Saturday, January 30, 2010

Video: Snow at Hawkins Field

by Barca Blog

In response to Travis' blog on the first day of baseball practice, Braeburn gives us this exclusive footage of Hawkins Field following "the biggest snow storm in the history of the world."

Braeburn noted, "You can see some of the guys on the team trying to shovel out all the snow. We were told by Daniel Harris that this was the pitchers' cardio workout for the day!"

MBB: Kentucky Gameday Prep

by Barca Blog

No. 21 Vanderbilt (16-3, 5-0 SEC)
at No. 1 Kentucky (19-1, 4-1)

Tip-off: 3 p.m. CT

Location: Rupp Arena (23,000) in Lexington

TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes)

Radio: 104.5 the Zone, XM 200, Sirius 217 (More affiliates)

Web: Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter

Series: UK leads 131-43 (UK leads 78-19 in Lexington)

Last Meeting: Vanderbilt 77, Kentucky 64 (Feb. 17, 2009)

Game Preview: Vanderbilt | Kentucky

Other Games in the SEC (CT): Live Scores
LSU at Miss. State (12:30 p.m. / SEC Network)
Alabama at Auburn (3 p.m. / SEC Network)
Georgia at South Carolina (6 p.m. / FSN)
Arkansas at No. 20 Ole Miss (Moved to Sunday - Weather)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday night links

by Barca Blog

It was a busy news day for what I thought would be a lazy snow day. For those of you that are night owls, here are two more links to occupy your time as we get closer to tip-off.

Katz's Korner with Kevin Stallings -
Andy Katz talks with Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings - Click to Watch

Brad Tinsley's Basketball Journal -
In his latest entry, Tinsley writes about his grandparents visiting Nashville, a surprise care package, and the excitement of the upcoming game with Kentucky. Click to Read

Snow interrupts first day of baseball practice

By Travis Young

January 29, 2010 has been written down on the calendar for a long time in the Vanderbilt baseball offices and player locker rooms. Today, marked the first official practice of the 2010 campaign and a little something called mother nature wasn’t too kind to the Commodores.

With Nashville and many parts of the southern United States receiving loads of snow right now, it makes it difficult to take ground balls and fly balls on a snow covered Hawkins Field.

However, once again mother nature didn’t stop the 'Dores from getting in a practice on Friday, thanks in large part to one of the nicest indoor hitting and pitching facilities in college baseball.

After practice, instead of dragging the infield and cleaning up and preparing the field for the next day, the Commodores removed blankets of snow off the infield tarp. Too much snow on a tarp that covers the infield can damage it and cause it to tear if its too heavy to pull.

I walked by the Hawk a few minutes ago and I saw some of the guys playing football in the snow covered outfield. Reminded me of my days playing tackle football up in the frozen tundra.

Hopefully mother nature will cooperate enough for the Vanderbilt baseball team to get a few practices on the green grass and red clay instead of moguls before the season-opener with Niagara on Feb. 19.

(Thanks to Sonny Gray for the picture)

The better half

by Barca Blog

Inside the numbers as we get ready for Saturday's showdown with No. 1 Kentucky.

Boggles' stat of the day: Vanderbilt has trailed at the half in four of their first five SEC games, but the Commodores have rallied in each of those games to come away with a victory. In the second half of league games, Vanderbilt has a scoring margin of +10.8 and are shooting an astonishing 55.2% from the field in the five games. VU also has a rebounding margin of +6.6 in those five games, and a +0.8 turnover margin.

"We play good in the second half for some reason," head coach Kevin Stallings said. "I don't know what the deal has been. I'd like to see us play that way both halves. We've been a good second half team and a good end of the game team and those things are important. We pride ourselves on being good at the end of games and so far we have been."

Vanderbilt's only lead at the half came against South Carolina on January 16 when the Commodores led, 41-35, at the break.

The stat I choose to ignore: Vanderbilt has a 7-14 all-time record against teams ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, but has an 0-8 record against number one teams away from Memorial Gym (including 0-6 in Lexington).

Overall, Vanderbilt holds a 4-10 record against top-ranked Kentucky teams.

Just a reminder, tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on ESPN and Read the official game preview here.

Calipari reminded of UMass teams

by Barca Blog

Eric Lindsey of Cats Scratches, Kentucky's official blog, contends that Vanderbilt could be the Wildcats' toughest challenge to date. (click to read)

In his post, Lindsey includes quotes from head coach John Calipari, who was complimentary of the Commodores during Friday's media session.

"This (Vanderbilt team) reminds me of my UMass teams," Calipari said. "Just a team that five guys, three guys off the bench, they all know what their jobs are, they make shots. They're tough. They're not beating themselves. You're either beating them or they beat you."

"You can't worry about one guy. Every guy that they have can shoot 3s, can bounce the ball, can pass the ball. Everybody is a basketball player, and they're physically tough. You're not going to out-punk them. That isn't happening. None of that stuff is working in this game. They're a veteran team and they're tough."

You can watch Calipari's entire press conference by clicking here.

Commodores in Lexington

By A. Boggs

The Commodores have made it to Lexington and are now at practice at Rupp Arena. We left a little earlier from Nashville to get ahead of the weather, and lucky for us, we did. The ride up, once we got out of Nashville, was relatively smooth. A movie and a half and we were here.

Here's a pic of Rupp...I trucked it up to the top of section 213 and took this shot. Doesn't matter how many times I walk in here, it's still a pretty awesome site.

We're all looking forward to the game Saturday...if you're traveling, drive safe, and Go 'Dores!

UT Play of the Game - Beal's 3

by Barca Blog

Dolla Beal wasn't leaving Knoxville without a victory.

This clip was the first of back-to-back three-pointers by the senior point guard in Vanderbilt's 85-76 win over Tennessee on Wednesday night.

For complete highlights of the game, visit our video archive page.

Beal, Tinsley discuss Kentucky game

by Barca Blog

Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsley met with the press yesterday to answer questions about the Tennessee win and the upcoming matchup with top-ranked Kentucky. Listen to the audio at the links below:

Jermaine Beal Click to Download

Brad Tinsley Click to Download

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stallings' Thursday press conference

by Barca Blog (Photo by Mike Strasinger)

As great as it was to win last night's game, it's time to move forward to Saturday's tilt with No. 1 Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Head coach Kevin Stallings just completed his press conference with local media inside Memorial Gym. Listen to the audio (below) to find out what he had to say about the matchup with the Wildcats.

Click to Download Audio

Photos galore!

by Barca Blog

I just uploaded 30 more of Mike Strasinger's photos from last night's game. Check them out by clicking here.

For those of you wanting to watch a replay of the game, go to We also plan to have highlights posted on VUcommodores' today.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

National media reacts to VU's win

by Barca Blog

Basketball writers from around the country have been tweeting away about Vanderbilt's 85-76 win over Tennessee Wednesday night in Knoxville.

Here's a sample:

Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz): Kevin Stallings doing a phenomenal job so far in the SEC. Vandy win at Tennessee makes Vandy second-best in SEC East (beat Fla.)

Pat Forde (@espn4d): Statement victory by Vandy tonight in Knoxville. Hot team vs. angry team when Dores visit Kentucky Saturday.

Gary Parrish (@garyparrishcbs): Big and Huge! RT @greyraven41: @garyparrishcbs big win for vandy or huge win for vandy?

Jeff Goodman (@goodmanonfox): Vandy finally gets a "resume" win tonight at Tennessee. Now they will get in my Top 25.

Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops): Okay, Vandy Nation, you win. Commodores win by 9 at Tennessee. I am officially on board.

Top story on ESPN's bball page

by Barca Blog

Thanks to intern Travis for giving me the heads up that the Commodores are the top story on's college basketball home page.

As you can see in the screen capture (above), Jermaine Beal's photo is featured next to the headline "The Real Beal" and the teaser "Hey, look who leads the SEC. Behind Jermaine Beal's 25 points, Vandy won at Tennessee for its 10th straight win."

Like all of you, I'm thrilled about tonight's victory for a countless number of reasons.

Reason No. 392, you might ask? Well, Travis was having a rough week after his beloved Vikings gift wrapped the NFC championship game to the Saints on Sunday (listen to the meltdown). The 'Dores triumph in Knoxville should lift his spirits in no time!

Final: Vanderbilt 85, Tennessee 76

Excited about the big win in Knoxville Wednesday night??!! Tell us about it on our official Facebook Fan Page. Click Here

Auburn Play of the Game #2 - Taylor's dunk

by Barca Blog

Another great moment from the Auburn game that almost blew the roof off Memorial.

If you missed the first play of the game, click here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

VU Baseball picked fourth in SEC East

By Travis Young – National collegiate baseball writer Kendall Rogers ( has picked the Vanderbilt baseball team to finish fourth in the SEC East during the 2010 season. With a stockpile of national caliber teams loaded with talent, including the defending NCAA Champions in LSU, Rogers’ lists the Commodores as one of the eight SEC teams to advance to postseason play.

Senior shortstop Brian Harris and sophomore 1B/OF Aaron Westlake were among the 13 players mentioned on Rogers’ preseason All-SEC team. Both Harris and Westlake look to build off the strong campaigns they put together a year ago. In 2009, Harris garnered first-team All-SEC honors and Westlake won the league-batting title en route to being named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

Click here to view SEC baseball preview.

Mooney Interview Airs Tonight

By Weinman - Senior guard Jessica Mooney took time this past weekend to record an interview with Michael Hackney of the Middle Tennessee Sports Network. The local group broadcasts high school basketball and hockey game throughout the Nashville area.

Tonight's basketball matchup features Hillsboro, Mooney's alma mater, taking on Ravenwood. The girls' game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with the pregame broadcast firing up around 5:40. Mooney's interview will air during the pre-game coverage.

The broadcast is available via the link above. There are two large media players on the home page, with the basketball player located underneath hockey player. If you miss this live tonight, the entire broadcast will be archived on the MTSN web site later tonight.

Schulz's Design of the Day

by Barca Blog

Check out this baseball ad (featuring sophomore hurler Sonny Gray) that's currently running on

Make sure you reserve your seats now for 35 regular season games at Hawkins Field. Baseball season tickets start at only $75 - click here to purchase.

If you've never been to a game, I can attest that there's no better way to spend a sunny spring day than at the ballpark. If you don't believe me, just ask The Boss.

By the way, the Commodores will open the 2010 slate with a three-game home series against Niagara from February 19-21.

Last week's basketball highlights

WBB: Mississippi State 65, Vanderbilt 56
Sunday, January 24

MBB: Vanderbilt 82, Auburn 74
Saturday, January 23

WBB: Vanderbilt 61, Auburn 60
Thursday, January 21

'Dores have difficult week ahead

by Barca Blog

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said it best. "The rubber's getting ready to meet the road."

The Commodores are riding high off a nine-game winning streak and a brand new national ranking. But this week presents their toughest challenge to date. VU will face their first two ranked opponents of the season, both on the road in hostile environments.

Their first stop will be on Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena, a place the 'Dores haven't won since January of 2005. In the four meetings since, Vanderbilt has lost by an average of 18 points per game to Tennessee.

"We haven't done that well (in Knoxville)," Stallings told Joe Fisher (watch video). "We've gone over there and they've kind of physically handled us, and mentally we haven't been good. We'll have to do a lot of things better."

The Vols are 65-7 at home under head coach Bruce Pearl including a perfect 10-0 this season with a win over former-No. 1 Kansas.

"Not many people have played well there or won there," Stallings added. "In any road game, you have to match the other team's intensity and energy. You have to be able to play with a poison of calm that doesn't allow the crowd to unnerve your play."

As for Kentucky on Saturday?

"We've got more than our hands full on Wednesday night," Stallings said. "We'll worry about the No. 1 team in the nation after that game."

Pearl compliments the Commodores: Bruce Pearl went out of his way to praise the 'Dores during his meeting with the press on Monday.

"They're so much more balanced than what they've been in the past," Pearl said. "This is the deepest Vanderbilt team and most-talented Vanderbilt team that I've seen. Probably they and Kentucky are playing the best basketball of anybody in the league right now."

Pearl also stated that starting center Wayne Chism missed Monday's practice after spraining his knee in the Vols' 78-63 loss to Georgia Saturday. Chism will continue to be evaluated to determine if he can play in Wednesday's game.

VU note of the day: Sophomore forward Jeffery Taylor is third in the league in field goal percentage in all games with a .550 shooting percentage, and first in SEC games only at .667.

UT note of the day: The Volunteers are shooting .505 at home this season while limiting opponents to .359 shooting. The Vols have held each of their last four home opponents to below 38 percent shooting.

