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Anchor Drop, March 30, 2018: Baseball goes to Florida

The VandyBoys take a trip to the Sunshine State this weekend.

College World Series - Virginia v Vanderbilt - Game One Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Good morning.

The Vanderbilt baseball team opens a three-game series at Florida tonight. Starters for this weekend: Drake Fellows tonight, Patrick Raby on Saturday, and Mason Hickman on Sunday — which, given the results so far this season, is a rotation I can’t really argue with. First pitch tonight is at 5:30 PM CT and tonight’s game will be televised on the SEC Network+ and WatchESPN.

Men’s tennis will host Texas A&M at 4:00 PM CT today. This weekend’s matches are the final home games of the season for the Commodores. will have a live stream of the match.

Rivals’ Eric Bossi asked some McDonald’s All-Americans where they think the three uncommitted players (including Vandy targets Romeo Langford and E.J. Montgomery) will go. Let’s turn to the Twitters in case you’re not a Rivals subscriber...

So, yeah. Who really knows. As far as that first tweet, Chris Mack contacted Romeo after being named Louisville’s coach, but it seems Romeo isn’t interested in playing for his hometown school any longer, and honestly, with the ongoing FBI investigation it’s probably a bad situation. If he were planning to be a four-year player that might not make a difference, but if there’s a chance that Louisville will be banned from the NCAA Tournament next year, you’d probably want to stay away.

The other thing here is that I have a weird gut feeling that Kansas, not Indiana, is our main competition for Romeo. Some speculation as to why he’s delaying his decision is that he wants to wait and see if Malik Newman declares for the NBA Draft (Newman declared and then withdrew after his freshman year at Mississippi State, so he’s burned his one chance to test the waters already.) Romeo would get playing time at Kansas either way, but playing alongside Newman means that he might not be the focal point of the offense — which he would be here.

It’s really just baseless speculation on my part, but I’m sensing that he’s really deciding between Vanderbilt and Kansas.

Off the West End

Mark Emmert is doubling down on amateurism in the wake of the FBI investigation into the shadier side of college hoops.

Here’s the deal: as much as the flak the NCAA receives is well-deserved, I still believe that most of the problem is, at its core, a problem with two of the four major professional sports leagues in the country barring the door to playing professionally for many players who are, in fact, capable of playing professionally. As long as budding 18-year-old football players have no realistic path to the NFL other than spending three years in college, boosters interested in winning are going to figure out a way to line their pockets. There can never be any real reform on the NCAA’s part as long as that hole exists.

In my opinion, turning your fire at the NCAA is misplaced. Notice how no one complains about college baseball players not getting paid — because if they want to get paid and not put up with the NCAA, they can just go play in the minor leagues.

Speaking of which, McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley is going to the G-League rather than college. Hey, if you’d rather play professional basketball right away than go to college, I’m not really going to argue with you after I just wrote that last paragraph.

The Preds won their 50th game of the season, the first time they’ve won 50 games since 2006-07.