Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quotes from Corbin's 104.5 interview

by Barca Blog

Head coach Tim Corbin was a guest on the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Wednesday morning to talk VU baseball with Kevin Ingram and Mark Howard.

I transcribed a couple of Corbin's comments below. You can listen to the complete interview on

Corbin on grinding out conference wins without power numbers:

"As good as our record is, we really haven't hit in the middle of the lineup. When they do (get rolling), I think we have a chance to have a very potent offense.

"The guy that's kind of held it together is Brian Harris. His on-base percentage is out of this world. He's been walked 25 times and hit 20 times and only struck out nine times. That's 45 times on base and we're not even talking about his average. You're talking about a lead-off hitter that's doing exactly what he needs to do. He's playing great at shortstop as well. I think he's been our most valuable guy to this point."

On Russell Brewer's success:

"He's been in that (closer) role for the better part of thee and a half years on our team and the Cape Cod League. I think he's completely immune to that position now. He knows that's his role and he goes in there and he's not spooked when runners are on base and in scoring position. He knows what he's doing and throws a high number of strikes.

"He's got one of those believability balls. If you're back there with a radar gun and you're look at his velo, you're thinking, 'What's special about that?' There are certain kids that when they throw their ball they just believe that it's not going to get hit and there's energy to the ball. He throws it in an area where the hitters can't catch up to it, and then he puts them away with a breaking ball. So far so good him, he's a good kid."

On Sonny Gray's development:

"Being such a powerful kid with his fastball, we want him to go to the other extreme and have the other guy put it in play. In order for him to get to the seventh inning, he needs to have an 80-90 pitch count in the middle part of the game. He has to be the guy that gets as far as he can in the game.

"I think he's been able to do that. He's been able to sink his fastball and make hitters put the ball on the ground. If he does that, which he has done, he goes longer into the game. He gets better and better and better as he goes. He's not a finished product by any stretch, but he's a special kid … and he's learning how to pitch every day."

On Jason Esposito's improvement:

"Josh Holliday, our hitting coach, has helped him a tremendous amount. Espo really loves the game. If we have a 6 o'clock game, he will be down here at 11:30 after he finishes school. He'll hit for two hours even before we get into batting practice. He just has an unbelievable routine. He practices hitting not because he wants to see an immediate outcome, but because he has a great desire to be a good, good hitter.

"He's a kid that keeps developing … He couldn't hit a breaking ball last year and now he hits them. He really couldn't hit the good fastball on the outer half of the plate and now he's hitting it to right-centerfield and getting doubles.

"He has tremendous passion for the game."

Corbin call-in show dates announced

by Barca Blog

Mark your calendars...

The Tim Corbin Call-In Show will debut on Monday, April 26, and air three times during the season from the Commodore Grille at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt on West End Avenue.

The one-hour baseball program, which is presented by Digitec, will run from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT. Fans will be able to listen to the show on 104.5 the Zone and

Joe Fisher, The Voice of the Commodores, will serve as the host.

--- Call-in Show Schedule: Monday, April 26; Monday, May 3; and Monday, May 10. For more information, click here

Competing with Beal and Marsh at 3-Point Contest...

By A. Boggs

Jermaine Beal and Merideth Marsh will have some steep competition in their respective 3-point shooting contests on Thursday night in Indianapolis.

Here are the fields:

Jermaine Beal, Vanderbilt; Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin; Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa; Eric Hayes, Maryland; Roman Martinez, New Mexico; Jerome Randle, California; Michael Roll, UCLA; Ryan Wittman, Cornell.

Merideth Marsh, Vanderbilt; Ashley Barlow, Notre Dame; Taylor Lilley, Oregon; Maggie McCloskey, Loyola Chicago; Kelly McManmon, St. John’s; Brigid Mulroy, Detroit Mercy; Bianca Smith, Colorado; Yvonne Turner, Nebraska.

ESPN will air both three-point shooting contests and the Denny's Slam Dunk Competition beginning at 8 p.m. CT.

Beal to play in Reese's College All-Star Game on Friday in Indianapolis

By A. Boggs

Vanderbilt senior guard will be one of 24 seniors to take part in the 2010 Reese's All-Star Game as part of Final Four Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. and admission is free to the public. The game is being televised by CBS College Sports.

Beal, who is also competing in the State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championship on Thursday in Indianapolis, led the Commodores in scoring with 14.6 points per game and was named a unanimous All-SEC First Team selection by the league's coaches at the end of the season.

Beal will compete on the Hershey's team with fellow seniors Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Lazar Haywood (Marquette), Gerald Lee (Old Dominion), Rodney Green (LaSalle), Ryan Wittman (Cornell), Robert Glenn (IUPUI), Jeff Foote (Cornell), Edwin Ubiles (Siena), Adam Koch (Northern Iowa), and Deonta Vaughn (Cincinnati). The team will be coached by former Indiana State coach Bill Hodges. Hodges led Larry Bird and the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA Championship game.

The Reese's team will consist of Art Parakhouski (Radford), Jerome Randle (California), Tre'von Hughes (Wisconsin), Aubrey Coleman (Houston), Michael Roll (UCLA), Bryan Davis (Texas A&M), Tyren Johnson (Lafayette), Chris Kramer (Purdue), Patrick Christopher (California), Domenic Calegari (UC DAvis), and Eric Boateng (Arizona State). The Reese's Team will be coached by legendary Purdue coach Gene Keady.

All of the players were selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Video of the Day - The Showstopper

by Barca Blog

Today's video is in honor of Shawn Michaels, who was forced to retire from the wrestling ring after losing to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania on Sunday night.

HBK had one of the best and worst entrance songs of all-time. It was so terrible that it was awesome.

If you want to get off to a good start every morning, put your Folgers coffee down and listen to this tune when you hop out of bed. Even Norman Vincent Peale would be impressed with your positive attitude.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More football photos

by Barca Blog

Here are a couple of additional photos from the Commodores' limited scrimmage (recap) inside Vanderbilt Stadium last Saturday (courtesy of Leathers).


Video: Corbin and Hayes meet the press

Vanderbilt head baseball coach Tim Corbin and senior pitcher Drew Hayes talked to the media on Monday afternoon at Hawkins Field. Watch the interviews below.

The Commodores will host Wofford for a two-game midweek series starting on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Hawkins Field. You can watch the action live on

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Student-Athletes of the Month

by Barca Blog

Congratulations to Megan Gibson (Women's Lacrosse) and Alex Zotov (Men's Tennis) for being named Vanderbilt's Student-Athletes of the Month for March.

