Thursday, April 17, 2008

Commodore Banter (4/17)

A bunch of great links to pass along this morning...

The Vanderbilt men's basketball will play a home-and-home with Illinois beginning next season, reports Maurice Patton.

The Commodores will play the Big-10 opponent in the fall and travel to Champaign the following year. I think this is a great opportunity, as does coach Kevin Stallings.

"(Illinois coach) Bruce (Weber) called and said they needed to start a series on the road and asked if we could play," Stallings said. "We need to play good teams and Bruce obviously has a good team and a good program. Obviously he's one of the best coaches in the country."

Within his notebook, Brett Hait mentions that two Vanderbilt recruits -- Jeff Taylor and Brad Tinsley -- have yet to make a decision. Taylor is choosing between Vandy and Texas, while Tinsley is still visiting other schools.

A certain draft expert thinks Earl Bennett is underrated. He's preaching to the choir here. You've got to love the comments about No. 10:
"Bennett is fearless going across the middle and while he may not have sprinters speed, he has football speed. On tape, Bennett took a lot of poorly thrown passes over the middle and turned them into big gains. And that wasn’t against inferior opponents it was against SEC defenses. Bennett is arguably the best route runner in this draft and he possesses excellent hands. People say he’s not much of a big play threat but I would disagree. I would say he isn’t a “deep threat” but Bennett does have the ability to make big plays because he’s a good open field runner. Bennett can also return kicks and would be a steal if he were on the board in Round 3 or 4."
Well said, although I wouldn' t be surprised to see Bennett drafted in the second round.

The amazing story of Vanderbilt wide receiver George Smith has been well-documented here in Nashville. But, after Chris Low's article on, the Commodore captain will be known across the nation.

After his emotional finish at the Masters, Vanderbilt grad Brandt Snedeker has gotten lots of love from his fans.

“It’s been pretty phenomenal to see the number of people who have come out to put their arm around me and say: ‘It’s O.K. It’s going to be fine,’ ” Snedeker said. “I cannot thank them enough, because it really makes me feel great about what I did there and kind of helps me heal."

They say baseball is America's pastime, but for today's inner-city youth, it's more like an afterthought. Read my article to learn about how coach Tim Corbin, star pitcher David Price and the rest of the Vanderbilt baseball program plan to change that.

Strength and conditioning director John Sisk has made a profound impact on the Vanderbilt football program, writes Chris Low. Within that piece, there are a lot of interesting tidbits about the Southeastern Conference.

Congrats to senior tennis player Ryan Preston, who became just the fourth player in school history to become a three-time All-SEC selection.

Have a great day, everyone.

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