January 21, 2023
After splitting a pair of home games against Arkansas and Alabama, Vanderbilt basketball goes on the road to play the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia is 13-5 a year after going 6-26 and 1-17 in the SEC, and the whiplash here is instructive on the reality of college basketball in the transfer portal era.
Two seasons ago, Georgia looked like a program on the rise, going 14-12 with a young roster. Then promising players Sahvir Wheeler, Toumani Camara, Tye Fagan, and KD Johnson all bailed for reasons that were never explained and are never gonna be, because that’s just the way the transfer portal works: why explain what’s actually going on in the program when you can just take more NIL money and tell fans who only cared about you because you were playing for their team to respect your decision. (Sup, Ray Davis?) That led to the 6-26 season, and now, with new coach Mike White having raided the transfer portal himself, the team is improved. There are no rebuilds any more, just the ebbs and flows of the portal.
Have I mentioned that I low-key hate the direction that college sports are going? But then I watched an NBA game last night and am just flat-out bewildered by the gimmicky nonsense that is advancing the ball on a timeout, and quarters. But I am low-key happy that unapologetic Super Team chasers like LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook are playing on this shitshow of a Lakers team, just like I’m happy when a guy who’s the second-leading scorer hits the portal and winds up barely getting off the bench and his coach getting fired for committing a felony. Not thinking of anyone in particular there.