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Vanderbilt Basketball Mail Bag #9: Answers to your Questions

You ask, we answer.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Vanderbilt at South Carolina
I know this is from the women’s game, but this is the image we deserve after losing twice this season to the South Cackalacky Game Penises.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Question from BarnDore1950:

Before last night, I thought about the best we could do in conference would be 6-12. Now I am not so sure we get to 6 wins. What do our writers think?

Answers from AoG:

Tom: It depends a lot on whether and when Liam Robbins and Rodney Chatman return — if the answer is “soon,” I could see them getting to 7-11 or so with home games remaining against Georgia, Missouri, Texas A&M, and Florida, and a road game against a bad Ole Miss team. If the answer is “lol no,” we’re probably looking at 4-14 or some such nonsense.

Paul: I’ve already seen enough from this team to write them off from doing anything memorable the rest of the year. They seem to be getting worse each game, so I think my over/under SEC wins is 4.5 with some significant action on the under.

Andrew VU ‘04: Well, we’re 2-5 now, and we’ve already played the worst two teams in the league thrice... so perhaps this is a better question for the Het-O-Meter.

Yeah... that sounds about right. We should (and absolutely need to) beat Ugga at home Saturday. That would bring us to 3-5. Barring a miracle, we’re not beating Kentucky or LSU, making it 3-7. Missourah (spits) could be a win. Ole Piss on the last game of the season (assuming we have Robbins and Chatman back) could be a win, too. Then play one good game against either aTm or Clanga. So yeah... still 6. Of course, after losing to the Penises twice, I would not be shocked if we only win 3 regular season conference games this year. If we lose to Ugga, nuke the program.


Question from VandyFan1:

Barring some sort of miracle win streak is our season over after the sec tournament?

Answers from AoG:

Tom: Yes, the real question is whether the men or the women end their season first (the SEC women’s tournament is a week earlier, but I could kind of see the women getting a WNIT bid.)

Paul: I checked with my little sister who is a Vandy undergrad, and there is still time for the team to sign up for an intramural tournament at the Vanderbilt Rec center this March. I heard the medical school is fielding a pretty deep roster this year, so we’ll see if Stack’s club can match up. All tournament games will be streamed on instagram live by Max Herz.

Andrew VU ‘04: Yes. We’re not paying to be in no CBI bullshit, even if it is just an excuse to party on Daytona Beach like it’s MTV’s Spring Break ‘99.


Question(s) from 92drummer:

1) Can we have the This is Fine cartoon yet?

2) What is the most likely way we will screw up the next coaching search?

a) Hire a former player because we need someone “dedicated.”

b) Hire a guy that has never been a head coach but is an “up and coming” coach from another team

c) Hire another head coach from the G-League that doesn’t know anything about the college game

d) Hire a successful from the NAIA.

d) Do anything else besides what we obviously should do by putting real $$ on the table to hire a proven and successful coach away from another program.

Answers from AoG:

Tom: If you’re looking for a serious answer, the most obvious way we screw this up is option (b), because this is what ADCSL did with both Clark Lea and Shea Ralph... but then, the latter looks like a really good hire (and the former might work, too.)

Paul: I’m fine to sacrifice our solid recruiting class and start from rock bottom again. It can’t get any worse, so ADCSL might as well create the illusion that MBB is rebuilding like Football and WBB are with new coaches so that she can preserve her own job security for another 3-4 years.

Or we could bring back Kevin Stallings and win 20 games next year.

Andrew VU ‘04: 1) The “This is Fine” cartoon has never left our official Twitter account (though I will again petition for its removal during Baseball season), so do you see those footprints in the sand? That’s when the “This is Fine” cartoon was carrying you. 2) There are infinite ways to screw up a coaching search. ADCSL knows her shooty hoops, though, and the early returns lead me to think she just might have knocked the Queen Ralph hire out of the park. As such, I have faith we may just not screw this one up. I refuse to answer parts a-d, because switching from numbers to letters and then putting “d” in twice offends my delicate sensibilities.


Question from BlueDore:

Have we moved to anger over the state of the team? Or indifference?

Answers from AoG:

Tom: Anger was three years ago. This is “you can’t hurt me any more” levels.

Paul: Indifference, apathy, whatever you want to call it. I’ve reached the point where it doesn’t affect my day one way or the other if we win or lose, just so long as the players have fun and SPJ throws it out of bounds a few times.

Andrew VU ‘04: Oh I’m in full indifference mode. I forgot we had a game until a minute before the 2nd Game Penis loss tipped off. I only know we play Ugga Saturday at 5pm, because I had to check before I gave the other writers the time frame by which to get their answers in.


Question from ask_thedoctor (submitted last week after the deadline, but reposted by Parlagi):

Other than not banning students from attending home games,

1) How can VU Athletics improve the home dynamic of Memorial Gym (words I never thought I’d have to type)

2) Do you think VU Athletics will actually do the things you stated in response to Question 1)

3) Do you have any indications of how well Vandy United is doing, and do you think boneheaded decisions like banning students from attending basketball games against your two biggest rivals in your two biggest home games is a sure fire way to *reduce* fan contribution to that fund?

