Brad Tinsley sent a message to those who doubted his point guard credibility with Vanderbilt's first-ever triple-double as Vandy rolled to a 41 point victory in the team's opener Friday night. Tinsley finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 29 minutes against the outmatched Blue Hose. Jeffery Taylor was also dominant for the 'Dores, scoring 27 points with just 12 shots to lead the team to victory.
Vanderbilt jumped out to a 16-6 lead after five minutes of play and never looked back after that. Taylor, Tinsley, and center Festus Ezeli were the team's big three, hitting shots with efficiency and creating an insurmountable lead before turning the game over to players like Jordan Smart, Chris Meriwether, and Aaron Noll. Ezeli finished the game with 14 points, six rebounds, and three blocks against an overmatched Presbyterian front line.
There wasn't much to be disappointed about for Vandy fans, though John Jenkins was unable to get his shots to fall all night and went 0-6 from three point range. Lance Goulbourne and Steve Tchiengang were effective and efficient off the bench, and freshmen Kyle Fuller and Rod Odom overcame rough starts to have decent nights. The team protected the ball well and out-rebounded their smaller opponents to the tune of a 40-21 advantage in the win. Vanderbilt shot over 60% on the night and held their opponent to just 32% from the field.
In all, a great start for the Commodores, even if it came against an opponent who won't sniff the upper half of the RPI. Jeffery Taylor, with three three-pointers, showed that his jumper might be stronger than we could have imagined. Festus Ezeli showed off an improved offensive game that suggests that he can replace the production that A.J. Ogilvy took to Turkey this year. And Brad Tinsley was simply nasty. It's an encouraging night for what looks to be a promising season.