There’s a lot to unpack from last night’s game, so to start, with 6:02 left Vanderbilt led 58-43 and, per Ken Pomeroy’s win probability model, the Commodores had a 98.8 percent chance of winning the game. You’ll recall that Vanderbilt did not win the game.
Obviously, a lot had to go wrong for Vanderbilt to lose. To start with, Arkansas went 14-of-15 at the foul line over the last six minutes of the game. There’s some amount of bad luck in that: the Razorbacks are normally a 75 percent foul shooting team. Of course it didn’t help that Daryl Macon and Dusty Hannahs, both 89 percent foul shooters, took 14 of the foul shots and made 13.
On the other hand — Arkansas attempted 9 free throws in the first 34 minutes of the game and 15 in the last 6. Considering Vanderbilt wasn’t intentionally fouling, that’s pretty weird. Also, twice in the last six minutes Vanderbilt fouled a three-point shooter. You should never do that.
The gist of all this is that even if Vanderbilt was in the process of blowing the game, the Commodores still needed some assistance from, uh, bad officiating and really good foul shooting by the other thing — neither of which, obviously, is in their control — to push them over the finish line. I’ll spare you any commentary about the players or the coaching staff because I’m sure that will be provided in the comments section.
- Riley LaChance shot 3-for-9 from the floor, and still had a good game! That’s a new one.
- Did you know that 13 points is Joe Toye’s new career high? Needless to say, Toye provided a good spark off the bench last night. That would have been even better if, you know...
- One of the things I like about Game Score is that it can put a player’s stat line in perspective. For instance, Jeff Roberson had a double-double, but he wasn’t particularly efficient, needing 11 shots to score 14 points.
- Okay, whose idea was it for Luke Kornet to only take three shots?
- I give up trying to figure out what’s going on with Matthew Fisher-Davis right now. But, yeah, that production’s not cutting it.
- Payton Willis was okay, other than the eyesore of going 1-of-4 at the foul line.
- I actually noticed Clevon Brown getting an offensive rebound, which is a new thing; frequently he’s invisible and I’m surprised to find out in the box score that he played.
- In Djery Baptiste’s defense, his three turnovers had a lot more to do with him doing things he should never, ever do, like bringing the ball up the floor.
- Actually last night was one of those games where it’s glaringly obvious that Baptiste hasn’t been playing basketball for very long.
- Cressler Good Thing count: :(
The SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the random weekend at the end of January when SEC teams play Big 12 teams. Vanderbilt plays Iowa State on Saturday, with tip time at 3:00 PM CT on ESPN2. With an RPI that’s still in the low 60s, the NIT is still a fairly real possibility for Vanderbilt, but the Commodores are going to have to start... you know... winning some games.