Showing posts with label Vanderbilt Commodores. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vanderbilt Commodores. Show all posts

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Upsets Rule Selection Sunday: UNC, Kentucky, Xavier Defeated

ACC Final: Florida State 85 North Carolina 82 - Luke Loucks wasn't supposed to outplay Kendall Marshall, UNC's record-breaking point guard, but he did, scoring 10 points with nine assists and six rebounds, en route to Florida State's first ACC tournament championship since joining the conference in 1991. Under coach Leonard Hamilton - who was named ACC coach of the year - the Seminoles split two games with perennial powerhouse Duke and pummeled North Carolina, 90-57, during the regular season, then went out and beat them both in the conference tourney.

The Seminoles beat Duke, 62-59 in the semi-final Saturday, setting up their conquest of the Tar Heels and a potentially high seed (2 or 3) in the upcoming NCAA tourney.

SEC Final: Vanderbilt 71 Kentucky 64 - After losing twice to Kentucky during the regular season, the Commodores of Vanderbilt turned the tables on the Wildcats, winning the SEC tournament for the first time since 1951. Jeffery Taylor led all scorers with 17 points. Festus Ezile and John Jenkins each chipped in with 16 points.

Vandy's and Florida State's wins completed a weekend in which the improbable became reality, as the the four teams most likely to earn number one seeds in the NCAA tournament were defeated in their conference tourneys. On Friday, Kansas was taken to task by Baylor in the Big 12 semis and Syracuse was dumped by Cncinnati in the Big East semi-fianls.

Atlantic-10: St. Bonaventure 67 Xavier 56 - perhaps the most improbable victors of the day were the Bonnies, who knocked off an undisciplined Xavier squad to capture the A-10 championship. The Bonnies won four of their last five regular season games to finish 10-6 in the conference, then beat St. Joseph's, UMass and Xavier to grab its first Atlantic-10 title and the automatic seeding in the NCAA tourney, their first trip to the big dance since 2000. Conference Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson had 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots as he dominated the interior.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jeffery Taylor Leads Vanderbilt to 65-47 Road Win at Tennessee

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jeffery Taylor scored more than a third of Vanderbilt's points in the Commodores' 65-47 road win over Tennessee.

Taylor, a four year starter, pumped in a game high 23 points, making all three of his 3-pointers while going 8-for-14 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line. The 6'7" forward also collected four steals and had nine rebounds, three on the offensive boards.

Vanderbilt displayed a scrappy, disruptive defense, holding the Volunteers to just 35% shooting while forcing a ridiculous 25 Tennessee turnovers. Vanderbilt raced off to a 40-21 lead at the break and were never challenged in the second half, dropping Tennessee to 1-4 in the conference.

The 15-5 Commodores are unranked, owing to consecutive losses to Xavier and Louisville at the end of November and start of December and a 61-55 loss to Indiana State on December 17, though the squad has since won nine of their last ten and trail the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC race by one game. Top-ranked Kentucky had a road win of their own Tuesday night, topping Georgia, 57-44, to improve to 20-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference. Vanderbilt is 5-1 in SEC play.

With Vandy and Kentucky apparently headed for a showdown, fans of the cross-border rivalry will have to wait until mid-February to see whether the Commodores have the grit to hang with the powerful Wildcats. Vandy hosts Kentucky on February 11, and then visits the wildcats on February 25.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vanderbilt Buries Layfayette as John Jenkins Drops in 27

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vanderbilt junior guard John Jenkins hit seven of nine 3-pointers and was 9-for-12 overall, leading the Commodores to a dominating, 89-58, victory over the Lafayette Leopards.

Jenkins finished with 27 points in 27 minutes, pushing his season-long average to an even 20 points per game, tops on the team. The 6'4" Tennessee native added four assists, a rebound and one steal.

The Commodores have put together an 8-4 record this season, with odd losses to Cleveland State and Indiana State, plus back-to-back overtime defeats at the hands of Xavier and Louisville.

