Feb. 2, 2012
Off to Texas: The Commodores will compete in the Prairie View Invitational, which gets underway Friday and concludes Sunday. Fans will be able to watch all the Vanderbilt games each day on USTREAM.
Neat Idea: Prairie View has moved the tournament to the United States Bowling Congress' International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, and as a result has drawn an attractive field eager to see the state of the art facility first-hand. UMES, fresh off its Kutztown win, Central Missouri, Nebraska, Valparaiso and Arkansas State are among the entries.
Format: A pretty standard NCAA format is in order with five, four-game Baker sets on Friday starting just after noon, team games on Saturday and a championship bracket Sunday.
Practice? What Practice? Coach John Williamson was forced to cancel all practices this week after the majority of his team got hit with a flu bug after its return from the Kutztown Invitational. All but two members of the travel party spent part of Monday in the Student Health Center and while everyone is on the road to recovery, conducting a practice was out of the question.
Just the Commodores Ailing? No! A Facebook post quickly turned up news that several teams at Kutztown also caught the bug, which seems to be the 24-hour variety.
Is the Coach Concerned? "This has been an unusual season so far," Williamson says. "I don't recall ever having to cancel a practice due to mass illness and we've also had a couple of pesky injuries that have slowed us down. We hoped to work on some things that we didn't handle well last week but I've seen occasions where athletes might actually focus and perform better without practice because they know they must revert to basics without the benefit of practicing. We will hope for the best."
Among the Travel Party: The Commodores are taking the same seven student-athletes that traveled last week: seniors Brittni Hamilton and Samantha Hesley, juniors Jessica Earnest, Kim Carper and Courtney Morgan and freshmen Natalie Goodman and Rebeca Reguero.
Educational Side Trip: The Commodores plan to visit Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository, site of the President John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963, shortly after arriving in Dallas.
All Access Episode 2: The next installment of Kim Carper's video blog for NCAA.com is out. Carper gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the Commodores' trip to the Kutztown Bowling Invitational last weekend with fun outtakes depicting life on the road. Watch Video