They were chosen on the basis of the all-around student-athlete... effort and excellence in academics, leadership, integrity, dedication to team, campus involvement, community service and the ability to serve as role models for current and future Vanderbilt students and student-athletes.

Click here to read Q&A's with the two honorees.

Latest baseball rankings

by Barca Blog

Find out where the Commodores are listed in the latest baseball rankings released earlier today...

USA Today/ESPN: 17th

NCBWA: 18th

Baseball America: 20th 23rd

Collegiate Baseball: 23rd

Beal, Marsh to compete at ESPN 3-Point Championship

By A. Boggs

Vanderbilt seniors Jermaine Beal and Merideth Marsh have been selected to compete in the "2010 ESPN Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships" this Thursday night in Indianapolis. Beal and Marsh will compete in the three-point shooting competition.

Here's a little more on the event:
"ESPN's Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships" invite the top 24 Senior dunkers (8) and men's (8) and women's (8) three-point shooters in the country. This is the 22nd Annual event, which is always held in the Final Four host city every year.

This is a nationally televised event on ESPN on Thursday night, April 1st, leading into the Final Four weekend, and will air several additional times throughout the weekend. The show airs from 9 pm to 11 pm EST. Past participants and champions who are playing in the NBA include Aaron Brooks, Dahntay Jones, Steve Nash, J.R. Giddens, Jason Maxiell, and Kyle Korver.

More to come later on the field for both the men's and women's three-point shootout.

SEC Baseball weekend wrap up

by Barca Blog

SEC Series Weekend Results
Conference Recaps: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Vanderbilt over Kentucky, 3-0, in Nashville
The Commodores came back from seven-run deficit Saturday night to get the sweep

LSU over Tennessee, 3-0, in Knoxville
The Tigers captured an SEC series for the 15th time in its last 16 conference weekends

Arkansas over Alabama, 3-0, in Fayetteville
The Hogs rallied in each game to earn the three-game sweep

South Carolina over Auburn, 2-1, in Auburn
SC's 13-game winning streak and perfect SEC record was snapped after the Tigers' won Sunday's finale, 10-6

Mississippi State over Georgia, 2-1, in Starkville
MSU erased a huge deficit with an eight-run eighth inning to rally past UGA 11-10 on Sunday to take the series

Ole Miss over Florida, 2-1, in Oxford
The Gators salvaged the final game with a 13-1 win over the Rebels on Sunday

Updated SEC Standings
South Carolina 5-1 19-5
Vanderbilt 4-2 21-4
Florida 4-2 18-5
Kentucky 1-5 16-8
Georgia 1-5 9-15
Tennessee 0-6 11-13
LSU 5-1 20-3
Arkansas 4-2 18-5
Auburn 4-2 17-7
Ole Miss 4-2 19-6
Alabama 2-4 16-6
Mississippi State 2-4 14-10

Week 6 Vanderbilt Baseball Notebook

by SID

Record Overall: 21-4, 4-2 SEC
Record for the Week: 5-0

Last Week:
3/23: Vanderbilt 10, Lipscomb 4
3/24: Vanderbilt 18, Wright State 2
3/26: Vanderbilt 7, Kentucky 0
3/27: Vanderbilt 2, Kentucky 1 (Game 1)
3/27: Vanderbilt 9, Kentucky 8 (Game 2)

This Week (Buy Tickets):  
3/30: vs. Wofford, 6 p.m. CT
3/31: vs. Wofford, 6 p.m. CT
4/2: at Florida, 5:30 p.m. CT
4/3: at Florida, 3 p.m. CT (TV: SUN)
4/4: at Florida, 12 p.m. CT (TV: SUN)

Vanderbilt went 5-0 on the week at home and has won six in a row entering midweek play against Wofford. VU is now 21-4 overall and 4-2 in the SEC … The Commodores swept Kentucky over the weekend, winning the series for the first time since the 2007 season. The teams played a doubleheader on Saturday to avoid forecasted inclement weather on Sunday.

The Commodore bullpen came up big in the five games, notching two wins while sporting a 2.29 ERA with 21 strikeouts and eight walks in 19.2 innings. Overall the team has a 2.91 ERA, tops in the SEC, with 211 strikeouts and 82 walks in 226.0 innings … Sonny Gray and Corey Williams combined on a five-hit shutout of No. 21 Kentucky in Friday night’s win. Gray held UK to four hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and three walks. Williams came on in the eighth and pitched two innings of one-hit ball with two strikeouts and a walk. He made three relief appearances on the week and allowed just two hits with six strikeouts and three walks in six innings.

Chase Reid made two appearances and picked up wins in both and now is tied with Gray for the team lead in wins with four. He started against Lipscomb (3/23) and went six innings, allowing one run on five hits with three strikeouts. Reid then pitched three innings of one-hit relief with three strikeouts against Kentucky (3/27) in the 2-1 win in game one of the doubleheader. On the week he struck out six in eight innings, allowing just a run on six hits.

Drew Hayes threw five innings in two games, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks. He picked up the win against Wright State, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts … Taylor Hill allowed one run, unearned, in 4.1 innings against UK in the first game of the doubleheader Saturday. Will Clinard threw three innings of two hit relief in two outings, while Russell Brewer did not allow a run of his own in three appearances, hurling 2.2 innings of two hit work with two strikeouts and two walks.

Offensively VU hit .347 with two homers, 12 doubles and 46 runs scored in five games (9 per game) … Andrew Giobbi led the team with a .455 batting average (10-for-22), including a 4-for-5 night against UK in the series finale … Brian Harris was 6-for-16 (.375) with a double, homer, four RBI and eight runs scored. He walked three times, while getting hit six more times for a .600 on base percentage. For the year he has been hit 16 times … Bryan Johns was also 6-for-16 (.375) with a double, three RBI and seven runs scored.

Vanderbilt closes out its seven game home stand with a two game series against Wofford on Tuesday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Commodores will then head to Florida to take on the Gators next weekend.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Video: Giobbi talks sweep

Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean interviews Vanderbilt's Andrew Giobbi after the Commodore baseball team rallied from a 7-0 deficit to beat Kentucky, 9-8 in game two of the Saturday night doubleheader. Giobbi led the offensive attack with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate. The Commodores swept the series from Kentucky to improve to 21-4 overall and 4-2 in the SEC.

Click here for the complete recap with a photo galley courtesy of John Russell.

Video: Smotherman motivated to return

by Leathers

A week after injuring his left knee and facing corrective surgery, Commodore defensive tackle Adam Smotherman is keeping a stiff upper lip and planning to be back for his final year in a Vanderbilt uniform.

