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Saturday morning hoops articles (Feb. 5)

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Keep up with the blog at vucommodores.com/blog. You can also follow me on Twitter @BarcaBlog.

South Carolina at No. 23 Vanderbilt - 12:47 p.m. CT, Memorial Gym
TV: SEC Network, ESPN3.com (Dave Baker and Will Perdue)
Radio: 97.1 RQQ, VUcommodores.com
Follow the action live online - click here


AROUND THE WEB


Tennessean: SEC homestand will be key for Vandy

Tennessean: Vanderbilt-South Carolina: Game preview

Tennessean: Stallings, players size up South Carolina game

City Paper: Ezeli looks to increase contributions


OFFICIAL GAME PREVIEWS AND NOTES

VUcommodores.com: VU begins three-game homestand on Saturday

GamecocksOnline.com: Gamecocks travel to No. 23/24 Vanderbilt on Saturday


NATIONAL NEWS

Andy Katz: Weekend Watch (ESPN.com)

Joe Lunardi: NCAA Bracketology- Vanderbilt No. 6 seed (ESPN.com)

ESPN.com: ESPN Power Rankings (ESPN.com)

Gary Parrish: Weekend look ahead (CBSsports.com)

Seth Davis: Weekend forecast (SI.com)

Luke Winn: NCAA Power Rankings (SI.com)


SATURDAY'S SEC SCHEDULE  live scores
South Carolina at No. 23 Vanderbilt - 12:47 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Auburn at Georgia - 12:47 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Mississippi State at LSU - 3 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Alabama at Tennessee - 4 p.m. CT (Fox Sports South)
Ole Miss at Arkansas - 5 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
No. 10 Kentucky at Florida - 8 p.m. CT (ESPN)

SEC STANDINGS  view
East
Florida 6-2
Tennessee 5-2
Kentucky 4-3
South Carolina 4-3
Georgia 4-4
Vanderbilt 3-4
West
Alabama 6-1
Arkansas 4-4
Mississippi State 3-4
Ole Miss 2-5
LSU 2-5
Auburn 1-7

Around the Web: National Signing Day (Feb. 3)

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Vero Beach prep star Larry Franklin inks with the Commodores Wednesday. (Photo: Sam Wolfe/TCPalm.com)

Note: Go to National Signing Day Central on VUcommodores.com for signee highlight videos, bios and more.



Associated Press: Franklin's class highlighted by QB
"I don't know if it could've went any better really," James Franklin said. "We filled a lot of our needs, especially at the quarterback position and on the offensive line, defensive back, defensive line. Really did some good things, and I think we got faster, which is something we really wanted to do."
Tennessean: Vanderbilt fills need at quarterback
"In the last 48 hours, it was exciting," Franklin said. "We got on a roll the other night and the commitments were coming, and the commitments kept coming. The coaches were flying around, yelling, screaming. As we all know, a lot of times you work hard but you don't always see the dividends."
Tennessean: The one way to tell if Vandy's recruiting has improved

Tennessean: SEC crushes its opponents in February
"As proud as I am with what we have done this year, we've still got a long way to go,'' Franklin admitted. "I think every time you set a goal and have an expectation and you reach that goal, now you have to set a new goal, a new standard, a new expectation.
Tennessean: Signing Day photo gallery

City Paper: Quarterback competition guaranteed by Franklin's class
"If you don't want to be a competitor, this isn't the place for you. We are going to have the most competitive environment on this campus -- academically and athletically. If you're afraid of competition, don't come to Vanderbilt," Franklin said. "They understand that. Just like I told them next year I am going to recruit somebody to beat them out."
InsideVandy.com: National Signing Day slideshow

ESPN.com: Vanderbilt adds quarterback help

ESPN: VU announces 2011 signing class

Virginian-Pilot: Lafonte Thourogood picks the Commodores
"I had to do what was best for me," Thourogood said. "That's what all of the coaches wanted, so I did what I had to do.