Vandy's next game is also a tough one, at Marquette, on December 29. The Golden Eagles are 10-1 and rank 10th in the latest AP Poll.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Jeffery Taylor Pops in 30 as Vanderbilt Halts Two-Game Skid

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Commodores of Vanderbilt improved to 6-3 on the year with a tight, 87-83, road win over the Davidson Wildcats.

The victory was keyed by a career high 30 points from senior forward Jeffery Taylor and 22 points from junior guard John Jenkins, who leads the Commodores in scoring at 21.3 points per game.

Taylor hit 12 of 17 shots from the field, including three of four from 3-point range, leading Vanderbilt back from two straight losses - to Xavier and Louisville.

While the Commodores field a competitive team night in and night out, their three losses so far this season stem from a lack of depth. On Wednesday, Taylor and Jenkins accounted for 60% of the scoring. Add in Festus Ezeli's 15 points, playing in his first game of the season, and that's 77% of the scoring from just three players, not exactly what one might call balance.

If Vanderbilt can develop some players who can contribute off the bench, they should do very well in the SEC. Even with the scoring set-up as it is currently configured, Vanderbilt will be a competitive team in the conference, as there are only three or four teams with comparable ability.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vandy is Dandy in SEC: Tops Miss. St. on Road

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jeffrey Taylor lit up the Mississippi State Bulldogs' phantom defense for 25 points and stole a win on the road, 81-74, reinvigorating the Commodores with their first SEC road win after a couple of tough losses at Georgia and Tennessee in recent weeks.

Boosting the record to 3-2 in the conference, the Commodores remain two games behind SEC East leader Florida (5-1) and tied with Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee, though the way they played against the Bulldogs - regarded as one of the best in the SEC West - they may be on the verge of breaking away from the pack.

Taylor, the 6'7" junior forward, who also had 3 steals and 5 boards, scored from everywhere on the floor, hitting three treys and a number of in-close baskets by hitting the offensive boards. The game was close throughout, but Vandy showed considerable grit in the closing minutes, making shots while Dee Bost and the Bulldogs were missing theirs.

Ranked #19 in the AP poll, the Commodores return home to face Arkansas on Saturday before a key test at Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd.

Notable: Proving that the Big East has no lock on upsets, the Indiana Hoosiers downed #20 Illinois, 52-49, and Michigan upset #25 Michigan State, 61-57, in Big Ten action. For the Spartans, the loss was their 4th in the conference, evening their record at 4-4, but it probably marked the end of their being ranked, as they drop to 15-8.

Head coach Tom Izzo dismissed guard Korie Lucious from the team for undisclosed violations of team rules. Lucious was leading the Spartans in assists ad was usually the first man off the bench. with his departure, Michigan State can probably be moved from NCAA bubble team to definitely out of the tournament this year, just a season removed from a Final Four appearance.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vandy Dumps Vols Again, Chasing Kentucky

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two weeks ago, the Vanderbilt Commodores stormed into Tennessee and thumped the Volunteers, 85-76. To prove that they are at least the second-best team in the SEC (after Kentucky), on Tuesday night, they hosted the Vols and chewed them up even worse, in a decidedly one-sided 90-71 smack-down.

6'7" sophomore swingman, Jeffery Taylor provided plenty of Vandy offense, scoring a career-high 26 points and assisting on 3 other hoops. He also snatched 7 rebounds as the Commodores built an insurmountable second-half lead and turned what was supposed to be a competitive game into an outright laugher.

Despite similar records (now both teams are 18-5), the Commodores weren't getting the respect they deserved in the polls, ranked #22 before Tuesday's game. Tennessee is at #12, but sure to drop following their poor showing on the road.

Vanderbilt is just a game behind 8-1 Kentucky in the SEC East, at 7-2, and will have a chance to even the score on February 20, when the Wildcats come to town. Kentucky has already beaten Vandy once, 85-72, but that was back on January 30, at Rupp Arena.