During his upcoming rehabilitation, the senior plans to be as much of a mentor to his defensive interior teammates as he can possibly can.

Vanderbilt football SID Larry Leathers catches up with an upbeat Smotherman recently on the practice field.

Sunday's baseball game moved to Saturday

Due to the threat of inclement weather in the Nashville area on Sunday, the Vanderbilt and Kentucky baseball teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at Hawkins Field. The first contest will start as scheduled at 2 p.m., with the final game of the series to follow 30 minutes after.

Both games will be nine-inning affairs.

Please bring your tickets for the Sunday, March 28 game to enter today’s second game of the doubleheader. Fans with the proper tickets will be allowed to enter Hawkins Field beginning at the conclusion of the fifth inning of the first game of the doubleheader. Season ticket holders should bring tickets for both games.

For more information on Vanderbilt baseball, visit

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baseball Standings & Weekend Matchups

March 26
Florida 3-0 17-3
South Carolina 3-0 17-4
Vanderbilt 1-2 18-4
Kentucky 1-2 16-5
Georgia 0-3 8-13
Tennessee 0-3 11-10
Auburn 3-0 16-5
Alabama 2-1 16-3
LSU 2-1 17-3
Ole Miss 2-1 17-5
Arkansas 1-2 15-5
Mississippi State 0-3 12-9

SEC Weekend Schedule, March 26-28
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Alabama at Arkansas
South Carolina at Auburn
Florida at Ole Miss
Georgia at Mississippi State
LSU at Tennessee
View List of Pitching Matchups

Baseball links for Kentucky series

by Barca Blog (photo by Bill Randles)

No. 20 Vanderbilt (18-4, 1-2 SEC) will host their conference home opener when Kentucky (16-5, 1-2) comes to town for a three-game series starting tonight at Hawkins Field.

Let's get ready for the showdown by looking at stories from around the web:

David Boclair of The City Paper gives an update on the health of Curt Casali and looks at the 'Dores weekend rotation to this point of the season.
“We’re going to try and get (Casali) back in there this weekend,” Tim Corbin said. “He’s still not going to be 100 percent, but we’re working toward that.”
Aaron Fitt of Baseball America wrote a detailed preview on how both teams will look to respond after dropping their SEC openers last weekend.
"I just want to play well," Corbin said. "After you come off a weekend where you won one of three, you just want to play well and hopefully have a chance to win a series. But I know they're good, I know they can pitch, and offensively they've got some very good players. I've always felt in this conference, the best team you play is the next team you play."
Kendall Rogers of lists the matchup as one of 10 intriguing series to watch this weekend.
It wasn't too long ago both of these clubs were riding high on the national stage. Now both teams are in need of a series win. The Wildcats dropped a home series to Ole Miss last weekend, while Vandy dropped a road series to Alabama. Kentucky's pitching was iffy on Friday and Saturday against the Rebels. Vandy, meanwhile, mustered only eight runs in three games against Crimson Tide pitching. This series will come down to Kentucky's pitching staff versus Vanderbilt's usually productive offense. Vandy's offense will come to life at home.
You can also read the official previews with game notes on and

The expected weekend rotation is:

Friday at 6 p.m. CT
Sonny Gray (R, 3-2, 2.73) vs. Logan Darnell (L, 3-1, 3.09)

Saturday at 2 p.m. CT
Taylor Hill (R, 3-1, 2.90) vs. Taylor Rogers (L, 3-1, 4.75)

Sunday at 1 p.m. CT
Jack Armstrong (R, 3-0, 3.16) vs. Alex Meyer (R, 4-2, 6.51)

If you're in town and need tickets, you're in luck. Tickets are available through the Vanderbilt ticket office at (615) 322-GOLD or online at All three games will also be broadcast live on with Joe Fisher's radio call on 560 AM.

Student-athletes spend time at local school

by Ryan Schulz


One by one in alphabetical order students at Glendale Elementary School filed into the school’s library on Friday morning in usual fashion, but the basis for their visit to the library was anything but usual.

When the students walked in, they were greeted by groups of Vanderbilt student-athletes, who spoke to the children about the importance of education, answered questions from the children and read books to them.

For one-hour increments, three groups of Vanderbilt student-athletes interacted with students at Glendale Elementary School from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday.

The student-athletes introduced themselves to the children by telling them the sport they play and their hometown. They then interacted with the children by asking them questions ranging from what they wanted to be when they grew up to their favorite subject in school.

Following the opening questions, the first group of children selected Sergio Saves The Game as the book they wanted the student-athletes to read to them. The student-athletes in the first group, which included Jordan White and Erin McManus (track and field), Anna Fargo (swimming), Chris Johnson (football) and Gabby Smith (women’s basketball), spent the next few minutes taking turns reading the book to the children.

“I’m really glad I came to Glendale Elementary to do this for the kids,” McManus said. “The athletic department is really good about setting up different programs with schools in Nashville, and it is always really fun to see the kids get excited talking to athletes.”

After reading the book, the student-athletes had trivia question for the children, who received t-shirts and hats for their answers. To conclude the visit, the student-athletes answered questions from the children.

“It is an awesome experience because it gives them something to aim for when they are older,” added McManus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ten elected to football leadership council

by Leathers

Ten veterans of the Commodore football team, including seven that started a year ago, have been voted to the squad's leadership council.

Council representatives for the 2010 season are Larry Smith, quarterbacks; Kennard Reeves, running backs; Brandon Barden, tight ends; John Cole, receivers; Joey Bailey, offensive line; Adam Smotherman, defensive tackles; Tim Fugger, defensive ends; Chris Marve, linebackers; safety Sean Richardson, defensive backs; and snapper David Giller, specialists.

This marks the sixth year teammates have elected Leadership Council representatives. The council meets periodically to address team and student-athlete issues while serving as the players' voice communicating with coaches.

Fox 17 video on VU bowlers

by Barca Blog

Fresh off its selection into the upcoming NCAA Championship, Vanderbilt's bowling team was featured on Fox 17's news broadcast last night.

In the segment, head coach John Williamson talked about how the tournament selection process has grown from an email announcement to a live online show over the past seven years.

Also, senior captain Josie Earnest, who led the Commodores to a national title in her freshman year,  said she's eager to experience that special moment once again.

Click Here to watch the entire video at

The NCAA Championship will be held April 8-10 in New Jersey.

Johnson Interview with WNSR's Thom Abraham Thursday afternoon

by Leathers

Commodore football fans in Middle Tennessee can hear Coach Johnson talk spring practice football Thursday afternoon with WNSR AM-560 sports talk host Thom Abraham.

Johnson is slated to go live with Abraham on the Nashville station at 4:25 p.m., CT (listen live online).

Abraham, known to listeners as the "Big Dawg," is just a few months into an expanded role as 560's afternoon drive time host.

The Commodores have completed four of 15 spring practices, with sessions slated Friday afternoon and Saturday on campus. The Black & Gold Scrimmage, open to the public, is set Sat., April 10, at 10:30 a.m., in Vanderbilt Stadium.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Video: Bowling Selection Show

by Barca Blog

The NCAA announced the eight teams selected for the 2010 Bowling Championship during a live broadcast on earlier today.

No suspense for the No. 2 ranked Commodores, who were a lock for the field once again. Make that five straight appearances in the program's sixth year of existence.

Vanderbilt was one of two teams featured on the selection show, along with host New Jersey City.  You can watch the 15 minute program which includes a live reaction from the 'Dores plus comments from head coach John Williamson at the 8:20 mark.

Also, check out VUcommodores' official press release for more information on the tournament.

The NCAA Championship will be held April 8-10.

Official NCAA Field:
Arkansas State University
University of Central Missouri
Delaware State University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
New Jersey City University
Vanderbilt University

Five fresh pics from practice

by Barca Blog

Click here to view Leathers' photos from last night's football practice on campus in Nashville. His full report will be posted on VUcommodores' shortly (Update: press release).

Oh, and after the previous heartbreak blog, AT sent me this song to lift my spirits.

You know, dancing cures almost everything. If only Dr. Drew had prescribed it from the get-go.

Williams weighs in on Title IX debate

by Barca Blog

David Williams, Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics, participated in a panel discussion on gender equity in college sports Tuesday night in Nashville.

Find out what Williams had to say on the issue in Teresa Walker's story for The Associated Press - Click Here

Video of the Day: Bringin' on the heartbreak

by Barca Blog

Enough with the heartbreak.

I don't know how to cope anymore after last night's game.

Throw in the gut-wrenching loss in San Jose and my doc has me on watch, 24-7, like I'm a former celebrity on a VH1 rehab show with Dr. Drew.

I've tried to drown my sorrows with A&W slaw dogs and root beer while playing Altered Beast on Sega Genesis. It's a start on the road to recovery.

I just need to "rise from my grave" and "power up" like the centurion in Altered Beast instead of listening to the next song on a continuous loop.

Vanderbilt Basketball Fights Malaria with Nothing But Nets!

Message from Joe Duffy, men's basketball junior

Joe Duffy here (#50), and I would like to invite you and your son to the first annual Dores for Nets Tournament on Saturday April 17th, 2010.  The Vanderbilt Men's basketball team is teaming up with the Nothing but Nets foundation ( to bring you a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for boys in grades 3rd-8th.  On April 17th the whole Commodore team will have their whistles ready.

If you do not have a son in grades 3rd-8th, do not worry because there will also be a silent auction with Vanderbilt memorabilia and other fun prizes that will be available online.  You can also donate to the cause by clicking here.  Everyone can be a part of this great cause!

Just $10 covers the cost of a net, its distribution and educating recipients on its use.  Visit our tournament website --  -- for more information.  Registration is up now, and the team who raises the most money will get first pick in the draft of coaches.  Will you choose Dolla Beal, John Jenkins, AJ Ogilvy or Jeff Taylor??

Go to our site
for more details regarding the tournament. Registration will begin next week.  We are very excited, and it is going to be a fun day! So, tell your friends and spread the word.

You can read more about the cause by clicking here

Send a net. Save a Life.  Dores for Nets!

Monday, March 22, 2010

WBB in Cincy: Talking up Tuomi

By Weinman

Check out a great feature by Jayne Cornwell written exclusively for on Commodore junior Hannah Tuomi.

Perseverance, Determination, Guts: Tuomi

There was also some good ink (pun intended after you've read the above article) on the Commodores on by Graham Hays: Marsh, Rhoads go the distance

Tomorrow night's game (6 p.m. CT) is scheduled for regional coverage on ESPN2 and will be simulcast nationally on ESPNU. Fans can also watch online through

WBB in Cincy: Media Monday

By Weinman

On Monday, Vanderbilt returned to the Cintas Center for 30 minutes of media availability and 90 minutes of practice.

Prior to his VU-Blog debut this afternoon, Charlie Mattos sat down with senior guard Merideth Marsh for an interview that will be featured on his pre-game show before tomorrow's second round game against Xavier (Tuesday, 6 p.m. CT, WNSR 560-AM).

That video is above, with audio from the afternoon's press conference (which featured Marsh, juniors Hannah Tuomi and Jence Rhoads, and Coach Balcomb) also available, along with quotes from VU and Xavier. Our obligations are done for the day, with dinner and a movie to Commodores' only set plans for the rest of the evening.

Click Here to Read Press Conference Quotes

Listen to Press Conference

WBB Cincy: Charlie's Hotel Tour

(Guest blog: Charlie Mattos, the play-by-play voice of Vanderbilt women's basketball since 1993, is Weinman's roommate on the road and was gracious enough to write a blog today)

So often on the road we find ourselves at very nice hotels located in the “middle of nowhere”… why they build hotels in non-descript office parks is beyond me… so it was a thrill and pleasure to find that the NCAA placed us at the historic “Netherland Plaza” Hilton in downtown Cincinnati.

Completed in January of 1931 this is truly a palace of a hotel. Originally built for 7 million dollars, the hotel has received a pair of facelifts in the past two decades that ran around $43 million! Just about anywhere you turn you’re bound to find something interesting… molding, artwork, sconces, vintage signage, it’s all here… there’s a reason this place has achieved “Landmark” status on the National Historic Register.

The photos show the “Palm Court” restaurant, perhaps Cincinnati’s finest; a lobby chandelier, the “piano stage & fountain” just up from the lobby bar, and the lobby & seating area….

Elvis, President Kennedy & first lady Jackie, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and Bing Crosby are among the many high-profile guests who have stayed here. This place was truly groundbreaking in its early days. It was one of the first of the “city within a city” projects, complete with hotel, office space and an upscale shopping mall, plus – get this -- a totally automated parking garage!

Armstrong's amazing play

by Barca Blog

If you missed Jack Armstrong's amazing play against Alabama yesterday, no worries. We have the footage below. The clip was featured on SportCenter's Top 10 list this morning.

(Thanks Wes)

Seymour, Smotherman suffer injuries

by Barca Blog

From Leathers' official press release --
Vanderbilt's first week of practice was marred by spring-ending injuries to two key interior performers. Adam Smotherman, a two-year starter at defensive tackle, left the stadium session with a knee injury later diagnosed as an anterior cruciate ligament tear. On Thursday, sophomore offensive tackle prospect Ryan Seymour left early with a shoulder injury that is expected to require surgery.

"I feel bad for both Adam and Ryan," head coach Bobby Johnson said. "I can't tell you how hard Adam worked to repair an earlier knee injury and become a starter for this team. I know he will do all he can to get back on the field. Ryan is the same kind of young man as Adam. He'll get back with us as soon as he can.

"Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game. Other guys need to step up for this team, and realize they have an opportunity in front of them," Johnson added.
Click here to read the complete practice recap.

Baseball Highlights: Vanderbilt 5, Alabama 4

by Barca Blog

Watch highlights (below) of Vanderbilt's 5-4 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa Sunday.

Note: The SEC's reel did not include the clip of Jack Armstrong's spectacular play in the sixth inning, which made SportCenter's Top 10 list. I'm trying to get video of it, so stay tuned.

Week 5 Vanderbilt Baseball Notebook

by SID

Record Overall: 16-4; Record for the Week: 2-3

Last Week:
3/16: WKU 17, Vanderbilt 2
3/17: Vanderbilt 17, WKU 6
3/19: Alabama 4, Vanderbilt 1
3/20: Alabama 8, Vanderbilt 2
3/21: Vanderbilt 5, Alabama 4

This Week (Buy Tickets):  
3/23: vs. Lipscomb, 6 p.m., Hawkins Field
3/24: vs. Wright State, 6 p.m., Hawkins Field
3/26: vs. Kentucky, 6 p.m., Hawkins Field
3/27: vs. Kentucky, 2 p.m., Hawkins Field
3/28: vs. Kentucky, 1 p.m., Hawkins Field

Vanderbilt went 2-3 on the week, splitting a midweek series with WKU before dropping two of three at Alabama over the weekend in the SEC opener. VU is now 16-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play … The Commodores went into the week riding a 10 game winning streak but that was snapped in convincing fashion by the Hilltoppers, 17-2, on Tuesday. Vanderbilt returned the favor on Wednesday scoring nine first inning runs in a 17-6 win in Bowling Green.

Errors plagued the Commodores this week as nine mistakes led to 13 unearned runs in five games. VU fielded .954 on the week, while WKU and Alabama made just four between them for a .979 fielding percentage.

The Commodore bats did not have as strong a week, hitting .303 as a team with a homer, 11 doubles and 27 runs scored … The pitching staff sported a 5.44 ERA and the strikeout to walk ratio was 34 to 28 in 43.0 innings … Freshman Anthony Gomez continues to impress offensively going 11-for-17 (.647) with a double, four RBI and two runs scored in four starts in five games played. He has a 13 game hitting streak, and in five of them he has extended his streak in just one at bat. He was 8-for-12 (.667) against Alabama with a stolen base.

Aaron Westlake was 9-for-23 (.391) in five games with two doubles, a triple and four RBI … Connor Harrell was 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored … Curt Casali returned to action after missing six games with the hamstring injury. He pinch hit in the Friday opener against the Tide, then started at DH in the final two games. He was 1-for-7 with two runs scored in his return.

Jack Armstrong continued where he left off last weekend against Ohio on the mound, allowing just one earned run in 6.1 innings against Alabama on Sunday. He picked the win to move to 3-0 on the year. He has allowed just two earned runs in his last 13 innings of work. Sonny Gray was the tough luck loser on Friday, allowing one earned run over 5.2 innings with four strikeouts against the Crimson Tide.

Closer Russell Brewer continues to impress, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings over two games on the week. He picked up his third save of the year with 2.2 innings of one-hit shutout relief against Alabama on Sunday. He has not allowed a run of his own in 11.1 innings this year with 12 strikeouts and just one walk. He has 15 saves in his career … Corey Williams picked up his first collegiate win against WKU on Wednesday, throwing two innings of one-hit scoreless relief.

Vanderbilt will play open a seven game home stand this week with midweek games against Lipscomb and Wright State, before hosting Kentucky over the weekend.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday starting lineup vs Alabama

by SID

Vanderbilt will look to salvage game three at Alabama on a rain soaked Sunday. It rained most of the morning until 12:30 p.m. and has now cleared up.

The starting lineup has some new wrinkles today in an effort to jump start the offense.

1. Brian Harris SS
2. Jason Esposito 3B
3. Aaron Westlake LF
4. Curt Casali DH
5. Andrew Giobbi 1B
6. Connor Harrell CF
7. Joe Loftus RF
8. Anthony Gomez 2B
9. Drew Fann C

Jack Armstrong (2-0) will look to build upon his strong start a week ago and give the Commodores a chance to snap a six-game losing streak to Alabama and a six-game losing streak in SEC play.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

WBB in Cincy: Saturday at Cintas & MND

By Weinman

The team arrived at the Cintas Center this morning just after 11 a.m. to fulfill a 30-minute media obligation. After a press conference and some extra interviews near the lockerroom, the Commodores had a one-hour shootaround on the main floor. ESPN2's full contigent (Producer Jonathan Labovich, Director Dan Reagan, Play-by-Play Bob Wischusen and analyst Stephanie White) was courtside to watch the proceedings, after which Coach Balcomb spent a few minutes catching up with the crew.

With only an hour allowed on court at the Cintas Center, Vanderbilt headed up to get some additional time in at Mount Notre Dame High School, where freshman Gabby Smith prepped. The team was greeted by Smith's former coach, Dante Harlan, and a host of "good luck Gabby" signs. The gym's walls were lined with championship banners, as well, including four state championship banners from 2006 through 2009, side-by-side, all with "Gabby Smith" emblazoned on them.

Here are a few photos from the day: Photo Gallery

Will have some more stuff from today's press conferences coming down the pipe soon. And make sure you're following along with our Twitter feed - when I'm away from the computer Twitter is the easiest way to shoot a quick update on what's going on.

WBB in Cincy: Montgomery Inn

By Weinman

The team arrived in Cincinnati around 8 p.m. on Friday night and headed straight to the Montgomery Inn for dinner. Montgomery Inn was one of Coach Balcomb's favorite restaurants when she was at Xavier, and I certainly can't argue with her taste after eating there.

Billed as "home of the world's greatest ribs," Montgomery Inn is owned by the family of VU women's soccer player Margaux Andrews. Margaux's grandparents, Matula and Ted Gregory, opened the institution in 1951 and the four current locations are still family owned and operated. Marguax's parents, Terry and Evan, dropped in to say hello and wish the Commodores luck this week. Evan told the team of his restaurant's history of success with visiting sports teams -- in his words, "We don't serve losers." The couple also posed for a photo with Strength and Conditioning Coach Tasha Weddle, who mentors both the basketball and soccer teams.

For dinner, I went with the ribs and shrimp combination. The ribs had a great rub on them with just the right amount of sauce and the fried shrimp were served with their own dipping sauce that was also outstanding. Most folks topped off their meals with a Graeters ice cream sundae, and I couldn't help but be overindulgent as well. Try the raspberry chocolate chip with hot fudge if you get a chance.

I took a handful of pictures at the restaurant, available here ( Photo Gallery). I have a couple meetings in the morning, then the team arrives at the arena for media availability at 11:20 a.m. followed by a one-hour shootaround. More tomorrow!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tash!

By Weinman

The women's basketball team has made an annual habit of celebrating Strength & Conditioning Coach Tasha Weddle's July 5th birthday during March Madness. This year's surprise cake and candle came at the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati.

The team also had a cake delivered to Lucy, one of the student managers, whose actually birthday is tomorrow. More on the restaurant soon....

Baseball starting lineup vs. Bama

by SID

It's a beautiful day for baseball at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Sunny and 72 degrees. Looks like the same lineup that was used against WKU on Wednesday.

The Commodores are looking to stop a five-game losing streak to Bama dating back to the series opener two years ago here at "The Joe". Mike Minor tossed a complete game that Friday night as VU won 2-1.

Alabama's starting pitcher is southpaw Adam Morgan. He is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA and will be making his first appearance against the Commodores.

Sonny Gray (3-1, 2.96 ERA) is looking for a better outing than the one he had last year against the Crimson Tide. He came on in relief of Mike Minor in the Friday opener and gave up six runs on six hits in two innings and took his first collegiate loss.

Curt Casali is still recovering from his hamstring injury and will likely be relegated to a pinch hitter's role, if he plays at all this weekend.

1. Brian Harris SS
2. Bryan Johns DH
3. Aaron Westlake LF
4. Andrew Giobbi C
5. Jason Esposito 3B
6. Riley Reynolds 1B
7. Joe Loftus RF
8. Connor Harrell CF
9. Anthony Gomez 2B

Photos: Memorial Send-off for WBB

By Weinman

Faculty, staff, students and fans gathered Friday afternoon outside Memorial Gym to see the women's basketball team off on its trip to Cincinnati. Originally scheduled to leave at 2, the team's departure was delayed by about 45 minutes. The dedicated group pictured above arrived before 1:30 and almost everyone was able to stick around -- a big THANK YOU from everyone involved with the team for that kind of support.

I took a handful of pictures of our departure: Photo Gallery

Vanderbilt Pro Day Underway

By Travis Young

14 former Vanderbilt Commodores are currently participating in Vanderbilt’s 2010 Pro Day at the John Rich Practice Facility. 32 scouts, representing 22 NFL teams are in attendance this morning evaluating the former Commodores.

Pro Day activities started off this morning with height and weight measurements.

Here are some notes of interest from early this morning.

* Safety Ryan Hamilton measured 6-1, 206 lb., and recorded a vertical jump of 34.5 inches.

* Defensive end Steven Stone measured 6-5, 270 lb., and recorded a vertical jump of 35 inches.

* Safety/Linebacker Brent Trice registered a leap of 9’11”.50 in the standing long jump.

The 40-yard dash is about to start.

Here is a list of the 14 former Commodores that are participating in Pro Day activities

Mackenzi Adams, Quarterback
Patrick Benoist, Linebacker
Greg Billinger, Defensive Tackle
Justin Green, Receiver
Ryan Hamilton, Safety
Eric Hensley, Offensive Line
Myron Lewis, Defensive Back
Chris Reinert, Receiver
Broderick Stewart, Defensive End
Steven Stone, Defensive End
Brent Trice, Safety/Linebacker
Brett Upson, Punter
Bradley Vierling, Offensive Line
Thomas Welch, Offensive Line

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On second thought....

Final: Murray State 66, Vanderbilt 65.

Video of the Day - Back to Paradise

by Barca Blog

After watching the other 65 teams duke it out for the national championship last season, it sure is nice to be back to paradise.

Thanks to AT for the clip.

Another photo: 'Dores hit the floor

by Barca Blog

The team just started their pregame stretching routine on the court. That means we're only an hour away from tip. Are you ready?

The projected starting lineups are...
Vanderbilt - Walker, Taylor, Ogilvy, Beal and Jenkins
Murray State - Thomas, Aska, Easley, Miles and Jenkins

(And yes, this picture was taken from my seat on press row. Don't be jealous.)

Photo: 'Dores arrive on gameday

by Barca Blog

The Commodores just entered HP Pavilion a short while ago for their opening round tilt with Murray State, which is scheduled to tip-off at 11:30 Pacific time in San Jose.

Like everyone else coming to the game, the team went through the mandatory screening process as they entered the arena.

I took the above photo for Commodore color analyst Tim Thompson, who is limited to only certain parts of the building with his "media" pass (just ask him about it). It's good to roll with All-Access around your neck.

(Click image to enlarge)

NCAA Tourney Notes: WBB Edition

By Weinman - Following in the footsteps of Boggs and Barca, I wanted to get the women's postseason guide up on the blog for all the world to see. It's in three parts: game notes, stats and news clippings. The .pdf files are below.

NCAA Tournament Notes Get Acrobat Reader

2009-10 News Clippings Get Acrobat Reader

2009-10 Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

Preview: [4] Vanderbilt vs. [13] Murray State

Vanderbilt's quest for an NCAA Championship begins Thursday in a matchup with #13 seed Murray State in San Jose, Calif., at the HP Pavilion. Tip time is set for 1:30 Central time, and the game can be seen live on television on CBS. The radio call can be heard on the Vanderbilt/ISP Radio Network, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the call.

If you're stuck at work, you can watch the game online and also track live stats. Go here for the gameday preview with multimedia links.

