MBB Australia Blog: Day 4

Aug. 11, 2009

Photo Gallery  | Get Acrobat Reader Vanderbilt-Kilsyth Box Score

Editor's Note: Vanderbilt assistant coach Brad Frederick filed his daily blog after the team took on Kilsyth in the Melbourne suburbs. Great stuff today, including pushups from Strength and Conditioning coach Mark Davis high above the Melbourne skyline and a win by the Commodores.

By Brad Frederick

Cheers. That seems to be the appropriate greeting for just about everything down here. We started out with decent weather this morning, but by afternoon it had turned dark and rainy. The guys seem to be hitting their stride relative to sleeping. With the night time game yesterday leading to much later bedtimes, the players did not seem to have any problems with sleeping through the night.

We are staying at the downtown Melbourne Marriott. It is safe to say their restaurant has never seen anything like our morning team breakfasts. They have an all-you-can eat buffet that is included with our room rate. The guys have been taking full advantage and have kept the cooks busy. The hostess mistakenly was told we were leaving tonight and was flustered to learn we will be back again tomorrow morning before we head to the airport.

After breakfast, the team took a short trolley ride through the city and jumped off near Federation Square. From there we headed to the Eureka Tower, one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. The tower holds the Eureka Skydeck, which claims to offer the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. Our entire team, except one player who shall remain nameless to protect his tough-guy image, headed up to the 88th floor (about 300 meters up) where the Skydeck was located. The observation deck offered some incredible views of the city. We were able to walk all the way around the tower to see Melbourne from every direction. It gave us a much better feel for just how big the city is.

After you've paid to reach the Skydeck, they make you pay an additional $10 to visit a glass cube called "The Edge." My pictures certainly won't do it justice, but basically it is a 10-foot glass cube that extends back and forth from the side of the building. 14 of us brave souls had the gumption to take on "The Edge," while the rest of the team was either too scared or too cheap to participate.

You enter the cube in 8-person groups before it extends from the building. The glass on all sides is opaque so you can't see out. Slowly they start moving the cube away from the building, while they have glass breaking noises playing, until you are fully extended out. Then the glass becomes clear so you can see, including directly below you.

Kudos to Lance Goulbourne and Coach Dan Muller, who were the most scared going in, but went through with it anyway, even if they were hugging the rails for dear life. Mark Davis, our strength and conditioning coach, wins the crazy award for doing a set of push-ups on the glass (see photo gallery). That's classic MD.

On to game #2... The 'Dores took down the Kilsyth Cobras tonight 102-82 in front of 1,200 fans. Trailing by as many as 9 in the first quarter, we quickly turned it around to take a nine-point lead into halftime, 51-42. Our depth seemed to wear them down in the second half and we extended our lead to 33 before finishing with the 20-point victory.

Jermaine Beal led the way with 23 points and 7 rebounds. AJ Ogilvy added 19 points and 8 rebounds. We had five guys in double figures, including Brad Tinsley (15), Jeff Taylor (14), and Andre Walker (10). The full box score should be available in the link above.

Coach Stallings Quotes:

"Jermaine and Brad were as good at one time tonight as they have been together at any time. They really did a great job for us. AJ had another outstanding game as well." "I was very pleased with how quickly we turned a nine-point deficit into a 10-point lead. Our depth could be a key for us this year and tonight we wore down a quality team. We will continue to try and use our depth with another game tomorrow afternoon."

Some final thoughts from tonight: A big thanks goes to Rod Popp and Ben Turner who run the show at Kilsyth. They have been great to Coach Tom Richardson and I on our recruiting visits the last few years and were awesome hosts again tonight... Kilsyth had Mark Worthington, who played with Dandenong last night, and Luke Kendall play for their team tonight. They led the way for Kilsyth with 24 and 25 points, respectively. Both players are members of the Boomers, the Australian National Team that A.J. plays with when he's able...Worthington apparently has Dwyane Wade-like status over here with the refs as he had made 33 trips to the foul line the last two games... 2003 LSU graduate Brad Bridgewater, who has played here in the SEABL league the last five years, had 19 points... We had another great crowd for our game tonight... Our opponents back home who complain about our benches would love the theater-style seating (see photo) we had tonight with 3 rows...Thanks to our in-game photographer Melissa Muller.

We leave bright and early tomorrow for Canberra to play the Australian Institute of Sport in a 2 pm game. Our guys are anxious to see where AJ spent his high school years. Until then, goodnight from Melbourne.



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