Don't let the final score fool you. This was an absolute beatdown. Alabama's defense is stifling -- you don't post an adjusted 84.9 defensive efficiency (KenPom) by accident. Entering the game, Vanderbilt's offensive efficiency was 109.6. If the game had ended at the 4:20 mark in the second half, Vandy would have hit its average. That is a remarkable feat in and of itself.
Most importantly for Commodore fans, the Vanderbilt defense was the bigger story. They are a completely different team on the defensive end than we've seen in the last three or four years, probably since 2006-2007. Now, Alabama's offense hasn't exactly been the recipient of great praise from experts, but they came into the game averaging only 2 points fewer per 100 possessions than the Commodores (adjusted) at 107.4. Vanderbilt absolutely tore the Crimson Tide offense apart.
What's remarkable wasn't just that this happened. It was the way it happened. We continue to hear from the ESPN's, the CBS's, etc. about how difficult it is for teams to play on the road. Well, Vanderbilt is an overtime loss (sans-Festus) away from being undefeated on the road this season. Vanderbilt hasn't won these games specifically because they went crazy from long range. They've won with improved defensive play and with superior toughness.
After the game, Stallings mentioned that Festus Ezeli was a beast tonight, despite being only somewhere around 70% (!). That is an absolutely terrifying prospect for future opponents.
|Points Per Possession||1.02||0.87|
|Assists/Field Goals Made||60.0%||56.5%|
|% of Points by 3FG||34.8%||30.5%|
Periscope prediction: "Vanderbilt wins eFG% and FTRate." Result: 3/4. Could have done without those late turnovers...but I'll take a definitive OReb% advantage on the road when I thought it might be a toss-up.
*** Each game, AOG's army of statistics monkeys laboriously pore over the box score and play-by-play to calculate the mysterious plus/minus game statistics. These are those statistics. Please share your observations via the comments. Note: these are only the stats from the last five games. Click here to view the entire 2012 season.***
Plus/Minus Adjusted Per 40 Minutes