Saturday, February 28, 2009

Memorial brings it once again

By Barca Blog - In his postgame press conference, head coach Kevin Stallings was quick to point out the impact of the fans during Saturday's 96-83 win over South Carolina.

"I'm really proud of our crowd. You could tell there was an energy that didn't have to be there with the students gone (for spring break) and us losing to the last place team in our division. I'm proud that our crowd didn't give up on us."

So Memorial wasn't jam-packed after the letdown of Wednesday's loss at Georgia, but those that attended tonight's contest had plenty to cheer about after witnessing the Commodores' best performance of the season against a red-hot, SEC East leading Gamecock squad.

The Commodores (17-11, 6-8 SEC) were the aggressor from the outset and led by as many as 25 at one point to the delight of the Memorial faithful. Even with fading hopes of making the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, the 'Dores showed they still have some fight left in them.

"We don't have that much to lose right now," said junior guard Jermaine Beal, who blistered USC with a personal best 27 points. "We know our standing in the conference, but our season is far from over. We are just trying to get better and to have fun, and seize every opportunity we have."

"Our fans deserved us to play as hard as we can play," Stallings added, "and our fans helped us play that way tonight."

Baseball: Andrew Giobbi Out For Awhile

by SID - Junior catcher Andrew Giobbi broke his hand in his first at bat in Friday's win over Vermont. Head coach Tim Corbin said he is likely out 4-6 weeks. Despite the injury Giobbi continued to play and finished out the game. Coach Corbin said after Saturday's win over Vermont that "Gio" showed amazing toughness, just like he did over the summer when playing in the Cape. He was hit in the face by a pitch early in the summer and came back to finish out the season with Harwich. The league honored him with its 10th Man Award.

With Giobbi out, the catching position which was once an area of experienced depth, is now a question mark with little to no experience outside of practice. Curt Casali went into the year as the starter but has switched to first base due to an arm injury. Aaron Westlake has practiced behind the plate at times, but Saturday's game was his first real game action. He caught a no-hitter for six-plus innings and had four hits so you could say he had a good day.

Westlake's backup is redshirt freshman Drew Fann from Oakland High in Murfreesboro. Fann has yet to see action in a real game on the collegiate level, but he did belt a homer off of freshman flame-thrower Sonny Gray in the Black and Gold Series in the fall.

In a season of new faces in different places, add another change to the list.

Friday, February 27, 2009

More notes after the 7-2 win over Vermont

By Barca Blog - Some notes and quotes I put together following Vanderbilt's 7-2 win over Vermont in the series opener.

Lefties make it happen

The story of the night was the success of Vanderbilt's lefthanded hitters against Vermont Friday night. The Commodores collected 13 hits in the 7-2 win with Steven Liddle, Riley Reynolds and Aaron Westlake combining to go a perfect 11-for-11 from the plate. Not an easy task when you're facing a crafty southpaw veteran like Joe Serafin, who won Pitcher of the Year in the American East conference last year.

"The lefties had great games tonight," Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. "You had guys hitting .221 off Serafin last year with lefties hitting considerably less, so we send a bunch of lefties up there and they got all of our hits. Reynolds pounded the six-hole, Liddle kept spraying the ball all the way around, and Westlake used the other side of the field. I thought it was the best job of hitting the ball the other way that we've done this year."

Liddle finished with a career-best four RBI on a single, double, and triple, while Reynolds and Westlake added four hits apiece. Corbin praised Reynolds' performance and talked about what he brings to this ballclub.

"(Riley) just knows his ability," Corbin said of the 6-1, 180 pound freshman. "He knows who he is which I think is so important for a young kid. He doesn't try to do anything more than just put the bat on the ball and let the pitcher do the work for him and he does. He's a good player. I like him out there. You almost wouldn't notice him because he doesn't say "Boo" but you notice him when he's out there playing. He's a pretty good number nine-hole hitter."

Picked off

Corbin wanted to be aggressive on the basepaths against Serafin and the Catamounts, but was concerned with the team being picked off twice on the night.

"I worry about pickoffs. As I tell the guys you have 27 dollars to spend, that's 27 outs, you just don't want to throw your dollars away. You want to use them wisely. If the other team gives you more money to spend, use it, but you can't use your money on pickoffs and things like that. It's just throwing money away."

Lots to still play for

The big news surrounding Vermont's arrival in Nashville was that its athletic department announced last week it would discontinue the baseball program at the end of the season due to the current financial crisis. You have to think the Catamounts had a lot on their minds when they took the field for their first game tonight.

"These kids have nothing to lose," Corbin commented. "They're going to lose their whole program. All of these kids will be at a different school next year so they're just playing for their life."

The announcement runs close to Corbin, who has a personal tie to Vermont head coach Bill Currier. Both are proteges of former Vermont/current Clemson coach Jack Leggett.

"He played for Jack (Leggett) at Vermont. I've know Billy because of Jack, and he's a very good friend of mine and I respect him a lot. He was a heck of a player. If you read (the book) Moneyball, there's a whole chapter on him, because he was a big, tall lefthanded hitter who got drafted high out of Vermont. He does a nice job with his kids and they've probably got a chance to win that American East conference when it's all said and done."

Pre-Vermont baseball tidbits

By Barca Blog - As the Commodore baseball team (2-3) gets ready for their weekend series with Vermont starting tonight at 6 p.m. CT, here are some notes following Wednesday’s 10-7 win over Western Kentucky.

McClure makes first start

Sophomore shortstop Alex McClure had a solid first start as a Commodore Wednesday. Known for his defensive abilities, McClure also produced at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two runs. The Walters State transfer helped spark VU’s six-run fourth inning with a text-book bunt single to load the bases.

“I wanted to give him a chance,” said head coach Tim Corbin. “I like what he did. He hit one ball right on the screws and got out, but then he dropped a nice drag bunt, and also got a bloop hit after that. I thought he had a good game. He’s a good player and deserves playing time.

Gray looks good

Highly touted freshman pitcher Sonny Gray has been impressive out of the bullpen so far.

“He’s just got that competitive mindset,” Corbin told the press after Gray notched his first career save Wednesday.

In three appearances, Gray’s yet to allow a run (and only one runner has reached third). He’s struck out five in five innings while walking just one. He’s been nails in pressure situations. Look no further than his first outing at No. 5 Stanford last Friday, where he held the Cardinal scoreless for three innings in a tie ballgame.

“Sonny’s been doing a great job,” said junior Brian Harris. “He throws hard but the most important thing is that he keeps it around the zone making it tough to hit. We all have confidence in him.”

Harris jumpstarts offense

Harris has made the most of his opportunity as an everyday starter after serving in a reserve role his first three years. Through five games, he's done everything you could ask for in the leadoff spot.

According to this week’s official notes:

Harris leads the team with a .438 batting average and seven RBI through five games. The Nashville native has a knack for getting on base with five walks and has also been hit three times leading to a .625 on-base percentage. As the leadoff hitter he is also perfect with four stolen bases in four attempts while also playing a steady infield at either short or second base.

“He’s done a nice job and has been the table setter for our team in scoring runs and stealing bases,” Corbin said. “It’s his time to play now and he’s playing like he’s been starting for three years.”

All about patience

With so many question marks in the lineup entering the season, early signs seem to indicate that the entire Commodore batting order will be a tough out for opposing pitchers. Plate patience has played a key role in the Commodore offense that's averaging seven runs a game.

“Everyone seems to work the pitcher pretty well,” said Corbin. “I don’t really see freebies 1 through 9. Every time I see a hitter up there I feel good about what’s about to happen. I like our offensive team. I think we’re capable of scoring runs.”

Vanderbilt’s also drawing about five walks per game including nine on Wednesday, the most since earning 10 against Louisville on March 4th last year.

