This game didn’t play out exactly the same way as the first matchup with Texas A&M. In that game, Vanderbilt dominated inside the arc and kept the Aggies off the glass, got out to a big lead early and never really let Texas A&M back into it.
Last night, though, the Commodores started out slowly — Texas A&M was up 10 midway through the first half — and Vanderbilt was never really able to slow down Tyler Davis, who finished with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He and Robert Williams combined to grab 11 offensive boards, and really the only reason Vanderbilt got out with a win was that the Aggies shot just 3-of-16 beyond the arc. And, well, the Commodores did manage to stop the Aggies from scoring at will in the paint eventually.
Still, Vanderbilt managed to come away with a win on a night when not everything was working right. Vanderbilt’s last two wins were of the wire-to-wire variety and it’s kind of important that the team can still win if they don’t just light the nets on fire from the word “go.” That’s something that was missing in losses to Ole Miss and (especially) Missouri in recent weeks.
- Luke Kornet ended up shooting 3-of-11 from the floor and did basically nothing in the first half, and still ended up as the team MVP for the night.
- Riley LaChance was quietly solid. This is the good Riley LaChance that we’ve seen most of this year.
- The minutes distribution last night as a bit curious. Joe Toye was having a good game, posting the highest GS/Min on the team, and wound up playing 24 minutes. That’s a bit odd, considering he wasn’t in foul trouble.
- Matthew Fisher-Davis... eh. That’s acceptable, but if there’s a negative to this season, it’s that MFD hasn’t progressed to the point that he’s not hurting the team when his shot isn’t falling. But his shot was falling last night, so what are you going to do?
- I hate when Jeff Roberson is saddled with foul trouble. Roberson played just nine minutes in the second half (and let’s be honest, Texas A&M’s frontcourt is a bad matchup for him.)
- Nolan Cressler had a bit of an off night and didn’t hurt the team. That’s miles better than last year.
- I’m waiting for Payton Willis to start making his free throws. Willis came in with a reputation as a shooter and that hasn’t really panned out, though he’s shooting 63 percent inside the arc this season so... maybe get to the basket more Payton?
- The last couple of games, Djery Baptiste has moved on from Darius Coulibaly and is slowly working his way into the Ted Skuchas/Greg LaPointe range.
- Clevon Brown clearly earned himself some more minutes by being one of the few Commodores who actually played well in the Missouri game, but it wasn’t really happening last night. Freshmen gonna freshmen, I guess.
The Commodores have a quick turnaround before welcoming the South Carolina Game Penises to Memorial Gym at 7:30 PM CT on Saturday night. Game time is 7:30 PM CT and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.