NOTABLE: Georgetown's Greg Monroe turned in his 9th double-double effort of the season in the Hoyas' 79-70 win at Providence, but the 6'11" forward's results had a different twist for a big man. while he scored 12 points, he also dished 12 assists while adding 7 rebounds. All of his other double-doubles have been of the points plus rebounds variety.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Vanderbilt Upsets #1 Florida

Vanderbilt 83 #1 Florida 70 - In a season witness to more than the usual share of ups and downs in the Top 25, this one rates as a real shocker. The Gators hit the floor in Nashville sporting the nation's longest winning streak - 17 games - but as Vanderbilt fans rushed onto the court as time expired they found themselves on the short end of their worst loss of the season.

The loss was only the 3rd of the season for Florida, which had previously dropped a 2-point decision to Kansas and lost 70-66 at Florida State. For the Commodores, it was their 6th win over a ranked opponent against only 2 losses and improved their SEC record to 8-4, good for 2nd place in the SEC East behind the 11-1 Gators.

Shan Foster and Derrick Byars each scored 24 points for Vanderbilt, which sizzled at 57% shooting from the field. Despite hitting 18 free throws to Vandy's 9 and shooting a respectable 44% from the floor, the Gators could not overcome 20 turnovers and Vanderbilt's speed and sharp passing which resulted in 21 assists.

Joakim Noah led the Gators with 15 points and Al Horford scored 13 and pulled down 11 rebounds, but only Corey Brewer joined them in double figures, with 13.

With the win and their outstanding record against ranked teams, the Commodores seem assured of a spot in the field of 65 in March.

Top 25 Home Winners

#3 Wisconsin 75 Penn St. 49 - Wis: Alando Tucker, 22 pts.; Kammron Taylor, 18.

#7 Pittsburgh 65 Washington 61 - Aaron Gray grabbed 10 rebounds but scored only 5 points as the Panthers pulled out a tough win against the testy Huskies. Washington's Spencer Hawes recorded his 2nd double-double of the year with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

#9 Kansas 92 Nebraska 39 - The Jayhawks scored 56 points in the second half while holding Nebraska to 17, and ran away to their most lopsided win of the season. All 13 players for Kansas scored in the blowout. The 53-point trouncing was the 2nd-largest margin of victory in Big 12 history, eclipsed only by a 102-46 win by Kansas over Nebraska in 1958.

#11 Nevada 79 Northern Iowa 64 - The Wolf Pack hit 9-18 3-pointers and pulled away in the second half to improve to 24-2.

#17 Air Force 67 Colorado St. 58 - The Falcons still trail BYU by 1/2-game in the Mountain West conference at 10-3. BYU is 10-2.

#23 West Virginia 81 Seton Hall 71 - Seton Hall shot just 15% on 3-pointers (3-20) and the Mountaineers pulled away late. The win put West Virginia in a 3-way tie for 4th place in the Big East with Marquette and Syracuse at 8-5.

#25 Alabama 72 #20 Kentucky 61 - Up-and-down Alabama aided their cause with an important home victory over the Wildcats. The win evened Alabama's SEC record at 6-6, tied for 1st in the SEC West with Mississippi and Mississippi St.

Top 25 Road Winners

#4 North Carolina 77 #22 Boston College. 72 - The Tar Heels regained a tie for 1st place in the ACC with 9-3 Virginia, handing BC their second straight home loss and dropping them to 4th in the conference standings at 9-4. Both teams shot 52% for the game, but the Tar Heels hit 16-20 free throws to BC's 11-21, which provided the margin of victory.

#5 UCLA 81 #19 Arizona 66 - Josh Shipp threw down 24 points as the Bruins crushed Arizona, possibly sealing the fate of the Wildcats' postseason hopes. The loss dropped Arizona to 8-7 in the Pac-10 and 17-9 overall.

