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Postgame: Vanderbilt 89, Missouri 83

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I must say that despite how uncomfortable Missouri made the final five minutes of this game for the Commodores, I never truly felt that Vandy was going to let them steal this one. Give Missouri and Coach Anderson credit. Despite being in a hostile atmosphere down 14 points with 5:29 left to play, they never stopped giving their full effort or believing in themselves and nearly came away with a hard-fought road victory as a result.

  Elmer's Glue Guy Of The Game Andre Walker (6 pts, 12 rebs, 4 asts, 3 blks, 2 stls)

Relevant Links:

Game Stories:

Commodores shake off road woes, fend off Missouri rally | Nashville City Paper

Missouri managed just three offensive rebounds in the first half and one in the first 14-plus minutes of the second. The one-and-done approach had a lot to do with the fact that Vanderbilt stretched a six-point halftime lead to 78-64 after an Ogilvy put-back.

Vanderbilt manages to beat Missouri | | The Tennessean

"I didn't think if we turned the ball over 24 times against them we would win," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said. "We didn't play great, but that's because of them. They force you to play in a way that you're not accustomed to playing."

What was Impressive
  • Vanderbilt Free Throw Shooting - Prior to last night's game, Vanderbilt's FT% was 65.3% on the season. That is uncharacteristic for a Vanderbilt team and certainly not representative of the capabilities of the players. Against Missouri, Vandy FT% was 83.9%, and their FTRate was 53.4% (they converted 53.4% of their field goal attempts into free throw opportunities). John Jenkins was clutch down the stretch, nailing perhaps the biggest free throws of his basketball career.
  • Jeffery Taylor - His plus/minus below says it all. He is emerging as our best player. He really minimized one of his weaknesses thus far, turnovers, by having only 1 against one of the best teams in the nation at forcing them. His defense is outstanding. So long as he steps on the court in a Vanderbilt uniform, he will almost always be the most athletic player on the court. As soon as he realizes that, and begins to trust in his silky-smooth jumpshot, he will be impossible to defend. Trust in yourself, Jeff! Just watch the dunk in the highlights. Trust me.
  • Rebounding - Considering Vandy had been out-rebounded by 4.8 rebounds per game over the first five games, it was nice to see a +21 rebounding margin. Vandy even had 15 offensive rebounds to Missouri's 17 defensive rebounds! Quite the improvement. As Andre Walker said after the game, "I think as long as you make a conscientious effort all the time to hit somebody, you can get rebounds."
  • Mike Anderson - This was my first occasion to observe Missouri's head coach from the stands. I must say that I came away quite impressed with him. Missouri made an outstanding hire and I hope they do everything they can to hang on to him. Coach Anderson never seemed anything but confident and cool. Clearly this filters down to his players. I was very impressed.

Areas of Concern

  • Turnovers - 24 of them to be precise. The season average was 15.6 (still too high). Jermaine Beal had 4 and Brad Tinsley had 6. Not good. Sure, Missouri forces more turnovers per game than most teams, but the players can't exactly say the coaches didn't address this leading up to the game.
  • Half-Court Offense - The team really appears to be stagnant when forced to run their half-court offense. There doesn't seem to be very much movement away from the ball. I would very much like to see this improve over the next few games. I've got a feeling some half-court flow would do wonders for our current 3-point FG%, as the players individually are much better outside shooters than 34%.

Plus/Minus through the Missouri game:

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