Editor's Note: Coach Frederick submits his final blog from Australia after the team's game with Townsville. The Commodores begin the long trip home early Monday morning.
Cheers! Today marks our last full day in Australia and my last official blog entry. An early afternoon game meant little time for any sightseeing. So, let me get right to the game.
The Townsville Crocodiles defeated Vanderbilt 104-99 at Murray Stadium this afternoon. With the loss, Vanderbilt finished the five game tour with a record of 3-2. Despite trailing by nine in the first half, the 'Dores rebounded to take a 50-46 lead at halftime. The game went back and forth into the fourth quarter, as there were 19 lead changes and 13 ties throughout the game. Townsville eventually pulled ahead down the stretch on the strength of their 3-point shooting (14-30), including three fourth-quarter 3 pointers from Australian National Team member Russell Hinder, who finished with 31 points on 11-12 shooting.
The Commodores were led by Jermaine Beal, who finished with a tour-high 31 points. AJ Ogilvy, despite being limited to 19 minutes with foul trouble, had 21 points. Jeffrey Taylor added 19 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Brad Tinsley finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and a team-high 7 assists. Off the bench, Steve Tchiengang and Charles Hinkle added 7 and 5 points, respectively.
Head coach Kevin Stallings Quotes:
"I was proud again today of our effort in the loss. While I am never satisfied losing, I felt like we got better today against the best team we've played on the trip."
"Jermaine Beal was incredible for us, making a number of big shots. AJ, Brad, and Jeff continued their solid play." "Overall, the trip was extremely beneficial for us and I am anxious to get to work again this fall."
Some final thoughts on the game: Townsville's two imports were Roland Roberts, formerly of Southern Illinois, and Corey Williams, who played at Alabama State...For the second game in a row, we played four 10 minute quarters with five fouls...Foul trouble was a major factor again this afternoon. I think we finally adjusted 5.5 games into the tour. Officials did not cost us the game, however.... Jermaine Beal had a major heat-up in the second half.
Some final thoughts:
- After the game we visited Castle Hill Lookout, which provided impressive views of the city. Almost as impressive was our bus driver negotiating his way up and down. - Tomorrow will be an epic travel day. The bus departs our hotel at 4:30 AM Monday morning and if all goes according to plan, we will land in Nashville 27.5 hours later around 5 PM local time Monday. We fly Townsville to Brisbane to Los Angeles to Nashville. The players will go their separate ways once we hit LA for some time at home before school starts. We will all be envious of Charles when we land in LA and he heads home, while the rest of us have a four hour layover. Regardless of how long it takes, we are all looking forward to seeing our families.
- AJ Ogilvy will stay here in Australia to play for the Boomers as they have qualifying games for next summer.
- On a personal note, I hope you enjoyed reading these daily blog updates. While admittedly it became a bit tedious, especially using only my Blackberry, they were fun and meaningful for me. I lost my Dad two months ago in a tragic accident. While sorting through his paperwork a couple weeks before the trip, I found a diary he had written while leading the Big 8 Select Basketball Team, coached by Roy Williams, on an Australian Tour 20 years ago this summer. I continue to try and be like you, Dad.
- A huge thank you to Coach Tom Richardson for his work planning the trip. Almost any college team who takes a foreign tour, including us on our last two trips, pays a tour company to handle all the arrangements. We did not go that route this time as Coach Rich spent the last two months lining this trip up himself, including our games, sightseeing activities, hotels, transportation, etc. It was a massive undertaking and required a ton of phone calls, emails and paperwork. He did an incredible job with every aspect of the trip. Thanks also to Jeannie Stotts, for her work on our flight arrangements.
- Our entire program feels extraordinary grateful for the opportunity Coach Stallings has provided for us. This trip will provide a lifetime of memories and it absolutely would not have happened without him. Thank you, Coach.
- Like always, our players were a pleasure to be around this entire trip. We tell recruits and their families all the time that there are a bunch of great reasons to come to Vanderbilt. Nashville is a tremendous city, Vanderbilt is one of the top academic schools in the nation, the SEC is a premier basketball conference, and we now have the best television contract in history. A more important reason to come, however, is because we have the best kids in the country. They always represent our program in a first-class manner and are a joy to be with.
- This trip only reinforces how excited we are for the upcoming season. While we certainly have plenty to work on before then, we are anxious to tip-it-off November 16. We look forward to seeing you in Memorial Gym!
Until then, goodnight and goodbye from Australia.