Jenkins, Vanderbilt can't make enough 3-pointers in NCAA loss

Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 5:48pm
Staff reports

John Jenkins tied Vanderbilt’s record for 3-pointers made in a season but missed one when it counted most. As a result, he missed out on an opportunity to add to his total.

The Commodores’ season ended with a 60-57 defeat against Wisconsin on Saturday at Albuquerque, N.M.

Vanderbilt (25-11), the fifth seed in the East Region, led 57-56 after a Festus Ezeli layup with 2:22 to play but failed to score the rest of the way.

Jenkins missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. The Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer made just two of nine 3-pointers in the contest, in which the teams combined for 52 3-point attempts.

"He was wide open," coach Kevin Stallings said of Jenkins' last shot. "... It might have been the best look he had the whole game. So we ran the play, ran it to perfection. Got it right where we wanted him, and he's made so many that have caused us to win games, and unfortunately, that one just didn't go in."

Jenkins still matched Shan Foster, who made134 in 2007-08. Jenkins, however, became the only player in program history to make 100 or more in two seasons. He had exactly 100 as a sophomore.

As a team, the Commodores were 5-for-19 from beyond the arc. Brad Tinsley made one as time expired in the first half and got the Commodores within one, 32-31, and made two of four in the contest.

"Well, people who are going to shoot have off days, and it was one of mine [Saturday], unfortunately," Jenkins said. "I wanted to keep playing. I didn't want to give up on it."

Wisconsin (26-9), the fourth seed, made 10 3-pointers (on 33 attempts). The last, by Jordan Taylor, came on the possession following Ezeli’s layup and put the Badgers in front for good.

"If you look at them, statistically, they're very good at defending the 3," Stallings said. "We knew that going in. You try to get good looks against them, we got some, some we didn't. We took some contested ones."

Steve Tchiengang started in place of Ezeli, who finished with team-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes. Stallings said the decision to sit Ezeli at the start was for disciplinary reasons.

Jenkins added 13 points and Tinsley scored 10.

Wisconsin scored the first five points and led for the entire fast half. Its advantage was as large as eight points four times, the last at 22-14 after Ryan Evans’ layup with 7:40 remaining.

Taylor led five Badgers in double figures with 14 points. Jared Berggren added 12, and Evans and Ben Brust each had 11.

All of Brust’s points came in a 7:46 span of the second half when no other Wisconsin player scored. During that stretch he pushed the lead to a game-high nine points, 53-44.

"This wasn't the outcome that we were looking for," Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor said. "We wanted to come down here and win two games. Unfortunately, they just made a couple more plays than we did down that stretch of the game."

7 Comments on this post:

By: sharko20 on 3/17/12 at 8:11

Too bad. John Jenkins - Please come back for your senior season!

By: Dore4Life on 3/17/12 at 9:49

Agreed. Tough loss to swallow, everything considered. Definitely not an effort issue, just didn't get the desired result. Congratulations to this team! Despite all the criticism, they are held in high regard in VU men's basketball history.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/18/12 at 5:17

Well, at least they were a pre-season #7 rated team. I as well as the departing seniors will remember that sandwiched in between the losses were a SEC tounament championship.

By: wiseguy1 on 3/19/12 at 7:55

What I will remember is this group beating #1 Tennessee, beating #1 Kentucky, 1st Conference Championship in my lifetime and oodles of thrilling moments. Ezeli was part of the 2008 team that beat #1 Florida. These guys were part of an overall improvement in Vanderbilt men's athletic program. Lots for this group to be proud of.
Odom, Parker, Johnson, Saikam and probably one more have some kind of challenge ahead of them for next season. Odom, Parker and Johnson are the only ones that really had meaningful playing time this year. Definitely will be a young squad on the floor next year.

By: joe41 on 3/19/12 at 8:10

I liked Vanderbilt’s chances in the final minute of the Wisconsin game. Even when Jenkins missed the shot, I suspected that Festus could get that rebound and put it back in. But I didn’t expect John to miss that shot. But I certainly didn’t expect that Festus would be hog tied by two defenders and a foul not get called. Certainly, it sounds like sour grapes but even TNT showed that several time and were incredulous that a foul was not called. If the referees could not see it, then they were not watching. That foul would have constituted a felony mugging in most counties in Tennessee.
We should not have been in that position anyway as Taylor had one of his bad games. But I believe that a foul, his third, took away his energy in the second half. And it was a tic tac foul. Certainly not of the mugging variety that was not called on Festus.
We had three outstanding players and I will miss what they could have achieved. I really liked Festus and John for what they gave every game. I liked Jeffrey about half the time. I am not sure whether that is his personality or what, but he is not a leader. And that will kill his chances for the NBA. I expect to see him in European pro basketball. And we will lose track of him. Lance, Steve, and Brad were of medium talent and displayed great play on occasion.
I wish these guys nothing but the best in the future. I enjoyed watching them play. But I am over it and am now ready of football. I went to McGugin and watched Spring practice last Saturday. I am ready to see these guys in action.

Joe

By: wiseguy1 on 3/19/12 at 12:09

joe, my son said the refs were probably watching ball bounce half way to the roof and not the action on the floor. If that is the case, not sure what they expected to see up there. Players are on the floor. Appears the refs became spectators for the most part at about the 6 minute mark.

Mugging or not, If Fez hit the front end of his 1 & 1 with a 1 point lead ... different ball game all together. Lots to point too ... four turnovers at begining of 2nd half that killed the VU momentum ... 5 offensive fouls in the first half changing the ability/desire to drive to the basket basically taking away big pilar of game plan. 9 posessions, score @ the 43% avg for game and that is 6 or 7 points ... difference in winning by 3 or losing by 3. Wisconsin got 8 points off those 4 turnovers. VU went from up 1 to down 7 in matter of 90 seconds.

Another word on the mugging, the pushing we saw is a function of home court adavantage in most SEC arenas. There would have been a no call in Rupp or Thompson Boling or O'Connell Center if the home team was doing the mugging.

So much is dependent on simply how the ball bounces. Wisconsin had a shot off the back of the iron similar to Jenkins' shot. Difference is Wisconsin shot came down through the hoop where Jenkin's was a fraction of a millimeter different and came down outside outside the hoop.

By: Dore4Life on 3/19/12 at 9:06

Due to the fact that Jeffrey Taylor was born and raised in Sweden, he will likely enjoy playing professionally in Europe more than the USA, in my opinion. However, he'll definitely get his shot at the NBA first, as his talents on a basketball court are very good. Best of luck to all the departing seniors in their future endeavors!