Video of the day: When the going gets tough...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekly MBB polls and brackets

by Barca Blog

'Dores return to rankings

With a 15-3 record and 4-0 start in conference play, Vanderbilt's men's basketball team reentered the national rankings today. The Commodores vaulted to No. 21 in the AP Top 25 and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

They've appeared in the Top 25 two other times this season, but dropped out the following week after losing to Cincinnati (Nov. 23) and Illinois (Dec. 8). Click Here to view the complete rankings.

NCAA bracket predictions - Monday update

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Vanderbilt moving from a 6th seed to a 5th seed.

CNNSI's Andy Glockner also has the 'Dores as a 5th seed, rising from a 6th seed.

CBSsports' Jerry Palm gave VU a 6th seed.

More talk about the 'Dores

ESPN's Andy Katz is impressed with the Commodores in his Weekly Watch:
Vanderbilt has quietly put together quite a season -- it has a 4-0 SEC mark, a 15-3 overall record and is getting quality play from Jeffery Taylor (all 18 points in the second half against Auburn).
CNNSI's Seth Davis explains why he left Vanderbilt out of his AP ballot:
The lack of quality wins remains the only reason I am not ranking Vanderbilt, despite all the, uh, helpful suggestions from Vandy fans that they are ballot-worthy. The Commodores' best wins are over Florida at home and Alabama on the road. Not great, not terrible, but they also lost to Cincinnati and Western Kentucky on neutral courts. Vandy will have plenty of chances to make its case over the next two weeks.
Finally, FoxSports' Jeff Goodman mentions Vanderbilt's tilt at No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday as the second best matchup of the week:
I know it’s at Rupp Arena, but it’ll still be one of the more difficult tests that the Wildcats will face all season.

SEC Women's Basketball Standings

January 25
Mississippi State
South Carolina

This Week's Schedule
Thursday, January 28
Alabama at Vanderbilt - 7 p.m. CT (Buy Tickets)
TV: None; Radio: 560 AM

Sunday, January 31
Vanderbilt at Arkansas - 2 p.m. CT
TV: None; Radio: 560 AM

Last Week's Results
Thursday, January 21
Vanderbilt 61, Auburn 60 (Auburn)

Sunday, January 24
Mississippi State 65, Vanderbilt 56 (Nashville)

Thank you, Commodore fans


In response to the recent earthquake in Haiti, Vanderbilt student-athletes collected shoe donations in partnership with Soles4Souls at both the men’s and women’s basketball games at Memorial Gym this past weekend.

We received an overwhelming response from Commodore fans! Thanks to you, Vanderbilt will be contributing a large amount of shoes to the 1 million pairs Soles4Souls has committed to the victims in Haiti.

Check out the video below to see how many shoes were donated!

About Soles4Souls
Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 5.5 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic’s Green Guide and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Anyone can join our cause, and we need your help. Visit

Auburn extras

by Barca Blog

Full Recap: Vanderbilt 82, Auburn 74

After the Commodores were outworked and outhustled by the undersized Tigers in the first half Saturday, head coach Kevin Stallings did something unusual. Instead of chewing his team out in the locker room, he stayed silent while his assistant coaches handled the scolding.

"I told them that I wasn't going to get mad," Stallings said." It makes me feel too bad when I get mad, and I wasn't going to do it."

Stallings did get one point across without using his voice.

"(He) wrote the rebounding margin on the board," Brad Tinsley said. "We were outrebounded by 12. Our big guys just kind of took that personally and they really got after it in the second half."

Vanderbilt, who trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, responded by outscoring (50-31) and outrebounding (18-10) Auburn in the final 20 minutes.

It just doesn't matter: 
Stallings was asked after the game if he felt disrespected or bothered that the Commodores have been left out of the Top 25 during their nine-game winning streak.

"It doesn't matter to me," Stallings said. "I think we have a good team. I know the rubber is getting ready to meet the road. We'll find out how good here very shortly.

"It's nice recognition for the players. Do we deserve it? Probably. If you're 4-0 in this league, and 15-3, then you probably deserve to be ranked. I'm not going to complain about it because I know what's coming."

Join the club: With 14 points against Auburn, senior guard Jermaine Beal became the 40th player in school history to reach 1,000 points in his career.

Schulz's stat of the game: Vanderbilt is now 5-2 this season when trailing at the half. The Commodores have trailed at the half in three of its last four games, including its last two at home.

Quotable: "I went back and checked this, and since I've been here, the number of times we've either played Tennessee or Kentucky and/or Florida, two of those three back-to-back, and this is my 11th year, I want to say is 16 times. It almost seems intentional. I know that there's nobody down there that has it in for us.  We don't cause any problems around here. But that's a lot, wouldn't you think?" -- Stallings on if he knew who his enemy was in the league office after getting Tennessee and Kentucky on the road this week.

Photo by Steve Green

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tinsley shines in win over Auburn

by Barca Blog

Head coach Kevin Stallings called Brad Tinsley's performance against Auburn "probably his best game of the year."

With his outside shot not falling during the month of January (1-for-13 before Auburn), Tinsley has taken a different approach by attacking the basket more frequently in the last few games. His strategy worked on Saturday as he scored all of his points from inside the arc against the Tigers.

The sophomore guard finished the game with a season-high 15 points, including 11 in the first half to reach double figures for the first time since the Mercer game on December 21.

"I've kind of learned over the last year and a half that I can't really rely on my three-point shooting," he said. "I've got to use my whole game. I think I did that tonight. It's not all about being a three-point shooter. You've got to let the game come to you and keep playing aggressive."

Stallings told the press after the game that he could sense Tinsley was due for a breakout performance.

"I could see it coming," Stallings admitted. "He had his best practice of the year on Monday, and probably his second best practice of the year on Tuesday. He really looked good all week in practice. I was glad to see him be aggressive and assertive and he was also good defensively."

Photo by Steve Green

SEC Men's Basketball Standings

January 24
South Carolina
Mississippi State

This Week's Schedule
Wednesday, January 27
Vanderbilt at Tennessee - 6 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU; Radio: 104.5 FM

Saturday, January 30
Vanderbilt at Kentucky - 3 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN; Radio: 104.5 FM

Last Week's Results
Saturday, January 23
Vanderbilt 82, Auburn 74 (Nashville)

Shoe drive for Haiti continues today

by Barca Blog

Here's a photo of women's basketball assistant coach Vicky Picott (with cross country student-athletes Allie Scalf and Erin McManus) donating shoes to the relief efforts for Haiti during yesterday's men's basketball game.

