I didn’t watch most of this game (I know, that’s odd, but if you were paying attention to Twitter last night you’ve probably figured out why I wasn’t watching the game), so I don’t have a whole lot to add other than what the box score is telling me.
But the immediate takeaway from the box score is that if Vanderbilt is playing like this on the defensive end, on most nights the Commodores are going to be just fine. Just based on what we knew about the team going into the season, and what we’ve seen the first few weeks of the new season, Vanderbilt is probably not going to have too many nights where it scores 0.80 points per possession, and it’s probably not going to have too many nights when the effective field goal percentage is 36.5% either. This was a cold shooting night, but the defense did well enough to keep things close, so that’s a positive takeaway from this game.
Now, I’ll grant that at least part of the reason this game was so close was that Minnesota shot 7-of-15 at the foul line. That’s something that Vanderbilt (obviously) has no control over and was a bit fortunate that the Gophers weren’t hitting their free throws. But had they made their season average at the line, the Gophers would have scored... three more points. Okay, so this wasn’t a big deal.
I think we can safely assume that the offense won’t have many nights like this, so if Bryce Drew has gotten the players to buy in on the defensive end, this season could end up being just fine. And we’ll take just fine, right?
- There’s the Jeff Roberson we know and love.
- Riley LaChance... that’s fine, though I do kind of want to know what Drew is doing playing him for 38 minutes.
- Nolan Cressler did good things! Nolan Cressler had a steal! Incredibly, Cressler has 4 steals on the season, which is one more than he had all of last season. Bryce Drew is getting him to play defense.
- That is a ton of missed shots from Matthew Fisher-Davis and Luke Kornet.
- When Luke’s shooting like that, I’d sort of like to see Djery Baptiste play more minutes, especially when he’s not in foul trouble.
- Yeah, Payton Willis is going to have some games like that, seeing how he’s a freshman and only kinda-sorta a point guard.
- Joe Toye... eh.
- Clevon Brown committing three fouls in three minutes is impressive in its own way. Was he sent in to foul late in the game or something?
- Camron Justice gets his second DNP of the season after playing five minutes in the Tennessee State game; I think it’s safe to say Bryce Drew has made at least one decision about shortening his rotation to eight.