With the losses of A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal, the Commodores will look a little different next fall. Here's a look at their projected lineup for the 2010-2011 season:
|2010-2011 Vanderbilt Projected Depth Chart|
|PG||Brad Tinsley||Jr.||Kyle Fuller||Fr.|
|SG||John Jenkins||Soph.||Jordan Smart (?)
|SF||Jeffery Taylor||Jr.||Lance Goulbourne||Jr.||Rod Odom||Fr.|
|PF||Andre Walker||RS Jr.||Steve Tchiengang||Jr.||Darshawn McClellan||Sr.|
|C||Festus Ezeli||RS Jr.||Josh Henderson||Fr.|
The first thing that jumps out is the team's lack of depth at the guard positions. While Kyle Fuller looks capable of handling backup duties based on his successful senior year of high school, there's little beyond him at the 1/2 positions. Players like Jordan Smart, and Chris Meriwether (should he return) might contribute, but little is expected of these walk-ons, who are unlikely to see rotation minutes. Hopefully Kevin Stallings can pull another late-season recruiting coup to bring another backup guard into the fold for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt has the opposite problem at the 3/4, where they'll be loaded with athletic combo forwards. Thanks to the depth there, guys like Taylor, Goulbourne, and possible even recruit Odom could see minutes at shooting guard or in a three forward set to alleviate the shallow pool at guard. Tchiengang and McClellan will be especially important in 2011 to provide interior size and muscle should Festus Ezeli end up in foul trouble. Henderson, an incoming freshman, will be a true x-factor and is likely to see big minutes as the team's only legit center behind Ezeli. The first-year from Virginia has legit height, but will have to bulk up to handle NCAA play - although he might not have much time to develop before getting thrown into the fire.
In all, the Commodores will boast a solid (and potential-laden) starting five along with two proven bench contributors and three legit recruits that will be given the chance to step in and make an impact right away. It will be interesting to see how the absences of Ogilvy and Beal affect the team - and to see who will replace the leadership and scoring that the duo provided. The team has some holes, but their strengths are legitimate for a young team, and if they can develop as a team, they'll be a force within the SEC. 2010-2011 will be a good year - and if they can hold on to Jenkins and Taylor for 2012, it could be the bridge to a great year. It's a tall order, but for a team as young and talented as this, it's entirely possible.