Stallings sees some ‘Gator’ in Alabama

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 11:38pm

The preparation was similar. Thus, Vanderbilt is looking for an outcome along the lines of Saturday’s victory over Florida when it faces Alabama, 8 p.m. Wednesday (CSS-Comcast Ch. 27).

The Crimson Tide are in their first season under head coach Anthony Grant, who spent 10 years on the staff at Florida — half as an assistant and half as associate head coach — under Billy Donovan.

“They’re a good team,” Stallings said. “Anthony’s done a great job with them and they play very much like Florida. … They know how they want to play, and they do a good job playing that way.”

Their way is comparable to that of the Gators, the team Vanderbilt (12-3, 1-0 in the SEC) defeated 95-87 on Saturday in their conference opener. It was the Commodores’ sixth straight victory and the fifth time in those six contests they shot better than 50 percent from the field.

The biggest difference is that this game will be on the road, where Vanderbilt won just two times in conference play in 2008-09. The Commodores have not won an SEC road opener in the last three years.

With a victory in this one, though, VU will start 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2005-06.

“It’s a good start for us,” sophomore forward Jeffery Taylor said. “It was a great way for us to start the (conference) season — with a win over Florida, which is definitely going to be one of the top teams. And it was good to be playing at home. It was a good crowd we had.

“It was just a good way to start everything.”

Alabama (11-4, 1-0) has won four straight games in its own right, most recently a 66-49 triumph over LSU in its SEC opener.

The Tide are 10th in the conference in scoring offense, which is one spot behind Florida. They are third in scoring defense — also one spot behind Florida.

“For us to have a chance to win, I think it starts with the defensive end,” Grant said. “I’m pleased that our guys have been able to take what we work on in practice daily and have emphasized all year defensively.

“I want our guys focused on the defensive end of the floor and understanding how that helps us in other areas.”

The Commodores simply have focused on a lot of the same things they did before they played Florida, which they figure only can help their cause.

“The preparation is similar — it’s not exactly the same, but it’s similar,” Stallings said. “Hopefully, it’s a little bit of an advantage because we’re doing a lot of the same things in practice this week we were doing last week.” 


2 Comments on this post:

By: TITAN1 on 1/13/10 at 5:35

Come on, Vandy! Show us you are not last year's team and get this road win. The court is the same length and the goals the same height. Tune out the crowd and make your shots count and play great defense.

By: damons on 1/13/10 at 9:49

Should be a very interesting game!