“Throughout the lineup we’re willing to see a couple of pitches first as opposed to jumping on the first one to really make the pitchers work,” said sophomore Curt Casali. “I think that’s why we’re scoring so many runs.”

Different number, Same response

You might have noticed Casali wearing a different number Wednesday (39 instead of 9). Apparently, it didn’t affect him. He continued his offensive surge with a bases clearing double in the fourth which broke open the WKU game.

“They just didn’t order a No. 9 for the white jersey,” Casali remarked. “It doesn’t mean anything. Hopefully I’ll get No. 9 back by the weekend.”

On the year, Casali leads the team in hits (7), homeruns (2), total bases (15) and slugging (.714).

Rough beginning for Hayes

After a successful sophomore year (3.51 ERA in 41 IP with 53 Ks), reliever Drew Hayes has struggled to begin 2009. In three appearances, he’s 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in three innings of work.

“It looks like Drew’s breaking ball is flat because people are getting good swings on it,” said Corbin. “He had a great fall and I expect at some point he’s going to flip the switch here. He’s getting hit harder than he should in my opinion. He’s got to get more angle to his fastball and more angle to his breaking ball, too. It’s very horizontal right now.”

Closing out the name of the game

Vanderbilt was either tied or held the lead in the eighth inning of all four games out West but ended up losing three of four. Don’t think this stat was lost in the locker room prior to Wednesday’s win.

“It’s been a big point of emphasis,” said Harris. “We need to throw strikes, put the ball in play, and then make routine plays. It’s kind of cost us in the late innings in the past couple of games. We need to make the routine plays and do the things we’re supposed to do.”

The Commodores were tested again after the Hilltoppers scored three runs in the seventh to cut the margin to 10-7. Behind Richie Goodenow and Gray, Vanderbilt’s young squad buckled down to earn the win.

“Even though the record doesn’t show it, I think we’re playing some good baseball,” Harris added. “We just need to be able to close out games in the ninth and I think we’ll be fine. I think we’ll surprise a lot of people.”

Vanderbilt hoops' signee Jenkins in SI

By Travis Young -- Vanderbilt men's basketball signee John Jenkins has been recognized in the "Faces in the Crowd" section of the March 2 issue of Sports Illustrated for surpassing the 3,000 career point total in a 66-32 District 8-AA on Feb. 21. With his 3000th point Jenkins became the 19th player in Tennessee High School history to notch 3000 points, putting his name among players like Anfernee Hardaway and Tony Delk.

The future Commodore is currently the nation's leading scorer, averaging an impressive 42.3 points per game, including a career-best 60 points in a double overtime game versus Gallatin. has Jenkins listed as the 37th-best player in the country and eighth-best shooting guard in the class of 2009.

To view the latest "Faces of the Crowd" in Sports Illustrated click here

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MBB Tickets Available for Saturday

A limited amount of tickets are available for Saturday's men's basketball game with South Carolina at 8 p.m. CT inside Memorial Gym. To order, call (615) 322-GOLD or click here.

Biggest Loser Race Heating Up

Team Gold Shines in McGugin's Biggest Loser Contest

Monday found me preparing to broadcast the Vanderbilt-California baseball game onsite in Berkeley, California. Thomas Samuel of Vanderbilt Athletic Communications had successfully duped me into believing that the hilly terrain of the San Francisco Bay Area that we experienced had more than made up for the gigantic dessert binge we were enjoying. That almost made sense to me until I remembered we mostly drove around on the interstate.

The news for Team Black wasn't bad (down another 10 lbs), but it was Team Gold that dropped 17 lbs on the week. After six weeks, Team Gold has lost a total of 98 lbs (2.52% of total body weight) and Team Black has lost 85 lbs (2.02% of total body weight).

As in all competition, there are some individuals that standout such as operations intern Brett Wulke for the Team Gold. Brett is training for the Music City Marathon and has lost 22 lbs to pace Gold. Wulke claims he still has some room to improve, but I certainly hope he has thinned down about as far as possible. Team Black is led by Jason Silvers (marketing) who has melted 17 lbs away primarily by sheer willpower and a newfound commitment to witchcraft. If it isn't witchcraft, then he is just eating way too healthy. There are a total of nine individuals who have joined the 10 lbs Club, losing 10 or more lbs: Greg Allen (Golf), Mr. Brandon Barca (Web Marketing and Communications), Candice Lee (Compliance Guru) and Brett Wulke (Operations) for Team Gold. Team Black includes Tim House (Marketing), Myself (Eric Jones, Ticket Office), George Midgett (Compliance), Jason Silvers (Marketing) and Heather Warf (Business Office).

Tomorrow, we will welcome in our sponsor Smart Water to have a Tasting Party in McGugin Center for all Biggest Loser Participants at 10:30am. Perhaps I will try to get Brett Wulke to try a new experimental flavor: Pepperoni Pizza or Banana Split. Four weeks to go.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Video of the Day

By Barca Blog - Who could forget Hootie's plug for the Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch? I remember watching the Blowfish perform at Vanderbilt's Rites of Spring concert a few years back and all the students showed up in Burger King crowns. Darius refused to play the song, almost causing a riot in the crowd.

I guess he wanted to be taken seriously as an artist. Who would have thought that this song would eventually lead to a career in country music? Anything to sell a record. I guess musicians gotta eat, too, even if it is a Tender Crip Bacon Cheddar Ranch.

Video: WBB Senior Night

By Barca Blog - In case you missed it, watch video (below) of senior night ceremonies honoring Amy Malo, Jennifer Risper and Christina Wirth following Vanderbilt's 73-70 win over No. 3 Auburn last Thursday. To see more Commodore footage on YouTube, click here.

Back in 1963

By Barca Blog - Fans attending today's baseball home opener will notice some changes to Hawkins Field, especially the permanent bleacher seating that surrounds the outfield wall. I received this email and picture (click photo for larger image) from Vanderbilt baseball alum Jim Waggoner to give you an indication of how that same field looked back in the day.

I believe my father took this picture in about 1963......the Vandy team bench was down the first base dug out or cover but some type of new dug out was under construction behind wall or fence around the home plate admission.

We didn't win many games....we had a good Coach (Coach Harley Boss) could hear his voice from deep centerfield....wooden bats.....Coach Boss called the old Jackie Robinson thick handled bat the "Saturday Evening Post"....Coach Harley died of heart failure in 1965 or 1966...

The amazing thing is that today several players from this team and this era are actively supporting the current team and Coach Corbin.....from as far away as Virginia and Florida.

Jim Waggoner '63

Thanks to Jim for sending in the picture and story. With the addition of bleacher seating, etc., baseball season tickets are available for the first time in three years. To order your tickets, click here. We'll see you at the park today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 1 Baseball Notebook

Posted by SID

Vanderbilt's Overall Record: 1-3; Record for the Week: 1-3

Last Week:
2/20 Stanford 6, Vanderbilt 5 (10)
2/21 Vanderbilt 12, Stanford 9 (Game 1)
2/21 Stanford 6, Vanderbilt 5 (Game 2)
2/23 Cal 4, Vanderbilt 3

This Week (Buy Tickets):
2/25 vs. Western Kentucky - 4 p.m. at Hawkins Field
2/27 vs. Vermont - 6 p.m. at Hawkins Field
2/28 vs. Vermont - 2 p.m. at Hawkins Field
3/1 vs. Vermont - 1 p.m. at Hawkins Field

Vanderbilt went 1-3 in its opening week of action, with all three losses by one run. The team held a lead deep into every game but were unable to close them out. The Commodores carried a 5-1 lead into the sixth inning in the opener against Stanford, only to lose 6-5 in extra innings. They had a 12-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 2 and gave up seven runs in the inning and held on for a 12-9 win. VU had a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth against Stanford in the third game before giving up three runs in the frame to lose 6-5. Then they closed out the West Coast trip, holding a 3-2 lead in the ninth against Cal before the Bears plated two runs in their final at-bat to win 4-3.

