Friday, March 14, 2008

Live blogging Vandy-Arkansas

What's up everyone,

After a crazy drive down to Atlanta this morning , I'm finally in my seat court side at the Georgia Dome where Vanderbilt is taking on Arkansas. I'll be posting comments throughout the contest so make sure to hit that refresh button...

If the Commodores win today, they'll take on Tennessee Saturday at 12 CT. The Vols barely squeaked by Dave Odom and South Carolina, 89-87.

For some quality college basketball blogging, check out Vegas Watch.

17:16: Who says Shan Foster is just a 3-point shooter? He's attacked the rim twice already, hitting three of four foul shots.

16:27: Steven Hill, unquestionably the ugliest player in the SEC, just picked up his second foul, which is good news for the Commodores.

15:38: A couple of thoughts on the Georgia Dome atmosphere:
-Both Vanderbilt and Arkansas fans seemed to have traveled well. The Razorbacks and their creepy "Pig Sooey" chants are louder, but definitely more annoying.
-Even though the Wildcats aren't playing until later, there's still a lot of Kentucky Blue in the stands.

14:59: Just five minutes into the game and Arkansas has already been called for six fouls...

14:22: The charge foul just called on Ross Neltner is exactly the one refs need to stop calling. Nelly was clearly disgusted, mouthing "No way" to the officials.

12:28: Who in the world is Stefan Welsh? He's already scored 11 points, one shy of his season high.

11:53: Jamie Graham has already made his way into the game. Against an Arkansas team with quick guards who like to penetrate, Graham's perimeter defense could be important in this one. He's picking up Stefan Welsh full court and he seems to be bothered.

9:50: Vanderbilt just went to a zone, which might not be a bad idea considering how many wide-open dunks Arkansas has gotten.

9:19: One of the most frustrating sights in basketball: when a defensive player fouls a guy shooting, but not hard enough to prevent him from missing. Ross Neltner loves doing this.

7:30: And the streak continues...Foster just hit Vanderbilt's first three of the game.

5:30: We've got a Bruce Pearl sighting folks. He's sitting three seats away from me, clearly getting a closer look at tomorrow's opponent. The Vols needed a Chris Lofton 3-pointer in the final seconds to edge South Carolina earlier in the day.

3:50: Facebook NCAA Tournament pools are under scrutiny.

1:27: Stat of the half: Vandy is 16-for-19 from the foul line.

0:35: That's another great tip-in for A.J. Ogilvy and the Commodore fans are on their feet. The Aussie came to play. He's got 15 for the half.

HALFTIME: Arkansas 40 Vanderbilt 36
A few stats that stand out:
-Vanderbilt was 9-for-20 from the field, while Arkansas was 17-for-35. That's 15 more shot attempts.
-Vandy was 16-for-19 from the foul line, compared to just 3-for-7 for Arkansas.
-Arkansas outrebounded Vandy 20-13.
-Arkansas is swinning despite a combined 4 points from guards Patrick Beverley and Sonny Weems.
-Foster was held in check, scoring a modest six points on 1-for-5 shooting. Arkansas has him contained well.

Just thought it'd be worth noting that Foster needs just 10 points to reach 2,000 for his career. If he gets there today, I bet the Commodores win.

17:56: Ross Neltner just did it again. He fouled Gary Ervin on a drive to the hoop and Ervin still made the shot. Please stop doing that, Ross. It's not cool.

16:00: Foster's mid-range game has really improved. He just hit a pretty floater in the lane.

15:40: That's four fouls on Ross Neltner, which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing. With Nelly out, I wonder if Vandy will turn to Darshawn McClellan, who surprisingly hasn't seen any action thus far. His style of play could be perfect for this type of game...And what do you know? As I'm typing this, McClellan checks in.

15:20: Foster hits a contested jumper and the game is tied at 48, much to the delight of the Vanderbilt cheering section. You can already tell this game is going down to the wire.

13:31: Kevin Stallings really wanted an intentional foul called on Jermaine Beal's drive, but he restrained himself from harping on the refs. He seems to be on his best behavior today. It's not always the case, as Pat Forde writes.

10:33: D.O.L.L.A! Jermaine Beal just took it the length of the court and finished with his left hand on Steven Hill, drawing the foul in the process. Talk about a strong take. Vandy down two...

10:05: Vandy is already in the bonus once again, which is great news since it's having trouble scoring from the floor.

9:20: Gordon for 3 and it's all even at 58.

8:20: Dear Vanderbilt,
I understand that Arkansas is bigger and more athletic, but there is absolutely no excuse for the way you guys are rebounding. The Razorbacks have a 35-16 rebounding advantage. Think about that for a second. They have more offensive rebounds (19) than you have rebounds. You guys also have just three offensive rebounds. It comes down to attitude and effort so if for the last eight minutes of this game, you could please leave it all out there, I'd greatly appreciate.


6:15: Something you don't see everyday: The ball is stuck on the top of the backboard, and the crowd is absolutely loving it. Sonny Weems tried to pry the ball loose to no avail so they had to bring out a ladder.

4:33: Ogilvy kicked to Foster, who missed a wide-open three that he makes 80 percent of the time. Vandy trails by five...

3:29: Some may question Alex Gordon's shot selection, but you can't knock his intensity. The senior point guard just buried a huge 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut the lead to two. On another note, today's attendance at the Georgia Dome was just announced at 18,020.

1:50: Shan Foster has held Sonny Weems to 2 points all day and just forced a five-second call.

1:04: Vandy is down 71-65 with 1:04 to play. It's not looking good for the Commodores...

0:50: Alex Gordon is letting it fly right now. He just buried another deep, contested 3-pointer to keep Vandy in it. The Dores are down 73-68.

0:25: Foster just hit a three to cut the lead to six, but Vandy needed more from him in this one. Give credit to Arkansas for taking him out of the game.

0:17: One crazy Arkansas fan in the stands has been driving me crazy all game. Every time Arkansas goes the foul line, he yells things like "Cookies! Tollhouse, baby! It's 1 a.m. and it's time for cookie!" as well as "Jolly Ranchers! Skittles! Candy, baby!" I'm not exactly sure what he means by this. I'm going to try to look this one up, and get back to you...

FINAL: Arkansas 81 Vandy 75
I'm off to the post-game press conference, but I'll have more from the ATL for you guys later. Now I've got to decide whether I'm going to stick around here for the weekend or head back up to Nashville...

1 comment:

Chip Robie said...

Arkansas knows how to beat these Dores. There are two principal things our team lacks: foot-speed and an interior defensive force. This means that teams who are able to penetrate well (i.e. recall the Wake Forest game) will be in the best position to beat Vanderbilt.