It was one thing to lose to Presbyterian in the season opener. A warning sign, but that was one game.
That was followed by three wins over the likes of USC Upstate, UNC Greensboro, and Central Arkansas by a grand total of 15 points, followed by the current three-game losing streak that started with a deceptively close 84-78 loss to NC State, followed by an 82-67 loss to Arizona State that Vanderbilt was never really in, a home game against Boston College in the ACC/SEC Challenge was a chance to stop the bleeding, with Ezra Manjon returning to join Tyrin Lawrence in what looked like one of the SEC’s best backcourts coming into the season.
Instead, we got a debacle. Boston College ran out to a 44-23 lead at halftime on their way to an 80-62 win in Memorial Gym. I personally didn’t watch much of the game and regret turning it on; after putting my kids to bed I came downstairs and saw Boston College’s 7-footer Quinten Post scoring after posting up Manjon, who’s generously listed at 6’0”, thought “what the hell am I watching?” and kept the game on in the background for the remainder of the second half, but was mostly checked out.
You know, as we all kind of are.
What’s more, there’s really no good explanation for any of this. Manjon missed the two games in Vegas last week, but the offense has looked discombobulated when he’s played — which, by the way, is not really Manjon’s fault. After swearing in the offseason that he was going to shorten his bench early on, Stackhouse is still screwing around with the rotations. Tonight, walk-on Jordan Williams drew a start for no particular reason, and it’s never a great sign when this is going on:
Jerry Stackhouse said he wanted to play older guys more in the first half but decided to go deeper in the bench in the second half when they didn't perform which is when Jason Rivera-Torres got a chance— Aria Gerson (@aria_gerson) November 30, 2023
And meanwhile, over at Belmont, Malik Dia is averaging 16 a night, while Vanderbilt currently has one guy over 6’8” (freshman Carter Lang.)
It’s a disaster. It’s time to move on.