(AP Photo)

NCAA Media Blitz - Thursday

by Barca Blog

Today's links on the Vanderbilt/Murray State matchup:

Tennessean: Ogilvy makes Commodores go

Tennessean: Vanderbilt vs. Murray State preview

Tennessean: Murray State guard feels the pain

The City Paper: Commodores will have to fight inexperience Racers Have Media Day At NCAA Tournament

Albuquerque News: Former Hobbs star dancing with Vandy

WBB Presents: A Cincinnati Top 10

By Weinman

As the women's basketball team prepares for its first round NCAA Tournament game against DePaul on Sunday, Cincinnati natives Ashlee Bridge and Gabby Smith took time out to prepare a list of the 10 best things about their hometown.

Ashlee and Gabby were eager to get the word out about a city they love, so we sat down yesterday inside Memorial to film a video Top 10. Below the video, I'll post their Top 10 list along with links to all the places that make Cincinnati a great place.

Top 10: Best Things About Cincinnati
10. Sawyer Point
9. Cincinnati Museum Center
8. Newport Aquarium / Cincinnati Zoo
7. Fountain Square
6. Riverbend Music Center
5. Sports teams: Reds (MLB) and Bengals (NFL)
4. Food: Skyline Chili, Graeters, Grippos, Montgomery Inn
3. School of Creative and Performing Arts
2. Amusement Parks: King's Island, Great Wolf Lodge
1. Ashlee and Gabby

The Duffy and Dre Report

by Barca Blog

In the following two videos, forwards Joe Duffy and Andre Walker take their best shot at becoming's official correspondent for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

How do you think they did?

Sound Bites: Murray State game

by Barca Blog

Sound bites from head coach Kevin Stallings and center A.J. Ogilvy as the Commodores prepare for their NCAA first round matchup with Murray State on Thursday in San Jose

Flip It: The interview room

by Barca Blog

During NCAA Basketball media day, teams are required to make every student-athlete available for questioning for 30 minutes before shoot around.

Reporters shuffle through the interview room at that time and jump from player to player to get the perfect sound bite. But most of the time, the guys are just waiting patiently to get on the court.

To give you an idea of what it's like, I posted the following Flip video:

Tinsley gaining confidence on injured knee

by Ryan Schulz

When sophomore guard Brad Tinsley fell to the floor grimacing in pain during the second half of Vanderbilt’s regular season finale against South Carolina, the air felt like it had been sucked out of Memorial Gym.

Could a key part of the rotation miss the rest of the season? Could a promising season be derailed by one injury? Although the patrons in the arena sat quietly, the questions were swirling in their heads.

After a short time on the floor, Tinsley limped off the court and would be diagnosed with a sprained left knee. An injury that appeared to be much worse and potentially season-ending would only limit Tinsley in practice during preparation for the team’s SEC Tournament game against Georgia just six days later.

With a heavily bandaged knee, Tinsley played just 12 minutes in Vanderbilt’s 78-66 win against Georgia as the coaching staff slowly eased him back onto the court. Tinsley hit one of two shots and finished the game with two points.

For Tinsley, the hardest part of returning to the court was the uncertainty he faced when he first checked into the game.

“Just getting into the game was the most difficult thing because I was kind of worried about twisting it,” Tinsley said. “It is always in your mind when you suffer an injury like that. I think the biggest thing was just getting out there and just trying to play through the pain.”

In Vanderbilt’s most recent game against Mississippi State, a more confident Tinsley logged 20 minutes and finished 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in a 62-52 loss.

When Vanderbilt takes the court on Thursday it will be 12 days since Tinsley’s injury. Although he says the knee is better than it was, he is still not 100 percent and will continue to wear a large brace.

“It is pretty sore right now and we’ve been doing a lot of treatment,” Tinsley said. “The trainer (Shannon Gordon) has been really good to me, just trying to get me ready for the games. It’s still pretty sore, so I’ve got it taped and bandaged up so it is pretty good and stabilized.”

The most difficult part for Tinsley remains the first few minutes of the game when his leg is stiff from sitting.

“It loosens up after you are out there for a little while,” Tinsley said. “Also the adrenaline gets going when you are out there and you don’t really pay attention to it unless you get up and tweak it like I did in one of the games.”

It would have taken a lot more than a knee sprain to prevent Tinsley from missing his first NCAA Tournament game. An Oregon City, Ore., native, Tinsley expects to have a good number of friends and family in the stands for his return to the West Coast, and he doesn’t plan on disappointing.

“Any time in the NCAA Tournament anyone can beat anybody,” Tinsley said. “It doesn’t matter who is seeded what. You’ve got to treat each game like it is your last and you have to stick to your game plan and just try to outplay and outwork other teams.”

Even less than 100 percent, Tinsley is expected to be a key component for the Commodores when they open the NCAA Tournament at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday against Murray State.

(photo by John Russell)

Wednesday's photos from San Jose

by Barca Blog

It was an action-packed day in San Jose on Wednesday.

The Commodores got their first look at HP Pavilion, the site of Thursday's NCAA first round tilt with Murray State. Like the other seven teams in town, Vanderbilt had 40 minutes to test out the rims in an open practice session for fans. The team went through their normal practice routine at another site earlier in the day. 


Also, reporters from across the country blitzed coaches and players with every question known to man. Even senior manager Sam Ferry had a media request (as you'll see in the gallery).

It was good to see some Nashville media representatives in attendance... shout out to Paul Jones and Dan Phillips from Fox17, the only television station from Middle Tennessee to make the trek out west.

On the celeb watch, Schulzie spotted former Sportscenter anchor Larry Beil in the house. No relation to Jermaine or Jessica. Beil works for a television station in nearby San Francisco.

On sightseeing, I was lucky enough to spend part of the night with my relatives in Santa Cruz. We had a fun family gathering on the beach. They opened my eyes to the California artichoke (which I devoured). If you haven't seen one before, it's as big as a Bloomin' Onion except it's an artichoke. Nice sales job, eh?

Finally, Doubletree cookies live up to the hype. The first time. The second time. The third time... (Don't blame me, they're complimentary).

Alright... On three, break.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beal on a mission

by Ryan Schulz

Senior point guard Jermaine Beal has seen both sides of the NCAA Tournament. He’s experienced the Cinderella story as part of Vanderbilt’s Sweet 16 team in 2007 and the heartbreak of the first-round upset in 2008. But for Beal, the memory that he can’t get out of his mind is the most recent one.

Playing in Tampa, the fourth-seeded Commodores were sent packing by a hot-shooting Siena team in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. It was a game that Beal would just as well like to forget. The team lost and he had one of the worst games of his career, finishing 0-for-4 from the field without a point.

Just thinking back to the game stings Beal. That sting is part of what makes Thursday’s game against Murray State (1:30 p.m. CT) that much more personal to Beal.

