Men's Basketball

Improvement clear as Commodores cruise

Nov. 11, 2009

Complete Postgame Coverage: Vanderbilt 91, UA-Huntsville 56

In Vanderbilt's seamless 91-56 exhibition victory over the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, the Commodores appeared exactly as the 11,882 on hand at Memorial Gymnasium had hoped--more experienced, more seasoned, more ready. Exemplifying this trend was sophomore Jeffery Taylor, who dominated his 21 minutes of court time with a game-high 19 points on six of nine shooting. Just as impressive as his scoring, though, was his increased court awareness and ability to find his teammates at opportune times.

"The more open the floor, the better (Taylor) plays," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "I thought he made a couple of really good feeds inside and it was nice to see him get in there and be able to make plays for others. We know he can make plays for himself, and I think his game will ratchet up a little bit when he can make plays not only for himself but for others as well."

Jenkins debuts: Freshman guard John Jenkins, the first five-star recruit in Vanderbilt history, started his first official appearance as a Commodore with a splash, swishing his first shot attempt and sending Memorial Gym into a mini-frenzy. He totaled nine points on the night, making three of his five attempts from three-point distance.

"He's a kid that's going to make shots," Stallings said. "He's good at that. The more surprising thing tonight was that he missed his (three) two-point shots because, if you think he's a good three-point shooter, you ought to see him inside the arc...(He's) one of the best on our team."

Press a possible commodity: For a portion of the game, the Commodores used a full-court press in an attempt to catch Alabama-Huntsville off-guard. The strategy worked at times, helping the Commodores force 16 turnovers in the game and hold the Chargers to 28 percent shooting in the first half. After the game, Stallings was non-committal about how much Vanderbilt will press this season.

"Roy (Williams) used to say when I worked with him that, if you just trap a little bit, people will think you trap and press a lot," Stallings said. "I don't know how much of it we'll use yet. It was pretty good at the start of the game."

Walker, Ogilvy return: Redshirt sophomore forward Andre Walker was impressive in his first game action since November 24 of last year when he tore his ACL against MTSU. Though he only scored two points, Walker led the Commodores with nine rebounds and added two assists, a steal, and two blocks in 24 minutes.

"He's a very good post-feeder and a very good passer," Stallings said. "This is his first game in (about) a year...he's a real important guy on our team right now because he's that guy up front that kind of glues it all together. It's good to have (guys) in the backcourt (like) Beal and Tinsley and Andre up front...that the ball can go through them and you feel good when it's in their hands."

Ogilvy, meanwhile, was limited to 16 minutes in his first game action since his concussion several weeks ago. He finished with eight points and four rebounds, making all six of his free throw attempts.

"You can tell (Ogilvy) has missed some practice time," Stallings said. "I feel bad for him because he knows it, too, and we just have to work to get his habits built back up."

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