Thanks to all of you for supporting this great cause. All shoes collected will be given to Nashville-based charity Soles4Souls, who has committed over 1 million pairs of shoes to aid in the recovery and rebuilding process.

The shoe drive will continue at today's women's basketball game against Mississippi State. Collection points will be located throughout the concourse of Memorial Gym. Don't forget that it's also the annual "Jam the Gym" game. Tickets are only $1!

Photo by Steve Green

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Auburn Play of the Game #1 - Jenkins' 3

by Barca Blog

Freshman guard John Jenkins nearly brought down the house when he drained this three from way behind the arc to give Vanderbilt its first lead of the day against Auburn midway through the second half.

Some believe the crowd noise was so deafening after the shot that it caused the SEC Network to lose its television feed for 20 minutes.

Only in Memorial.

For a complete recap of the game with additional video highlights, click here.

Important baseball dates

by Barca Blog

With baseball season just around the corner, here are some key dates to put on your calendar:

Friday, January 29
First Day of Practice

Saturday, February 6
Baseball Fan Day - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Hawkins Field
*Brand New Event - Find Out More

Saturday, February 13
Baseball Banquet - 7 p.m.
Location: VU Student Life Center
Register by February 3

Friday, February 19
Season Opener vs. Niagara - 4 p.m.
Complete Schedule

Don't miss out on a full slate of 35 regular season home games featuring a SEC schedule of Kentucky, South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia and Arkansas. Season tickets start at only $80. Click here to purchase

Tinsley blogs for his hometown

by Barca Blog

Sophomore guard Brad Tinsley is writing a journal for his hometown newspaper,

In Saturday's entry, Tinsley reflects on several topics including Vanderbilt's season, the challenges of being a student-athlete, and the similarities between Nashville and Portland.

It was also refreshing to read his comments about the mood of the team after the two road wins last week.
"One thing that makes this basketball team very dangerous is its selfless attitude. Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game that the definition of happiness is winning on the road, and you could tell in the locker room afterward how happy we really were. It's special to be part of a group of guys who care more about getting wins than who gets the glory."
To check out the entire blog (including how Brad got Taylor Swift's autograph), click here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Donate shoes for Haitian earthquake relief

Vanderbilt will be holding a shoe drive in partnership with Soles4Souls to encourage fans this weekend to donate new or gently worn shoes to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti at both the men's and women's basketball games at Memorial Gym.

Click here for more information on how you can help!

Video: Jam the Gym $1 Tickets

Bring your family and friends out to the women's basketball team's annual Jam the Gym game this Sunday against Mississippi State (2 p.m. CT).

Tickets are available for only $1!

Promotions include a mascot basketball game at halftime and a postgame clinic and autograph session.

For ticket information, click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Video: Taylor's alley-oop jam

by Barca Blog

A couple of you emailed me about posting footage of Jeff Taylor's monster jam off an inbounds play during the second half of Vanderbilt's 89-79 win over South Carolina.

Well, your wish has been granted.

Check out how high Jeff elevates off the floor after only taking a few steps.

It makes me wanna say, "Jammmmm.... ohhhhhh Jam!"

(You'll also notice that I threw in a Video of the Day in honor of the dunk.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly MBB polls and brackets

by Barca Blog

National Rankings

With two big conference road wins last week, Vanderbilt's men's basketball team inched closer to returning to the Top 25 today. The Commodores (14-3, 3-0 SEC) moved up in the Others Receiving Votes category of the Associated Press (26th) and ESPN/USA Today (t-27th) polls.

Vanderbilt has appeared in the Top 25 twice this year, but dropped out the following week after losing to Cincinnati (Nov. 23) and Illinois (Dec. 8).

Click Here to view the complete rankings

NCAA Bracket Predictions

The experts have released their latest projections for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Vanderbilt jumping from an 11th seed to a 6th seed.

CNNSI's Andy Glockner also has the 'Dores as a 6th seed, rising from a 9th seed. Notice who he lists as VU's first round opponent. Glockner had this to say in his Bubble Watch:
Very quietly, Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-0, RPI: 22, SOS: 29) has won eight straight after a road sweep at Alabama and South Carolina. Beating Auburn at home on Saturday should be a priority, as the next two-game trip after that is at Tennessee and Kentucky. We'll find out everything we need to know there. Nonleague was a mixed bag, with losses to Western Kentucky and Illinois and wins over Missouri and at Saint Mary's.
Also worth mentioning... ESPN's Andy Katz wrote about the 'Dores in his Weekly Watch:
The Commodores are quietly putting together a run for an NCAA bid. Beating Alabama and South Carolina on the road is just two more steps.

Video of the Day

Sunday, January 17, 2010

South Carolina: Odds and Ends

by Barca Blog

Complete recap: Vanderbilt 89, South Carolina 79

Helping hand: Vanderbilt's bench played a big role in their victory. The group of Festus Ezeli, Lance Goulbourne, John Jenkins, and Steve Tchiengang shot a combined 11-for-15 from the field and outscored South Carolina's reserves 30-7.

"Our depth has been very, very valuable for us," head coach Kevin Stallings said. "Lance and Steve gave us a great night. Fes was typical Fes: strong and tough in there. And John comes in and, of course, hits his shots. It was a good overall performance and one that we needed all of our guys to get."

Back on track:
The Commodores connected on 15-of-19 free throws in the second half Saturday, compared to 13-of-27 in Wednesday's win over Alabama.

Beal inches closer to 1,000:
With 10 points against the Gamecocks, "Dolla" now has 993 points in his collegiate career, just 7 shy of the 1,000 mark.

More stats: Through three SEC games, Vanderbilt is shooting 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range while attempting 33 more free throws than their opponents.

Quotable: "Despite the fact that (Devan) Downey scored 35, I thought there were times he looked very tired, which is more incredible with his performance." -- Stallings said when asked if his roster depth played a factor

Looking ahead: Vanderbilt, winners of eight straight, is off to its first 3-0 start in conference play in the Stallings' era. The 'Dores won't play again until next Saturday when Auburn rolls into town.

"We need to take advantage of the time and not sit back and think about what we've done this week," Stallings remarked. "We have to focus on an Auburn team that almost knocked off Kentucky tonight. We like these weeks because it's an opportunity to get ourselves better. There are some things that we need to work on and hopefully we can get better before next Saturday."

