Given how the first three SEC games went, we really probably shouldn't tempt fate by complaining about anything that happened in Vanderbilt's 75-57 win over Auburn.
But, well, this game could have been closer than it was.
Auburn, a team that normally shoots 37 percent from three-point range, shot 18 percent from beyond the arc. Auburn, a team that normally shoots 63 percent from the foul line, shot 45 percent. With Vanderbilt sitting at 351st in the country in luck per Ken Pomeroy, we've discussed luck around here a lot lately, and let's just say that Vanderbilt had quite a bit of that on their side last night. If Auburn shoots their season averages from three-point range and from the foul line, this is a three-point game.
And the Tigers shot over 50 percent on two-pointers that Luke Kornet did not block.
So Auburn's shooting percentages cannot be entirely ascribed to good luck on Vanderbilt's part. Auburn actually shot 40 percent on two-pointers, which is a big dropoff from their percentage on two-pointers that Luke didn't block. Because Luke blocked 10 of those. School record and everything.
Still... yeah, that game could have been a lot closer than it actually ended up being. The Commodores shot the living crap out of the ball and Auburn couldn't shoot at all... but Vanderbilt also turned the ball over on a quarter of their possessions. The Tigers couldn't do much to stop Vanderbilt when they weren't coughing it up, but still.
Now, it's possible that Vanderbilt was taking it easy on poor Auburn after jumping out to a big lead early on. Or that they were just giving Kevin Stallings something to yell at them about. I don't know. Either way, though, this didn't feel like a blowout. It was satisfying just because it was a win, but that didn't feel good.
|Wade Baldwin IV||33||5||9||1||2||6||8||0||7||7||2||17||10||4||0||0||19.7||0.60|
- Yeah, the guy who had the triple-double didn't post the highest Game Score. Then again, Wade Baldwin IV came fairly close to a triple-double himself, and Luke Kornet had some troubles at the foul line late in the game (it was almost like he was making it as hard as possible.)
- Did you notice that Jeff Roberson went for 14 and 8 on 5-of-7 shooting? That happened, and the announcers barely mentioned it, because that was only the third most impressive stat line on the team.
- Oh, welcome back, Riley LaChance's shooting stroke! We missed you.
- I would not be surprised if Damian Jones murders a ref before the season is over.
- Josh Henderson was adequate. Josh Henderson also played more minutes than Damian Jones. Again with the refs...
- The bench was thoroughly unimpressive; other than Hendo, the bench's contributions consisted of a Samir Sehic stick-back and... that was pretty much it.
Anyway -- after the start to SEC play, we can't really complain too much about a game that ended in a win, and particularly a win that wasn't close. But there are not many teams left on the schedule against whom Vanderbilt can play like that and expect to win. Vanderbilt can't expect to have a 63.7% eFG every time out, nor can they expect Luke Kornet to block 10 shots every night. At some point, Vanderbilt is going to have to figure out ways to win that do not involve shooting the living crap out of the basketball. Alabama, who comes to town on Saturday, is a much better defensive team than Auburn and this just isn't going to fly.