March 16, 2011

Vanderbilt player prospectus

Yesterday, we took an in-depth look at Richmond. Today, we do the same, analyzing the Commodores starters and bench as Vanderbilt gets ready to take on the Spiders in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The starters

Brad Tinsley, PG

What he does well: In his first year as VU's starting point guard, Brad Tinsley did just about everything you'd want from your point guard, leading the league in assists in all games and finishing second in assist-to-turnover ratio. The junior had 149 assists against only 63 turnovers (a 2.37:1 ratio) and seemed to get better as the season went along.

After a rough game in which his turnover in the final seconds at Missouri led to a heartbreaking loss for the Commodores, Tinsley was rock-solid at the point, playing at least 25 minutes and committing no more than three turnovers in any of the 24 games that followed.

In VU's SEC Tournament run in Atlanta, the 6-foot-3 junior capped a solid week by passing out 13 assists and committing just one turnover in 101 minutes. Tinsley also showed he can play in the clutch, shooting 82.4 percent from the line, and hitting a game-winning shot against Alabama in the final seconds.

Tinsley also possesses surprising athleticism and an ability to be a solid finisher around the rim, as 6-foot-9 Florida forward Chandler Parsons discovered when Tinsley poster-ized him in a thundering one-handed dunk that was ESPN's play of the day two Saturdays ago.

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