Monday, March 31, 2008

Keegan Bell to transfer from Vandy

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings announced Monday that rising
sophomore guard Keegan Bell will transfer at the conclusion
of the spring semester.

"Keegan Bell has decided to transfer at the conclusion of the
spring semester," Stallings said. "We support that decision 100
percent and wish him well."

Bell played in every game this season and averaged 2.7 points,
1.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest in a back-up point guard

With the departure of Bell and senior Alex Gordon, Jermaine Beal
is the lone returning point guard along with football player Jamie
Graham. The backcourt is extremely thin, with George Drake and
redshirt freshman Charles Hinkle as the lone returning shooting

Here are a few stories that shed light on the reasons behind Bell's

Bell leaving Vandy basketball squad (Nashville City Paper)
Bell leaves Vandy, looks for freedom (Huntsville Times)
Bell plans transfer from Vandy (Tennessean)

What are your thoughts on the announcement and its impact on
next year's squad?


Greg Viverito said...

In all seriousness, this is terrible for the team. Who the hell is gonna start at shooting guard? The returning backcourt is now Jermaine Beal and...and...and GEORGE DRAKE. Wow. Talk about depressing. Lets hope Charles Hinkle can shoot a little bit because if not the 3 point streak could be over...

Chip Robie said...

Someone should tell Brad Tinsley!

Jarred Amato said...

I am honestly just shocked. Forget about next year, i want to know why keegan decided to leave. He was a vanderbilt fan before he arrived here and genuinely seemed to love being a commodore. Is it stallings? Is his roommate a.j. leaving? Is another PG recruit committing? Is it just the fact that vandy is trying to recruit another PG?
Regardless of the reason, this is bad news for the Commodores, unless they sign another PG for next season. I'm not worried about the shooting guard spot (Andre Walker or possibly Lance/Steve could play a big 2, along with Charles Hinkle), as much as I am the back-up point guard spot.
This is yet another reason why we need Jamie Graham to quit football...

Kate said...

this article has a little more info:


EMoney said...

To play devil's advocate, it's not like Keegan was a monster shooter. And I know that all of the guys on the team can shoot better than the FIFTY percent that he shot.

EMoney said...

just read the article that Kate posted, and the way I see it, though Keegan didn't comment, is that this was a basketball related transfer. That is just sad... he's clearly not on his way to the NBA and was lucky to have gotten the playing time that he did on such a highly ranked team. To give up a top-20 education to "have an opportunity to do some more things somewhere else"... sounds like a boneheaded move to me. As someone commented on the Tennesseean website, "Unlike what the NCAA commercials would like you to believe, not all student athletes attend college to get an education." I couldn't agree with that more, and it is just sad to see. Good luck getting some more PT at a better basketball school than Vanderbilt, and definitely good luck getting a better academic experience.

Chip Robie said...

Eric, it was an extremely small sample size (Bell was 5-10 from the line this year); to judge his free throw shooting ability on 10 shots is unfair. FYI, the probability that an 80% free throw shooter hits 5 or fewer free throws out of 10 happens about 3 out of every 100 times (based on the binomial distribution).

Anonymous said...

It sounds a little bit like his Dad is in his ear, based on the Tennessean article. But they see that Beal is here another two years, and not wanting to slide Keegan over to the 2-gaurd spot, they seem to feel this is the best option for Keegan.
The truth of it is that if he and/or his father are unhappy with the situation, the chances of him helping the team next year and beyond decrease.
Here's hoping that Tinsley signs, or that Elliot Cole is a secret weapon.

Jarred Amato said...

Anon, you nailed it. I don't think it's our place to knock anyone for transferring. Whether it's an athlete or musician, everyone has the right to do what they think is best for themselves. I just hope this is what Keegan (not his dad) truly wanted.

With Jermaine Beal in the fold for the next 2 years and another PG in Tinsley possibly on the way, Keegan's chances of being what he was in high school (a playmaker with the ball in his hands constantly) were not good. Can't knock a player for wanting a chance to prove that he can be the man.

With that said, I don't know if Keegan will ever be able to be that Steve Nash-type player at the high-D1 level, especially if he doesn't improve defensively. At Vandy, he'd have a chance to play a large role for a solid SEC program, be around some great people and receive a top-20 education.

