The Black & Gold Standard is an all-new VandyRadio Blog featuring general commentary and advanced statistical breakdowns following every Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball game. Robbie Weinstein of The Homefield Advantage (along with, on occasion, Max Herz and Dan Helinek) will be bringing you the best analysis of Commodore basketball throughout the season as the team chases a postseason berth for the first time since 2012. Check out the Black & Gold Standard for all kinds of new content as the young ‘Dores fight through the 2014-15 schedule.
Vanderbilt’s losing streak continued as the Commodores lost 69-58 on the road to Texas A&M Saturday. Vandy fell to 11-10 overall at 1-7 in the SEC as the losses pile up.
– Having watched Texas A&M as much as any other SEC team, I confidently predicted a Vanderbilt win today. A&M is an NCAA tournament team right now and has rocketed up to the top of the SEC, but I have never been impressed by the Aggies’ execution level. To see Vanderbilt nearly get run out of College Station in the first half was a huge disappointment and probably represented the worst run of play the team has had this season. The ‘Dores fought back, but it has become obvious that this team’s situational awareness and general understanding of the college game are both very low. Without the all-SEC version of Damian Jones to bail them out, Vandy can’t win a game right now.
– Damian Jones has been consistently overpowered in SEC play and the trend continued against Texas A&M as the sophomore big man shot 2-11. Kourtney Roberson, a below average starting center in the SEC, smothered Jones in the post and Jones’ only success came off of the pick and roll. I don’t know why VU continued to go to Damian in the post rather than out of the pick and roll, but the backcourt’s collective decision making probably had something to do with it.
– One aspect of the game that I do not feel Vandy could control was A&M’s scorching hot three point shooting. The Aggies were 7-10 before two misses in garbage time, despite the fact that they have shot 34% on the season. I thought VU defended the three point line well enough to not get seven threes dumped on them, so the Commodores may have been a bit unlucky on that front. This has also become a trend however, as Vanderbilt is last in the SEC in three point defense during conference play.
– Vanderbilit’s three game home stand couldn’t start at a better time. With Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee coming in to Memorial Gym over the next week and a half, VU has three very winnable games. Vandy needs to force some turnovers and get out on the fastbreak in order to maximize the home court advantage and to manufacture momentum. The Commodores are last in the SEC in defensive steal percentage according to Ken Pomeroy, and I’d like to see them change things up and crank up the pressure a little bit.
Look for my mid-conference season Bracketology sometime tomorrow. The supposed improvement of the SEC this year has everyone’s attention, so stop by The Black & Gold Standard to see what one of the nation’s most accurate Bracketologists has to say about the league and how many at-large bids it is on pace to receive.