I've got a new nickname for the basketball team when they play like they did on Tuesday night. When that set of players shows up to the game, I shall refer to them as THE IMPOSDORES. I shall only refer to them as the Commodores when the real team begins to play. Hopefully they will be playing their second game of the season against Western Kentucky, after an opening win against Lipscomb way back in mid-November.
"We just never stopped them consistently," Stallings said. "When we needed a bucket, we had some open looks and missed. It’s disappointing… but this game came down to us letting them throw the first punch and getting the lead, and us not playing well enough defensively. We just have to get back and figure out if we can guard better."
Vanderbilt was led by Brad Tinsley and Taylor with 12 apiece. Illinois held Taylor, who is averaging 15.4 points a game, to just two in the first half. Stallings said after the game that Taylor had been sick for a couple of days, running a fever. "He's got a gear that nobody else on that court possesses except him on either team, but you didn't get to see it tonight because it didn't exist because of the way he felt," Stallings said. With Taylor dragging, Beal, a senior guard, did what he could to keep Vanderbilt in the game in the first 20 minutes with 3-of-8 3-point shooting and 11 points.
Vanderbilt might want to stay out of the polls.
"It was like they were playing horse out there and they had a good day of horse," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said.
Stallings played a lot of different lineups in the game, trying to find something that worked. Nothing ever seemed to click. Anytime Vanderbilt put together a couple baskets in a row, an Illini player would step up and knock down a jumper. This pattern contined all game long.
Warren Norman (return specialist), Brett Upson (punter), Myron Lewis (cornerback) and Chris Marve (linebacker) all earned recognition in the wake of the Commodores’ 2-10 season. Only two VU players made the coaches’ all-conference team in 2008, when the Commodores were 6-6 and on their way to a bowl game. Norman was the only freshman among the 57 players named to the first and second teams. He set numerous conference and school return records and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday.