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Game 15: Vanderbilt Commodores at LSU Tigers — Open Game Thread

Dead cat bounce, or real improvement?

NCAA Basketball: Winthrop at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

5-9 (0-1)
NR (Coaches)
184 (KenPom)

January 9, 2024
8:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Radio: WQZQ 830 AM/93.3 FM(TuneIn)

9-5 (1-0)
NR (Coaches)
83 (KenPom)

Have the last three games been a dead cat bounce, or is Vanderbilt basketball actually turning a corner?

One of the cool things about Bart Torvik’s ratings is that you can filter them by date. Through December 22 — the day before the Memphis game — Vanderbilt had played like the #261 team in the country. That is, obviously, very bad. Since then — a three-game sample, sure — they’ve played like the #84 team in the country. That’s still not what I would call good by any stretch — in other words, they’ve gone from playing like a bottom-half team in a mid-major league to playing like, uh, a team that might get an NIT bid, and the record over those three games has still been 1-2, with losses to Memphis and Alabama that came down to the final possession sandwiched around an easy-ish win over Dartmouth.

I’m not going to pretend like this is where we want the basketball program to be, or that this should completely erase the first 11 games of the season. But, hey, maybe we’ll see a few wins the rest of the way?