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Anchor Drop, February 20, 2019: Offensively Bad

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Both teams had their worst offensive performance of the season last night.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

The good news in Vanderbilt’s 58-46 loss to Tennessee on Tuesday night, such as it was: the 58 points were a season low for the Vols, and even on a per-possession basis, Tennessee had its worst offensive performance of the 2018-19 season. The bad news? Vanderbilt also had its worst offensive performance of the season.

The offensive gameplan that put 83 points on Tennessee last time around was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Vanderbilt took the ball straight at the basket. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but (a) the referees were calling a very loose game and (b) with few outside shooting threats to be concerned about, Tennessee just swarmed every drive to the basket. There were lots of missed layups, but those layups attempted had a high degree of difficulty.

The lack of adjustment to the officiating and what Tennessee was doing is concerning; but then, when you’re a team that shoots 31 percent from the arc, what else were you going to do? The fun part of this is that if Vanderbilt had good shooters lined up on the perimeter and players driving to the basket who could find them, the offense would look just fine. Instead, you get, well, this.

The Vanderbilt swim team finished the first day at the SEC Championships in 12th place.

Baseball has its home opener today, welcoming Evansville to the Hawk at 4:30 PM CT. Today’s game will be streaming on the SEC Network+.

Off the West End

Apparently former NBA referee Tim Donaghy made a lot of money betting on games he was officiating, according to Outside the Lines.

Manny Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with... the San Diego Padres?! That can’t be right.

In any case, I am mystified as to why the Padres stopped using brown and yellow as their colors and started using the same boring dark blue that everybody else uses.

The Alliance of American Football nearly went broke and needed a $250 million cash infusion after just one week. I have questions, like “why is this league going broke” and “what is the angle of the Carolina Hurricanes CEO giving the league $250 million?”

With that said, there is a reason why minor league football played in the spring has never worked in practice. There’s only so much of a market of people who would rather watch subpar football than college basketball, the NBA, the NHL, MLB, or a million other things in the spring. And the leagues that have tried it have, frankly, gone too big from the start. Minor league sports only works when it’s either heavily subsidized by an affiliated, established pro league (like minor league baseball or the G-League), or, like independent league baseball, it’s tiny and doesn’t even try to compete with bigger leagues.