4) What are y’all’s thoughts on the “best case scenario” vs “worst case scenario” as it relates to VU home field advantage across sports, especially with two new big schools scheduled to join the conference?

Answers from AoG:

Tom: Revoke the season tickets of anyone who puts their tickets to the Kentucky and Tennessee games on StubHub. (I am actually serious with this. Hell, I’d add Georgia for football because no, it’s not acceptable for season ticket holders to be selling.)

Paul: Winning cures all. Even the Tennessee Titans, who notoriously had some pretty significant away fan takeovers in their down years, were able to pack the stadium this season because they’ve had some sustained success recently.

I saw this as an undergrad four years ago - no student incentive, halftime show, concessions offering, or free T shirt will make fans show up to games like winning will. People want a great atmosphere and that can only come from great competition. Even bribing students and fans with $10 for coming wouldn’t do the trick with the product out there now. The attendance issues that we’re seeing are a result of years of poor performance, and thus will take years of winning to fix.

Best case scenario - We start to win some games, and we split fan attendance 50/50 with away fans when we play home games. Maybe 60/40 against UK, Mizzou, or Carolina.

Worst Case Scenario - The current state of Vandy Football and Men’s Basketball persists for the next 40 years until all of our fans die out.

Andrew VU ‘04: 1) Rehire a Kevin Stallings type coach. I don’t mean his style of play... I just mean one with a Shine-O-Ball-O Head who is quick to anger and threatens to kill a player from time to time just to keep them sharp. Once we lost the shine from his head, we lost the luster from the program. 2) No. 3) Is Vandy United the new Nashville MLS team? 4) Best case scenario is Corbin lives forever.


Question from Jared Rifkin:

Any idea why weikert Is getting so much playing time? Not saying he’s been playing bad because he hasn’t but it’s just odd

Answers from AoG:

Tom: It’s likely not about Weikert. The more likely explanation is that Jerry Stackhouse wants to send a message to one of Tyrin Lawrence or Shane Dezonie (or both), and that message is “I can play Drew Weikert ahead of you if you’re not gonna do __________.” I mean, from the jump I’ve appreciated Stack’s willingness to actually play the walk-ons (unlike Bryce Drew, who almost never played them even in blowouts.)

Paul: The season is a lost cause, why not. Weikert actually plays some pretty good minutes despite his physical limitations, so if anything I think it gives me a reason to watch. Make a prop bet with your friends for a higher total between Weikert points and SPJ turnovers. Loser has to watch a game at Memorial!

Andrew VU ‘04: It’s mostly due to Chatman’s injury. I mean... we don’t exactly have a deep bench right now.


Question from Former_SpiritOfGold:

Do you associate Darius Garland with Vanderbilt? I see the social accounts promoting Garland as he goes off with Cleveland, but I really don’t have any connection with him personally.

Answers from AoG:

Tom: Lol. No.

Here’s the deal: you bail on the team at midseason, and I don’t care what your reasons behind it are, you don’t get to be associated with the program any more in my mind. (No, I never understood his reasons. I’m sure they were valid in his handlers’ mind. They just don’t register with me.) If he played four games, got hurt, and sat on the bench the rest of the season? Or, hell, made an attempt to come back and play for the team again instead of just “preparing for the draft”? Yeah, okay, sure, you get the benefit of the doubt. As it stands, he’s as associated with Vanderbilt basketball as DeMarre Carroll, someone whose NBA exploits Vanderbilt has never tried to claim.

Paul: Continuing to associate DG with Vanderbilt when he only played 4.5 games for us is embarrassing at this point.

Do we associate Liam Robbins with Vanderbilt? Can he start doing laundry for the players? That would leave more of a lasting impact than Darius did.

Andrew VU ‘04: I do not. I very much want to, but he played like 5 games and then poof... he gone. I only remember his existence when people ask questions like this.


Question from VU1970:

Will we ever have Christmas again?

Answers from AoG:

Paul: I don’t understand the question. Why did this one make the cut?

Andrew VU ‘04: We’re buddhists now.


Question from WestEndMayhem:

How do you make it end?

Answers from AoG:

Tom:

Paul: Stop watching. It’s probably the worst economical use of your time and money possible. Read a book. Tutor some kids at a school nearby. Call your family. If I’d given a hobby or my real job as much energy as I’ve given Vanderbilt athletics in my lifetime, I’d probably drive a Tesla and be writing for Sports Illustrated at this point.

Andrew VU ‘04: Lose in game one of the SEC tourney on Wednesday, March 3rd.


Question from Shoogymgshoogs:

What is basketball?

Answers from AoG:

Paul: Wait, basketball is the sport that we brought on Jerry Stackhouse to coach? I never really discerned that from what I’ve been watching on TV for the past three years. I thought that we were just inviting other teams to Nashville so that they could come get a quick workout in on the way up to Rupp Arena. Perhaps we should make sure the team knows this as well.

God forbid we let students ever watch whatever takes place in Memorial Gymnasium, though. We certainly wouldn’t want to make them uncomfortable.

Andrew VU ‘04: Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more...