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Vanderbilt hires Memphis Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse as Head Basketball Coach

This could work.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Almost two weeks after Vanderbilt announced that former coach Bryce Drew would not be retained, the Commodores have a new head man. Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse will lead the Commodores in 2019-20.

Stackhouse is still best known for his days as a basketball player. After a two-year college career at North Carolina, Stackhouse was the third overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft and played eighteen seasons in the league, scoring a total of 16,409 points. Since his retirement in 2013, he’s entered coaching, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors before piloting the Raptors 905 (Toronto’s G-League affiliate for two years), going 70-30 in two years, winning the league title in 2016-17 and also being named Coach of the Year, then making it back to the G-League Finals in 2017-18. He’s currently in his first year as an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies.

At Vanderbilt, he’ll have his work cut out for him. The Commodores went 9-23 in 2018-19, including an 0-18 SEC record — the first winless season over an 18-game conference schedule by any SEC team. Drew went 40-59 in his three years at Vanderbilt, and the Commodores have made the NCAA Tournament just twice in the last seven years.

There is certainly some risk involved in hiring Stackhouse, an NBA coach who’s never coached at the college level — though perhaps that risk is overblown. Stackhouse is a coach who’s well-respected among his peers in the NBA, and he’s also run his own AAU program, Stackhouse Elite, since 2011. (If you’re concerned about his ability to recruit, a guy who runs an AAU program is usually good at that.)

We’ll see how this works out. Anchor Down.