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Periscope: Sun Belt Classic - #24 Vanderbilt vs W. Kentucky

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There is little doubt that Vanderbilt will be the more talented team on the court. As you will see below, Vandy easily holds the advantage in all the tempo-free statistics. Vandy will also be the most efficient team offensively and defensively that the Hilltoppers have faced all season. Will it matter?

As Vandy fans are all too aware this season, talent will only take you so far. I haven't seen Western Kentucky play yet this season, but I would be willing to guarantee that they will play with the grit, determination, and intensity that it takes to win. Will Vandy come close to matching them in those categories tonight?

The Commodore Faithful are living and dying with every shot, every pass, every rebound and every steal. Our lone wish at this juncture in the season is that the players begin to as well. We know they are capable of it--we've seen the flashes of brilliance. It's about time for their light to shine. I want them to play like this game is their last.

Here is the breakdown of all these numbers (all taken from Ken Pomeroy):

Statistical Breakdown:

The only key to the game should be that they play for each other. That's all that's missing.

Gameday Links


Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky will face off in the nightcap of the 2009 Sun Belt Classic at the Nashville Arena this Friday night at 8:30 p.m. The game will follow the Tennessee-Middle Tennessee State game, which begins at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on CSS, and the action can also be heard live on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network and, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson courtside calling all of the action.

Toppers Take on #24 Vanderbilt at Site of Last Year's Biggest Win - Western Kentucky University Official Athletics Site

Friday's game is the first match-up between the two programs since 2001, and just the fifth in the last 43 years. While WKU is seeking to snap a 10-game losing streak to Vanderbilt (dating back to 1946), three of the last four meetings have been decided by five points or less.

Certainly, Vanderbilt needs to play better defense and do a better job on the boards, but I think a better showing on offense would make a lot of fans (myself included) feel a lot better.

Vanderbilt-Western Kentucky Preview | (Scout - Premium)

Preview: Vanderbilt - Western Kentucky | Dore Posts

Stallings rips team for lacking defensive effort at Vanderbilt |

When asked if those situa­tions were a mat­ter of guys not reco­ve­ring on their man after hel­ping off, Sta­llings offe­red this answer: "It was a mat­ter of some guys just not trying hard enough, unfor­tu­na­tely," he said. "There is no reco­very for ... there is no help-side for lack of effort. "We just had a serious lack of effort in some spots. Not in every spot. We had some guys tried really hard. We just had some guys who didn't." That's soun­ding the alarm for the Wes­tern Ken­tucky game at 8:30 p.m. Fri­day at Som­met Cen­ter, the second half of a dou­blehea­der in the Sun Belt Clas­sic. Ten­nes­see and MTSU play at 6. WKU, a Sweet 16 team in 2008 and a second-round tour­na­ment team last spring, is off to a bit of a slug­gish start des­pite a 4-3 record. But it's a group Sta­llings holds in high regard. "Ath­le­tic. Good. Really good reboun­ding team," he said of WKU. "Well-coached. Play hard. Good defen­si­vely. The makings of a team that got into the tour­na­ment last year and made noise and won games and beat high-ranked oppo­nents. They are a talen­ted team."

VU guard won't take injury news sitting down | Nashville City Paper

It’s a bit of a challenge for John Jenkins to run and jump right now. Even so, don’t expect him to sit."It’s bothering me pretty bad, but I knew I had to fight for my team the other night," Jenkins said. "I couldn’t show any weakness or pain so I went out there and played pretty hard on it. It’s pretty sore, but I’m going to keep fighting through it." "He practiced (Wednesday) and practiced well," coach Kevin Stallings said Thursday afternoon. "I think he’s still less than 100 percent, but he’s actually showing some grit and toughness. "I don’t know that I want to call it inspiring, but it’s been pleasing for sure."

Vols, Commodores plan 3-point assault | The Tennessean

Senior guard A.J. Slaughter leads a Western Kentucky team that has struggled from the field (.413), the 3-point line (.290) and the foul line (.633) in the early going. But the Hilltoppers have a way of getting things in order by March. The last two seasons they have more NCAA Tournament wins (three) than Tennessee and Vanderbilt combined.

Previewing Vanderbilt vs. Western Kentucky | (Rivals - Premium)

As always, post your predictions below and make sure to head over to Stat-King to vote on who you think will be the best performing Commodore against the Hilltoppers. Also, stop by our open game thread which opens an hour before tipoff.