Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Commodore Banter (7/22)

The Sports VU is in full swing these days so be sure to scroll down the page and check out all of our recent stories. And in case you missed it, we're moving and need your help.

Yesterday we shared some basketball thoughts from last week's SEC teleconference. Maurice Patton of The Tennessean does the same thing today, noting that Vandy's rep lures top recruits.

"They were able to add a lot of athleticism and depth," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Justin Young said. "Sometimes they'd have a really good player mixed with some program guys. Here, you've got four guys that by the time they're juniors or seniors could be your starting lineup."

The Commodores also have another top recruit on the way in 2009 -- John Jenkins. A 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard, Jenkins has seen his stock rise tremendously this summer. At the NBA Players Top 100 Camp, he averaged 17.8 points, three points better than any other player during the five-day event. He was one of just 80 players invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy last week, and he will be competing in the Nike Global Challenge (reserved from the nation's top 30 players) in August.

It's no surprise then to learn that Jenkins has received offers from a number of schools despite his commitment to the Commodores.

"North Carolina, Duke … that's where I wanted to go when I was 11," Jenkins said. "Now I have a good home in Vanderbilt. They brought me in and I love the coaches, the fans and the education. I'm real set on them."

Coach Kevin Stallings must be counting down the days until Jenkins' arrival. He is currently ranked No. 32 overall, eighth among shooting guards, by Rivals.com.

"John has started to put a little length on his résumé," said Dave Telep, Scout.com national recruiting director. "He's made perimeter shots, knocked down 3's and been in situations in camp settings where he's been on big runs. He's going to get a lot of points at Vanderbilt. That offense is the right fit for him."

In football news, D.J. Moore and Reshard Langford were named to the coaches' All-SEC team, Moore to the first team and Langford to the third.

The Commodores also received another commitment for the Class of 2009 -- Mason Johnston. A 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., Johnston is ranked by Scout.com as the nation’s No. 36 tight end prospect and No. 43 by Rivals.com in the class of 2009.

Speaking of prospects, Brett Hait attempts to answer the following question: When it comes to recruiting, how young is too young? (Yes, we're talking about you, Billy).

In alumni news, the Bears are closing in on a deal with offensive tackle Chris Williams.

The Tampa Bay Rays are in no rush to call up David Price. Within this mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Chastain says Price "is the one untouchable guy in the Rays' farm system." He also added this:
Price is now 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA at Double-A Montgomery. Andrew Friedman, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, recently stated that development is king. When Price reaches the Major Leagues, the Rays want him to be ready and not have to go back down. However, Friedman's comments did indicate that he has not ruled out Price being a part of this year's team at some point.

For Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, year three is pivotal.

In NBA Summer League news, Derrick Byars ended on a high note, scoring 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go along with five rebounds in the Hornets' loss to Portland. In five games, he averaged 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 18.6 minutes. He shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 46 percent from 3-point range.

Shan Foster averaged 8.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field for the Mavs, while Matt Freije had himself a week, averaging 11.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.0 block and 1.0 assists in 21.5 minutes in four games for Milwaukee. He shot 59 percent, including 60 percent from 3-point range.

Make sure to check back later today for the first part of The Sports VU's 2008 Football Preview.

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