2-5 (0-0) AP: NR Coaches: NR Last Season NET: 126
December 3, 2023
1:00PM CT at Memorial Gymnasium
SEC Network+ | Live Radio Call
7-1 (0-0) AP: NR Coaches: NR Last Season NET: 99
Undefeated no more! Against what may be the best team in the country right now (I think only South Carolina really has a comparable resume so far, but I would argue NC State’s is still stronger), we came up just 8 points short after falling behind by as many as 26. I hate to single out a player, but Iyana Moore went 0-10 from the field. No loss is ever an individual player’s fault, but when one of your starters has a bad night, it really holds you back. NC State is a great team, though, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of about this game. Our first-half defense did a great job of keeping the Wolfpack in check, and if we had been a little less sluggish shooting, I think we could have kept it tied up going into the half. Of course, they Wolfpack also out-rebounded us by 15; their team is just much bigger than ours. There’s only so much you can do to make up for size. Despite that, and this is what I want to take away more than anything else, this team never gives up. Out of all the different teams at Vanderbilt (football, men’s basketball, baseball, bowling, men’s and women’s golf, etc.) I feel like this is the only team I can count on to fight to the end 100% of the time.
Now, turning towards the rest of the season, I’m going to get ahead of myself just a bit: I think we can enter SEC play as a 1-loss team. Peeking through the next six games on the schedule, LA Tech, Radford, and FDU all have losing records. Obviously, anything can happen, but I do think we’ll have the advantage in all three of these home games. As for Butler, Lipscomb, and Dayton, I guess the Bulldogs could give us some trouble, but our program is getting to a place where we should (hopefully) have the talent and coaching where we can consistently beat up on a certain level of school without having to worry too too much. Our per-game stats are better in over half the categories listed on ESPN than those three teams, and we have beaten Fairfield and Iowa State, giving us rather large transitive wins over Butler and Lipscomb, respectively.
Once again, anything can happen in any given game, but Vandy has been getting better as the season has progressed, and I don’t see any reason for that to stop. Lipscomb and Butler will both be hard outs, but I think our team is good enough to show up in Starkville with only one loss behind us.