Vanderbilt's backcourt got a big boost on Wednesday when key transfer Nolan Cressler chose Vanderbilt over Dayton, Michigan, and Pittsburgh. He'll join a loaded 2014 recruiting class that's primed to continue the Vandy tradition of strong guard play in Nashville.
Cressler led 2-26 Cornell in scoring with 16.8 points per game as a sophomore last season. He often drew the focus of opposing teams as the Big Red's primary source of offense. Despite that, he was still able to peel off a 23-point performance against Syracuse and 17-point showings against Notre Dame and Harvard. He made 40 percent of his three-pointers as a true freshman and should fit nicely into coach Kevin Stallings's long range carpet bombing strategy on offense.
The Pittsburgh native had early offers from Vandy, Dayton, and Butler after he had been granted his release from Cornell two weeks ago. His hometown Panthers and teams like Notre Dame and Michigan jumped into the fray later in the process, but Cressler liked what he saw in Nashville.
Cressler will have to sit out the 2014-2015 season, per NCAA transfer rules. When he returns, he should be joining a Commodore lineup that will look something like this:
The 'Dores will have
two one more scholarship slot open for the 2014-2015 season once Roberson signs his letter of intent. Stallings will likely target some big man help to reinforce the blossoming Kornet-Jones combination up front. While there are still plenty of question marks that remain on that roster, the idea of a slashing point guard (Johnson), efficient big man on the block (Jones), and two floor-stretching shooters (Cressler and Jones) should be enough to keep Vandy fans optimistic for the future. If Stallings and company can develop some depth behind these players, the team's NCAA Tournament drought will dissipate in short order.