Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The Vanderbilt Commodores were the worst team in the SEC to start the season. Vanderbilt lost their entire starting roster to the draft and graduation. As Vanderbilt racked up loss after loss – most coming by a margin of twenty or so points a game – it looked like the Commodores would even be worse than previously expected. Vanderbilt proved everyone wrong.
Thursday night, the Commodores defeated the extremely talented and should-be-NCAA-bound Xavier Musketeers. Should the credit go to the talent of the players or the skill of head coach Kevin Stallings? The answer: Both.
The Commodores, although young, are a very talented team – not unlike LSU last season who have started this season undefeated. Their players are quality and, as evidence by the Xavier game, capable of playing top quality basketball. Vanderbilt lost experience and leadership at the end of last year; fortunately, these players came together and hopefully will continue to do so as the season goes along.
Stallings is a great coach that rarely gets top notch recruits but is still able to get them to contend at the top level. He will lead this young talent to great heights as the young Commodores continue their careers. Under Stallings, Vanderbilt will only get better as the season continues.
Although Vanderbilt most likely will not make NCAA or NIT play, the win over Xavier could mean that this team has a bright future, rather than the poor one that many assumed that the Commodores would have. Vanderbilt has saved their season with one key victory.