Vanderbilt Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Vanderbilt Commodores

SEC (19-15, 10-8)

The overall record may not look all that impressive, but Vanderbilt picked up some impressive victories throughout the 2016-2017 campaign. Coach Bryce Drew did more than most expected during his first season leading the Commodores, but by late January this was one of the best teams in the SEC. After spurning a four game losing streak with a big win at Florida, Vanderbilt beat Iowa State, South Carolina and Florida, again, before the end of the regular season.
Big Wins: 1/21 at Florida (68-66), 1/28 Iowa State (84-78), 2/18 South Carolina (71-62)
Bad Losses: 11/21 Bucknell (72-75), 1/7 at Alabama (56-59), 2/11 at Missouri (52-72)
Coach: Bryce Drew
Why They Can Surprise:
This is a team that shoots well from everywhere on the floor, especially beyond the arc. Every single player in the seven man rotation is a big threat to shoot the long ball and that makes this a very, very difficult team to defend. Matthew Fisher-Davis, a 6-5 wing, is the most prolific outside shooter. He averages points per game and connects on 33.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Point guard Riley LaChance and shooting guard Nolan Cressler are the most efficient three-point shooters on the team. LaChance shoots 44.3 percent from three-point territory, while Cressler connects on 38.8 percent of his attempts. There are not many teams that hit as many three-pointers as the Commodores and not many that can hit them as consistently as this group either.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Vanderbilt has some size, most notably 7-1 senior Luke Kornet. Kornet is a matchup nightmare with his shooting ability, but he can only do so much on the glass. Forward Jeff Roberson is the more effective rebounder, yet Vanderbilt will lose out on the rebounding battle against good teams. Vanderbilt cannot afford to lose the rebounding battle too much though since they will likely lose out on more possessions due to their inability to win the turnover battle. It is not so much the turnovers committed that cause a problem, but the Vanderbilt defense rarely forces turnovers. It can take a lot of three-pointers to catch up to all of those extra possessions Vanderbilt gives their opposition and sooner rather than later that will catch up to Coach Drew and company.
Probable Starters:
Riley LaChance, Junior, Guard, 11.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.4 rpg
Nolan Cressler, Senior, Guard, 8.7 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.2 rpg
Joe Toye, Sophomore, Forward, 7.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Jeff Roberson, Junior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Luke Kornet, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.0 apg
Key Role Players:
Payton Willis, Freshman, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.4 apg
Matthew Fisher-Davis, Junior, Guard, 12.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (216th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.0 (88, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.7 (222, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (116, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.9 (15, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.0 (53, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.0 (13, 1)
Rebound Margin: 0.4 (182, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (201, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (117, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Opening Round loss to Wichita State
2015    NIT      First Round win over St. Mary's
2015    NIT      Second Round win over South Dakota State
2015    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Stanford
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Harvard
2012    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Richmond
2010    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Murray State
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Siena
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over George Washington
2007    NCAA Round of 32 win over Washington State
2007    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Georgetown
2006    NIT      First Round loss to Notre Dame
*all team stats through 3/5