By A. Boggs - The Commodores are eager and ready to hit the court against the Alabama Crimson Tide tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum in the opening round of the 2009 SEC Tournament. Tip off is about 30 minutes away.
I talked to Tim Thompson, VU's radio analyst on the Vanderbilt/ISP Radio Network, a few minutes ago and I asked him about the keys to victory tonight. Here's what he told me:
1) Good perimeter defense - The Crimson Tide has shot over 40% from three since interim head coach Philip Pearson took over for Mark Gottfried 10 games ago. Alabama shot under 30% from beyond the arc while Gottfried was at the helm.
"It's not something we've talked about with Alabama in the past, but they've been really shooting it from the perimeter lately," said Thompson. "Vanderbilt's got to do a good job of guarding their shooters."
2) Offensive rebounding and second chance points - Alabama outrebounded Vanderbilt in the first game at Memorial Gym, and Vanderbilt must do a better job on the offensive glass.
"Vanderbilt must control the offensive glass and really bang with these guys. Alabama had 12 offensive boards in the first game, and won the second chance points battle, 13-6. That's got to be a priority."
Tip off is closing in...keep an eye the vucommodores.com blog and follow us on Twitter at vandymbb.