Perhaps it’s personnel, but Bryce Drew’s first Vanderbilt team is somehow even more three-happy than Kevin Stallings’ teams ever were. (Okay, the 2004-05 team shot a greater percentage of its attempts from beyond the arc, but that’s it.) That’s actually a pretty smart strategy considering the Commodores on the season are 7th nationally in three-point percentage... and 266th nationally in two-point percentage.
But last night Vanderbilt shot 55.6 percent from inside the arc... and 59.4 percent beyond the arc, and they also attempted 32 threes and just 18 twos. You’re simply not going to lose many games when you have an effective FG percentage of 77.0 — even when the other team’s effective FG percentage is 61.0 percent!
As for that latter figure, that was almost entirely related to High Point hitting 12-of-15 from three; the Panthers shot a woeful 7-of-26 inside the arc. Most players don’t hit 80 percent of their threes in practice, never mind in a game. But in addition to Vanderbilt shooting the lights out, they outrebounded the Panthers and forced turnovers on 29.8 percent of High Point’s possessions. Basically, High Point’s hot performance beyond the arc only kept them from losing by 50.
- We assume Riley LaChance isn’t going to shoot 72 percent from three all season, but this is fun while it last. Also, it’s hard to imagine a more efficient 14 points — Riley only took 4 shots from the floor and scored 14 points!
- Matthew Fisher-Davis... yeah, that’s fine.
- Payton Willis: 13 points on 5 field goal attempts. That’s pretty good, but he’s no Riley LaChance.
- Nolan Cressler had 3 steals last night... or as many as he had last season. Drew getting Cressler to play defense is a good thing.
- Jeff Roberson hit 4 threes, didn’t do a whole lot else... can’t complain.
- Hey! Let’s imagine how good this team might be once Luke Kornet gets going!
- For some reason I thought Joe Toye would be a bigger player this season than he’s actually been. But between him and Kornet maybe there’s more upside with this team than what we’ve seen so far.
- The other two freshmen (aside from Willis) have shown flashes of potential but it’s not translating into real contributions just yet.
- PHILLIP MCGLOIN MADE AN APPEARANCE... okay, that’s all I really have to say, but it’s sad that he’s only appeared in two games this year. Because when he’s playing, we’re usually winning by a lot.
Vanderbilt heads to Murfreesboro to face Middle Tennessee at 6:30 PM CT on Thursday night. The game’s on CBS Sports Network (thank you, C-USA and your lame TV contract) so there’s a decent chance you won’t be able to watch it. But, yeah. Middle is 8-1 and beat Ole Miss by 15 in Oxford last week, so that’s absolutely a game Vanderbilt could lose. On the other hand, Middle is somehow #6 in the RPI (per rpiforecast.com) so until Middle loses the C-USA title to the Fightin’ Rice Owls it would actually count as a quality win if Vanderbilt could pull it off.
After that... the Commodores have nine days off for finals. What on earth will we do?
Vanderbilt Hustler: Commodores tame High Point Panthers, set school record for threes
HPU Panthers: High Point sets 3-pt shooting record in loss at Vandy
(Holy hell — High Point set a school record for three-point percentage last night and lost by 27.)