The starting pitcher was solid throughout the week with every starter pitching into the sixth inning. Caleb Cotham picked up the lone win with a seven-inning, seven strikeout performance against Stanford in the second game of the series … Sean Bierman scattered six hits over six innings of work in his first start of the year with five strikeouts and two walks … Freshman Sonny Gray was impressive in two relief appearances pitching four scoreless innings with four strikeouts and one walk while allowing three hits.

Fourth-year junior Brian Harris has become the catalyst of the offense in the leadoff spot, leading the team with a .385 batting average with a homer and four RBI. He has also shown a knack for getting on base with a .579 on-base percentage … Redshirt freshman Aaron Westlake made a nice return to his home state, going 5-for-14 (.357) on the week … Jason Esposito made his first collegiate homerun a memorable one, hitting a grand-slam in the 12-9 win over Stanford … In all five players saw their first significant action as starters over the week including true freshmen Jason Esposito and Riley Reynolds.

The 1-3 start is the slowest the Commodores have gotten off to in the Tim Corbin era. The last time VU has started 1-3 was in 2000 under head coach Roy Mewbourne … The Commodores will open a nine-game homestand Wednesday afternoon against Western Kentucky.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pedro creating a buzz in Pittsburgh

By Barca Blog - There's a nice article on former Commodore standout Pedro Alvarez in today's edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick in last June's Major League Baseball draft, has already received high praise from several people within the Pirates organization during spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla. Even one former Pirate compared Alvarez's swing to a former Pittsburgh great.

"Pedro Alvarez has Willie Stargell's swing," Manny Sanguillen said. "I played with him a lot of years. I know that swing."

Click here to read the entire story by Chuck Finder.

(Photo Credit: Peter Diana / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

One tough loss

By Barca Blog

"It had to be one of the toughest losses since I've been at Vanderbilt."

Those were the words of head coach Melanie Balcomb following Vanderbilt's devastating 71-69 loss at Ole Miss Sunday, which dropped the Commodores (21-7, 10-3 SEC) out of first place in the SEC standings behind Auburn (26-2, 11-2) with one game remaining.

It looked like Jence Rhoads' basket at the buzzer would extend the game into overtime, but officials used video replay to determine that the shot occurred after the buzzer.

The loss stung hard because the Commodores had controlled their chance at winning their first ever conference title, but now need to win at Tennessee (19-8, 8-4) Sunday plus a Tigers' loss to Arkansas (17-11, 6-7) to earn a co-championship. While 'Dores have never won in Knoxville, Arkansas might be the hottest team in the conference, winning five SEC games in a row, a new school record for the Razorbacks.

No matter what happens, Vanderbilt will end up in at least a tie for second place, the best finish in Balcomb's seven years on West End. The Commodores have also clinched at worst a No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament based on the remaining tie breakers.

February Issue of Commodore Nation

The February issue of Commodore Nation is now available online by clicking below. You can toggle between pages by clicking the arrows or you can zoom into the document by clicking it.

The March 2009 issue is being mailed this week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vanderbilt-Cal baseball game rained out

by SID

Vanderbilt’s baseball game against California, scheduled for 3 p.m. CT today, has been canceled due to rain.
The teams will attempt to play a single game tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT. The forecast in the Bay Area calls for 4-6 inches of rain today and tomorrow.
If tomorrow’s game is canceled, it will not be made up against Cal. Instead a home game during the midweek is likely to be added later in the year.
Vanderbilt opens its home campaign against Western Kentucky on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Starting Lineup for Baseball

by SID

Head coach Tim Corbin has decided to use the same starting lineup from last night's game with right-hander Caleb Cotham on the mound.
1. SS Brian Harris
2. C Andrew Giobbi
3. 1B Curt Casali
4. DH Aaron Westlake
5. SS Jason Esposito
6. RF Steven Liddle
7. CF Alex Hilliard
8. LF Jonathan White
9. 2B Riley Reynolds
RHP Caleb Cotham

The team is in good spirits and looking forward to playing two against Stanford today. Most of the polls have the 2008 College World Series participant in their Top 15, so if yesterday's game is any indication it looks like the 2009 Commodores can play with anyone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Baseball Team To Play Doubleheader Tomorrow

by SID

Because of impending rain in the Northern California area, Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin and Stanford head coach Mark Marquess decided to play a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. CT. The rain is expected to hit on Sunday and Monday so they came together thinking that three games would be better than the two that could be played.
So the Commodores and Cardinal will now play three games. If VU is able to get Sunday's game against Cal in, then the fourth game on Monday will be cancelled. If they can't get Sunday's game in, they will try again on Monday. Either way only one game against Cal will be played now.

Minor, Gray Receive Preseason Accolades

By Travis Young - Vanderbilt left-hander Mike Minor has been tabbed as Baseball America’s Preseason Candidate for Pitcher of the Year in the Southeastern Conference. The award was announced in Baseball America’s College Baseball Preview Magazine.

Minor enters the season as the ace of the Commodore pitching staff after going 7-3 with a 4.28 ERA last year. This past summer he was named College Summer League Player of the Year by Baseball America after helping the USA Baseball National Team win the gold medal game of the FISU World Championships by throwing 9.2 innings of shutout baseball in the team’s 12-inning win over Japan. The southpaw finished the summer with a 3-0 record and 0.75 ERA to go with 37 strikeouts in a team high 36 innings for the National Team.

Freshman right-hander Sonny Gray also received some preseason recognition as he was tabbed as one of two players for the national “Freshman of Year” award in the same publication. The Smyrna, Tenn., native went 4-0 with 0.79 ERA while posting 78 strikeouts in 35 innings as a senior at Smyrna High.

In the team race, Vanderbilt has been picked to finish third in the SEC East, behind Georgia and Florida.

The Commodores open the season today at Stanford with the opening pitch slated for 7:30 p.m. CT.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Corbin adjusts gameday coaching

By Barca Blog - Over the summer, baseball head coach Tim Corbin decided to make a switch to one of his gameday managerial duties. Corbin had previously served as the Commodores’ third base coach in his first six seasons… Until now.

“I had to make a change and just knew it was the right time to do it,” Corbin said. “(Assistant Coach) Erik Bakich has been in the program for six years and felt like he could do it. Erik’s paid his dues and he’ll do well in that spot.”

Bakich’s duties will move from first to third, while first-year Volunteer Assistant Coach Larry Day will handle the responsibilities at first. Corbin will now coach exclusively from the dugout, something he also did when he managed the USA Baseball National Team to a 28-2-1 record and a FISU gold medal during the summer of 2006.

“It’s a different way to interact with the kids and it’s more of a pitch-to-pitch type thing,” Corbin added. “Hopefully I have a good impact in there. It just puts you off the field and into a situation where you can think through the offense and defense at the same time. When you’re out at third base, your mind has to be on the running game and you can’t think of everything so it’s a little bit easier.”

Another change this year, instituted by the NCAA, will be that base coaches will be required to wear a helmet on the field.

According to, collegiate baseball's adoption of the rule comes on the heels of Major League Baseball requiring the same of their base coaches. MLB passed the rule after Mike Coolbaugh, a coach for the Colorado Rockies’ Double-A team, was killed after being hit be a line drive while coaching first base in 2007.

“The rule was kind of a kick back from the Coolbaugh situation and professional baseball,” Corbin stated. “As sad as it was, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, and then Collegiate Baseball reacted the same way. We just have to put helmets on top of our base coaches’ heads. I guess we’ll see how it works. It can only help so much, but it’s a safety measure.”

Corbin won’t be obligated to wear the gear, though, due to his move to the dugout.

