I'm back in town, so I'll be ramping things back up over the next day or so...
"We've been minus three guys most of this week, but in spite of that our guys have fought their way through and had good practices," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said Tuesday.
Team That Needs a Win: Vanderbilt The Commodores were beaten by Western Kentucky after another great performance by Hilltoppers guard A.J. Slaughter. Vandy is a good team that has really struggled, and Kevin Stallings has been perplexed by his team's performances since the early stages of practice. Stallings sat Jermaine Beal and A.J. Ogilvy for the opening tip of the WKU game. He has not been pleased with their play of late. Vanderbilt has the pieces to be good, and there is still plenty of time for the Commodores to be good … but they need to start now.
Vanderbilt celebrated it’s re-emergence to the Top 25 by promptly getting dumped by Illinois, 79-68. The Illini built a 10 point halftime lead that lead stood up throughout the second half. Brad Tinsley and Jeffery Taylor both had 12 points to lead the Commodores. Vanderbilt’s bad week continued in the Sun Belt Classic with a 76-69 loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Commodores look like a team in turmoil and Kevin Stallings even referred to his team as "a broken mess." Starters A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal were benched for the start of the WKU game for "lack of effort." Taylor scored 21 to lead the Commodores in that loss.
"We've had one of the toughest schedules in the country up to this point. We're a game away from where we probably should be with our team. "What really matters the most is what we do from here. The Western Kentucky game isn't going to decide what gets us into the NCAA Tournament. What matters is how we handle what's happened to us and what we do with it from here."
"It's just kind of an ongoing thing. Obviously when he's healthy and his mind's right like Arizona, Missouri and DePaul in the 2nd half, A.J.'s a very good player. It's become difficult, though, because we don't know whether he's going to be there or not, and that part has kept our team a little bit out of balance because we don't know if he's going to be healthy enough to play. That's a little debilitating because everyone's waiting around to see if he's okay. "One of my staff members said the other day that we just need to get Festus Ezeli ready to help us win big games. So that's what we have to try to do in the event that A.J. isn't available."