"At first, (Coach Beatty) was telling me that it would be a good school for me. But in the end, he said whatever is best for me. Him saying that meant a lot to me. I sat back and prayed about it and thought about it a lot. And at the end of the day, (prayers) told me to go to Vanderbilt."
Cape Coral Daily: Jimmy Stewart headed to Vanderbilt

Tennessean: Joe Townsend chooses Vanderbilt
"Vanderbilt offered me, I sat down, prayed about it and talked to my parents," Townsend said. "It's the (Southeastern Conference), it's close to home, it's a top-notch education."
Tampa Tribune: Josh Grady going to Vanderbilt

St. Petersburg Times: Josh Grady makes decision based on facts
" ... at the end of the day, you have to understand that this is not a four- to five-year commitment," Grady said. "At the end of the day it's a 40- to 50-year commitment."
Video: Josh Grady talks about picking Vanderbilt

TC Palm: Larry Franklin impressed with Vanderbilt
"They have a very good academic background, a great coaching staff that wants to turn the program around, and the players are motivated," Franklin said. "They've got the right mindset to win, and I feel like it's a great group of guys who are a lot like me. We're going to work hard to get on top."
TC Palm: Larry Franklin read for next step

Detroit Free Press: Conor Hart is Vandy bound
"I just felt it was the place for me," Hart said. "I met the new coach (James Franklin) two weeks ago, and I think he'll bring a lot of energy to the program. He said they were going to change the culture and that he still wanted me bad. The staff has great energy. They are a bunch of young guys who have great energy and they want to win. I definitely wanted to be a part of that.
Miami Herald: Jerron Seymour excited about Vanderbilt
"I'm excited to come in to a program and try to turn them around and get things going," Seymour said. "I made up my mind Wednesday and called up the coaches and told them. An opportunity to play in the SEC is something you just can't pass up."
OakRidger.com: Jose Valedon signs with Vanderbilt
"I fell in love with the city and it was where I was born," Valedon said. "It is the perfect place to live. It's the SEC and you can't beat that. Plus the academics are unparalleled."

Armwood quarterback Josh Grady answers media questions after announcing his decision to attend Vanderbilt. (Photo: Bill Ward/TBO.com)

Commodores Around the Web Tuesday (Feb. 1)

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Note: We'll have complete coverage of football national signing day starting at 7 a.m. CT Wednesday on VUcommodores.com. We'll post player bios with videos, quotes, photos and more on our NSD Central page. Also, follow @VandyFootball on Twitter to get instant notification for each signee when the NLIs come in.


COMMODORES AROUND THE WEB

Football: Commodores complete defensive staff (Tennessean)

Football: Interview with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop (Tennessean)

Football: Former foes come together to coordinate defense (City Paper)

Football: Coach Franklin visits Greek Row (InsideVandy.com)

Football: Franklin announces defensive staff (ESPN.com)

Men's Basketball: Injuries hamstring Vanderbilt's rotation (Tennessean)

Men's Basketball: Redshirts unusually plentiful for VU (City Paper)

Men's Basketball: Injury issues continue to compound (City Paper)

Men's Basketball: Duffy: Winning on the road isn't easy (NY Times)

Men's Basketball: Hundley has basketball in his blood (Herald-Leader)

Baseball: Journal with Drew Fann (College Baseball Daily)


VUCOMMODORES.COM NEWS

Football: Franklin announces defensive hires

Football: Quotes from Franklin's announcement

Men's Basketball: Vanderbilt-Florida game preview

Women's Basketball: Angela's Angle, Feb. 1

Lacrosse: VU picked 2nd in ALC


VIDEOS OF THE DAY

Football: Franklin's press conference on defensive staff - Watch Video



Baseball: Dance-Off with Jack Armstrong, Navery Moore and Mark Lamm - Watch Video and Vote




SONG OF THE DAY

Seal - Bring It On




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Saturday men's hoops articles (Jan. 29)

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Arkansas at No. 19 Vanderbilt - 5 p.m. CT, Memorial Gym
TV: FSN, ESPN3.com (Dave Neal and Barry Booker)
Radio: 97.1 RQQ, VUcommodores.com, Sirius 214, XM 199
Follow the action live online - click here


