File this under “things that are not surprising at all”:
When he signed to play at Vanderbilt in November 2017, Simi Shittu was the highest-rated recruit in school history — even higher than Darius Garland. With that pedigree, Shittu was widely expected to be a one-and-done, and that’s exactly what happened.
The part that was unexpected was the part where, even in the absence of Garland, Shittu was Vanderbilt’s third-leading scorer, averaging 10.9 ppg for the season — and that number dropped to 9.1 ppg in SEC play, shooting 43 percent from the field and a ghastly 45 percent at the free throw line. He did lead Vanderbilt in rebounding, and he did have the excuse of being just a year removed from a torn ACL. The upside of a player who goes 6’10” and 240 pounds with good athleticism was apparent early on, but his actual performance was not good: of the 94 SEC players who played at least 40 percent of their team’s minutes, Simi ranked 91st in Offensive Rating. Some fans accused him of being disinterested, an accusation that wasn’t really refuted by his performance at the NBA Combine:
So, after signing two McDonald’s All-Americans in the 2018 recruiting class, Vanderbilt officially had zero SEC wins and a fired coach to show for it. Good times.