“I don’t look too good in it,” Corbin joked. “It’s probably another good reason for me to not coach third base.”

Vanderbilt Signee Named to McDonald’s All-American Team

(Glenn Nelson/

By Ryan Schulz - Vanderbilt signee Stephanie Holzer became the Commodores’ most recent McDonald’s All-American on Wednesday with the release of the rosters for the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Games.

The 6-foot-4 post player from Newtown Square, Pa., was one of just 24 girls selected to participate in the game, which divides the players into two teams, the East and West. Holzer will suit up for the West team in the game, which will be held April 1 at 4:30 p.m. CT at the University of Miami’s Bank United Center. The game will air live on ESPNU.

Holzer is one of four signees who will join Vanderbilt’s team for the 2009-10 season. She is averaging 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks this season at Cardinal O’Hara High School.

The inaugural McDonald’s All-American Girls Game was held in 2002. Current Vanderbilt senior Christina Wirth played in the 2005 game.

The McDonald’s All-American Boys Game will be played at 7 p.m. CT.

Click here to view the rosters and learn more about the game.

Brian Harris Q&A

By Barca Blog - Shortstop Brian Harris talks about the Commodores' season-opening baseball trip to California this weekend.

On being named a starter:

“I think I have (paid my dues), and I just try to become a better player every single day. If I’m starting then great, if not then I just try to help the team the best way that I can on and off the field.”

On playing defense:

“I just like playing defense. I can’t explain it. It’s just something that I like to do. I have a lot of fun with it. It’s something that I take a whole lot of pride in. If people see that then that’s awesome.”

On being a backup prior to this year:

“When you’re playing behind two guys like Pedro and Feinberg, they’re two great players. They’ve been in that starting role for so long the experience kind of plays out. That’s just what I was trying to do – produce when my name was called. If I’m not starting then that’s fine. I just want to help the team any way I can.”

On communicating with a young infield:

“At first it was kind of mysterious because we didn’t know who was going to play where. The young guys were getting kind of nervous, but they’ve adapted very, very well. They’ve just completely come into our circle. We like every single one of them. They’re doing so well. There’s some senior leadership in that, but it’s also them buying into what we’re about and just believing in what we’re trying to help them out with.”

On the opening series at Stanford:

“We’re so excited to go to Stanford. Coach Corbin said we’ve been trying to play these guys for seven years now. I think it’ll be a good thing for them and a good thing for us. We’re just so excited to go out there and play those guys.”

Alex Hilliard Q&A

By Barca Blog - Centerfielder Alex Hilliard talks about the Commodores' season-opening baseball trip to California this weekend.

On entering the starting lineup:

"It’s going to be a cool thing, but I just try to stay as humble as possible and just have fun with the guys. It’s a great opportunity to be able to play with a lot of these guys out here, like Harris and Giobbi and Minor and guys like that. So, we’re just going to have a lot of fun out there in California."

On his development as a player:

"Just working extremely hard ever since I’ve been here… Ever since my freshman year I’ve been playing behind a lot of the great names who have played here. When I came here, I played behind Pedro and got in the outfield behind Macias and Dom and guys like that. Just to get out here and watch those guys play and see how they work, I feel like that was something to help me blossom as a player and use what I’ve learned from watching those guys play."

On his personality:

"I try to work hard and have fun. I play hard every game, every inning and every pitch."

On the opening series at Stanford:

"All of the guys on the team are really excited to get out there and give it our best shot. We’ve been working really hard. This program is built around working hard. Coach Corbin does a very good job of that, and all of the coaches do. They really get behind us as far as practice, and preach about practicing how we play. So, we’ve been working hard for this first game as a whole. I’m just really excited about playing along with the rest of these guys."

Patience is a virtue for Harris and Hilliard

By Barca Blog - After patiently waiting for their time to play, shortstop Brian Harris (R-Jr.) and centerfielder Alex Hilliard (R-So.) will now get their chance as everyday starters when the Commodores open the 2009 baseball season at Stanford this Friday.

Sure, they have big shoes to fill with the departure of All-SEC performers Ryan Flaherty and David Macias, but head coach Tim Corbin is confident in Harris’ and Hilliard’s abilities to step in and do the job.

“We know what they can do,” Corbin remarked prior to Tuesday’s practice, “but they’ve just been hidden under players who have been here for three years.”

Corbin calls Harris the “jack of all trades” due to his versatility as an infielder. Harris started 31 games at third base and second base in 2008 due to injuries to Pedro Alvarez and Alex Feinberg, and even played first base during his redshirt freshman year in 2007.

When Harris was thrust into the spotlight last season, he didn’t flinch. He contributed seven multi-RBI games and had the team’s fourth longest hitting streak at 10 games. His experience will come in handy in a lineup full of new faces.

“Brian handles the bat well and he’s just unnerved,” Corbin said. “He’s at a point now where he can just play the game of baseball and not worry about some of the other things.”

While Harris has seen some time on the diamond, Hilliard enters his third year with only three career at bats. Hilliard had a good fall season and flourished last summer in the New England College Baseball League and the Cape Cod League. He’ll now have to make the transition from role player to starter for the Commodores.

“When Alex came out this year, he had no one in front of him so his confidence just soared,” Corbin said. “I do think this summer helped him. I think there’s a part off him that says, ‘You know what, I can do this.’ Sometimes you tell a kid he can do it, but it really doesn’t happen until the kid identifies with success and understands that he can be a part of this. Alex has taken on more of a role and he’s got an edge to him that I really like.”

Corbin describes Hilliard as a player who could play any of the three outfield positions if called upon. He can also "run, hit, display gap power and has good energy for the game".

Through hard work and dedication, Harris and Hilliard are both prime examples of players that have paid their dues and earned the right to be penciled in on Friday’s starting scorecard.

“It’s very fulfilling for them and for the coaches,” Corbin added, “being able to play guys like that who have been very patient for two or three years and now their time arrives where they’re everyday players, and they’re good everyday players, too. It’s just good to see that happen because I think they’re going to blossom.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wall: A McGugin's Biggest Loser Obstacle in Week 5.

Officially powering the 2009 McGugin's Biggest Loser Competition

The Wall: No Time for Gold Brickin'

By Eric Jones - Five weeks in and half way there (Whoa-oh, livin on a prayer) for McGugin's Biggest Loser. The Wall looms large now at the halfway point as it is tougher to fight one's own human body. Half pound losses are valued much more. If not for Brandon Barca's first weigh-in since week one, Team Gold would have gained two pounds. As it happened Barca's 10 lbs (over five weeks) pre-wedding weigh-in put Team Gold down by 8 cumulative pounds for the week. Overall, the team is down 80.5 lbs which equates to 2.0844% cumulative weight lost. Team Black also gutted out a shallow week losing just 2 lbs and is 5 lbs off the Gold pace with 1.7832% total body weight lost.

But make no mistake, the Wall looms large for many contestants. It's amazing how you think you are doing well, eating an apple for lunch for a whole week then you find out, you gained a pound. Stupid Jared, and his "Five Dollar Footlongs." More than one teammate was muttering, "I should have just eaten a bag of Kettle Corn at the UK game."

I am personally attacking my own Biggest Loser Wall by attempting to find a way to download my old copy of Pink Floyd's iconic classic "The Wall" onto my iPod. The only thing this is successfully doing is making my head hurt, as I try to understand the lyrics of Roger Waters. Maybe that burns calories too or maybe I just don't have the proper laser light show package for my treadmill.

There has also been an increasing interest in some team sports including a renegade noon basketball game several days a week that has already popped at least one creaky hamstring.

At least next week we will get some help from our sponsors as Smart Water will be introducing some new flavors to both teams on Friday, February 27. If that doesn't work, it's back to leaving Ho-Ho's and donuts for members of the opposing team.