#6 Texas A&M 56 Oklahoma 49 - Joseph Jones and Acie Law each scored 21 points as the Aggies continued their roll through the Big 12 and remain in a tie with Kansas at 12-2 for first place. The Aggies' next stop is at #18 Oklahoma St. on Wednesday.

#8 Memphis 78 Gonzaga 77 - The Tigers scraped by upset-minded Gonzaga and extended their winning streak to 15 games. By virtue of Florida's loss to Vanderbilt, Memphis now claims the longest current win streak in the nation. Joey Dorsey scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Memphis.

#14 Georgetown 58 Villanova 55 - The Hoyas avenged a 56-52 loss at Villanova earlier in the year to keep pace with 10-2 Pittsburgh for 1st place in the Big East. Jeff Green led the way with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. The Hoyas recorded 14 blocks overall, playing without Roy Hibbert, who sat much of the game with foul trouble and scored only 4 points. The streaking Hoyas have won 9 in a row while Villanova fell to 6-6 in the conference.

#16 Southern Illinois 68 Butler 64 - The Salukis proved too tough for host Butler, hitting 7-15 treys and crashing the boards for a 33-24 edge. The non-conference game provided a good look at two of the better mid-major teams that likely will be competing in March. It was only the second game against a ranked opponent all season for Southern Illinois, but their record is perfect, having bested then-#16 Wichita State on January 1. The Salukis have won 9 straight.

Top 25 Losers (besides those already mentioned)

Louisville 61 #12 Marquette 59 - Louisville won on the road and continued its rise through the Big East standings with a third straight win, reaching 3rd place in the conference at 9-4 while knocking Marquette back to 4th. The Golden Eagles have lost three straight.

Stanford 88 #15 Oregon 69 - Oregon continued its spectacular collapse, losing for the 6th time in their last 8 games. The Ducks fell into a tie with Arizona at 8-7 in the Pac-10. Just a month ago they were in first place. Brook Lopez scored 24 for the Cardinal as they improved to 9-5 and 4th place in the conference.

Missouri 75 #18 Oklahoma St. 64 - Once again, Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry got little support from their teammates and the Cowboys got whipped at home. Oklahoma State's star duo had 16 apiece, shooting a combined 12-26. The rest of the team shot 8-23, including only 1-7 3-pointers. It was the 4th loss in the Cowboys' last 5 games and sunk them to 7th place in the Big 12 at 5-6.

Michigan 58 #24 Indiana 55 - In another in a long series of ugly Big 10 games, Indiana shot just 38% from the field and hit only 6-21 threes and 11-18 from the foul line. Despite the loss, Indiana remained in 3rd place at 7-5, as Iowa dropped to 7-6. Behind them Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois are all 6-6. Behind 12-1 Wisconsin and 11-1 Ohio State, mediocrity reigns supreme in the conference.

Of all the major conferences, the Big 10 should send the fewest number of teams to the Big Dance in March. Five could get bids, but no more than 3 are deserving.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fear the Commodores!

Vanderbilt has knocked off four ranked SEC teams

Vanderbilt 64 LSU 53 - They're not flashy. They haven't been ranked yet this season. But the Vanderbilt Commodores are ripping through the SEC and raising eyebrows around the country. Last night the Commodores improved to 14-6 and 4-2 in the SEC, knocking off #21 LSU with a combination of swarming defense and timely shooting.

Beginning on January 10 with an 82-81 road win over then-#16 Tennessee, the Commodores have gone 4-1, including wins over Alabama, and road wins at Kentucky and LSU. Their only loss during the span was at Georgia (85-73), another SEC surprise.

On Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Vanderbilt outhustled the Tigers to an early 16-3 lead and never looked back. Frustrating LSU's Big Daddy Glen Davis into a 5-15 shooting performance, the Vanderbilt defense held the Tigers to 32% shooting overall. Vandy's top three scorers - Derrick Byars, Shan Foster and Dan Cage - led the scoring. Byars had 18, Foster and Cage scored 14 apiece and the trio nailed 9 of their team's 10 3-pointers.

