#25 Vanderbilt Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Vanderbilt Commodores

Overall rank: #25
Conference rank: #6 SEC
Vanderbilt Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Vanderbilt Team Page


At the end of last season, it seemed like the good and the bad followed each other for Vanderbilt. After a strong regular season that included a five-game winning streak and an upset of Tennessee, the Volunteers knocked out Vanderbilt in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. Vanderbilt qualified for the NCAA tournament, beat Middle Tennessee State and then lost to Duke in the second round. The good news is all of the top scorers are back, and that could spell a strong season in Nashville.

2011-12 record: 23-10, 9-7
2011-12 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Melanie Balcomb
Coach Record: 401-198 overall, 238-94 at Vanderbilt

Balcomb, who has 10 NCAA appearances in 10 seasons and just as many 20-win campaigns, seems poised for her 11th straight thanks to a powerful lineup. The top four starters -- Christina Foggie, Jasmine Lister, Tiffany Clarke and Stephanie Holzer -- all are back, and they averaged a combined 52 points per game. Consider that Vanderbilt averaged 71.8 per contest, so if the Commodores can find solid bench scoring that number should go up. The good news about Vanderbilt is the leaders in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals are all back this year. That means the Commodores won’t have to fill many holes.

The one thing that kills Vanderbilt’s chances of getting a higher tournament seed is the Southeastern Conference, a league known to many as one of the toughest in college basketball. The fact Vanderbilt is among the top 30 and ranked just sixth in its conference is a surprise. Still, it won’t hurt Vanderbilt too much if it can produce more scoring. A weaker non-conference slate could inflate Vanderbilt’s win total prior to the start of SEC play, but that’s more of a nitpick than anything else. The reality is this team has a lot of potential weaknesses already patched up.

Final Projection:
The last time Vanderbilt reached 25 wins was 2008-09, when it won 26 games and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. It is not implausible that the Commodores could reach that plateau this season with all of the scoring and intangibles they have back. Vanderbilt showed it could pull off some surprises last year (Pat Summitt could certainly vouch for that, thanks to Tennessee’s loss in the regular season), but everyone will be watching in Nashville for a repeat.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Christina Foggie, Junior, Guard, 17.7 points per game, 43 steals
Jasmine Lister, Junior, Guard, 12.5 points per game, 176 assists
Tiffany Clarke, Senior, Forward, 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds
Stephanie Holzer, Junior, Center, 11.0 points, 48 blocks
Kady Schrann, Sophomore, Guard, 6.7 points

Madness 2012 Women's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#49 Morgan Batey
#74 Jasmine Jenkins