Of Vanderbilt’s five-man freshman class, Carter Lang in some sense might have the easiest path to playing time: he’s one of just two players on the roster taller than 6’8”, and Lee Dort is recovering from an offseason foot injury. If Vanderbilt wants to go big, well, they just don’t have a lot of options to do that.
On the other hand, Vanderbilt might just go small. Lang, the 6’9”, 235-pound freshman from Charlottesville, Virginia, was a two-time All-State selection in Virginia and averaged 18.3 points, 14.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game as a senior. The 247 Sports composite ranked him as the #171 prospect in the Class of 2023, third among Vanderbilt’s incoming freshmen. Now let’s take a look at a scouting video and make an amateur attempt at scouting.
So the thing that jumps out at me as probably the strength of Lang’s game is rebounding. He doesn’t look to be especially long or athletic — hell, he looks like he might not even be able to dunk at 6’9” — but he makes up for that with physicality. He’s a lefty shooter who has the makings of being able to play as a stretch four, though on that scouting video his jump shot needs some work. He also looks like a good passer.
Guys like this can always carve out a role for themselves, though the fail rate for big men who aren’t top-shelf athletes tends to be much higher than those who are: Lee Dort if nothing else can get minutes as a shot-blocking specialist, but there aren’t really any guarantees for Lang. For this season, the range of outcomes for Lang goes all the way from “valued rotation big man giving the team 15-20 quality minutes a night” to “14th man on the roster who barely gets off the bench.” (And yes, there are 13 scholarship players on the roster. I know this.)