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Stallings' media quotes on Tuesday

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Vanderbilt men's basketball head coach Kevin Stallings discussed the Georgia game with local media on Tuesday afternoon. Watch Video

On the importance of defending home court...
"I've always thought that if you're going to win the conference championship that the formula is to winning your home games and winning the games you're supposed to win on the road. I think that's where it begins. That's why it was a little frustrating to let that game get away from us on Saturday night (at South Carolina) because that was a game that we felt like we could and probably should win and we didn't.

"There's always more pressure on home games because if you're going to be a factor in the conference race you've got to take care of business at home. Until somebody starts winning a bunch of road games, then they're not going to separate themselves. You've got to win the overwhelming majority of your home games if you want to win the conference title."

On facing Gerald Robinson Jr...
"He's gone into a situation where he's being utilized by his coaches properly, he's been put in a good system for him, and he's got really outstanding players around him so he doesn't have to be the only guy. He's a good player in a good situation and those two factors usually make for a good result; that's what he's getting and that's what (Georgia's) getting right now."

On if he can tell before the game that energy is going to be an issue...

"I can generally tell, not always, if energy is going to be an issue in the locker room about 45 minutes before the game. Interestingly, relative to the South Carolina game, our team hasn't played with a lack of energy all season long. I haven't had an energy complaint in practice or in games.

"Yeah, we had a couple of days in practice last week to where we had to call it to their attention, and then it showed up in the games. You have to give them a little bit of a pass if it only happens once because we haven't played all great games, but we haven't had a lack of energy. That hasn't been a part of this team's DNA at all. For whatever reason we had a little bit of one on Saturday night."

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Franklin's passion paved the way

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(Photo Design: Banks Shepherd)

Who is James Franklin? Here are two articles that offer insight on the Commodores' new head football coach.

First, Ed Kracz of the Bucks County Courier Time chronicles Franklin's journey from Langhorne, Pa., to Vanderbilt with stories on his childhood and previous coaching stops. You really get a sense of how Franklin's made it to where he is today.
"He cared about his players and was a great family guy," said Jordy Nelson, a former walk-on at Kansas State who developed into a second round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers under the tutelage of Franklin. "He had his love for the game and a love for his players, and he cares about his players like family."
Click Here to Read More

Also, Larry Leathers of VUcommodores.com looks at how Franklin's developed future stars at the quarterback position. Franklin mentored current pro QB Josh Freeman at Kansas State and ACC Rookie of the Year QB Danny O'Brien at Maryland.
"Coach (Franklin) has meant so much to me, both on and off the field," Freeman said. "One of the best things that ever happened to me was getting to work with Coach Franklin."
Click Here to Read More

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Tuesday's SEC Men's Basketball results

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TUESDAY'S RESULTS
Florida 81, Tennessee 75 (OT)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Alex Tyus scored 18 points and turned a steal into a dunk in overtime that helped Florida to an 81-75 victory over Tennessee on Tuesday night. Read More

No. 15 Kentucky 78, Auburn 54
Terrence Jones, coming off the bench for the first time in his brief career, scored 35 points as Kentucky rolled by Auburn 78-54. Read More

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE
Georgia (12-2, 0-1) at Vanderbilt (11-3, 0-1), 7 p.m. CT, SEC Network
Arkansas (11-3, 1-0) at LSU (9-7, 1-0), 7 p.m. CT, SEC Network
South Carolina (10-4, 1-0) at Alabama (9-6, 1-0), 8 p.m. CT, CSS

Exclusive snow day report

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(Photo Credit: Banks Shepherd)

According to CNN, 49 of the 50 states currently have snow on the ground including Tennessee (as you can see in the picture of Vanderbilt Stadium).

Well, in the Barca household, there's never a shortage of activities on snow days. In fact, former intern Travis polished up an old satellite dish with non-nutritive cereal varnish and used it for sledding in our subdivision today (no joke). Let's just say it didn't work, even though he gave it the old Clark Griswold try.

Somewhere in Arizona, Schulzie could be heard saying, "Are you serious?" while noting that Travis' attempt was "for all the Tostitos."

Back to your normal programming.

Snow impacts Georgia's travel plans

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Georgia's trip to Nashville on Tuesday morning has been delayed due to snow storms that have blanketed the South.

Bulldogs' head coach Mark Fox has already canceled practice as the team waits for transportation to be approved. 

Fox made the following tweets this morning:
"Planes, trains, and . . . probably a bus. About to decide how we'll try and get across this ice rink in the south."
"Must be nasty, bus company won't put bus on road. As soon as they will, we'll be on it."
"Waiting on green light to take bus - cannot fly from Athens or ATL. Players might be a little excited that practice to be sacrificed today."
Vanderbilt and No. 24 Georgia will square off Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs come into the game ranked for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

Duffy blog: Secret Santa gift exchange

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Vanderbilt basketball fan favorite Joe Duffy returns with another one of his popular blogs for The New York Times.

