Wednesday, January 17, 2007  
Bama basketball: @ Vanderbilt

Time: 7pm CST
TV: None (radio is 990am in Memphis)
Place: Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN

Nashville has not been kind to Alabama since Mark Gottfried took over in 1998. The Tide has gone 0-fer at Memorial Gymnasium since then, and has always had a difficult time with Vanderbilt, no matter where we play them. We had lost 4 straight to them before last season's 77-74 overtime win - Alonzo Gee sent the game to overtime with a monstrous dunk at the buzzer. Vanderbilt is always stocked with shooters, and this year is no different. Four of their 5 starters average in double figures. The matchup of the game will be Alonzo Gee against Derrick Byars. Byars is the star player for Vandy, averaging over 15 points per game playing on the wing (he is a G/F combo player).

We're not really sure what kind of team Vandy is, but we do know that they've lost to Auburn and Georgia already, and beat Tennessee at the last second last Wednesday. They have home losses to Georgetown (by 16), Furman (by 8), and Appalacian State (by 8), but they've also handled Georgia Tech there (by 9).

This game could spell trouble if they get their outside shots going early, but if we can pound the ball inside and sneak out our first win in Nashville in what seems like forever, it also leads to a good next few games - Georgia, at Auburn, and then Arkansas at home for the revenge game. Alabama has a clear size advantage against Vandy. The 'Dores have no centers and they only start one big man - Ross Neltner, a 6'9" forward. They are 11th in the conference in rebounding and 12th in blocks. Of course, that leaves four other guys on the floor that can shoot the lights out. Either way, we should be able to dominate the middle, and as long as our perimeter defense shows up at all, I think we can take this game.

Prediction: Alabama 77 Vandy 68

Comments: According to the T-News the streak at Memorial goes back to 1990. I was there two years ago and they beat us like a drum. This year be the charm? I will be there!

The Crimson Tide’s perennial crypt is better known as Memorial Gymnasium, home of the Vanderbilt Commodores and a site where Alabama hasn’t won a basketball game since 1990. During that streak, which has now reached eight straight losses over the years, Alabama has come close. There have been two overtime games and a one-point loss in 2003.
Nashville Tider.
# posted by Blogger Homeland Guy : 10:26 AM   Here's hoping we can break that streak tonight. If we lose to Vandy, it could be a long SEC season, with road games still at Florida, at LSU, and at Tennessee left to go.
# posted by Blogger Memphis Tider : 10:50 AM   Post a Comment

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