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Richmond 93, Vanderbilt 92: An encouraging effort in a loss

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Let’s be real: last year’s team would have lost that game by 15.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 11 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Vanderbilt Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Four Factors

Four Factors Vanderbilt Richmond
Four Factors Vanderbilt Richmond
eFG% 61.40% 52.10%
OR% 29.40% 22.50%
TO% 22.90% 13.30%
FT Rate 24.20% 32.90%

Tennessean: Vandy falls to Richmond in overtime

The easiest way to sum up the first three games of Vanderbilt’s 2019-20 basketball season: the worst shooting performance of the three would have been the seventh-best in all of the 2018-19 season.

And, the 61.4 percent eFG last night was better than all but three last season. Last year, Vanderbilt shot better than that against Savannah State, Winthrop, and UNC Asheville; two of those teams ranked among the worst in Division I, while Darius Garland was still playing for the team against Winthrop. Jerry Stackhouse has the right idea of what to do with this team: shoot a lot of three-pointers, play a defense that forces a lot of turnovers, and hope for the best.

What happened against Richmond, then, is what happens when this team runs into a team that’s allergic to turnovers. Like a lot of disciples of Pete Carril, Chris Mooney’s teams don’t cough the ball up much; even last year, when they were going 13-20, Richmond ranked 18th in turnover rate. And Vanderbilt might have won this game if it hadn’t committed 19 turnovers itself, or if it had shot better than 11-of-16 at the foul line — or Richmond had shot worse than 20-of-23. It was that close.

Really, though, the biggest takeaway from last night is that while I’m not sure that Vanderbilt basketball is good again, it’s definitely fun. I don’t have anywhere close to the sense of dread that I had at the end of last season, which is good. Last year’s team probably would have seen Richmond go on a 12-0 run late in the second half and folded; this year’s team fought back and got to overtime — and probably would have won if Dylan Disu had caught a pass from Saben Lee at the end of overtime. It’s an amazing contrast with the sadness of last season.

Individual Stats

Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PTS PF AST TO BLK STL AdjGS GS/Min Plus/Minus
Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PTS PF AST TO BLK STL AdjGS GS/Min Plus/Minus
Aaron Nesmith 39 12 18 7 12 3 6 0 7 7 34 3 0 4 2 0 31.57 0.81 0
Saben Lee 35 8 17 2 5 6 6 0 2 2 24 2 8 5 0 3 25.34 0.72 5
Dylan Disu 33 3 9 3 9 2 2 1 4 5 11 3 1 0 0 3 13.96 0.42 3
Clevon Brown 37 3 3 0 0 0 2 2 6 8 6 2 0 1 3 0 10.57 0.29 0
Jordan Wright 14 3 8 1 3 0 0 4 0 4 7 0 1 1 0 0 6.91 0.49 0
Maxwell Evans 27 2 4 2 2 0 0 0 5 5 6 2 2 2 0 0 5.56 0.21 -1
Scotty Pippen Jr. 24 2 4 0 2 0 0 1 4 5 4 5 3 3 0 1 2.71 0.11 -3
Ejike Obinna 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.41 0.10 -4
Oton Jankovic 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 -0.54 -0.27 -2
Matthew Moyer 9 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 -4.47 -0.50 -3
  • Aaron Nesmith set a new career high, and Saben Lee tied his. With that said: Nesmith had four turnovers and missed three free throws; Lee had five turnovers. But they’re going to have to carry this team.
  • This looks like something to build on for Dylan Disu, who was already looking like an active defender through two games and now showed something of an offensive game.
  • Clevon Brown wasn’t as involved on the offensive end as he was in the first two games, but this is hardly a complaint; he wasn’t hurting the team at all.
  • Jordan Wright had a quality stretch about midway through the first half (in which he scored all seven of his points) and then basically disappeared afterward.
  • Bad game for Scotty Pippen Jr., who fouled out (albeit on the final play of the game) and also wasn’t doing much positive. And the less said about the three players at the bottom of the box score, the better.

What’s Next

Vanderbilt has almost an entire week off before hosting Austin Peay on Wednesday, November 20, at 7:00 PM CT at Memorial Gym. That game, like most of the rest of the nonconference schedule, will be broadcast on the SEC Network+.