The worst thing about being a Vanderbilt fan is that your team frequently finds new ways to rip your heart out. The worst thing about being a Vanderbilt fan and blogger is that tuning out isn’t really an option.
For the first time in its history, Vanderbilt basketball is 0-4 in the SEC. The feeling after last night’s game isn’t anger, just numbness. Vanderbilt pissed away a 12-point second-half lead in completely predictable fashion, with the offense going cold at exactly the wrong time and helping the other team along in its comeback with missed free throws and mistakes. I guess, if you want to try to put a positive spin on it, it’s the kind of thing you expect to see from a young team that may still be figuring out how to win in the SEC.
And indeed, in four SEC games, Vanderbilt has been outscored by a total of 41 points — and it’s been outscored by 42 points in the last ten minutes of those games. With ten minutes left in the game, Vanderbilt led Ole Miss by three, trailed Georgia by four, trailed Kentucky by five, and led South Carolina by seven. If the games were 30 minutes long, Vanderbilt would be 2-2 in the SEC instead of the 0-4 it actually is.
Of course, that’s minor solace considering the games are 40 minutes long and this team doesn’t know how to make the plays to win. Is that coaching or inexperience or some combination of the two? I don’t know. What I do know is that the next four games — Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Kentucky at home, with a road trip to Oklahoma in the middle of it — will either bring new life to the season or end it.
This team doesn’t feel like it’s that far away sometimes, and yet it is. I’m not giving up on the season — mostly because I can’t — but I totally get why you might want to just come back for baseball season.
The women’s basketball team will play Auburn tonight at 7:00 PM CT at Memorial Gym. The game will be streamed on the SEC Network+.