Vanderbilt-Middle Tennessee: Recapping the Commodores' 73-53 Victory

Eric AdamsContributor IJanuary 5, 2010

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 17:  Jermaine Beal #0 of the Vanderbilt Commodores handles the ball under pressure from Daven Harmeling #32 of the Washington State Cougars during round two of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Arco Arena on March 17, 2007 in Sacramento, California.    (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Vanderbilt is rolling along, picking up its fifth win a row with a 73-53 defeat of Middle Tennessee.

Coach Kevin Stallings has basically settled on his nine-man rotation for the season.

The majority of the minutes will go to the following seven players:

Jermaine Beal
Jeffery Taylor
A.J. Ogilvy
Andre Walker
Brad Tinsley
John Jenkins
Festus Ezeli

From there, Steve Tchiengang and Lance Goulbourne will get between 10 and 15 minutes a game.

A few questions still linger:

At what point will Jenkins bump Tinsley out of the starting lineup?

In a point that was made by Vanderbilt Sports Line in the post-game thoughts, Tinsley appears to be out of favor with Coach Stallings. There is at least one play per game when Stallings looks like he wants to punch Brad in the face. Jenkins has outplayed Tinsley for a couple games now, and he may get the starting nod against Florida.

What is the ideal playing time split for A.J. and Festus?

When Stallings decided to move Steve to the power forward spot, he left the center position to the two other big men. Ogilvy got into foul trouble tonight and threw off the rotation. In his post-game interview, Stallings said that Festus would likely play 15 to 20 minutes a night. As of now, Festus is only averaging 13 minutes a game. If this works, it would give Vanderbilt two solid centers who should be able to stay rested.

A few thoughts from tonight's game

I get a little chatty at times, so I'm sure this has happened before. But I really enjoyed how Stallings plays two different versions of the 2-2-1 full-court press. A couple times he had Walker and Taylor playing the front line. I loved having big athletic guys up top on the press. It makes the initial passes up the court a lot harder.

Later, he would use some combination of Beal/Tinsley/Jenkins up front. It forced MTSU to change the way it attacked the press.

In his post-game interview, Stallings sounded like somebody shot his dog. He was really hard on himself. A few times he mentioned how he had coached a bad game. I'm not sure what he did wrong.

Anchor of Gold has a really funny post about Ogilvy's mustache. It's very impressive in person. I wonder if he lost a bet, or he's just that awesome. Hard to tell.

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