AROUND THE WEB


Tennessean: Jenkins makes most of film session

Tennessean: Game preview: Arkansas at Vanderbilt

City Paper: Tough talk inspired Taylor to take flight

Arkansas News: Arkansas now at full strength


OFFICIAL GAME PREVIEWS AND NOTES


VUcommodores.com: VU hosts Arkansas Saturday

Hogwired.com: Razorbacks take on Commodores


NATIONAL NEWS

Andy Katz: Weekend Watch (ESPN.com)

Eamonn Brennan: ESPN Power Rankings (ESPN.com)

Gary Parrish: Friday look ahead (CBSsports.com)

Seth Davis: Weekend picks (SI.com)

Luke Winn: NCAA Power Rankings (SI.com)

Video: Jeffery Taylor silences Starkville

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How do you end an 18-year drought in Starkville? Exhibit A



And one bonus clip.

If anyone knows how to lose a defender, it's John Jenkins. Shake and Bake




For more Vanderbilt-Mississippi State game highlights, click here.

Video: The Future Starts Now

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February 2 is just around the corner.

We launched National Signing Day Central on VUcommodores.com with details on our online coverage for the day of events.

One new addition... Coach Franklin will host a public gathering on campus that evening to meet fans and discuss his first Commodore signing class. For more information, go here.

And while you're waiting until next Wednesday, check out the promo video courtesy of Wes.

Watch Video

Commodores Around the Web Wednesday (Jan. 26)

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FEATURED STORY

Men's Basketball: Historical and magical Memorial Gym (VUcommodores.com)
"I never felt like it was the balconies that I built, I felt like it was the balconies that we built," said Clyde Lee. "We had such a great team. It was very rewarding to be able play with those balconies and seeing them all sold out. We had a good team and it was nice the way the city accepted it."

COMMODORES AROUND THE WEB

Men's Basketball: Vandy's rise mirrors junior forward's (Tennessean)
"The team has needed me more for sure, but that's been a year-long thing," Lance Goulbourne said. "This year I'm more aggressive and assertive, and I'm being tougher. I'm embracing the fact I'm a junior now. My time is running out and it's really time to step up."
Men's Basketball: No. 19 Vanderbilt healing up (Associated Press)
"We've weathered the storm in games honestly better than I thought we might. ... If we can get Fes and Steve closer to 100 percent health-wise, I'll feel good about our team going forward because then we'll have what we're used to," Kevin Stallings said.
Men's Basketball: SEC Fast Break with Chris Dortch (SECsports.com)

Men's Basketball: Vanderbilt basketball observations (Bob McClellan)

Men's Basketball: Assistant basketball coaches talk longevity (Tennessean)

Men's Basketball: Goulbourne gets first SEC honor (City Paper)

Men's Basketball: Road games test Commodore mettle (InsideVandy.com)

Men's Basketball: SEC teams meriting more credit (Times Free Press)

Men's Basketball: Bulldogs don't play with heart, says Bost (Clarion Ledger)

Football: Long-snapper knows NFL is long shot (Tennessean)

Baseball: Second baseman now knows patience, humility (City Paper)
"I feel like it helped me grow a lot as a person," Riley Reynolds said. "It helped me learn the work habits I need to have to get better, to not just be content with what I was at freshman year but to get better, and that you always have to work for what you want. You are never going to get handed anything."

VUCOMMODORES.COM NEWS

Men's Basketball: 104.5 FM with Kevin Stallings

Men's Basketball: Goulbourne wins SEC Player of Week

Men's Tennis: 2011 signing class ranked No. 1
"We are very excited about this talented group of players," said head coach Ian Duvenhage. "We can't wait for them to be part of our program in the fall."
Men's Tennis: Off the court with Charlie Jones

Women's Tennis: `Dores rise in the rankings

History Corner: Historical and magical Memorial Gym

Joe Fisher: Tuesday's 97.1 Update


SONG OF THE DAY

The Simpsons - Do the Bartman




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Monday Hoops Roundup (Jan. 24)

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(Photo by Steve Green)

VANDERBILT MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Last Week
Wednesday, Jan. 19: Vanderbilt 84, Ole Miss 74
Saturday, Jan. 22: Vanderbilt 89, No. 21 St. Mary's 70

This Week
Thursday, Jan. 27: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State, 6 p.m. CT, TV: ESPN2
Saturday, Jan. 29: Arkansas at Vanderbilt, 5 p.m. CT, TV: FSN


COMMODORES RETURN TO RANKINGS

After going 2-0 last week including a 19-point rout of No. 21 Saint Mary's, Vanderbilt vaulted back into both major polls Monday.

