Every time the Vanderbilt Commodores get a chance to shine in the national spotlight, they come up short.
Two years ago they lost to Murray State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. One year ago they lost in the second round to Richmond. Last year was supposed to be the Commodores marquee year, they had enough talent to make it to the national championship – That was shown in their 71-64 defeat of Kentucky in the SEC championship game, and even the players who made that possible are almost all gone.
There are no returning stars, no game changers, and no superstar coach named John Calipari to bring in 5-star recruits every year. Not to mention an extremely tough schedule featuring some up and coming non-SEC teams (Cornell, Davidson, Butler, Middle Tennessee State, William and Mary, Xavier, and Villanova).
The expectations for this team are pretty low this year, but expect to have some eyebrows raised at how hard they fight once conference games begin. Kevin Stallings is a great coach and his freshmen recruiting class is extremely talented.
For Vanderbilt, this season is going to be rough. However, do not count this team out in the years to come; they definitely have some young talent.
Player to Watch:
A.J. Astroth. A 6’6 200 pound freshman from Faith Baptist Christian School in Tampa, Florida, he might be one of Kevin Stallings best signings over the last year. He has an accurate shot that fits in very well with the “new” Vanderbilt. Most of the returners from the Commodores are big men, and having an extremely accurate shooter that can get hot and light it up from range will really help this team in its efforts to rebuild.
Predicted regular season: 9 – 19