Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Georgia vs. Vandy Hoops Preview

This. Is. A. Big. Effing. Game. Tonight. After suffering three home losses since conference play has started (one of which was the Xavier game), we have no choice but to win. Actually, that is not entirely true; we could lose, which would virtually destroy our NCAA Tournament hopes and subsequently, all of my basketball related articles would likely be even more poorly written due to increased apathy....but hopefully we'll pull out the W.

Vandy is coming into this game off an impressive 81-77 home win over Kentucky Saturday. What was most impressive was the absurd amount of three-pointers the Commodores (or as I am now calling them...the Commies) made Saturday -- 11/20 to be exact. Actually, in their last three games combined, Vanderbilt has shot 31 for 59 on threes -- that's 52.5%...pretty impressive. A little too impressive perhaps. Translation: all three of these games were at home and they are due for a poor shooting night in someone else's gym. Only time will tell...but if they are that efficient shooting the ball tonight, you better hope someone slips the refs a few bills during the game.

Personnel-wise, Vandy is primarily led by their two wing players, Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins. Both are efficient three-point shooters -- 39.3% and 41.7% respectively -- and they are the team's two leading scorers as well (14.6 and 19.8). Lurking on the low block is 6'11'' Festus Ezeli, whose name sounds eerily similar to a sort of tropical bacterial infection (hence the warning red highlight I did for his name) that greatly affects the CN System unless treated quickly and with the proper bacteriostatic antibiotics...he also averages 12.8 ppg and is the team's second leading rebounder (6.2 per game ). The other starters are token white point guard Brad Tinsley -- who is not a big-time scorer but is certainly capable of hitting an open shot -- and the team's leading rebounder Lance Goulbourne is pulls down 7.0 rpg. And lest we forget Ezili's primarily substitute, Mr. Steve "my first name completely doesn't match my last name" Tchiengang, who averages about 17 minutes a game.

We all know Vandy's game...play smart (in keeping with their academic brethren) and jack the threes. Their big men can score if left in one-on-one situations, but the jump-shot is their main game. Hopefully, the three ball won't be falling tonight for the Commies, but if they do...it could be another self-inflicted wound treating night.

(Side Note: If you want to engage in a fun drinking game tonight, take a shot every time the announcers say the phrase "Kevin Stallings". If you participated in this drinking game the last time we played Vandy, I hope you were in shouting distance of an accredited hospital)

Here are Vandy's player stats for the year:

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