Every college basketball team has 13 scholarships, but sometimes, figuring out what to do with the last couple of scholarships is hard. After all... does anybody really want to come in and be the 12th or 13th scholarship player?
Emmanuel Ansong wasn’t recruited to Vanderbilt. After playing two years at Division II Wheeling and two more at Green Bay, he came to Vanderbilt to pursue a graduate degree — then, in August, he was added to the basketball team. Jerry Stackhouse had a scholarship available, and Ansong had Division I experience.
That was... fine? Ansong wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a power conference player — he averaged 11 ppg for an awful Horizon League team — but then, if it was between him and just having a scholarship unused, why not? Ansong wasn’t a good player for Vanderbilt by any stretch — he shot 46.4 percent on two-pointers, 31.3 percent on threes, and 41.7 percent from the foul line.
What he did do was provide energy off the bench. He posted good rebound and block rates at 6’4” even though his offensive punch was minimal. He didn’t play as much from February on as Jerry Stackhouse tightened the rotation, but he bought some time for Vanderbilt’s young players to get their feet wet. I can think of worse uses for the 13th scholarship.