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Vanderbilt 86, Auburn 57: Uh, We Probably Shouldn't Read Too Much Into That

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Yeah, a blowout win over an SEC foe on the road is nice. But, well...

These guys were on the floor a lot last night.  Which is weird.
These guys were on the floor a lot last night. Which is weird.
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn Four Factors 2

One play early in the second half summed up the game Saturday night.

An Auburn player attempted to pass the ball down into the post.  Wade Baldwin IV deflected the pass, and Baldwin initially didn't go for the ball because -- I'm assuming here -- he figured Auburn's players were closer to the ball and would beat him to it, and he didn't want to get caught out of position.

Except that Auburn's players didn't go for the ball.  Not until Baldwin saw that Auburn was not terribly interested in saving the ball did he hustle for it.  End result was a turnover.

When the calendar turns to February, a game against a bad team that's on a losing streak can go one of two ways, and Vanderbilt saw both this week.  Missouri entered Wednesday night's game on an eight-game losing streak, and even though the season was long ago rendered hopeless, Ryan Rosburg decided that he wants to go out in a blaze of glory anyway, the underclassmen on the team fought hard, and Missouri managed to keep the final score respectable even though they were clearly overmatched.  (Missouri beat Tennessee comfortably on Saturday, so their effort was finally rewarded.)

Auburn took a different tack.  The Tigers' 35.5% eFG on Saturday wasn't really a reflection of anything that Vanderbilt was doing defensively; it was a reflection of the fact that Auburn just decided to hoist terrible shots for no particular reason.  Auburn committed several shot clock violations, and Vanderbilt committed only six turnovers all game -- not so much because the Commodores were handling the ball a lot better than they usually do, but more because the defense just wasn't all that interested in forcing them.  Yeah, Vanderbilt won big on Saturday... but that seemed to be much more a reflection on the other team than it was on the Commodores.

(The only real negative I can find was the low free throw rate, but that's explainable based on the refs being as disinterested as Auburn was.)

Individual Stats

Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PF PTS AST TO BLK STL AdjGS GS/Min
Damian Jones 25 8 12 0 0 1 4 6 3 9 1 17 1 2 1 0 16.7 0.67
Matthew Fisher-Davis 27 6 10 4 8 0 0 0 4 4 1 16 2 0 0 0 15.4 0.57
Wade Baldwin IV 21 3 9 2 4 1 2 1 4 5 1 9 7 1 1 2 13.2 0.63
Nolan Cressler 14 5 6 1 2 0 1 0 3 3 1 11 1 1 0 1 10.9 0.78
Josh Henderson 15 3 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 0 6 1 0 0 0 6.5 0.43
Joe Toye 11 3 4 0 1 1 1 0 2 2 1 7 1 1 0 0 6.0 0.55
Camron Justice 9 3 7 1 3 0 0 0 2 2 1 7 1 0 0 1 5.9 0.66
Luke Kornet 26 2 6 1 3 0 0 0 7 7 0 5 1 1 2 0 5.4 0.21
Riley LaChance 19 2 8 0 4 0 0 1 3 4 1 4 2 0 0 1 3.2 0.17
Samir Sehic 11 0 1 0 1 2 2 0 2 2 3 2 0 0 0 1 1.9 0.18
Nathan Watkins 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1.5 0.49
Carter Josephs 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0.3 0.09
Jeff Roberson 13 0 4 0 2 0 0 0 5 5 3 0 3 0 0 0 -0.5 -0.03
Phillip McGloin 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 -0.5 -0.23
  • The last time Luke Kornet faced Auburn, he had a triple-double with 10 blocks. Luke only blocked two shots last night -- mostly because, well, Auburn wasn't exactly attacking the basket much...
  • Nolan Cressler is seriously this team's garbage-time MVP.
  • Welcome back, Matthew Fisher-Davis's jump shot!  We've missed you.  MFD had shot 4-for-19 from the floor in the previous three games.
  • Obviously, the minutes distribution last night was highly unusual; it's not going to be the norm for Josh Henderson and Nolan Cressler to play more minutes than Jeff Roberson.  Samir Sehic played more minutes last night than in the previous eight games combined. And all 14 players who were available to play (that's not counting Djery Baptiste, who's redshirting) got in the game.
  • Joe Toye and Camron Justice did look impressive in garbage time, at least, though Justice was being guarded mostly by a walk-on.

Up Next

Vanderbilt has managed to avoid bad losses this season, but there's one last chance on the schedule as the Commodores travel to Starkville on Tuesday night to face Mississippi State.  The Bulldogs hammered Arkansas by 32 points on Tuesday... then lost to Georgia at home on Saturday (and trailed by 20 at one point in the second half.)  So I really don't know what to expect out of that game, but it's another game that Vanderbilt needs to win.