Postgame: Illinois 79, #24 Vanderbilt 68

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate the Fighting Illini. They played hard and with passion.  Must be nice.

Feeling a little shellshocked at the moment that Vandy would drop another egg like that after earning their way back into the rankings. It felt like everyone just decided they were going to take the night off tonight.

Steve Tchiengang had the lone block for the Dores. That's a pretty good example of the lack of defensive intensity from the team tonight. On the season, Vandy was averaging close to 6 per game.

Andre Walker was the glue guy again with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Illinois really shot the ball well. Of course, It sure is easy to do that when the defense is leaving you with a comfortable look at the basket. Even when Vandy would try to go on a run, there'd be a defensive breakdown which would lead to an open look from outside. Illinois had to make them, and they did, with relative ease.

As I said in the preview, Vandy just can't spot teams early points with turnovers and poor shot selection. It's a recipe for disaster, especially while we aren't shooting well from outside. When you couple that with poor defensive intensity, you lose ball games. It just doesn't seem like the team is focused on playing basketball at all.

What Vandy needs right now is a players-only meeting.

Relevant links:

Game Page /// TSN Recap /// Box Score /// Official Vanderbilt Recap

Stallings just now on the post game radio show: "We got less than we needed from Jeff on the road. We got less than we needed from John on the road. We got less than we needed from A.J. Ogilvy on the road. We got less than we needed from Jermaine Beal on the road. I don't think there was a player on our team who played better than just their average. You can't win on the road in a place like Illinois without people playing above themselves."

As I mentioned in the game thread, Jeffery Taylor apparently had been running a fever throughout the day. Also, John Jenkins may have a sprained MCL and was playing with a brace (that conveniently broke during a fast break).

Plus/Minus Updated Through the Illinois game:

 

Plus/Minus PER 40

 

In my preview I said that Vanderbilt is the better team statistically and that they should win. This is exactly why games are played. Tonight, Illinois deserved to win.

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