The good news for Vanderbilt basketball had to stop somewhere - and it did on Sunday night. The Commodores lost valuable assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel to California and Cuonzo Martin.
Hufnagel came to Nashville in May 2013 and had an instant impact on the recruiting trail. The charismatic assistant helped the Commodores land six recruits for 2014 and 2015 along with Cornell transfer Nolan Cressler. After a pair of rebuilding seasons, his work had set Vandy up for a big comeback in the next two seasons.
Hufnagel came to Vanderbilt from Harvard, where he helped engineer the Crimson's rise to the top of the Ivy League under Tommy Amaker. He'll now follow former Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin to California, where he'll coordinate recruiting for the Golden Bears. Cal has been to the postseason in each of the past five years, notching three NCAA Tournament invites and a pair of NIT bids.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings will now have to fill the vacancy left by Hufnagel's departure while angling to retain the recruits he'd locked in for 2015. There are no strong leads regarding the next Vandy assistant coach, but Christ Presbyterian Academy's Drew Maddux could be on the team's radar. Maddux played for the Commodores from 1995 to 1998 and has led the Lions to back-to-back Tennessee state championships.