Thursday, March 13, 2008

Live blogging Vandy-Auburn

2:22: We're minutes away from tipoff, where Vandy takes on Auburn in the first round of the SEC Tournament. This is what college is all about: skipping class to sit in front of the TV and do some live-blogging. Greg and I will be providing commentary throughout the game so don't forget to hit that refresh button.

2:27: Listening to the pre-game introductions reminded how much I hate television announcers. Today we're privileged enough to get the team of Tom Hammond and Larry Conley. I'm close to putting the TV on mute and listening to Joe Fisher, one of the best radio guys in the business.

2:34: Tough to tell whether there's more empty space in the stands or in the paint...non-existent interior defense from Auburn early leads to 8 quick points for Ogilvy and his boyish new haircut. 14-4 Vandy

2:36: One of the prettiest sights in college basketball: A Shan Foster swish.

2:49: With Darshawn McClellan entering the game, I am reminded of how much he looks like that token black guy from 40 year old virgin. I like that everyone knows him when they see him, yet no one knows his name, kind of like Darshawn McClellan!

2:51: Jamie Graham has just entered the game, which leads me to ask: Why doesn't he play more? The two-sport athlete is the team's best on-the-ball defender and I've heard that he just kills players in practice.

3:05: Vandy won't lose many games shooting 76%, especially when they're working the inside-outside game as well as they are today. Shan is buttery, Ogilvy is efficient, and this is shaping up to be the game we hoped it would be.

3:06: As Vandy opens the lead out to 11, the more intriguing story line is why Charles Barkley is holding a random white infant...

Dear Keegan,

Can you please explain the rationale behind the sleeve on your right leg? Is it because you are cold? Or injured? Maybe you just want to be different? This is something that has bothered me for quite some time, and I’d really appreciate an answer. By the way, I’m a big fan.

Hugs and kisses,

3:14: HALFTIME: Vanderbilt 47, Auburn 36

Obviously a solid half for the Commodores. Here are a few stats that stand out:
-Vandy is shooting a mind-boggling 76 percent (19-25) from the field.
-Ogilvy has 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting.
-Foster has 19 points, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range (if you're Auburn, how do you not face guard him every possession?)
-Vandy has 14 assists to just six turnovers.

3:22: Potential good news for Vandy with UConn trailing WVU under 8 to play. A first round exit for them would really help Vandy jump up to the 4 line with a couple wins.

3:26: The first four minutes of the second half are huge. If the Commodores can push their lead to 15-20, they'll be able to rest their starters, which is important if they plan to play into the weekend.

3:28: I love A.J. Ogilvy, but he just got pinned by 6'4'' Frank Tolbert going up for a dunk. That's just not cool.

3:30: I find it hard to believe that that was the tie Jeff Lebo chose to wear today. Good thing the 7 people watching the game with me probably make up the majority of the current viewing audience.

3:34: Even Foster thinks its comical that the Tigers still haven't realized that they can't leave him open. Vandy's up nine with a little over 16:00 to play...

3:37: A.J. Ogilvy just got called for an offensive foul, which reminds me of my biggest pet peeve with basketball referees: they call way too many charges. I know it's fun to reward players for sacrificing their bodies and I know refs love making the signal for the call, but come on -- just because a defender goes to the ground doesn't mean the offensive player was out of control. It's gotten ridiculous.

3:42: Not that I'm complaining, but where has George Drake been today? He hasn't played yet. Is it bad that it took me this long to notice?

3:45: In a preseason interview, Ogilvy told reporters he had range out the 3-point line and we chuckled. Well, he just buried a 20-footer. Looks like he was right...

3:52: I'm really high on freshman Andre Walker. He's solid in all phases of the game and has the potential to be a great four-year player for the Commodores. I think once he becomes a little more confident and assertive, fans will realize just how skilled he is. Walker has great size for a small forward. He has a good feel for the game, a respectable jumper and is strong around the rim. He's also a good defender and will only get better. And just in case you're wondering, we aren't dating...

4:02: I know the game isn't over, but Stallings should think about sitting the starters down. This is a 4-day tournament, and theres less than a week between the final on Sunday and that first weekend of games that actually matter.

4:03: Ladies and gentlemen, freshman Joe Duffy has just broken the Vanderbilt single season record for stand-up claps, previously held by former walk-on Aubrey Hammond. Duffy's the college version of Mark Madsen.

4:09: In finally noticing the logo at center court, I cannot believe the league office could not come up with anything better for that location. I guess it's somewhat refreshing that there's no advertising, but seriously, that's the best you could do? A basketball? Really?

4:13: Alex Gordon has got to be one of the toughest pound-for-pound players in the league.

4:17: Finally we get the starters out of the game. Let's just take a minute to appreciate Ogilvy's performance today; 12 of 13 for 27 points to go along with his five rebounds. Unbelievably solid, and the kind of production Vandy needs to take a little attention away from Shan.

4:20: And you wonder why everyone cringes when George Drake enters the game...

4:21: Quite a day for Joe Duffy! Exchanged the stand up claps for some tough points in the paint! Hooray for you token white walk-on!

4:22: Final score: Vanderbilt 93, Auburn 82.

4:24: In his post-game interview, Stallings displays his knack for stating the obvious in responding to a question about Foster and Ogilvy by saying "they are our two best players". Who knew?! No wonder we like him so much as a coach!

4:26: A few stats worth noting:
-Vandy shot 67.3 percent (33-49) from the field, nearly a SEC Tournament record
-Vandy assisted on 27 of its 33 field goals
-Foster: 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting (business as usual)
-Ogilvy: 27 points on 12-for-13 shooting (talk about efficiency)
-Beal: 7 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds
-Walker: 3 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists in 21 minutes (very positive sign)

4:28: The only SEC team Vanderbilt hasn't beaten over the past two seasons? Arkansas. The Commodores look to change that tomorrow afternoon. Today's performance was certainly encouraging.

4:37: That's all we've got for today, but thanks for reading. I'll be heading down to the ATL in the morning so make sure to check back often for all the latest coverage.


Paul Otto said...

"Not that I'm complaining, but where has George Drake been today? He hasn't played a minute..." Which is precisely why we're winning this game.

David Rutz said...

Funny moment in the first half when Foster was left all alone in the corner for an open 3.

I saw an Auburn assistant just throw up his hands in frustration and mouth an expletive before Foster even released the ball.

Big surprise: he made it.