Six games into the 2017-18 basketball season, the Vanderbilt Commodores have played 417 offensive possessions and scored 402 points.
That’s ... not good. Granted, if you toss out a game against the nation’s #1 team in defensive efficiency, they’ve scored 360 points in 355 possessions — which still isn’t what I would call “good” by any stretch, but it’s better.
Vanderbilt’s defense has been mostly fine during the 2-4 start to the season. Yes, USC scored 93 points on 76 possessions, but that’s a top 20 team. It’s a defense that should be good enough to win games in the SEC if the offense is working. Right now it’s not, but there are reasons to believe that it’s fixable.
On the season, Vanderbilt’s committed turnovers on 20.3 percent of its possessions. You’re already seeing progress from freshman point guard Saben Lee, who committed ten turnovers in his first three games and has committed three turnovers — total — in the last three games, against better competition. And when not playing Virginia, the Commodores have shown some ability to hit the offensive glass.
The biggest culprit so far, though, has been terrible shooting. So far this season, Vanderbilt is shooting 30.3 percent on three-pointers. 90 of Vanderbilt’s 132 three-point attempts this season have been attempted by the trifecta of Riley LaChance, Matthew Fisher-Davis, and Jeff Roberson. Fisher-Davis, a career 39.3 percent three-point shooter, is currently shooting 30.3 percent from beyond the arc. Roberson’s 25.9 percent shooting beyond the arc is also well below his career average of 37.3 percent (and also way less than his current 94.1 percent at the foul line would suggest he’d shoot.)
Vanderbilt’s also had some issues scoring inside the arc, and that might be more of a season-long issue, though Saben Lee looks capable of creating offense off the dribble. But at the very least, Vanderbilt should see some regression to the mean from its seniors. We know what Roberson and Fisher-Davis are capable of, and it’s not firing up a ton of bricks.