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Anchor Drop, May 25, 2019: 98 Days to Kickoff

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Vanderbilt faces LSU in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

We’re 98 days away from Vanderbilt’s season opener against Georgia, or 14 weeks, for those of you who are bad at math. #98 on Vanderbilt’s roster is the kicker, Ryley Guay. (Cue non sequitur rant: 98 is the number of a 325-pound defensive tackle, not a freaking kicker. Screw you and your lack of uniform numbering schemes, college football.) The 5’10”, 190-pound senior from Naperville, Illinois, took over as Vanderbilt’s primary placekicker in 2018 after Tommy Openshaw graduated and was excellent if you looked at kickoffs (51 of his 70 kickoffs were not returned) and extra points (a perfect 47-for-47!) On the other hand, Derek Mason mulled changing kickers after Guay went 1-for-3 in the Tennessee State game. The Florida game sort of summed up the season: Guay hit a career-long 53-yarder and also nailed a 42-yarder... and, uh, missed from 25 yards. For the season, he went 4-of-7 inside of 30 yards, a range at which most college kickers are practically automatic; on the other hand, his 13-of-22 overall performance wasn’t terrible. Merely being automatic on chip shots would be a big help for an offense that often struggled to finish drives last season.

All right, you came expecting baseball: Vanderbilt’s baseball team, after being off yesterday, returns to action today for an SEC Tournament semifinal matchup against LSU. LSU, which will be playing its fifth game in as many days, has a terribly depleted pitching staff right now even after run-ruling Mississippi State by a 12-2 score on Friday night. We can assume Vanderbilt will send Kumar Rocker out there on Saturday; game time is roughly 3:30 PM CT, and today’s game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Last week, the women’s golf team struggled with the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and on Friday, it was the men’s turn. Vanderbilt shot a 17-over-par 307 on Friday and sits in a tie for 17th, a disappointing performance for the #4 team in the nation. They’ll be back on the course today for the second round.

Kristen Denk qualified for the NCAA Championships in the pole vault.

ICYMI: Simi Shittu will remain in the NBA Draft, forgoing his remaining college eligibility.

Off the West End

From our sister blogs: Rock M Nation ponders whether they’re back in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, but analyzes potential matchups with Big 12 teams, and frankly matching Big 12 teams against other Big 12 teams is not how this works ... and, uh, there’s not much else, guys.

Hey! Simi Shittu isn’t the only former Vanderbilt player staying in the NBA Draft!

(Holy hell would it be weird if Samir Sehic gets drafted and Simi Shittu doesn’t.)

In “Cheating Pays, Part #4,556,770,” the NCAA has reinstated Kansas’s Silvio De Sousa for the 2019-20 season. De Sousa’s guardian, if you weren’t paying attention, took $20,000 from an Adidas rep to send him to Kansas. Kansas, of course, is one of Adidas’s flagship programs. Is this a fucking joke?

Mount Vernon High School in Texas hired a head football coach on Friday, and it was exactly the kind of coaching hire you’d want to put out there around 6 PM on the Friday of a holiday weekend: Art Briles.


In the other SEC Tournament game yesterday, Ole Miss came back to beat Arkansas 3-2. The Rebels will meet Georgia in the other semifinal prior to the Vanderbilt game; that game starts at noon CT.

Former Vanderbilt golf Matthias Schwab holds the lead after two rounds at the European Tour’s Made in Denmark event.

Today: Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors (7:30 PM CT, TNT); David Price takes the mound for the Red Sox in Houston (6:15 PM CT); Mike Minor of the Rangers faces the Angels (9:00 PM CT.)