The Commodores next hit the court on January 27 at home against Mississippi. They get their shot at #1 Florida (currently leading the Commodores by 1 1/2 games in the SEC East at 5-0) on the 31st in Gainesville.

Texas Tech 70 Texas A&M 68 - Bobby Knight added another win to his resume last night, but this one was particularly satisfying. Knight is college basketball's all-time leader in wins, now has his team tied for the Big 12 lead with Kansas, A&M and Texas, all at 4-1.

The Red Raiders knocked off Kansas, 69-64, on Saturday and made it two in a row against Top 10 teams on Wednesday night.

It wasn't as though the #6 Aggies were going to make it easy. Leading scorer Acie Law poured in 26 points on 9-15 shooting and the Aggies outshot Tech, 53-50%, but the Red Raiders popped from beyond the arc, hitting 10 of 19 3-pointers. They also frequented the foul line and made good on 22 of 29 free throws, especially Martin Zeno, who led the team with 22 points, including 13-14 from the line. Tech's leading scorer, Jarrius Jackson, had 14. Senior forward Jon Plefka hit 6 of 8 shots for 17 points.

Florida 70 Mississippi St. 67 - The #1 Gators survived a scare on the road, but managed to escape with their 11th straight win and remain undefeated in the SEC at 5-0. Corey Brewer scored 20 for the Gators who didn't shoot particularly well (42%), but made 23 of 35 free throws.

Wisconsin 71 Michigan 58 - The #2 ranked Badgers continued their roll though the miserably weak Big 10, improving to 6-0 in the conference and 20-1 (best record in the nation) overall. The win was their 16th in a row and a new school record, since a 66-64 loss at Missouri St. November 24. Alando Tucker and Brian Butch each had 16 points as coach Bo Ryan emptied the bench as Wisconsin was never threatened by the Wolverines.

North Carolina 88 Wake Forest 60 - The #4 Tar Heels put four players into double figures and coasted to an easy win at overmatched Wake Forest. The youthful North Carolina squad was led by freshman guard Wayne Ellison who hit 8 of 12 shots for a game-high 18 points. The Heels improved to 5-1 in the ACC, but still trail 6-1 (and unranked) Boston College by half a game. Wake Forest fell to 1-6 in conference play.

Ohio State 59 Northwestern 50 - The #5 Buckeyes got 18 points from Ivan Harris on the outside and 17 from Greg Oden inside in a well-managed road win over the Wildcats. Both players were sharp, as Harris hit 7 of 9 shots and Oden 6 of 7.

The Buckeyes continue to chase #2 Wisconsin in the Big 10, who handed them their only conference loss. Ohio State will play both Purdue and Michigan State twice between now and Feb. 10 plus a home game against Michigan on Feb. 6. They'll have to wait until the second-last game of the season on Feb. 25 to get the Badgers again, though this time the Buckeyes will have home court advantage.

Kansas 82 Baylor 56 - The Jayhawks rebounded from their loss to Texas Tech with an easy win at Baylor. #8 Kansas built a 42-18 lead at the half and coasted home from there with Brandon Rush leading the way with 18 points.

Pittsburgh 67 Cincinnati 51 - #9 Pittsburgh also got back on the winning track with a road win, mangling the Bearcats with 61% shooting, including 12-19 from 3-point range (63%).

Memphis 71 Tulsa 59 - The #11 Memphis Tigers are quietly tearing through Conference-USA and everybody's getting into the act. The Tigers had seven different scorers with 7 or more points in Wednesday's home win. Though they shot only 40% from the field, Tulsa was held to just 35%.

Memphis hasn't played a meaningful game since a 79-71 loss at Arizona, and considering the way the Wildcats have been playing of late, questions linger over just how good coach Calipari's squad is. The Tigers have won 8 straight and all 6 of their conference games by at least 10 points and they won't see another ranked team all season unless Gonzaga (whom they play on Feb. 17) goes on a tear. The soft schedule makes for a grand record but often an early exit in March.

