If you want an easy way to sum up Vanderbilt’s basketball season thus far, consider: the Commodores are 7-1 when their effective field goal percentage is over 50 percent, and 1-5 when it’s under 50 percent.
There’s only so much change that Bryce Drew can effect so long as he’s coaching a Kevin Stallings team, and for better or worse, that’s what he has. Some teams are built to weather cold shooting nights — either because they can generate extra possessions via offensive rebounds, or because they have some place they can go for easy baskets.
And some teams are built to hope and pray that jump shots are falling. At least with this personnel, Bryce Drew probably has the right idea by having the team shoot 46 percent of its shots from beyond the arc, because that’s about the best thing he can do with this group. Some nights (cough MTSU), the shots aren’t falling and Vanderbilt gets killed.
And some nights, the shots fall in bunches. And some nights, the other team is getting nothing to drop. That’s... basically what happened last night. Auburn had slight advantages in rebounding and turnovers, but the Tigers just weren’t hitting anything. That’s now 13 in a row that Vanderbilt has beaten Auburn on the hardwood, by the way.
- I haven’t been doing this feature for all that long, but Matthew Fisher-Davis’s 31.1 Adjusted Game Score is the highest I can remember for a Vanderbilt player.
- Actually, I looked it up and Damian Jones had a 33.2 Adjusted Game Score against Texas last season. But that was a game in which about half the team was in negative Game Score territory, which can work some voodoo on the guys who didn’t suck in the game, so maybe that shouldn’t really count. So yeah, this was really the best individual performance by a Vanderbilt player in quite a while.
- That win was mostly on Fisher-Davis and Luke Kornet, but Payton Willis was decent, and let’s not ignore what Nolan Cressler did off the bench.
- Why is Joe Toye frustrating? Because where some guys have a “quiet” 20 points, Joe Toye will have a very loud... 9 points. Toye had a couple of highlight-reel dunks but otherwise had a forgettable night.
- Riley LaChance had a pretty good night, if you ignore that he fouled out in 22 minutes of action. Which you can’t ignore.
- Jeff Roberson... well, that’s about as well as you can do when you shoot 0-for-7 from the floor, I guess. Roberson’s gotten a lot better at the “glue guy” stuff this year while his shooting percentages have gone bye-bye.
- I am as surprised as you to learn that Clevon Brown played eight minutes last night.
- Djery Baptiste made his best attempt at channeling Darius Coulibaly last night. No, that’s not a good thing if you have to ask.
Did you like that 2-0 SEC start? Good, because things are about to get tougher, starting with Saturday’s trip to Alabama. Game time is 6:00 PM CT on ESPNU, and it’s the first of a five-game stretch in which (per Ken Pomeroy) Vanderbilt will only be favored in one game, with three road games and a home game against Kentucky in that stretch.
The Tennessean: Matthew Fisher-Davis scores 33 in Vanderbilt win over Auburn
The Vanderbilt Hustler: Commodores open 2017 with big win over Auburn
College and Magnolia: Auburn Thumped By Vanderbilt 80-61
Opelika Auburn News: Hot-shooting Vanderbilt buries Auburn for 13th straight win in head-to-head series
The Auburn Plainsman: Auburn stumbles early, blasted by Vanderbilt