Ogilvy continues hot play

by Barca Blog

A.J. Ogilvy has been sensational in SEC play so far and has been a big reason why the Commodores are off to their best conference start (3-0) since the 1989-90 season.

The junior center from Australia leads the team with 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and has reached the foul line 10+ times in victories over Florida, Alabama and South Carolina.

Ogilvy got off to a slow start against the Gamecocks Saturday, but shined with 18 of his 22 points and seven of his nine rebounds coming in the second half to help the 'Dores cruise to a 10-point win. His size and strength eventually wore down South Carolina as he converted on several easy second-chance opportunities to keep the game out of reach.

"He dominated the second half around the goal," head coach Kevin Stallings said. "He was phenomenal, strong, explosive and authoritative."

Ogilvy showed no signs of being slowed down after he was temporarily sidelined with an injured ankle early in the second half.

"It's a little sore," Ogilvy said. "It's not anything that I can't play through. I'll think I'm going to get some treatment on it tomorrow to make sure it doesn't turn into anything more than it needs to be."

'Dores grab a victory

by Barca Blog

Vanderbilt's size and athleticism proved to be too much for South Carolina Saturday night in Columbia.

The Commodores took advantage of their obvious mismatch with the Gamecocks, whose tallest player is listed at 6'9, by dominating the rebounding margin (39-24) to stay undefeated in conference play with a 89-79 victory.

"I thought the difference in the game was our play on the backboards," head coach Kevin Stallings pointed out. "We got more of our misses than they did for the game and that's a very unusual thing."

Vanderbilt rarely came up empty on the offensive end. Not only did the 'Dores shoot 61 percent for the game, they also managed to get 24 second-chance points by controlling the boards.

Vanderbilt ended up securing 13 offensive rebounds on the night while South Carolina had just 10 defensive rebounds. Breaking it down even further, in the second half, VU had eight offensive boards off its 11 missed shots and converted them into 15 points.

Those are just crazy stats when you think about it.

And can you guess who the top rebounder was for the Gamecocks?

5'9 guard Devan Downey -- the smallest guy on the court -- with five.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Commodores battle through adversity

By Travis Young

The Vanderbilt women’s basketball season to this point could be wrapped up in small three-word phrase, “battling through adversity.”

With the ‘Dores in the midst of a tough four-game stretch to open conference play and a trip to Knoxville in the coming days, the injured-plagued Commodores knew they needed to play its best game of the season to top the Bulldogs.

Not only did the Commodores have a two-game losing streak on its back, it also had to prepare for the undefeated and sixth-ranked Bulldogs without its floor general Jence Rhoads and a banged up Lauren Lueders.

However, over the years VU has responded extremely well under adversity under head coach Melanie Balcomb and that held true again as VU manhandled Georgia in Memorial Gym on Thursday, winning 66-44.

With Rhoads sitting out with a wrist injury, Balcomb challenged the freshman duo of Elan Brown and Gabby Smith to step up and help fill the void of Jence against the Bulldogs. And did they respond.

The freshman trio of Tiffany Clarke, Brown and Smith combined to score 37 of VU’s 66 points (56 percent), including career-high performances from Brown (11 pts) and Smith (12 pts), to give VU it’s sixth win in the last seven meetings with Georgia.

“The freshmen have played so much in practice and they have responded well to our coaching staff,” Balcomb said. “It was obvious tonight that they were listening to what we were saying. You have to respond to our coaching in order to run our game. It's amazing how well the freshmen responded. They have to shoot the ball and not be hesitant and that was what was different about Gabby and Elan's game tonight.”

If the ‘Dores can get a total team effort out of an already short-handed roster on Sunday in Knoxville, Vanderbilt has a good chance to knock off its second-straight top-10 opponent.

In case you missed last night’s action, you can check out all the postgame reaction from VU’s 22-point win over Georgia, including highlights, interviews and photos by clicking here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Video: Dolla Time

by Barca Blog

Big Shot Beal.

Who else would you want to have the ball in the final minute of a close game?

Jermaine showed once again last night that he could handle the pressure with the game on the line. His pull-up jumper from the baseline broke a 62-62 tie and helped the Commodores edge Alabama, 65-64, in Tuscaloosa.

"Dolla" now has 983 points in his collegiate career, just 17 shy of the 1,000 mark. He could hit that milestone on Saturday at South Carolina, the site of one of his most memorable game-winners (don't remember? watch this video).

Stallings 'proud' of road win

by Barca Blog

Although the Commodores didn't bring their 'A' game to Tuscaloosa last night, head coach Kevin Stallings was very upbeat about Vanderbilt's hard-fought road win over Alabama.

Stallings repeatedly told Joe Fisher on the postgame show (click to listen) about how appreciative he was of his team for answering the challenge.

"I was very proud of our players," Stallings said. "The fortitude, the heart, the toughness, and the character that they showed to get the job done. I told them yesterday, 'It doesn't matter how (we win), we just have to get it done.'"

The Commodores, who trailed by 10 with 18 minutes left, almost became their own worst enemy in the second half by only converting 13-of-27 free throws. They also had plenty of opportunities to take control of the game but misfired on several short-range shots.

But the team was able to dominate the boards and put the clamps down on Bama's offense (especially guard Mikhail Torrance) when it mattered to come away with the 65-64 victory.

"I think the whole key to the second half was rebounding on both ends," Stallings stated. "When we did make stops, we got the rebound. We also had a lot of second chances on offense and that created fouls and problems for them. We really did the job there."

"We never quite understood that we didn't want Torrance to go left and keep dribbling into the lane and shooting layups against us. The change to put Jeff (Taylor) on Torrance really helped, and then when we went to the zone, and that got him stopped, and things started going in our favor.

"On the last possession of the game we did a great job of not letting Torrance have the ball. If someone was going to beat us, it wasn't going to be him if I had anything to do with it."


*Trailing 62-58, Vanderbilt held Alabama without a field goal in the final 3:19 of the game. VU played zone defense for most of the second half and limited the Tide to 37 percent from the field. Bama shot 57 percent in the first half.

*Even though Vanderbilt finished 20-for-37 from the line, the team was aggressive enough to get to the line 20 more times than Alabama in a tough environment.

