A couple of weeks ago, Bryce Drew made his first scholarship offer for the Vanderbilt Commodores' 2017 recruiting class to PG Nate Pierre-Louis, and there will be more to come; Vanderbilt will have another point guard on campus this weekend in Arizona native Saben Lee:
Stanford this past weekend & Vanderbilt this weekend for athletic 2017 PG. https://t.co/PKEOsnLOVK— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) June 8, 2016
So, we can be pretty sure that Drew intends to use at least one of the available scholarships on a point guard. Obviously the number of available scholarships, and potentially what positions are targeted, could be affected if Drew picks up a transfer this offseason. We know that Vanderbilt's been in touch with Malik Newman, though speculation's died down, and there's also this:
And no, that's not Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews; that's California Golden Bears guard Jordan Mathews. Slight difference.
But assuming there aren't any more additions, Vanderbilt will have four scholarships to give in the 2017 class with Luke Kornet and Nolan Cressler graduating, as well as two scholarships that are likely going to be unused in the 2016-17 season. What needs, aside from point guard, should Drew be looking to address?
Luke Kornet is gone after this season, Samir Sehic transferred, and we assume (though can't confirm) that Josh Henderson has finally run out of eligibility. Beyond 2016-17, the only big men projected to be on the roster will be Djery Baptiste and Clevon Brown, both freshmen in the coming season. So... yeah, we could call this an area of need. Jeff Roberson can play the four if necessary, but he can't play the five, and really Brown can't either. I would expect Drew to try to add at least one big man.
Alex Reese out of Alabama is one possibility; Stallings had been recruiting him hard, though officially he doesn't have a scholarship offer at the moment. (Quick word: if you hadn't guessed, Drew is under no obligation to honor scholarship offers that Stallings made to underclassmen. There was an obligation to honor the scholarships of Payton Willis and Clevon Brown since they had signed a National Letter of Intent, but otherwise Drew doesn't have to recruit the same players Stallings was recruiting. As far as we know, Nate Pierre-Louis is the only player Drew has offered at this point.)
Depending on what style he wants to play, Drew may be able to get away with only signing one big man in the class. If he plans on playing a four-out style, he can probably just have Roberson or Joe Toye play the four as needed.
The Three, and Planning Ahead
Signing a point guard and a center would fill the two most pressing needs on the roster after 2016-17, but what about more long-term needs? Riley LaChance, Matthew Fisher-Davis, and Jeff Roberson will all be gone after the 2017-18 season, and I've actually seen Fisher-Davis's name pop up on at least one 2017 mock draft board. Beyond that season, the only current players projected to be on the roster who can play the two/three positions are Toye, Camron Justice, and Payton Willis -- and Toye is really the only one in that group who can play the three.
Drew may want to pursue a shooting guard solely for the purpose of having insurance in case Fisher-Davis does decide to go pro after the season. Pursuing another wing player and giving him a year to develop as a bench player might be a good idea as well -- it's better to do that than have to scramble and sign a guy who will need to contribute immediately.