Unlike the previous two walk-ons I’ve reviewed, Jon Jossell didn’t have a moment.
The former student manager, who joined the team as a walk-on in the fall, appeared in 12 games and played 51 minutes for the 2019-20 Vanderbilt Commodores. He didn’t score — missing both of his field goal attempts — and committed seven fouls; he also had five rebounds and four steals.
But Jossell’s usage was telling, and not just because of Vanderbilt’s short bench for much of the winter. He played ten minutes in three games — the Texas A&M game on January 11, the Georgia game on February 22, and the Ole Miss game on February 29. Two of those just happened to be two of the least inspired performances by the basketball team this season. (The third least-inspiring performance, at Florida on February 15, saw Jossell play five minutes.)
The 5’9”, 160-pound walk-on and former student manager was a motivational tool, the kind of player that Bryce Drew probably could have used in 2018-19. You don’t want to play hard? Fine, you can sit on the bench and watch Jossell play instead. (Interestingly, though, Jossell did appear in all three of Vanderbilt’s SEC wins, too.)
We can hope that Vanderbilt soon gets to the point where players like Jon Jossell aren’t playing ten minutes in an SEC game; until then, we’re memorializing the guy who was there to make sure the scholarship players didn’t take playing time for granted.
Grade: B — I mean, what were we really expecting here?