*With eight turnovers against the Tide, Vanderbilt has committed only 15 turnovers in the last two games against high-pressure defenses. Vandy was able to create several easy transition baskets off Bama turnovers, too. VU outscored UA 20-8 in that category.

*Vanderbilt outrebounded Alabama 25-20 in the second half and allowed only four second-chance points.

*Vanderbilt is 2-0 to start conference play for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The Commodores have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time in the Stallings' era this Saturday at South Carolina.

MBB Highlights: Vanderbilt 65, Alabama 64

For Game Recap, Click Here

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tinsley puts in extra work

by Barca Blog

Two hours following Vanderbilt's 95-87 victory over Florida on Saturday,  head coach Kevin Stallings returned to Memorial Gym to retrieve some items from his office.

On the way, he found sophomore guard Brad Tinsley, who was held scoreless (0-for-6) against the Gators, working on his shooting stroke on the practice floor.

Tinsley wasn't told to be there. He did it on his own accord.

"(Brad's) not going to sit there and take it lying down," Stallings said. "He's working to get out of it."

Stallings knows that throughout the lengthy season, players will go through slumps at one point or another. It's just the nature of the beast.

Tinsley just happens to be the latest one. He's struggled to find his touch by going 2-for-17 from the field in his last three games including 0-for-10 from behind the arc.

"It's a topic that we're trying to address," Stallings said about Tinsley's shooting. "It's mental. Brad's taking good shots. You look at the arch on it and you look at his follow through. He's shooting it properly."

While the usually-reliable sharpshooter is having difficulties with putting the ball in the hoop, Stallings contends that there's more to the game than just scoring.

"Brad's passing and his post-feeding continue to be a tremendous asset for our team," Stallings stated. "He's really cut down on his turnovers lately and he continues to make good passes to get the ball where it needs to be.

"Right now the shooting thing has just gotten into his head a little bit and he's going to have to work that out. Other than that, Brad's play has been very solid and stable."

Last season, Tinsley led the Commodores in three-point percentage (.411) and tied the school's three-point field goals made record (69) by a freshman.

No question, the guy can shoot. It's just a matter of time before he knocks down a few shots and gets his confidence back.

Let's hope it starts tonight at Alabama. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on CSS. You can follow the action on

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two 'Dores invited to NFL combine

by Barca Blog

ESPN's Chris Low reported earlier today that senior defensive back Myron Lewis and senior offensive tackle Thomas Welch have been invited to participate in the 2010 NFL scouting combine.

The event will be held February 24 to March 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Click Here for a tentative list of SEC senior invitees.

Ryan Hamilton update

by Barca Blog

According to The Tennessean, senior safety Ryan Hamilton was denied a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Hamilton, a co-captain and three-year starter, missed most of the 2009 football season after tearing his pectoral muscle in the second game against LSU.

He intends to participate in the Commodores' Pro Day event in late March with hopes of making the NFL.

Click here to read more

Video: Basketball highlights

by Barca Blog

Here are a couple of highlight reels of the Commodore basketball teams in action over the weekend. Make sure you check out our official YouTube page for more videos.

MBB: Vanderbilt 95, Florida 87

More Footage: Vanderbilt 95, Florida 87

WBB: Kentucky 63, Vanderbilt 53

Weekly NCAA bracket predictions

by Barca Blog

The experts have released their latest projections for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Where do the Commodores rank in the field of 65?

ESPN's Joe Lunardi: No. 11 seed
CNNSI's Andy Glockner: No. 9 seed

Video of the Day

by Barca Blog

I know ABC's The Bachelor is now in its 14th season.

I have avoided the show in the past for obvious reasons, but as a favor to my amazing wife, I watched it for the first time last night.

No, The Bachelor isn't as good as the addicting spinoffs on VH1 (Rock of Love Bus, anyone?).

Everything about it seems fake. The dates are over the top, the dialogue is forced, the host is full of himself, and the contestants have pretty much lost all sense of reality.

But it's better than watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, so I'm all in. (Please don't question my manhood)

And since this season is themed "On the Wings of Love" (you know, because the main guy is a pilot in real life), I bring you the video of the day. The chorus will be stuck in your head for at least 24 hours.

Video: Ezeli featured on WSMV

by Barca Blog

Center Festus Ezeli was featured on WSMV's newscast last night.

Terry Bulger's piece focused on how Fes has grown as a basketball player since first discovering the sport when he was 14.

"I still remember the first day they gave me a basketball and told me to shoot it," Ezeli said. "I took it with two hands and I chucked it at the backboard and everyone started laughing. That's how bad it was. I had never played basketball before."

Six years later, Fes has developed into a force in the middle for the Commodores. The redshirt sophmore averages 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while ranking in the top 10 of the SEC with 24 blocked shots.

Click here to watch Bulger's video feature

Monday, January 11, 2010

Florida Recap: Odds and Ends

by Barca Blog

Recap: Vanderbilt 95, Florida 87

The Point Man

Andre Walker almost produced the first triple-double in Commodore history with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists (along with three steals) in Vanderbilt's 95-87 win over Florida Saturday.

Head coach Kevin Stallings decided to use the 6'7 forward as a primary ball handler and point guard for the majority of the game to break the Gators' full-court press and zone defense. Stallings admitted to Joe Fisher on the postgame show that he came up with the idea while taking a shower earlier in the week.

"It just kind of popped into my mind that this is what we needed to do against their zone," Stallings said about the game strategy. "It's not something that had been a part of our system all year long."

The plan worked.

Florida usually does a good job of keeping opponents out of rhythm with their press and zone. Earlier this season, the Gators created 23 turnovers in victories over Michigan State and Florida State.

That wasn't the case this time as Vanderbilt committed its fewest turnovers (7) since committing just six against Furman on Dec. 12, 2008.

"I thought Andre Walker was the man," Beal said. "Every time I got trapped I just passed him the ball and everything was okay."

Once the press was broken, Walker didn't stop there. He helped with orchestrating the half-court offense, often finding holes in UF's zone to create easy scores for teammates.

"I just tried to put pressure on their defense and make them come guard me to get other people the open shot," Walker said. "I love passing the ball and seeing other people get dunks. I like A.J. getting highlights and Beal knocking down three's, so it was nice."

Stallings knew Walker would be the X-factor in the Commodores' SEC opener.

And Walker was on point with his performance.

"I told Andre all week, 'This is a big game for you. You're really going to impact this game if you're ready to play,'" Stallings added. "And he usually is ready to play and he was today. I thought he really played well."