Video: Tchiengang blocks Meeks twice

By Barca Blog - Take nothing away from Kentucky's Jodie Meeks. He is as good as advertised. But on one possession late in the second half of Tuesday's win, Vanderbilt's Steve Tchiengang got the better of the SEC Player of the Year candidate with back-to-back blocked shots. Watch below:

Channel 4 Baseball Preview

By SID - Check out the WSMV Channel 4 Vanderbilt baseball piece at approximately 6:50. Terry Bulger came out today and spoke with head coach Tim Corbin along with seniors Andrew Giobbi and Jonathan White. The team departs for California tomorrow at 6:30 a.m.

Video: Music City Bowl Ceremony

By Barca Blog - If you weren't able to attend the basketball game last night, then watch the video below of the halftime ceremony honoring the 2008 Music City Bowl Champions. I'm already fired up about next season.

We Need Your Email Address

By Rocket - The other day we were discussing potential men's basketball post-season tournament possibilities and, in particular, how we would handle ticket sales should we wind up hosting an NIT game. Turn-around times to purchase and assign tickets is typically very tight -- a couple of days from the announcement of the game until it is played.

Once again it became crystal clear that those of you with emails on file with our ticket office and/or National Commodore Club are in much better position to get information quickly. On-line ticket purchases are the way to go, regardless of the event. Here's why:

* Order at your convenience from your home or office, 24/7
* No need to drive to McGugin's box office or telephone the busy ticket staff
* Transactions and information occur days quicker than snail mail

One day very soon, most if not all of our season and tournament ticket transactions will be done on-line. We began on-line football season ticket renewals recently for those fans that have provided us with up-dated e-addresses. The paper renewal form is going the way of the dinasaur...if you don't think we have your e-mail address, please send it to (NCC) or (ticket office).

Shake it up

By Barca Blog -No doubt about it, Memorial Gym was louder Tuesday night than its been all season.

Just ask freshman Lance Goulbourne, who scored a career-high 17 points in the Commodores' 77-64 win over Kentucky.

"The crowd was great. At one point I was telling Jeff (Taylor) that I felt the court shaking and I've never felt that in my basketball career ever. It's just a great feeling knowing that everybody's behind you. We're trying to play to our strengths and give them a show as well as take care of business on the court for us."

Fans will have two more chances to keep Memorial rocking this year. A limited amount of tickets are available for the February 28 tilt with South Carolina as well as the March 8 home season finale versus Arkansas. Purchase online today or at 322-GOLD (4653).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Goulbourne keys win over Kentucky

By Ryan Schulz - Lance Goulbourne is very unassuming on the basketball court. He doesn’t look like the type of person who could jump over you or consistently make a three-pointer with a hand in his face, but he is, and no one knows that better now than Kentucky.

The 6-foot-8 freshman couldn’t have picked a better time to have a career day than Tuesday against the Wildcats. Goulbourne, who has battled illness and injury all season, came off the bench to score a career-best 17 points in Vanderbilt’s 77-64 win over Kentucky. The win was Vanderbilt’s fourth in a row over the Wildcats at Memorial Gym.

“Coach (Kevin Stallings) told us to be free and to be aggressive, so I just tried to attack every chance I got and tried to look for open guys at the same time,” Goulbourne said. “I tried to play to my strengths and do what I could to take advantage of what they were doing to us.”

Goulbourne did his damage in just 22 minutes, but what made his performance even more significant was when his points came. After scoring just five points in the eight minutes of action in the first half, Goulbourne scored 12 of his 17 in the second half.

“Lance was obviously a huge key in this game,” Stallings said. “He made them from three, he made them from the foul line, he played a real solid game and I’m really happy for him.”

With the game knotted at 30 at halftime, Vanderbilt opened the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 39-30 lead. With no Patrick Patterson in the lineup and Jodie Meeks held to just 10 points at the time, it looked as if Vanderbilt may stretch the lead even further.

However, Kentucky was able to claw back within four, 45-41, following a pair of free throws by A.J. Stewart with 12:40 to play, but just as the Wildcats were beginning to seize momentum, it was Goulbourne who thwarted their run.

With 11:37 to play in the game the Brooklyn, N.Y., native buried a three-pointer that simultaneously buried the Wildcats. That shot triggered a 15-3 run in which Goulbourne scored eight of the team’s points, including two three-pointers. Goulbourne’s final three-pointer capped the run and gave the Commodores a 16-point lead with 7:54 to play.

“Sometimes it just happens, players get in zones,” Goulbourne said. “We played against a player who gets in a lot of zones in Jodie Meeks, but it just happens. I felt comfortable out there tonight and hope to continue it."

It wasn’t just Goulbourne’s scoring that energized the team during the run; it was also his ability to play above the rim. On one possession, in particular, he just missed an acrobatic dunk in which he attempted to switch hands in mid air.

Goulbourne’s performance on the court sure made it seem as though he were back to 100 percent, but when asked after the game about the status of his health, Goulbourne wasn’t ready to say he is near as healthy as he looked during those 22 minutes.

“I’m actually pretty hurt right now,” he said. “My groin is throbbing right now as I sit here, but I’m just playing through it and will let myself heal at the end of the season.”

If he plays like that when he is injured, I can’t wait to see him when he is healthy.

Balcomb on radio Thursday morning

By Barca Blog - Women's Basketball head coach Melanie Balcomb will appear on the 104.5 Wake Up Zone with Kevin Ingram and Mark Howard Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT.

No. 18 Vanderbilt has a huge matchup with No. 3 Auburn Thursday night at 8 p.m. CT inside Memorial Gym. The Commodores (20-6, 9-2 SEC) trail the Tigers (25-1, 10-1) by one game in the SEC standings with only three games remaining in the regular season. Tickets are still available and can be ordered online by clicking here or by calling (615) 322-GOLD.

'Lyme Out' Thursday

By Barca Blog - Seniors Amy Malo, Jennifer Risper and Christina Wirth are asking all Commodore fans to wear lime green to support lyme disease awareness at Thursday night's game with No. 3 Auburn (8 p.m. CT). To read more about the initiative, click here.

Tickets are still available and can be ordered online or by calling (615) 322-GOLD.

Stay in your seats at halftime tonight

By Barca Blog - If you're coming to the Kentucky game, then you'll probably want to stay in your seats for the exciting halftime lineup scheduled for tonight.

First, the 2008 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl championship football team will be introduced for the first time publicly since its 16-14 victory over Boston College. The entire Commodore squad is expected to join Coach Johnson and his staff on the court and Johnson is expected to address the crowd. Let's give the team the recognition they deserve!

Also, there have been some incredible halftime acts that have performed this year at Memorial Gym... and tonight you'll be entertained by the world famous Russian Bar. Straight from the stages of Las Vegas, you won't want to miss this high flying, exciting, acrobatic act.

Remember, tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT. See you at the game!

Kentucky Game Prep

By Barca Blog - Vanderbilt and Kentucky will square off tonight in a nationally televised matchup at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN inside Memorial Gym. Here are a bunch of links to get your ready for the game.'s Coverage
Game preview and notes with media info
Audio: Kevin Stallings' interview with 104.5 the Zone
Audio: Joe Fisher's Update with 104.5 the Zone
Quotes: Stallings and Billy Gillispie comment on the game

Around the Web articles
VU hopes to slow Meeks
Meeks presents big challenge
SEC basketball report
Meeks has been marked man
UK fans ask about who's not playing

Monday, February 16, 2009

Balcomb's on 104.5 Tuesday

Posted by Barca Blog

Women's basketball head coach Melanie Balcomb is scheduled to appear on the 104.5 Sports Zone Tuesday night at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT. This segment will air just before Joe Fisher's pregame show (7 p.m.) for the men’s basketball game against Kentucky.