Once again, Duffy offers stories on the Commodores that you won't get anywhere else.

The senior forward centered his latest post around the team's annual Secret Santa gift exchange.

I won't give anything away, so go here to read more.

Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

MBB Monday Roundup: Rankings, Bracketology and more

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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL RANKINGS


Vanderbilt fell out of the Top 25 in both major polls released Monday. The Commodores slipped to 31st overall in the "others receiving votes" category of the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Commodores next opponent -- Georgia -- jumped into the AP rankings at No. 24 after the Bulldogs defeated Kentucky in Athens last Saturday.

Vanderbilt will host Georgia Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT.


BRACKETOLOGY UPDATE


ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi has Vanderbilt as a No. 6 seed, down one spot from last week. Bracket

SI.com's Andy Glockner kept the Commodores at a No. 6 seed for the second week in a row. Bracket


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

Coach Stallings' opening statement...

"We had a disappointing game on Saturday, a game we had control of and let get away from us. We know we have a tough week because every week's tough in this league. Georgia's coming off a great win and we had three very interesting games with them last year. I think we all expect it to be a very competitive, very tough, physical game just like all SEC games are. We're going to have to play really well to win. We're looking forward to the opportunity and hopefully having a couple of good days of practice before then."

On what he didn't like in the South Carolina loss...
"I just didn't like our look and demeanor. We were up 14 in the second half but we just didn't have our normal look. I don't know if we were self-absorbed or what the situation was, but we weren't doing what we needed to win. It's very disappointing because it was a road game that we had a chance to get and we let it get away from us."

On the Commodores' health situation...
"It's okay. Andre Walker still hasn't practiced. Of course, we haven't practiced since the (South Carolina) game.  Steve Tchiengang is battling a little bit of an Achilles tendon problem. Other than that, we're fine."

On last Saturday's SEC results ...
"It's tough to win on the road in this league; we have a good league. Even some of the teams that might have gotten off to slow starts or performed poorly in the nonconference season, now is an opportunity for them to kind of jump back up into the fray.  Everybody sort of gets new life when conference season starts."


MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS


SECsports.com announced that South Carolina's Sam Muldrow and Bruce Ellington were named SEC basketball players of the week.

CBSsportsline.com's Gary Parrish looks back at the weekend of college hoops in his weekly Monday column.

FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman also recaps the weekend and lists the Vanderbilt-Georgia game as one the week's top matchups:
"The Bulldogs are coming off a home win against Kentucky -- now it's time to see if, in fact, this time has matured and can win on the road."
ESPN.com's Weekly Watch has Nashville as one of the places to be this week for the tilt between VU and UGA:
"If Kentucky is the clear favorite in the SEC East and Florida the baffling contender with problems to fix, both Vanderbilt and Georgia are the leaders in the dark-horse clubhouse. The Bulldogs are coming off a huge win over Kentucky, while Vandy -- which had the more impressive nonconference stretch of the two -- struggled in a road loss to South Carolina."
SI.com's Andy Glockner breaks down each conference in his latest Bubble Watch.

SI.com's Seth Davis gives his Hoop Thoughts on Kansas, Enes Kanter, Renardo Sidney and more.

Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

Chicago gets rematch with Seattle

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler and company don't have to play the guessing game any longer.

Chicago, fresh off a bye week, will host Seattle in the NFC divisional playoffs Sunday at noon CT.

The Seahawks advanced past wild card weekend by upsetting New Orleans, the defending Super Bowl champions, 41-36 in Seattle. (If you missed Marshawn Lynch's incredible 67-yard TD run to clinch the Seahawks' win, you gotta see it.)

Chicago and Seattle met earlier this season with the Seahawks getting the upperhand, 23-20, in October at Soldier Field. In that game, the Bears' offense failed to convert a third down (0-for-12), while Cutler completed only 17 of 39 pass attempts and was sacked six times.

Cutler will be getting his first crack at the postseason along with former Commodores Earl Bennett, D.J. Moore and Chris Williams.

NFL Divisional Playoffs schedule

Saturday, Jan. 15

AFC: Baltimore at Pittsburgh (CBS), 3:30 p.m. CT
NFC: Green Bay at Atlanta (FOX), 7 p.m. CT

Sunday, Jan. 16
NFC: Seattle at Chicago (FOX), 12 p.m. CT
AFC: N.Y. Jets at New England (CBS), 3:30 p.m. CT

Get my updates on Twitter by following @BarcaBlog

SEC Men's Basketball results (Jan. 8)

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South Carolina 83, Vanderbilt 75 (OT) - Recap

Arkansas 68, Tennessee 65 - Recap

Georgia 77, Kentucky 70 - Recap

Alabama 75, Mississippi State 57 - Recap

LSU 62, Auburn 55 - Recap

Florida 77, Ole Miss 71 - Recap

Highlights: South Carolina 83, Vanderbilt 75 (OT)

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