The Commodores are 19th in the Associated Press Top 25 (their highest ranking in 2010-11) and 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

It marks the third time Vanderbilt has been in the top 25 this season. The Dores were ranked for consecutive weeks by the AP on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, but fell out of the polls on Jan. 10 after suffering an overtime loss at South Carolina.


GOULBOURNE NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

From Boggles' Press Release:
Junior forward Lance Goulbourne claimed the Commodore's fourth SEC Player of the Week award this season and the first of his career after his two double-doubles last week against Ole Miss and St. Mary's. Read More


BRACKETOLOGY UPDATE

ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi listed Vanderbilt a No. 6 seed for the third week in a row.

SI.com's Andy Glockner dropped VU from a No. 5 seed to a No. 6 seed.


QUOTES FROM MONDAY'S SEC TELECONFERENCE WITH KEVIN STALLINGS
Listen to the teleconference on SECsports.com

Coach Stallings' opening statement...
"We're coming off a good week where we played pretty well in both games. We're kind of glad to have an extra day this week because we've been banged up a little bit physically, especially our big guys. We're hoping we can get healthier by the time we head to Starkville.

"I was pleased with our play last week and pleased with how we kind of gutted it out given the fact we were less than 100% physically. We enter this week in a reasonably good frame of mind. From a playing standpoint, we've had a personal tragedy. Chris Meriwether's mother passed away this morning. From a personal standpoint, we're all hurting right now."

On handling difficult situations on his call-in show...
"We do take live callers. I probably handle it about like every other coach does. You're going to get some suspect comments and questions at times. I think that it's good if people can remember that these guys are 18-22 year-old guys. They are on scholarship, but it's not like they're getting paid for a living to do this. I think that sometimes fans, and even coaches, remember that these kids are doing the best they can. I think it's frustrating sometimes when you care about the players, you care about their families, when you hear them criticized. They already get enough criticism from their coaches, generally speaking. It's probably that protective thing that we don't really like to hear anyone else criticize them because we know what they face on a day to day basis any way.

"I usually do better (with questions) after a win than a loss. You just deal with it the best you can ... I don't make it a habit of getting confrontational with callers. People are entitled to their opinion. I do think there's a time and a place that it's okay for the coach to remind people that if things are getting too negative, that these young men are still real young, and they're doing the best that they can.

" ... My call-in shows are awesome. Our people are terrific here. Even when things were bad, our callers are very good. I don't have many problems that way." 

On Mississippi State...
"They have had games where they looked absolutely awesome. I know Saturday wasn't one of those games. They've looked awesome at times since they've had this group together. I said at Media Day back in October that I thought they would have the chance to win the league. That's what I thought of them, and I haven't come off it. I think they're very, very talented. Obviously, they're getting a later start on the opportunity to gel than most of the other teams in the league, but they have very, very talented players and guys that have been around there for awhile. They've got experience, they've got talent, so I don't know what else you can ask for. But like I said, they have gotten a later start on this group being a team, so that's the only thing probably keeping them from being a top 20 team.

"You have to prepare for who they are: a very talented and experienced team. The preparation isn't any different. I think it's just when they've had enough time together, it all starts clicking. They're obviously a team as the deeper this season goes, the more that people will have to reckon with them."


MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS

ESPN.com: Weekly Watch Week 9
More performances that wowed us...
"Lance Goulbourne, Vanderbilt: Entering last week, the junior forward had zero double-doubles in his Vandy career. He now has two. In double-digit victories over Ole Miss and Saint Mary's, Goulbourne threw up a 14 and 16 against the Rebels and a 15 and 10 against the Gaels."
ESPN.com: Andy Katz's Observations from the week

SI.com: Seth Davis' Hoops Thoughts

SI.com: Andy Glockner's Bubble Watch
SHOULD BE IN
Vanderbilt (14-4, 2-2; RPI: 18, SOS: 24)
"The 'Dores picked up a sneaky quality nonleague win, rolling past Saint Mary's after beating Ole Miss earlier in the week. That the Gaels may be Vandy's best win of the season leaves some reason for pause. They need to handle things at Miss. State and home to Arkansas this week before a trip to Gainesville."
GW: North Carolina (N), Saint Mary's
BL: None
CBSsports.com: Gary Parrish's Monday Look Back

FoxSports.com: Jeff Goodman's Weekly Recap


SEC STANDINGS
East
Florida 4-1
Kentucky 3-2
Georgia 3-2
South Carolina 3-2
Vanderbilt 2-2
Tennessee 2-2
West
Alabama 4-1
Mississippi State 2-2
LSU 2-2
Arkansas 2-3
Ole Miss 1-4
Auburn 0-5

Commodores Around the Web Monday (Jan. 24)

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FEATURED STORY

NFL: Don't question Cutler's toughness (SI.com)
"Jay was hurt," said Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. "We don't question his toughness. He's tough as hell. He's one of the toughest guys on our football team. He doesn't bitch, he doesn't complain when he gets hit. He goes out there and plays his [expletive] off every Sunday. He practices every single day. We don't question his toughness."

COMMODORES AROUND THE WEB

Men's Basketball: Commodores shut down hot-scoring squad (Tennessean)

Men's Basketball: VU outshoots 'great' shooting Saint Mary's (City Paper)

Men's Basketball: Nothing but 'net for Duffy (InsideVandy.com)

Men's Basketball: Stallings: At times, MSU has looked 'absolutely awesome' (Clarion Ledger)

Women's Basketball: UK women surge past Vanderbilt (Herald-Leader)


IN THE PROS

NFL: Don't question Cutler's toughness (SI.com)

NFL: Question Smith, not Cutler (Chicago Tribune)

NFL: Cutler's critics are way out of line (USA Today)

NFL: Cutler really isn't a jerk, Johnson says (Post and Courier)


VUCOMMODORES.COM NEWS

Men's Basketball: Goulbourne wins SEC Player of the Week

Men's Basketball: Vanderbilt 89, St. Mary's 70

Men's Basketball: Joe Fisher's postgame show, St. Mary's

Women's Basketball: Kentucky 78, Vanderbilt 68

Men's Tennis: 'Dores earn sweep on opening day

General: VU to provide career connections to athletes


VIDEOS OF THE DAY

Men's Basketball: Saint Mary's highlights and interviews - Watch Videos

Women's Basketball: Kentucky highlights and interviews - Watch Videos

Women's Basketball: VU locker room tour with Jordan Coleman - Watch Video




SONG OF THE DAY

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Two Step (Live)




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Commodores Around the Web Saturday (Jan. 22)

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COMMODORES AROUND THE WEB

Men's Basketball: Dores able to hang onto assistants (Tennessean)

Men's Basketball: Vanderbilt-Saint Mary's: Game preview (Tennessean)

Men's Basketball: St. Mary's takes its winning streak on the road (San Francisco Chronicle)

Men's Basketball: Seth Davis' Weekend Picks (SI.com)

Men's Basketball: Weekend Watch (ESPN.com)

Men's Basketball: Gary Parrish's Friday Look Ahead (CBSsports.com)

Football: From Bill Wade to Jay Cutler, Vandy dandy takes Chicago (FanHouse.com)

Football: Cutler lauds OL for improvement (ChicagoBears.com)

Football: Bennett has fond memories of Charles Woodson (Green Bay Press Gazette)


VUCOMMODORES.COM NEWS

Men's Basketball: Vanderbilt hosts #22/21 St. Mary's Saturday

Women's Basketball: VU to play at No. 19 Kentucky

Women's Tennis: 'Dores top No. 9 Northwestern

Men's Tennis: VU hopes process will lead to success

Bowling: Bowlers in third at Big Red


VIDEOS OF THE DAY

Women's Tennis: Keilly Ulery on VU's win over No. 9 Northwestern - Watch Video



Men's Golf: Commodores' strength and conditioning exercises - Watch Video




SONG OF THE DAY

B-52's - Private Idaho




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