It's often hard for players to accept that they won't be the same in college. Instead of looking at their own flaws, they look to blame something else -- coaches, the school, etc.

DeMarre Carroll chose to transfer to Missouri two years ago due to unhappiness with stallings and for a chance to play on the perimeter more often, and missed out on two NCAA Tourneys and still ended up playing inside for a troubled Tiger team as a result. Something tells me DeMarre wishes he could have a do-over.

Hopefully Keegan's decision turns out better. He's a hard-working and dedicated player, a "gym rat" if you will, and I wish him nothing but the best (as long as he's not playing against Vandy...)

David Shochat said...

While this may sting next year if we can't get Tinsley (however with this departure i think we will), i think long term this is good for Vandy. Most people i think believed that when Vandy brought in 6 freshmen this season that there would be some sort of numbers fall out. I just didn't think it would Keegan. Keegan was a solid player, but he never had the speed/agility to keep up with guards in the SEC nor was i that impressed with his shooting ability or ability to beat someone off the dribble. Sure he could have developed, we will have to wait and see, but with the limited amount of scholarships that Vandy has for the next two years this opening may help us more than hurt because as evidenced by the tourney we need better guards. With the commitments of Lance and Steve and John Jenkins, a class of 09 SG commitment we only had two scholarships left for the rest of this year and 09's recruiting class. If we get both Tinsley and Taylor in this class, that would have meant that we would have already been done with recruiting for 09 unless someone else leaves early or transfers (Drake may leave after his senior year in college even though he has another year of eligibility or Ogilvy may leave after next year, but he will have to improve greatly for that to happen imo). Every team is allowed to have 13 scholarship players. With the additions of Lance and Steve and subtraction of Keegan we will have 9 players under scholarship which does not seem like very many, but add in Taylor and Tinsley (granted we get them) and Jenkins in 09, and we only have one spot open for 09's class. If we fill that with another really good guard and can get Taylor and Tinsley, this may turn out better than many may think. The class of 09 has some really good players in it. Jon Hood a SG out of Kentucky, Nick Russell a PG out of Texas, and Richard Howell a SF out of Georgia are all four star prospects to keep your eyes on to take Keegan's spot.

David Shochat said...

Just some interesting info on Tinsley and Taylor to an extent. Sounds like Tinsley will not help defensively that much...
(sry i don't know how to link this)

Anonymous said...

just to note, carrol left becasue his uncle, mike anderson, became the head coach at mizzou....

Jarred Amato said...

oh without question, but if DeMarre was happy with his role with the Commodores and with Coach Stallings, he doesn't make the move. The fact that Anderson was headed to Missouri just made it easier for DeMarre to do it. And given how ugly that 2005-2006 season was, can;t say I blame him one bit.

Anonymous said...

You just hope it isn't a deal where Keegan has been spoiled by his Dad the Coach his whole life, and now that this isn't the case, they're both bitter. Keegan wasn't a big enough recruit to employ the "give your Dad a job in the program" strategy applied to some of the 5-star recruits we see today.

Bargo said...

I have to say, sour grapes are starting to really bug me here. Anyone who views this transfer as a positive isn't thinking straight.

Its already been said-- at the moment, we don't have someone capable of starting at 2. Granted, there's a chance Drake has a breakthrough this summer, Graham stays healthy and continues to improve, or Hinkle's actually a stud. But neither scenerio looks likely, and neither does the idea of effectively starting Lance or Steve at shooting guard.

Whether you liked Keegan's individual game or not, you only saw his first year of college basketball. Beal wasn't all that impressive in his first season and grew into one of the conference's most productive PGs last year.

And remember, at the end of this year we saw Beal's productivity diminish, causing many to speculate that he doesn't get along with the coach. Let's hope this isn't true, because Beal is seriously all we've got for guard experience. Vandy's recruits are typically good, but its unreasonable to pencil them in as starters the second they step on campus.