Feeling better

Ogilvy had a game-high 24 points, his second highest scoring output of the season and sixth straight game in double figures. He also contributed eight rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal while going 10-for-12 at the line.

The junior center has been hampered by a foot injury since last season.

"I feel like I'm finally getting back to full health," Ogilvy said. "My foot's feeling great. I was able to actually play the way I need to play for this team to be successful. The guy's did a good job of getting me the ball in positions that allowed me to score."

And the crowd goes wild

The near-capacity crowd in Memorial Gym became a little unsettled with the officiating during the second half. The Commodores and Gators were whistled for 29 combined fouls in the final 20 minutes, compared to 14 in the first half.

"That's just SEC play," Beal explained. "I've been here for awhile. The refs can call it tight, and they can call it loose. Our fans were just having fun with them, that's all."

Vernon Macklin and Erik Murphy for Florida were the only players to foul out.

Foul Shooting

Not only did the Commodores do a great job of handling the ball against the Gators' press, they also kept their composure at the foul line, especially in the closing minutes of the game.

Vandy converted on 17-of-19 free throws in the second half, and 12-of-13 in the last six minutes to seal the victory.


"I think Jeff said it was Golden State versus the Phoenix Suns out there. Just get it and go, run-and-gun." -- Beal on the pace of the game in the first half.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winning-streak trends

by Barca Blog

Six of Vanderbilt's first nine games were outside of Memorial Gym with the final contest resulting in a disappointing 76-69 loss to Western Kentucky right down the road at Nashville Arena.

Exams came and went for the student-athletes while the coaches had additional time to get the guys some much needed practice to prepare for the five consecutive home games leading into today's SEC opener against Florida.

The Commodores (11-3) responded by winning each of those games by a scoring margin of +29.4.

Let's look at some of the trends from the current five-game winning streak:

Offense Heats Up: Vanderbilt’s offense has taken off in its last five games, averaging 84.8 points per game while shooting 54.6% from the floor (155-284).

Freshman John Jenkins has found his groove during that stretch. The highly-decorated recruit has been getting more playing time off the bench (23 minutes per game) and has become one of the first options on offense. He's averaging 15.4 points per game and has been lights out from behind the arc (19-for-30, .633).

Defense Getting Better: The Commodores were plagued by a lack of effort on the defensive end during the first part of the season. VU has improved in the last five contests by limiting opponents to a 55.4 scoring average and a .317 shooting percentage. Vanderbilt has also held its last four opponents under 60 points, and has now held its opponents to 30 points or less in six straight halves.

Festus Growing: Redshirt sophomore Festus Ezeli is beginning to emerge for the 'Dores. Fes came into the program as a raw talent but has turned into a force in the middle in his third year.  He's altering or changing the shots of any player that decides to challenge him in the lane. He has 13 blocks in his last five games and at least three blocks in three straight games. His aggressive play hasn't meant more fouls either. He hasn't committed more than three fouls since the Saint Mary's game on Nov. 20.

Fes has also boosted his scoring by averaging 8.2 ppg over the last five. He's getting good position in the post and converting at a 61 percent clip (19-for-31). He's seen an increase in playing time (17.6 mpg) and serves as a great 1-2 punch at center with A.J. Ogilvy.

Ogilvy and Beal Respond: After the Commodores' two most experienced starters were benched for the Western Kentucky game, I wondered how they would respond to the message.

With the extra rest, A.J. Ogilvy, who has battled foot problems all season, looks healthier and has shown an extra lift in his jump that we've seen in the past. He's reached double figures in points in the last five while contributing nine blocks and seven steals.

Jermaine Beal has taken control of the point with 20 assists and only five turnovers (4:1 ratio). He's kept up his scoring pace, too, with 11.8 ppg (22-for-49, .448).

Supporting Role:
Lance Goulbourne and Steve Tchiengang have been effective off the bench as Coach Stallings has reduced his rotation. Goulbourne has provided 4.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 15.8 mpg, and Tchiengang has scored 4.4 ppg and played 10+ minutes in each outing.

What does this mean: Have the Commodores turned the corner? Nobody really knows, to be honest. It's been a good sign to see the 'Dores come together over the last five games, but the true test begins Saturday with SEC play. This grueling 16-game stretch will ultimately decide whether the Commodores make the big dance or stay home in March.

"I thought we had a very difficult non-conference schedule and I am proud of how we came out of it," Stallings said. "Now it's time to turn our attention to the real stuff.

"You don't really know until you get into the meat of the schedule though. You get exposed in conference play. Your strengths and weaknesses get exposed. People know your tendencies better, so we'll know a whole lot more about ourselves going forward with the upcoming games."

Friday, January 8, 2010

SEC dominance continues

by Barca Blog

The Southeastern Conference is on top of the college football world once again after Alabama fought off a late rally by Texas to win the BCS National Championship game, 37-21, Thursday night at the Rose Bowl.

Make that four consecutive titles for the SEC with the Tide being the third different team to win it in that span (Florida twice and LSU).

And the SEC only seems to be getting stronger top to bottom as we look ahead to the future.

SEC officials sent out a notes package spotlighting the accomplishments of the conference late last night. Talking points included:

*The SEC is 6-0 in BCS National Championship Games (LSU 2-0, Florida 2-0, Alabama 1-0, Tennessee 1-0).

*The SEC finished 6-4 in bowl games this season. Since 2006, the SEC is 25-11 in post-season bowl games (.694). The league has posted a non-losing bowl record for seven straight seasons.

*In its history, the SEC is 196-170-13 in post-season bowl games, a 53.4 winning percentage. The SEC has the nation’s top bowl winning percentage surpassing the Pac-10 (120-107-6, 52.8 percentage).

*The SEC finished the 2009 season with a non-conference mark of 48-10 (.828). Counting bowl games, the SEC bested its best-ever win total in non-conference games of 47 set in 2007.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twitter upgrade

by Barca Blog

Thanks to Lacy...
We've upgraded our Twitter page on The new design makes it easier to follow the latest tweets from Vanderbilt Athletics.

Click Here to check it out.

I know some of you refuse to use Twitter based on how annoying it can be when others tell you about every thought and opinion they have during the day. While I won't disagree with you, I will point out that it is also a good application to keep up with the latest news and scores of Commodore sporting events on your cell phone or on the Internet (like tonight's women's basketball game @VandyWBB).

