I've posted my follow up comment from Vanderbilt Sports Line's great post about AJ and the future of Vanderbilt Basketball:
Like you, I get that people sometimes get frustrated when AJ (or any other player for that matter) makes a mistake. I just don't understand why AJ draws the ire quite as well as he does...
Seriously. He's human. He's as prone to mistakes as anyone else.
At the same time though, he has sacrificed himself for the team for three seasons. He takes an unbelievable physical pounding in the paint. (I should know, my basketball seats are front and center under the away team basket -- I'm not sure there is anyone with a more up close and personal view of how brutal life in the paint is in the SEC). Frankly, it's an incredible testiment to his toughness that he's able to absorb so many blows from opposing teams and not have sustained any serious injury. We're talking about a player that is sitting in 6th place in fouls drawn per 40 minutes.
AJ is a mighty player, without whom the team would be in shambles. Frankly, the treatment he's receiving from the Commodore family is nothing short of embarrassing and shameful.
Bottom line: AJ deserves better than what an embarrassingly large number of Vandy fans are giving him. I won't blame him in the least if he decides to take his game to the professional level. It's sad to see so many take for granted such a talent.
AJ is already obviously a big man. I hope and pray that he proves to be the "bigger man" when it comes to this foul treatment he's been getting and decides to return -- not for the fans, but for his teammates and coaches.
Please come back, AJ. We need you way more than you need us.
It really is a shame that this is something that needs to be addressed in the first place. The last three years, we've been so spoiled, despite the disappointments of two early exits from the NCAA as four seeds. Without A.J. Ogilvy, there are no four seeds. There's no second place in the SEC this season. There are perhaps no trips to the NCAA Tournament. There's no Vanderbilt 93, Kentucky 52. I hope the ugliness of Commodore nation of late hasn't spoiled his desire to bless us with one more season. Please, AJ, we need you back! If not for us, do it for your teammates who are your brothers on the court. Or for your coach who sacrificed his bonus to keep a promise he made to you to take you and your teammates to your homeland. You've got unfinished business and a legacy waiting for you. You deserve to taste NCAA success. One. More. Year.
Either way, you're still one of my all time favorites ever to don the Black and Gold.