Moreover, we're at a geographical disadvantage with Tinsley and Taylor here. Tinsley already signed with a west coast school and got out because of a coaching change. Yes, the idea of Bell leaving could be attractive to Tinsley in lieu of more playing time, but did any of you guys meet Bell or remember his recruiting process? The guy was more enthusiastic about being a Dore than anyone and was instrumental as a host for recruits. High school players that do their homework could look at Vandy see 3 transfers in 3 years.

Whether Keegan would have turned out to be a great SEC player is irrelevant-- he would have been productive as a player on the court and as a mentor off of it. Now we're in the crappy position of having to rely on the unpredictable decision of a freshman who will have to grow up pretty fast, should he choose to come here.

Anybody remember Brendan Plavich? Watched him hit 10 3's in a game after he transferred from VU. Not a good time.

Sorry for the ramble, but I don't see how this could be positive for VU in the future, whether its one year from now or ten years from now.

David Shochat said...

Bargo, you obviously have not seen Lance play at all because if you had you would see that he is a great player (better than Keegan imo) who can flat out shoot and get to the basket. Will he be a star the moment he steps on campus? Probably not. Will he be just as productive as Bell would have been if not better? I think yes. I personally thought that Keegan would be backing up Beal next year anyway with Lance and Walker playing the 2 and 3 and Ogilvy and Festus down low. Or Beal at PG, Lance at SG, Steve at the 3, and Festus and Ogilvy down low. After this past season, there is no doubt in my mind that Beal is a PG and not a SG, and Bell was not a good enough shooter to play SG imo. Will we be deep next year? That will depend on if we get Tinsley and Taylor. In the long run i don't see this as being a horrible thing for the program considering Bell was never going to be the next Derrick Rose. If we do get Taylor and Tinsley somehow the team would look like this:
PG: Beal, Tinsley, Graham
SG: Lance, Drake, Hinkle, Cole
SF: Steve, Taylor, Walker
PF: A.J., Steve, Darshawn, Duffy
C: Festus, A.J.

Steve, Lance, Walker, Taylor, Darshawn, A.J. can all play multiple positions so their could be different lineups at different times but that team is about 10 deep. Even if we don't get those guys I really don't think Keegan would make that much of a difference in how good we will be unless Beal gets hurt next year since i think he was looking at bench minutes again next year which Jamie Graham can easily step in and take granted we don't get Tinsley. Graham was the better player between the two last year anyway. Better defender and could create off the dribble. I think Keegan saw that he was not going to get that many more minutes next year as well and wanted out. Regardless of Keegan being here or leaving, the team next year is going to be young with a majority of freshmen and sophomores playing major minutes and so they will make mistakes.

Bargo said...

I've seen Lance on youtube, he can jump out of the gym and he's got a good stroke from long range. I'm sure he'll be a great player. But his numbers weren't great and he wasn't on an unbelievable team by any means. He's a pretty raw prospect. So now he's supposed to start in the SEC come November?

I think Keegan realized that Stallings is uneasy about letting his point guards score. Red dropped 30 on UT freshman year and accepted an extremely limited role after that. The only scoring PG Stallings has ever had at Vandy was Mario Moore, maybe his least favorite player. Granted, Keegan probably wouldn't have dropped Foster-caliber numbers, but he's not going to a program any better than Vandy. He would have had significant minutes next year, but with an obvious ceiling on his offense.

David Shochat said...

I definitely agree with that Bargo that it is a stupid decision by Bell to leave since i can't see him playing major minutes at a team better than Vandy. I think we should wait it out and see if Vandy gets Tinsley and then look back at this. If we get Tinsley, I think this transfer will probably help in the long run considering the limited number of scholarships we have for the the 09 and even 10 class (Drake is the only junior and Beal is the only sophomore). If we don't, it may in fact hurt us, yet I never really considering the play of Bell to be the determining factor for next year's team success. I have always thought that our success next year will be determined by how good the incoming freshmen are including Festus (since he is practically a freshmen) and Ogilvy improving. Here's hoping Vandy gets both Tinsley and Taylor. I think we will get Tinsley (who apparently really wants to play PG NOT SG and whose visit is set for 4 days before the spring signing period starts on April 16) and not Taylor. I think Taylor goes to Texas even though i think he would play more and earlier here.