The women's team will next host SEC-leader No. 5 Auburn for Senior Day Thursday night at 8 p.m. CT. The Commodores (20-6, 9-2 SEC) stand only one game behind the Tigers (25-1, 10-1) with just three games remaining in conference action. Tickets are still available and can be ordered online by clicking here or by calling (615) 322-GOLD.

The final countdown

Posted by Barca Blog

As some of you may know, I am getting married this weekend. These last few days will definitely be the final countdown to... forever. This is a good thing, right? (just kidding sweetie, in case you're reading).

So, in honor of it, here's a video by my favorite female band of all-time, Europe.

Chat Wrap with Tim Corbin

Posted by Barca Blog

Thanks to Commodore fans for submitting your questions for the online chat with Tim Corbin earlier today on Coach answered a lot of the burning questions during the session as the Commodores prepare for Friday's baseball opener at Stanford. Take a minute to read the complete transcript -- Click Here

Corbin radio date added

Posted by Barca Blog

Just confirmed.... Tim Corbin will also be a guest on the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT. For the complete schedule of Corbin's radio appearances, click here.

So you think you can Shaq?

Posted by Barca Blog

Shaquille O'Neal has had several nicknames throughout his NBA career.

The Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, The Big Daddy, Superman, The Big Agave, The Big Cactus, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Galactus, Wilt Chamberneezy, The Big Baryshnikov, The Real Deal, Dr. Shaq...

Well, you can add one more to the list after last night's NBA All-Star game in Phoenix: The Big Shaqawockeez.

During pregame introductions, O'Neal showed his best moves alongside America’s Best Dance Crew Season One champions, Jabbawockeez.

Really, has Shaq ever failed to entertain us?

Shaq continued the show into the game and was awarded co-MVP honors with ex-teammate Kobe Bryant after the West blitzed the East, 146-119.

Watch the dance video below.

Tennessean projects baseball lineup

Posted by Barca Blog

Maurice Patton gives his projected lineup for the 2009 Commodore baseball team in this morning's Tennessean. He also writes a feature on the team's reaction to being unranked to start the year.

View Projected Lineup
Article: No rank? No sweat
Photo Gallery

Vanderbilt will open the season Friday at Stanford. Season tickets are still available starting at $75. Reserve your seats online or by calling (615) 322.GOLD.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Corbin's radio schedule this week

Posted by Barca Blog

Head coach Tim Corbin will appear on several local radio shows this week to discuss the upcoming baseball season (which starts Friday with a two-game series at Stanford). Here's the tentative radio schedule (CT):

Monday, Feb. 16
3:25 p.m. - 104.5 The Zone (Plaster, Daunic, McFarland)
4:06 p.m. - 560 AM (Biddle, King)

Tuesday, Feb. 17
12:10 p.m. - 560 AM (Abraham)

Wednesday, Feb. 18
7:05 a.m. - 560 AM (Pogue, Coleman)
9:30 a.m. - 104.5 The Zone (Howard, Ingram, Wycheck)

Byars shines at All-Star game

Click image to view larger picture (Gary Dineen/Getty Images/NBAE)

Posted by Barca Blog

Former Commodore Derrick Byars (Bakersfield Jam) scored a game-high 18 points to help lead the Red Team past the Blue Team, 113-103, Saturday in the 2009 NBA D-League All-Star Game in Phoenix, Ariz. Byars finished 7-for-12 from the field and 3-for-6 from three-point range with five rebounds and two assists.

Here's the complete recap, box score and video highlights.

Stallings' Call-In Show Sunday night

Posted by Barca Blog

Don't miss Kevin Stallings' basketball call-in show Sunday night from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. CT at the Commodore Sports Bar and Grille on West End Avenue.

If you can't make it to the event, then tune in locally to 104.5 the Zone or listen online on And there's still time to submit your question for Coach to answer on-air.

The Commodores (15-9, 4-6) will return to the court Tuesday night to host Kentucky in a nationally-televised game on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT.

Byars participates in All-Star Day of Service

Posted by Barca Blog (Courtesy of the NBA Development League)

Bakersfield's Derrick Byars was one of many NBA D-Leaguers taking part in NBA All-Star Day of Service on Friday. Byars helped to construct a playground in a Phoenix neighborhood. View several pictures of Byars in this photo gallery at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First look at Pink Out uniforms

Posted by Barca Blog

Commodore fans - Celebrate the annual Pink Out! fundraising event for breast cancer research at Vanderbilt's women's basketball game against Georgia Sunday at noon CT inside Memorial Gym. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support the need for more breast cancer research.

Not only will fans be decorated in pink, but for the first time, the team will be sporting all pink uniforms. Get a first look at the outfits in VUcommodores' exclusive photo gallery (and make sure you check out the cool-looking pink sneakers).

Click Here for Photo Gallery

Also, Bluefield Florist will be donating 800 pink carnations to be handed out to women at the game.

Tickets are $10 for adults, and $9 for youth 17 and under. Proceeds from all walk-up ticket sales will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The Komen Foundation supports breast cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center through a grants program.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Barry Manilow's comback is complete

Posted by Barca Blog

Congratulations to Hannah Blatt (Women's Tennis) and Myron Lewis (Football) for being selected as February's Student Athletes of the Month.

Each athlete was asked about their study habits and one of Lewis' answers really stood out to me. Check it out:

Q: What is your ritual before taking a test?

Lewis: I usually read over my notes before class and listen to a little Barry Manilow!!!

Wow. Is this really true? I didn't even see it coming. So, I've decided that we are using Mr. Manilow as the video of the day.

Yes, it might have been tough to smile if it weren't for Lewis' interception to secure the 'Dores first bowl win since 1955. (I know, that's a stretch, but I had to link the two to get this clip in. Enjoy!)

Stallings and Pearl comment on rivalry

Posted by Barca Blog

Like it or not, Bruce Pearl has changed the heartbeat of Tennessee basketball since arriving in Knoxville in 2005. Under Pearl, the Vols have been to the NCAA Tournament every season and advanced to two consecutive Sweet Sixteen's. Tennessee’s 42 SEC wins are the most in the conference over the last four years. In 2007-08, Pearl guided the Vols to their first outright SEC championship since 1967.

So has Pearl's success impacted the rivalry between the Commodores and Vols? Both coaches commented on the subject during Thursday's SEC teleconference.

Kevin Stallings:

"I think that it's always been pretty intense. I think that any time the two teams play it's been intense. The 10 years that I've been here they've all been very intense games. Some have been blow outs in both directions, but they've been intense games. The crowds have been intense. I would imagine because of Bruce's personality and flamboyance there are a few Vanderbilt fans who like to dislike him more than maybe they have some other coaches. I don't think it's changed the nature of the rivalry, because the rivalry's intense no matter who's coaching the game, me or him or the people before us.

"I think that people probably tend to dislike people who win a lot, and he's certainly won a lot. It's probably not just exclusive to our people, because he's winning too much for a lot of people's taste... including mine (laughs)."

Bruce Pearl:

"I don't know what the rivalry was like before I got here. I just know that historically... Vanderbilt's been a great rival... For me, it's always been out of respect for Vanderbilt's program. It's been out of respect for their tradition to honor them in a way by calling them a rival. I think now that we're in the SEC East and we play them twice a year and it's in-state, our fans live next door to their fans, I don't know how it could be any more of a rivalry with me than it's always been."

Vanderbilt (15-8, 4-5 SEC) and Tennessee (15-8, 6-3) will square off in Knoxville Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. Pearl holds a 5-2 record vs. the Commodores as UT's coach. The Vols took the first meeting this year at Memorial Gym, 76-63, on January 20.

