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Anchor Drop, March 17, 2021: The Transfer Portal Taketh

Three Vanderbilt basketball players have entered the transfer portal this week.

SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament - Florida v Vanderbilt Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Well, the Vanderbilt basketball program is up to three players in the transfer portal. As expected, redshirt junior center Ejike Obinna entered the portal on Sunday night; yesterday, it was another redshirt junior, DJ Harvey, and then senior guard Maxwell Evans entered it too:

My thought on this is that so far, this is the healthier version of losing players to the transfer portal. It sounds like, based on his postgame comments after the season-ending loss to Florida, Jerry Stackhouse had already expected Obinna to leave (reportedly because he wants to pursue a graduate program that Vanderbilt doesn’t offer.) And as Simon Gibbs pointed out on Twitter yesterday, Joe Rexrode read Harvey’s postgame comments last week as stating his intention to transfer:

As for Evans, well, he was a senior who we were expecting to lose either way. The NCAA did grant everyone an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, but I was expecting Evans to move on; that he’s decided to see if he can catch on at another program for his final year isn’t a huge surprise, and while it would have been helpful to have him back, that certainly wasn’t something you would have planned on happening.

There are players whose departure (to the transfer portal, anyway) would say bad things about the state of the program, but this isn’t that. Obinna was averaging 8 minutes a game in 2020-21 and didn’t figure to see more playing time next season, assuming Quentin Millora-Brown and Akeem Odusipe take advantage of the offseason to improve their games. DJ Harvey was a worse player than Jordan Wright, who’s a sophomore, and he also might have lost playing time to Myles Stute next season. Evans, from all appearances, is leaving for reasons that have nothing to do with basketball. Now, if guys who are playing real minutes and project to play the same or increased minutes next season start leaving, that’s a problem. This isn’t, and the departures of Harvey and Obinna mean that Vanderbilt now has two scholarships available for next season going into the spring.

Baseball beat Belmont 4-1 last night as Christian Little made his case to move into the weekend rotation.

Football opens spring practice today, and as Robbie Weinstein notes, the Commodores welcome back a few players who opted out or missed much of last season, including Cole Clemens, Bryce Bailey, Jonathan Stewart, Feleti Afemui, and Donovan Kaufman.

And finally, don’t forget to join the AoG Bracket Challenge.

SEC Baseball Last Night

Murray State 13, Kentucky 8 ... Auburn 9, Lipscomb 7 ... Oklahoma 8, Arkansas 5 ... Mississippi State 10, Samford 2 ... Tennessee 9, ETSU 6 ... Florida State 10, Florida 2 ... Louisiana Tech 13, Ole Miss 1 ... LSU 10, SE Louisiana 7 ... Texas A&M 9, Houston 4.