Not a lot on the docket. Various sources will start rolling out with their game previews. Here's what I've come across:
"I guess we finally believed it. If we can do that every game, there aren't many teams that can beat us." Jenkins, wing Lance Goulbourne and post players Festus Ezeli and Steve Tchiengang are giving Stallings an average of 55 minutes, 23.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and three blocks off the bench in SEC play, all while shooting 58.5 percent from the field.
"It just shows the other team that we have this depth and the bench is just as confident as the starters," Tchiengang said. "We don't have to play anybody 30-35 minutes in our opinion," Stallings said. "We've got enough depth — and enough at each position — that we can sub whenever we think we need to, or just when we want to, I guess."
"That's a really big thing for us," added A.J. Ogilvy, who is averaging 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in SEC play. "It helps us out a lot, especially when we have big games … the two-in-a-week sort of thing."
Beal healing: Jermaine Beal has practiced without having his jammed right thumb taped this week, a sign that his New Year's Day injury is feeling better. "If he's less than 100 percent, or less than he should be, he'll generally tape that thing up," Stallings said.
10. Vanderbilt to have another winning season: It’s hard to have a lot of confidence after the way this past season went for Vanderbilt, which ended up going winless in the SEC. But the Commodores will have another winning season under Bobby Johnson. The offense will improve. Of course, it can’t get any worse, and the Commodores will have another one of those seasons where they don’t have the crippling injuries that plagued them this season. Johnson is too good a coach, and he’s surrounded by an excellent staff. The work they did in 2008 in getting the Commodores to seven wins wasn’t a mirage. They’ll do it again.
But enough about Kentucky. I don’t hear much chatter about Vanderbilt Freshman John Jenkins yet. (Well you know, except here.) But his 37 made threes are off the charts for a bench player.
Earning More Minutes
A lot of players get injured, miss a year, and never come back and play well. That hasn’t been the case with Vanderbilt’s Andre Walker. He may have missed last season, but he’s come back with a vengeance hitting 65% of his shots and being a key defensive force.
... And for all of us convinced that there is a sophomore leap in production, there’s always a player like Vanderbilt sophomore Brad Tinsley to ruin that prediction. Tinsley isn’t just missing shots this year, he’s turning the ball over at a high rate.
I highly recommend you check out this one.