The Vanderbilt Commodores played with their food early on against Radford, trailing by ten points with five minutes to play in the first half.
And then Riley LaChance more or less decided that Vanderbilt wasn’t going to lose. The senior, scoreless through 15 minutes of action, suddenly scored 11 points in the last few minutes before halftime and finished the game with a career-high 27 points. One of the best sights in basketball is watching a player simply take over a game the way that LaChance did.
That said, an initial glance at the Four Factors doesn’t show anything terribly alarming. Vanderbilt didn’t shoot especially well beyond the arc, but other than that, there wasn’t much to complain about. They took care of the ball, they did a good enough job on the glass, and they got to the foul line a ton. That will usually win you games even when the jump shots aren’t falling.
|Larry Austin Jr.||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||-1.4||-0.35|
- With LaChance having that kind of a night, Saben Lee played 11 minutes and Larry Austin Jr. played 4, and LaChance was effectively functioning as the team’s point guard for most of the game. As you’re seeing in the box score, Lee and Austin were both putting up stink bombs in those limited minutes, but this could be something interesting to watch going forward.
- Also, Payton Willis got 28 minutes and appears to be back at full health.
- Jeff Roberson fouled out with seven minutes left in the game. That’s obviously suboptimal, but otherwise there was relatively little to complain about with his game.
- We had a debate in the comments about Djery Baptiste’s game last night, but the stat line doesn’t really lie to you here. Baptiste was legitimately playing well, at least by his (admittedly low) standards -- 31 minutes with eight points and zero fouls is a lot better than what we usually get there.
- Ejike Obinna, on the other hand, did not get off the bench. I’m guessing that on the rare occasions that Baptiste is both playing well and not in foul trouble, we won’t see Obinna a lot, but then it’s (probably) not going to be every night that Baptiste is staying on the floor.
- Joe Toye and Clevon Brown were decent, I guess, though both continue to be rather enigmatic.
- Matthew Fisher-Davis, ugh. 1-for-9 from three? After I wrote that you probably weren’t going to shoot like this all year, you go out and make me look like an idiot?
- Also MIA last night: Maxwell Evans, who started and played 16 minutes against Seton Hall, then didn’t get off the bench against Radford. This makes sense.
- Okay, a lot of this is being too harsh on Bryce Drew as he’s trying to figure out his rotations, but the jerkiness of the minutes distribution is a little jarring right now.
Vanderbilt hosts Kansas State at 1:30 PM CT on Sunday. Kansas State is 5-1 on the season, but lost to the only top 100 team they’ve played so far, a 92-90 loss to Arizona State in Las Vegas. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, this game will be on the SEC Network alternate channel. I don’t know, either.