Vanderbilt basketball's 2012-2013 got off to a good start on Saturday, rolling to a 25 point victory over outmatched Nicholls State at home. Kedren Johnson led all scorers in his first start as a Commodore, netting 23 points and adding six rebounds and six assists in the win.
The 'Dores kicked off their rebuilding effort with a victory despite a slow start. Vandy trailed 19-16 with about five minutes left to play in the first half before finding their rhythm and closing out the Colonels.
Kyle Fuller had the equivalent of his entire sophomore season in one game this afternoon. The junior scored 15 points, showed off some crisp passing in the halfcourt, and hit a pair of three pointers as a starter in the backcourt. That's a major contrast to his performances in 2011-2012, where he had no threes and tallied just 17 points for the entire season. He showed that he's ready for an expanded role for a Commodore team that needs veteran leadership.
Kevin Bright also had a standout performance against Vandy's low-major opponent. The German under-18 national team member needed only eight shots to score 15 points. He nailed all three of his three-point attempts to give the 'Dores an added dimension behind the arc.
Vanderbilt established a tight rotation in the win. Kevin Stallings went with a starting lineup of Johnson, Fuller, Bright, Rod Odom, and Shelby Moats. Only three players logged time from the bench; James Siakam, Sheldon Jeter, and Josh Henderson.
The win starts Vandy at 1-0 on the season. They'll have five days off before traveling to Eugene to face an emerging Oregon squad on the road. That will be Vanderbilt's first true test of the season - and it will tell us just how ready guys like Fuller and Bright are for the bright lights of the NCAA's upper levels.