I didn’t bother writing up report cards for three of Vanderbilt’s walk-ons. Braelee Albert, who played 170 minutes for the Commodores this season, falls in a different bucket.
Albert saw his minutes drop from 2020 to 2021, and that’s the kind of thing that can be indicative of a program getting healthier more than anything else. As a freshman, Albert was on a team that had nine scholarship players available for most of SEC play, and one of those was little-used Oton Jankovic, and Vanderbilt would also lose Matthew Moyer to injury late in the season. As such, somebody had to play minutes, and Albert — a player whose best skill appears to be his ability to draw charges — got a significant amount of time.
This season was a bit different. Vanderbilt did have some injury issues, and those seemed to coincide with the times that Albert saw the floor a lot — he started and played 27 minutes at Alabama (with Clevon Brown and Quentin Millora-Brown not playing), and started two more games, both of which came with Scotty Pippen Jr. out of the lineup. But he didn’t play at all between December 22 and February 6, and he didn’t appear in either of Vanderbilt’s SEC Tournament games.
Albert is apparently a good shooter in practice, but that has yet to translate to games; he shot 4-of-21 from the floor in 2020-21 after going 10-of-38 in 2019-20. He had an 80.7 offensive rating (not good) and a 107.4 defensive rating (which roughly translates to Vanderbilt’s defense being four points worse than normal per 100 possessions with him on the floor.)
With all that said, I’m kind of grading on a curve here, because what are we really expecting from a walk-on who otherwise would be playing at Brown? Maybe he’ll get some shots to fall next season and become a more useful player — or if not, he’ll lose minutes to incoming recruits.