Vanderbilt Basketball - Big Changes Ahead

Vanderbilt Men's Basketball
Vanderbilt Basketball – Big Changes Ahead
How was it Vandy fans? How was that time when your team was considered an SEC competitor and was a sure thing to make March Madness? I’m only asking because it is over, sharply and completely over.
The Commodores made the Big Dance three years running, culminating in a conference tournament championship last season. That squad was talented, with perhaps the most star power outside of Kentucky. Next year’s squad…will not be.
Twenty points-per-game scorer John Jenkins departed for the NBA. All-around star Jeffery Taylor went with him, as did star center Festus Ezeli. To compound matters, the rest of Vanderbilt’s starting lineup were seniors, as was their sixth man off the bench. That’s right; Vanderbilt lost their top six players from last season’s team. Those players represented over 92 percent of their scoring. No returning player averaged more than Kedren Johnson’s 3.1 points and 14.5 minutes per contest. For Vandy’s sake, I hope Johnson is ready for an increase in playing time.
But it is more than losing the numbers that Vanderbilt will be without. Ezeli, Taylor and Jenkins were national stars, something Vanderbilt is not normally known for. Ezeli is the school’s all-time leader in blocks. Taylor ranks third all-time in career points for the school and Jenkins is top five in career points per game as a Commodore as well as being just the school’s third All-American since the turn of the century. All three men leave together, not allowing for any sort of layered rebuild or slow decline. Vanderbilt will assuredly plummet down the SEC ranks this coming season with no leadership to guide them, let alone anyone who is used to scoring the basketball.