Black and Gold Baseball Scrimmages This Weekend

Posted by SID

The baseball team will play a few Black and Gold Scrimmages this weekend prior to the kickoff of the regular season next weekend in California. They will compete today at 4 p.m. and tomorrow at 1 p.m. Both are open to the public. There have been some questions on the Commodores practice schedule. Monday's are usually the off days for the student-athletes to take labs and other afternoon classes. The rest of the days during the week, they usually practice around 2:30. Once again these are open to the public as well.

Here are the lineups for Friday's game:

GOLD - Visitor

BLACK - Home

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Live Chat with Tim Corbin; Submit your questions

Posted by Barca Blog will host a live online chat with baseball head coach Tim Corbin on Monday, February 16, from 10-11 a.m. CT. Send in your questions now by clicking here. We will select the best questions to answer live on Monday. The Commodores will open the season Friday, February 20 with a two-game series at Stanford, followed by two more games at Cal.

The Battle to Find the Perfect Workout Song Rages in McGugin

Officially powering the 2009 McGugin's Biggest Loser Competition

Posted by Eric Jones

Before getting into just how powerful of an influence the band Survivor has on this year's contest, an update. Team Gold has lost 72.5 lbs (1.877% of initial team body weight) over the competition's first four weeks. That is just a slim half pound more than Team Black, who weighed in heavier and has therefore lost 1.711% of their team body weight. As each team tries to adopt subtle tactics to tempt the opposition into falling head first into a vat of cake batter, it has been enjoyable to watch the two teams take various approaches to getting and staying active. Be it just taking the steps more often or walking to lunch (so as not to lose a parking space in the McGugin Lot), I have witnessed a common theme. Music.

Take Brett Wulke, an intern working in Operations, who is training for the Music City Marathon. By using a mix of including the Rocky Story compilation soundtrack featuring the Rocky Training Montage, to Linkin Park with Jay-Z, The Kiss on the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack while sprinkling in Your the Best from the Karate Kid soundtrack, Brett has been able to shed a Team Gold best 13 lbs. Team Gold teammate Jessica Siegel (Ticket Office) puts a method to her workout soundtrack including Britney Spears' Circus ("Britney looks the way I want to look"), Lose Yourself by Eminem ("Great song to spin on the exercise bike"), and We Built This City by Starship ("You just have to love the '80's,"). Even Brandon Barca (Web Guru) admitted the secret to losing some pre-wedding weight(coming up in seven days) for Team Gold was grounded in Survivor's workout anthem from Rocky III, Eye of the Tiger.

Team Black features a very eclectic mix of workout fanatics. Heather Warf (Business Office) believes in balancing her decades: Journey and Bon Jovi ('80's), Hootie and the Blowfish ('90's) and Lady Antebellum/Keith Urban ('00's). Teammate Jason Silvers (marketing) uses a harder edge: Cult of Personality by Living Colour, Click, Click, Boom by Saliva and Gasoline by Audioslave to name a few. "I like the consistent beat with a heavy song. Getting a little mad at the weights as you are lifting is a good thing." I didn't get to ask him whether his cool down music is the slow piano song at the end of the Incredible Hulk TV show from the '70's. After all, it always calmed down the Hulk.

Music isn't for everyone though. My own Team Black teammate, Vice Chancellor David Williams, enjoys an early morning workout on the treadmill. "There isn't much on at 6:00 or 7:00 am, so I just turn on the TV and start walking. If I can watch West Wing, I really like that, but you never know what you find. This morning it was Sister, Sister. I get caught up in what I am watching and before I know it, I've been going at it an hour."

My own personal favorites for watching the calories whisk off on the treadmill are as follows:
Anvil of Crom - Arnold, Sountrack of Arnold Swarzeneggar movies - Just try it once....
Right Now - Van Halen. Remember the Crystal Pepsi commercial? Horrible product, great song!
Hollywood Nights - Bob Segar. Just try to slow your pace, it's impossible.
Runaway - Bon Jovi. Be careful not to get your mullet caught in your iPod headphones.
Let's Go Crazy - Prince. How many calories does he burn onstage?!
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz. It helps to whip your dreadlocks to the music.
Can't Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson. Okay, pretend you are at the skate rink.

My thanks to Coke and Smart Water for sponsoring the contest. Until next time...

Football schedule includes home game switch

Posted by Barca Blog

Vanderbilt's football team will play six home games during 2009, including Southeastern Conference encounters against Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. In releasing the 2009 schedule, Vanderbilt and SEC officials also announced the Commodores would switch dates for the Mississippi State and Ole Miss games. Click Here to read more.

Texting For CLASS?

Posted by Weinman

Consider this your first reminder of many more to come about voting for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Last season, Shan Foster has honored as the men's recipient, and this year Christina Wirth is one of only 10 women's finalist.

In addition to voting online (click here), voting via text message has been added for 2009. In order to vote for Christina, simply text the message WB10 to 839863.

Fans are allowed to vote once daily (one text per cell number, one vote per computer), and voting will remain open through March 22nd.

Important WBB home stand starts tonight

Posted by Barca Blog

The No. 24 Vanderbilt women's basketball team is in the middle of a SEC title race with only five games to go. The first of three straight home games starts tonight against No. 9 Florida (7 p.m. CT) and could very well determine if the Commodores win their first ever regular season conference championship.

Currently, Vanderbilt (7-2 SEC) is second in the conference behind Florida (8-1) and Auburn (8-1), who the 'Dores will also entertain next Thursday, February 19.

Here's the Final Home Schedule:
Thursday, Feb. 12 vs. No. 9 Florida
Sunday, Feb. 15 vs. Georgia (Pink Out)
Thursday, Feb. 19 vs. No. 5 Auburn

We need the Commodore Nation to fill the Gym to give our team a true home court advantage. Tickets for each game are only $10 for adults, $9 for youth 17 and under. Call 615.322.GOLD or click here to order online.

You can read more about tonight's matchup in The City Paper and The Vanderbilt Hustler. The game will be broadcast on SUN/FSN and fans can follow live stats and live audio from 560 AM at

Men's Basketball Tickets Available

Posted by Barca Blog

MBB Single Game Tickets Available for Two Games
Student Spring Break tickets for Commodore Men's Basketball are now available in a limited quantity for the February 28 game versus South Carolina as well as the March 8 home season finale versus Arkansas. Purchase online today or at 322-GOLD (4653). Buy Tickets

2009 SEC Tournament Tickets On Sale Now
Purchase your seats now for the 2009 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament. This year's event is scheduled for March 12-15 in Tampa, Fla. Buy Tickets

YouTube redesign

Check our vucommodores YouTube page... we tweaked the look a little.. hope you like it! Share your favorite videos with friends or send them to your rivals! Click here

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ditty helps USA to victory

Remember Julie Ditty, the star of our 2001 tennis team that played Stanford for the NCAA Championship? The All-American has been on the professional tour since her graduation and currently she is a member of the coveted USA Fed Cup team. Last week she scored the match point in Uncle Sam's victory over Argentina in the Fed Cup quarterfinals. USA advances to the semi-finals to face the Czech Republic. Click here to read the United States Tennis Association article.

The number of former Commodore student-athletes enjoying success over a wide spectrum of professional athletics -- Major League Baseball, PGA, WPGA, NFL, WNBA and the ATP -- continues to grow each year.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Low's SEC Pre-Spring Football rankings's Chris Low posted his 2009 SEC Football pre-spring power rankings yesterday. Find out where he placed the Commodores - click here.

Graham leaves basketball team

From Vanderbilt's Athletic Communications Office:

NASHVILLE - Guard Jamie Graham has decided to discontinue his basketball career at Vanderbilt in order to devote his full attention to football.

"We agree with and totally support this decision," said Vanderbilt head basketball coach Kevin Stallings. "We wish Jamie the best of luck and look forward to following his success on the football field."

