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Vanderbilt: Don't Play to the Level of Your Competition

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  Brad Tinsley #1 of the Vanderbilt Commodores makes a shot around Jamychal Green #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Eric AdamsContributor IJanuary 23, 2010

A couple quick thoughts before Vanderbilt's game today against Auburn.

According to every source imaginable, the Commodores are at least a 12-point favorite against the Tigers. What does that mean? The smart people know Vandy is a better team. If the 'Dores have any chance of beating Kentucky or Tennessee next week, they need to lay the hammer down on Auburn. They should win this game by 20.

When you have about 20 minutes to waste, go over to KenPom.com . He has Vandy ranked No. 23 based on his own formula. The neat stat is Vandy's individual rankings based on % of Possessions used. Here's how he defines it:

A measure of personal possessions used while the player is on the court. Simply assigns credit or blame to a player when his actions end a possession, either by making a shot, missing a shot that isn’t rebounded by the offense, or committing a turnover.

Here are the top five Commodores listed: A.J. Ogilvy, Jeffery Taylor, Jermaine Beal, John Jenkins, and Festus Ezeli.

Let's take a quick look at the difference between Jenkins and Brad Tinsley. Jenkins has a %Poss score of 20. Tinsley is at only 15.8. I think the numbers could be explained this way. Brad is a perfect compliment to Jenkins. Tinsley is a distributor/facilitator, while Jenkins wants to put the ball in the basket.

In a weird way, as much as I want a Beal/Jenkins combo on the floor at all times, it would probably mess up the flow of the offense. Too many guys handling the ball that are going to end the play, whether good or bad.

Regardless, I'm going to start watching Tinsley a little differently. Let's start watching his assist/turnover ratio and his +/- while he's on the floor, not his point total.

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