As the title says, Coach Stallings had to be trilled to escape with a victory. Vanderbilt struggled throughout, but stilled beat LSU by a score of 77-69. The score isn't indicative of how close the game was. The Commodores only held a two-point lead with 2:23 remaining. At the end of the day, this game should be forgotten.
After all, the 'Dores weren't playing with a full deck. With both Andrew Walker and John Jennings not available (injury/sickness), the team's substitution pattern was thrown on. Steve Tchiengang got the start over Walker. Steve played well, but the real hero of the game was Lance Goulbourne.
Yes, that Lance Goulbourne.
Really, I'm not making it up.
Lance scored a career-high and team-high 18 points to go along with nine rebounds. I've been very critical of Lance for a majority of the season. I thought he played very reckless at times and because of fouls/turnovers, at times he seemed to be a detriment to the team. Not any more.
He has tuned his energy and aggressiveness into inspiring play. LG was all over the place this afternoon, getting a lot of points on hustle plays. He also knocked down some free throws late to keep LSU at bay.
It looked like Vandy ran the same inbounds play for Lance that Jeffery Taylor coverted an alley-oop against Alabama. Coach Stallings realizes the athleticism that Lance posses and looks to be finding ways to take advantage of it. Lance also barely missed on a high-flying put-back dunk attempt.
I think its safe to say that he was our most effective player today.
Here are three other things that I took away from the game:
Andre Walker's shoulder injury
We saw last year what life was like without Walker. We got a nice reminder today. It's hard to quantify what Vandy misses when he's not in the lineup. I guess it's simply a little bit of everything. The team runs better when he's in the game.
He played 31 minutes in the Tennessee game, and did seemingly everything right. Let's hope he gets better quickly. As a side note, the SEC Network commentators didn't mention Walker's absence until the 14-minute mark of the second half. They noted that Steve Tchiengang was starting, but nothing about AW.
I don't blame them for missing the injury note, but at least say something about him not being in the game. Do your homework fellas.
Vanderbilt's ineffectiveness against LSU's 2-3 zone
Hats off to LSU coach Trent Johnson for throwing out the 2-3 zone against Vanderbilt. I'm not sure if they always run it or not. Regardless, it made Vanderbilt look very sloppy for the majority of the game. One of the commentators over at Anchor of Gold said it best: "If we have to play Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, we’re screwed. "
He said it a little more colorful, but you get the idea. You can always play the "What-If" game, but John Jenkins may have been able to shoot the Tigers out of the zone. Brad Tinsley and Jermaine Beal were unable to do it alone. Tinsly only shot 1-6 from behind the arc. Things got better very late in the second half, as the Commodores were able to find ways to attack it.
Does the Vandy full-court press work?
I know some coaches press to increase the tempo of the game. Coach Stallings may have been using the press to try to get a flow going. Regardless, don't you get the feeling sometimes that their press just gives easy buckets away. How many turnovers does it create? Doesn't seem like that many. I don't remember quick shots (misses) from opponents, I remember layup/dunk drills. Maybe I'm wrong.
There are some other things that I could touch base on: Taylor missing jumpers again, A.J. Ogilvy forgetting to play in the first half (two points on 1-for-2 shooting), and more about those bad announcers.
But you know what?
I'm going to savour this make-shift win and get ready for Ole Miss/Kentucky week.
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