Graham, who joined the basketball team as a walk-on in 2007, played in five games on the hardwood in 2009 and did not score. On the gridiron this year, the wide receiver/running back had three touchdown receptions and one rushing touchdown, and helped guide the Commodores to their first bowl win in 26 years in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

Graham was the only player in the SEC to play both football and basketball in 2007-08 and 2008-09, and the first Vanderbilt player to play both sports since Fred Baker did it in the 1994-95 academic year.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gumbel, Raftery break down MBB win

In the video below, CBS commentators Greg Gumbel and Bill Raftery break down Vanderbilt's 71-61 win over Ole Miss Saturday.

Stallings' Call-In Show Tonight

Kevin Stallings' Call-In Show airs live from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT Monday night at the Commodore Grille. Listen locally on 104.5 the Zone or online on For more info, Click Here.

Vanderbilt (15-8, 4-5 SEC) will take its three-game winning streak to Knoxville Saturday for a 2 p.m. CT matchup with Tennessee. The game will be televised by Raycom Sports.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Video: Goulbourne rocks the rim, part II

We posted Lance Goulbourne's monster slam against UMass in early January (in case you missed it, click here). Well, Brooklyn's Finest was up to his old tricks again in Saturday's win over Ole Miss.

Check out the video below.

And you decide, which dunk was better... part I or II?

1988-89 Basketball Reunion Photo

The 1988-89 men's basketball team was honored during halftime of Vanderbilt's 71-61 victory of Ole Miss Saturday. Here's a photo courtesy of Daniel DuBois (click to make larger).

In attendance for the 20th anniversary ceremony: Alberto Ballestra, John Bostick (assistant head coach), Scott Draud, Paul Federici (trainer), Barry Goheen, Frank Kornet, Ruth Martin (wife of assistant coach Ed Martin), C.M. Newton (head coach), Mike Petrone (assistant coach), Eric Reid, and Derrick Wilcox.

Barry Booker was unable to attend the reunion since he was working as an analyst on Raycom's Saturday SEC broadcast.

Live webcast of Baseball Banquet tonight

Watch a free online webcast of Vanderbilt Baseball's 2009 preseason banquet tonight on This is your chance to learn more about this year's squad. The video feed will begin around 8 p.m. CT and will last until 10 p.m. Live Webcast

Note: If you purchased tickets to attend the event, please click here for more information.

Byars thanks fans for All-Star votes

A few weeks ago I posted a link where Vanderbilt fans could help vote former basketball star Derrick Byars into the third annual NBA D-League All-Star game.

Every vote helped as Byars was selected as an All-Star for the Red team on Tuesday. Byars thanked Commodore fans for their support.

"I appreciate the involvement in my being selected for the All-Star game,” Byars said, “even though I'm two years removed my last game in a Vanderbilt uniform. I appreciate the fans and followers who voted because they didn't necessarily have to. I look forward to their continued support."

Byars leads the Bakersfield Jam in points (18.0) and assists (3.0), while also pulling down 4.8 rebounds per game. He’s sixth in the league in three-point percentage (.437) and eighth in three-pointers made (52). In his last game Thursday, Byars scorched Anaheim for 31 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field including 6-for-8 from three-point range.

The NBA D-League All-Star game is scheduled for February 14 at 1 p.m. CT in Phoenix, Ariz. To view the entire roster, click here.

Finally, take a trip down memory lane with some of Byars’ highlights from his senior season in 2006-07.

Friday, February 6, 2009

McGugin's Biggest Loser Powered By Coke Zero and Smart Water

McGugin's Biggest Loser has officially hit the big time as Coke Zero and SmartWater have signed on to be partners in what is becoming a tight race between Vanderbilt Athletic Staff. I wrote this next thought to my teammates on Team Black to encourage them to eat healthy and exercise this weekend leading up to the Monday morning weigh-in. There aren't too many iconic names out there that truly represent the American way of life. At a time when many traditional American companies are selling out to investors in Europe, it's great to know that Vanderbilt has got one of the big ones, in Coca Cola. In addition, Coke Zero and Sprite Zero are starting to disappear from the Vanderbilt media room cooler much faster these days, because some of us just don't want to give up our cola. Now Smart Water is coming into the picture with more of our student-athletes carrying it around McGugin. Take heed Biggest Loser Teams, there might be a lesson there.

Here are this week's stats:

Team Gold: 54 Total lbs lost (1.39% of total body weight lost)

Team Black: 44.5 Total lbs lost (1.06% of total body weight lost)

Next time around, answers to the probing question: What's on your iPod, or in my case Walkman when you get on the treadmill or for a walk around your neighborhood? I can't help but think some of my fellow Loser contestants have a Kenny Loggins or Frank Stallone blast from the past banging off the inside of their heads while in the Zone (Danger Zone that is).

Cutler's Pro Bowl Journal

Former Commodore quarterback Jay Cutler has been writing a diary all week long about his first NFL Pro Bowl experience in Hawaii. Follow his journal on Here are the links:

Monday -- Diary 1
Tuesday -- Diary 2
Wednesday -- Diary 3
Thursday -- Diary 4

Cutler was also on the receiving end of a prank from his fellow AFC teammates earlier in the week. Let's just say it involved a pool and two 300-pound lineman. Find out more details- click here.

The 2009 Pro Bowl will take place Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT on NBC.

AP Story on David Price

Take a few minutes to read this touching AP story by Teresa Walker on former Commodore star David Price. Price will host a fundraiser this Saturday in Smyrna, Tenn., in honor of his longtime friend, Nathan Stephens. Read AP Story --- More on Saturday's Benefit

1988-89 Commodores to be honored Saturday

Vanderbilt's 1988-89 basketball team will be honored at halftime of Saturday's game with Ole Miss. With a 19-14 overall record, they finished second in the Southeastern Conference and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Scheduled to be in attendance for the 20th anniversary ceremony: Alberto Ballestra, John Bostick (assistant head coach), Scott Draud, Paul Federici (trainer), Barry Goheen, Frank Kornet, Ruth Martin (wife of assistant coach Ed Martin), C.M. Newton (head coach), Mike Petrone (assistant coach), Eric Reid, and Derrick Wilcox.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ogilvy mix-up

This email was sent in from Michael:

"I was going through the TV listings on my digital cable box, when I saw the listing for tonight's basketball game with Alabama. I clicked on "More Info," and quickly noticed a glaring error (see picture above). Wow, Geoff Ogilvy is one of the best golfers in the world, and he plays basketball for Vanderbilt?! Forget Deion, Bo, etc. Geoff Ogilvy is a REAL two-sport athlete!"

The Commodores will host Alabama tonight at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. For a complete preview, click here.

Articles on National Signing Day

(Photo by Steve Johnston/Chicago Sun-Times)

The Commodores' 2009 class includes Parade Magazine prep All-American quarterback Charlie Goro (Park Ridge, Ill.).

In his senior year, Goro led Maine South Hawks to 8A state championship and first 14-0 record in school history. He completed 74 percent of passes (227 of 321) for 3,210 yards and 38 TDs.

Goro commented yesterday on his decision to attend Vanderbilt.

''I am excited and relieved [to have the recruiting process end],'' Goro told the Chicago Sun-Times. ''Everyone in my family is excited for me. My parents are very happy with my decision, especially with the great academics Vanderbilt provides.''

"It was exciting to see how well they played. And we have a great recruiting class coming in. I feel very confident with where the team is headed."

Here's a listing of all the news stories on National Signing Day.

Around the Web:
Vanderbilt secures its in-state stars
Tate picks Vanderbilt
Parade All-American highlights VU class
Vanderbilt looks to build momentum
Receiver catches on with VU
Goro excited for future at VU
McCallie's Fullam signs with Vanderbilt