Marquette 89 Seton Hall 76 - #15 Marquette quickly answered any questions about a let-down following Sunday's win at Pitt by blitzing the Pirates with 43 first-half points to take a commanding 13-point lead. Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal each had 22 points as the Golden Eagles won their 5th straight Big East contest after dropping their first two. Despite having beaten Pitt, they still trail the 6-1 Panthers by a full game in the wide-open Big East.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bottom Fallout: Five Losers

At the bottom of the Top 25, Wednesday was a disaster. Five teams lost in conference, but the biggest flop was in Nashville.

Vanderbilt 94 Alabama 73 - Junior Forward Shan Foster led the way with 27 points, including 5 3-pointers, as Vandy put a real hurt on #10 Crimson Tide. The 12-6 (2-2 SEC) Commodores are a real enigma, with wins over 'Bama, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, but losses to no-names such as Appalachian State and Furman. They do know how to dish, however, as they produced 27 assists in the win last night and have six players on the roster averaging more than 2 assists per game. Yes, they can dish the rock, but can they finish the dance? Vandy better be dandy for the rest of January with road games at Kentucky, LSU and Florida scheduled.

Auburn 83 Tennessee 80 - The Vols let this one slip away. Leading by 14 points with 10 minutes left, they allowed Auburn to chip away and win it on the foul line in the closing seconds. #22 Tennessee is now 1-2 in conference and their chances of staying ranked - after losing to Ohio State and now here on the road - are slim. Look for a Big East team (Syracuse) to take their spot on Monday.

Villanova 102 Notre Dame 87 - The 20th-ranked Irish fell behind early and could never get any closer than 7, as the Wildcats just kept hitting from everywhere. Villanova shot 57% and the two teams combined for 25 3-pointers (15 by Notre Dame). Scottie Reynolds topped the scoring chart with 27, going 8-12 from the floor. Villanova also outrebounded the Irish, 40-26. The loss dropped Notre Dame to 3-2 in the Big East with both losses coming on the road. No defense, no rebounding... sounds like a quick exit is in store for Notre Dame if they keep playing that brand of hoops.

North Carolina 77 Clemson 55 - This wasn't really a surprise as the #4 Tar Heels rebounded off their loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday. Carolina solved their shooting woes, hitting 31-60 from the floor while cutting down on 3-point attempts. They shot 8 and made 3. The Tar Heels have to cut down on the turnovers, however. Despite their 17 assists, the 22 turnovers don't look good. Still, an ACC road win is big. Watch the name Trevor Booker. Clemson's 6'7" frosh swatted 8 shots.

Florida State 82 Virginia Tech 73 - OK, the ACC is upside-down. After beating Duke and North Carolina in succession, the Hokies went South for their first conference loss. How do you shoot 56% and lose? Send the opposition to the foul line 34 times. That's what happened, and the Seminoles only missed 3 times on their home hardwood. The Hokies had their chances, but hit only 17-26 charity tosses. Plus, actually guarding senior Al Thornton or soph Toney Douglas might have helped. The duo scored 27 and 22, respectively and together accounted for 19 of Florida State's 31 made free throws.

The Seminoles are a team to watch, though. They now have a win in the ACC (1-3), but this is the team that beat Florida 70-66 in December, but also has losses to Pitt, Wisconsin, Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia Tech - some quality teams, and all but the Clemson loss were on the road. These guys could put a run together, do some damage in the ACC tournament and conceivably make life miserable for a few foes in the big dance. Keep an eye out for them.

Winners on Wednesday: #2 Wisconsin, 69-64 over Purdue; #7 Ohio State, 73-41 over Northwestern; #16 LSU, 62-55 over Mississippi; #18 Butler, 67-39 over Youngstown State. All Top 25 wins were on home courts except #4 North Carolina's win at Clemson.

Thursday action will be late, as most games are out on the coast. Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Nevada play. #14 Duke is home for Wake Forest.