“It is very important to get a win,” Beal said. “I don’t want to experience that feeling again.”

Beal, a first team All-SEC selection, has been the catalyst for the Commodores all season. As Beal goes, so do the Commodores on most occasions. Now on the eve of his final tournament, Beal is preparing to embark on a mission to erase the memory of his last trip to the Big Dance.

“There is that sense of urgency as a senior,” Beal said. “I’m taking this opportunity very seriously, but at the same time, trying to embrace it and trying to have fun with it. I’m just trying to stay focused because I know we have a great opportunity ahead of us.”

It’s an opportunity that Beal thinks this team is suited to take advantage of.

“I know this team is probably better than the other two teams I’ve been to the NCAA Tournament with,” Beal said. “I think we can make a deep run, but right now our main focus is just that first game.”

After all, the first game could just as well be the last game come tournament time. Besides Beal, only junior A.J. Ogilvy and redshirt sophomore Andre Walker played more than 10 minutes in the team’s game against Siena. The lack of NCAA Tournament experience on the roster makes Beal the team’s go-to expert on the tournament.

“I told the (guys on the team) about my freshman and sophomore experience,” Beal said. “And I told them everything we need to do this year to be prepared.”

Undoubtedly, one player who will be prepared come Thursday will be the Commodores’ lone senior who knows that there is no next year.

“Right now it is do or die,” Beal said. “In conference play, you can shake it off and get ready for the next game, but now every possession and every shot counts that much more. The stakes are so much higher.”

And the memories last so much longer.

(photo by John Russell)

Flip It: HP Pavilion

by Barca Blog

Watch Flip footage (below) of the Commodores walking onto the court at HP Pavilion for the first time Wednesday in preparation for the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

In case you were wondering, the facility opened in 1993 and serves as the home for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.

(click to increase video size)

Questions, please

Vanderbilt and Murray State met with the media on Wednesday afternoon at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Find out what they had to say about tomorrow's NCAA First Round matchup by clicking here.

Baseball starting lineup: WKU

by SID

It's a cool, overcast day at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. The team is looking to avenge a 17-2 loss to WKU (new branding, no longer wants to be called Western Kentucky) yesterday.

VU will send senior RHP Drew Hayes to the mound. Hayes has pitched well of late and enters with a 1-0 record, 2.61 ERA and nine strikeouts and three walks in 10.1 innings.

Here is the starting lineup. Click here to listen to Eric Stoochauser Jonze call the action.

1. Brian Harris SS
2. Bryan Johns dh
3. Aaron Westlake LF
4. Andrew Giobbi C
5. Jason Esposito 3B
6. Riley Reynolds 1B
7. Connor Harrell CF
8. Joe Loftus RF
9. Anthony Gomez 2B

President Obama picks...

by Barca Blog

Like the rest of America, President Obama has completed his 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

And like many of the critics, he believes Murray State is a prime candidate for a first-round upset.

In fact, it's the first thing he mentions in his interview with ESPN's Andy Katz.

The good news is that Obama admitted he struggled picking games to start the tournament last season.

"Overall, I got killed in my bracket last year in the first round," he told Katz.

Pouring more salt in the wound... Obama thinks the Commodores will fall to DePaul in the first round of the women's tourney on Sunday. Not really a surprise there, though, considering his loyalties to Chicago.

You can watch video of the Prez making his picks.. and also keep track of how many times he mentions Reggie Love.

Go here to see his complete men's and women's bracket.

(Photo credit:

Women’s Basketball Send-Off on Friday

Commodore fans, you are invited to join us at 1:45 p.m. CT on Friday to help send off the Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball team as they leave for the NCAA Tournament.

The team will be departing from the Players Entrance at the North West corner of Memorial Gym (next to Parmer Field House). Come wish Coach Balcomb and the rest of the Commodores good luck as they head into post-season play.

For complete coverage of the NCAA Tournament, click here.

Commodore Conversation- Rachael Dillon on St. Patty’s Day

By Travis Young

With St. Patrick’s Day in full swing today, I caught up with Vanderbilt women’s tennis player and Dublin, Ireland, native Rachael Dillon to see how the holiday is celebrated in her home country.

Dillon and the 17th-ranked Commodores will host No. 4 Notre Dame at the Currey Tennis Center on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

Click the video below to watch.

NCAA Media Blitz - Wednesday

by Barca Blog

Today's links on the Vanderbilt/Murray State matchup:

Tennessean: Vanderbilt should surprise new opponent

Tennessean: Murray State faces tough matchup

Tennessean: Jenkins knows player whose mother died

The City Paper: VU tourney opener a home game for Ezeli

Courier-Journal: WKU coach likes Murray's chance Murray State's Postcard From California Go West Young Men

Tuesday's photos from San Jose

by Barca Blog

We made it to our home for the week... the Doubletree Hotel San Jose.

The first thing Schulzie noticed upon our late-night arrival? Guests were in the swimming pool at 10 o'clock.

Welcome to.... Californiaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (cue The OC's theme song).

My lovely wife also told me that the Doubletree makes delicious, fresh-baked chocolate chip, walnut cookies that are complimentary. I guess that makes up for the $13 per day wireless fee that they are charging us. No worries... Cornelius will foot the bill.

Anyway, our charter flight left Nashville just after 7 p.m. CT.  We arrived in San Jose four and a half hours later with no complications in the air. The Spirit of Gold pep band and VU cheer squad accompanied the rest of us McGugin-ites on the trip, so energy was at an all-time high as we entered Vanderbilt West.

I must admit that the two hour time difference has worked to my advantage. While my body might think it's 2 a.m., it's really more like midnight. That means I can work even later, and you're reaping the benefits. For example, I grabbed some snapshots of today's journey... check them out.


Wednesday will be a busy day for the coaches, players and staff. The team will have a closed practice at a local facility in the morning, followed by the mandatory NCAA Tournament media session and shoot-around at HP Pavilion, which is open to the public. The Commodores will take the floor from 1:30 - 2:10 PT.

A couple more things on our radar... Boggles and Schulzie have already proclaimed Denny's as the front-runner for breakfast. You can also bet that In-N-Out Burger will make it into the rotation at some point. Other suggestions are welcome.

Braeburn told me that a nearby establishment serves the Burritozilla, a monster 17-inch burrito weighing in at 5 pounds. That sounds like a challenge. You might remember two years ago when I passed a similar test at a joint in Tempe during an NCAA Baseball trip.

Well, that's it for tonight. Stay with us for complete postseason coverage and make sure you follow Twitter updates from the road @VandyMBB and @BarcaBlog.