And just because you have an account doesn't mean you have to give status updates. You can just follow other tweets.

Video of the Day

by Barca Blog

Since it's snowing in Nashville and I'm working from home, I decided to post a video of the day.

My choices? Either footage from Dumb and Dumber (one of my favorite movies as a teenager) or Snow Dogs (featuring one of Cuba Gooding's Academy Award-winning performances).

It's too tough of a decision to make, so I'll just post both for your enjoyment.

Also, I've been told intern Travis spent the day making snow angels at Hawkins Field, but I don't know if there's video evidence to prove it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finest and Bravest hit the hardwood

by Barca Blog

During halftime of the Commodores' game with Middle Tennessee on Monday, the Brentwood Police Department squared off against the Brentwood Fire Department in a friendly hoops game as part of Public Safety Recognition Night at Vanderbilt.

Although I haven't been able to solve the mystery of the final score, my sources indicate that the BPD came away with the victory (and bragging rights). has a short write-up on the event. Click Here to Read More

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stallings gets his 200th win at VU

by Barca Blog

Congratulations to head coach Kevin Stallings for earning his 200th win at Vanderbilt with a 73-53 victory over MTSU last night.

When asked about his feat during the postgame press conference, Stallings showed his humble side.

"I honestly hadn't thought about it until Joe Fisher brought it up at my radio show," Stallings said. "I've had a lot of good players, and I've been here for a long time. I'm fortunate to be here.

"But I don't know, how many losses are in that time, too? A lot. If I had like an 89-percent win­ning per­cen­tage, then it would pro­bably be a big deal, but I don't believe it's quite that high."

For the record, Stallings is 200-131 in his 11 seasons on West End. He only trails legendary coach Roy Skinner (278) for most wins in school history.

Stallings admitted that he wasn't sure if he'd be at Vanderbilt this long when he accepted the job in 1999.

"A lot of things are different than I thought they'd be (since then)," he told Fisher on Sunday's broadcast. "Life changes and things happen."

Times weren't easy when he arrived on campus. He inherited a squad that finished 14-15 and 5-11 in SEC play, but managed to guide the Commodores to a 19-11 season and NIT appearance.

Even with the quick success, fans had to be patient as Stallings built the program. He was 62-59 in his first four years without making the big dance, causing some to grumble about the direction of the team. If it weren't for the accomplishments of his 2003-04 squad, we may have never been able to experience the fruition of his vision for Commodore basketball.

Since that season, Stallings has posted a 138-72 record with five postseason appearances, three NCAA Tournament berths, and four 20-win seasons. He became the first coach to take two Vanderbilt teams to a Sweet 16 since the 64 (and 65) team format was adopted. He's also coached and mentored three SEC Player of the Years.

Most importantly, he's done it the right way. All 26 of his seniors either have earned or are currently working toward their college degree.

"You go to work everyday and do the best you can," Stallings explained. "You hope that the people you work for appreciate the job you do and you hope you do it well enough that people can be proud of it."

Let's hope Coach is around at Vanderbilt for No. 300 and beyond.

Basketball Video Highlights

by Barca Blog

In case you've been off the computer more than usual during the holidays... here are a couple of basketball highlight packages you might have missed.

And make sure you check out VUcommodores' official YouTube page for more videos.

MBB: Vanderbilt 73, MTSU 53 - January 4

WBB: Vanderbilt 86, Ole Miss 72 - January 3

MBB: Vanderbilt 82, Southern Miss 46 - January 2

MBB: Vanderbilt 86, Manhattan 48 - December 30

Monday, January 4, 2010

Collegiate Baseball preseason poll

by Barca Blog

With baseball just around the corner, Vanderbilt has been ranked No. 32 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll. You can view a complete list of the newspaper's top 40 teams here.

Six other Southeastern Conference teams made the poll: defending NCAA national champion LSU (No. 2), Florida (No. 9), Ole Miss (No. 22), Arkansas (No. 23), South Carolina (No. 28), and Georgia (No. 31).

Three of VU's non-conference opponents were also recognized: Louisville (No. 19), UCLA (No. 20), and MTSU (No. 37).

Vanderbilt will open the season with a three-game series against Niagara from February 19-21 at Hawkins Field. Fans can reserve their seats for the entire 2010 home slate by clicking here.

Video: Florida's buzzer beater

by Barca Blog

Most of you have probably already seen this video... but it's worth posting if you're a fan of college basketball.

Florida's Chandler Parsons (you remember, the guy that scored a career-high 27 points against the 'Dores last year with seven 3-pointers?) hit a 75-foot shot at the buzzer to give the Gators an amazing 62-61 win over N.C. State in overtime on Sunday.

Watch the clip below... and for those of you practicing at home, remember to always work on your free throws (and not just your full-court heave).

The Commodores (10-3) will open conference play against the Gators (11-3) this Saturday in Memorial Gym. Find out about a special ticket offer for the game.

Lunardi's latest bracket

by Barca Blog

I know this really means nothing considering SEC play hasn't even started... but ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Vanderbilt (10-3) in his latest NCAA Tournament projections released earlier today.

Lunardi gives the Commodores a No. 12 seed and notes that they are one of the last four teams in at the moment.

Click Here to see his bracket

NFL Week 17 Recap

by Barca Blog (AP Photo)

Washington tight end Todd Yoder caught a 2-yard touchdown pass (watch video) in the Redskins' 23-20 loss to San Diego Sunday. Yoder finished the season with three TD catches, a personal best during his nine-year pro career.

See below for Week 17 stats of former 'Dores in the NFL.

Chicago Bears: Defeated Detroit, 37-23
QB Jay Cutler - Started, 22-36, 276 yds, 4 TDs (video)
OL Chris Williams - Started at left tackle
WR Earl Bennett - Started, 3 rec, 27 yds (long 17)
LB Hunter Hillenmeyer - Started, 6 tackles
DB D.J. Moore - Played but no stats recorded

Tennessee Titans: Defeated Seattle, 17-13
DT Jovan Haye - Started, two tackles
LB Jamie Winborn - Played but no stats recorded

Washington Redskins: Lost to San Diego, 23-20
TE Todd Yoder - Rec, 2 yds, TD

New York Giants: Lost to Minnesota, 44-7
LB Jonathan Goff - Started, two tackles

Kansas City Chiefs: Defeated Denver, 44-24

S Reshard Langford - Inactive