Vanderbilt fans have been pining for. Equally talented shooting jump shots or slashing to the basket Taylor figures to be a scoring machine for the 'Dores.

Vanderbilt will take on Morehead State on Sunday at Memorial Gym at 4 p.m.

As Always,

Go 'Dores!