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Another 2019 Recruiting Update

For discussion of Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball games and recruiting.

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Matt2309
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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Matt2309 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:48 pm

BelleVUe wrote:We returned more starting experience than this last year coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance with 3, 1000-point multi-year starters, and look where it led. We lost Luke Kornet and Nolan Cressler and added Saben Lee plus a couple others, and we dropped to a 20-loss team.

Losing Shittu and Garland plus Toye will be more damaging than losing Kornet and Cressler. There hasn't been a year in recent memory where we didn't also lose one or more to transfers, and with a similar recruiting class to two years ago (Lee, Evans, Obinna), we'd be looking again at another 20-loss scenario. Thus, this 2019 class better include two of the top 50, or else the coaching staff may need to pay for air conditioning in the Memorial Gym coaching seats.

1. One of those 1000 point guys missed a third of the season
2. Let’s compare the starters from the two teams
Guard Freshman Saben Lee vs Junior Saben Lee
Lol
Guard Senior Riley Lachance vs Sophmore Aaron Nesmith
Fun one to explore here, but Aaron will win, trust me
Wing Freshman Max “6’2 SF” Evans vs Senior Matt Ryan
Lol
PF Senior J Robe vs Senior Clevon Brown
Jeff takes it
Center: Freshman 18 year old played basketball for three years raw big man Ejike Obinna vs Senior Yanni Wetzell
Lol
3. Come on

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby BelleVUe » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:25 pm

I just posted a long reply, and it got erased. I don't have the energy to repeat it, but I will do so later if I can get back on this forum. I keep getting knocked off.
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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Matt2309 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:31 pm

BelleVUe wrote:I just posted a long reply, and it got erased. I don't have the energy to repeat it, but I will do so later if I can get back on this forum. I keep getting knocked off.

I hope you do. It’s always nice having good conversation on the board, especially during the summer when VU is not playing and it’s hard to find things to talk about.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby BelleVUe » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:14 pm

Has anybody else been having trouble signing in and staying signed in today? I have had multiple replies that when I went to submit them presented me a white screen and then upon refreshing, I discovered I had been signed out.

I may try to reply in a word doc and then C&P it to the forum if there is a timing issue.
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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby BelleVUe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:08 am

Let's try this response again with the assumption that no top 50 players are signed to replace DG and SS.

1. The fact that we missed Fisher-Davis for half the season sort of forewarns would could happen if a key starter went down 2 years from now with a weaker roster. You basically have to stay healthy to have a chance with no big stars.

Also, take a closer look at before the Fisher-Davis injury. We were 6-11 with him and 6-9 without him. The bigger issue is why he declined so much. His shot discipline took a nosedive. Under 2 years in the Stallings' offense, he topped 40% from 3-point range, including a hot 44.6% in 2016. In the two years in this regime, his 3-point numbers crashed to 37 and then 33%.

2. It should be a given that Lee will be better as a junior than a freshman, but you would have thought that also for Fisher-Davis, and you could say that Joe Toye was better as a freshman than last year.

3. I will not say that Nesmith as a sophomore will be better than Lachance as a senior. Let's see what Nesmith can do before giving him this much credit. I remember when sharpshooter Art Welhoelter was going to be the next Keith Thomas and 40/20/10 high schooler Spence Young was going to break all of Clyde Lee's records.

4. Matt Ryan better have improved 100% defensively from when he was exploited nightly in the ACC and reduced to the deep bench. He might be a good perimeter shooter and score 10 points a night but yield 15 to the other guy.

5. Yanni Wetzell is being backed into a corner he will have a hard time emerging from. We are talking about a kid that averaged 15 points per game in the Division II Heartland Conference. Don't you think that Djery Baptiste or Ejeke Obinna could have averaged 15 points a game playing against Lubbock Christian, Rogers State, and Newman--say it like Seinfeld. I checked some of the rosters for those teams two years ago, and he was going up against post players that were 6-7 and weighed 180 pounds and another that was 6-7 and weighed 288 pounds. I hear that after that 288 guy now works as a bridge pier.

It is understandable to think more of your guys than the other teams' guys, but it can lead to major disappointments when others not emotionally attached can see a potential crash and burn in 2019-2020 if none of the top players sign to replace the two one and dones on this roster.

I will add that the SEC is getting tougher again after years of taking a back seat to other leagues. The SEC of 2019-2020 will most likely be several points better than the SEC of 2017-18, and it could be that the basketball program drops down into the bottom four or five schools like the football team.

This is a vital year for basketball, both on the floor and in the recruiting wars. The team needs to go from 20 losses to 20 wins, which is not easy. The recruiting battle needs to land at least one of those top guys and one that is the quality of Jeff Taylor or Damion Jones. Forget Wiseman, because he's not coming. But two of those other 5-stars and top 4-stars need to be signed, or it could mean that Coach Drew and staff will need to worry more about installing air conditioners in the coaching seats at Memorial Gym.
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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby docdore » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:23 am

we shall see what we shall see, no? should be interesting to follow......

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby vandy735 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:24 am

BelleVUe wrote:We returned more starting experience than this last year coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance with 3, 1000-point multi-year starters, and look where it led. We lost Luke Kornet and Nolan Cressler and added Saben Lee plus a couple others, and we dropped to a 20-loss team.

Losing Shittu and Garland plus Toye will be more damaging than losing Kornet and Cressler. There hasn't been a year in recent memory where we didn't also lose one or more to transfers, and with a similar recruiting class to two years ago (Lee, Evans, Obinna), we'd be looking again at another 20-loss scenario. Thus, this 2019 class better include two of the top 50, or else the coaching staff may need to pay for air conditioning in the Memorial Gym coaching seats.


I just don't see last year and the year following this one to be comparable situations. Drew put the CKS training wheels on a third of the way into his first season to fit the team's personel. It got the team some wins and ultimately vaulted them into the tourney. The training wheels came off last season and the playbook changed completely. It was certainly ugly at times, but the team is going to be much better for it this season. You also can't discount the loss of MFD last season, Kornet and MFD were two of the top guys on that tourney team and losing both hurt a lot. We also basically had no depth last season after Riley, Jeff and Lee; the other freshman weren't ready for the big time and the rest of the roster was pretty much made up of players with major flaws in their game.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby vandy735 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:35 am

BelleVUe wrote:Let's try this response again with the assumption that no top 50 players are signed to replace DG and SS.

1. The fact that we missed Fisher-Davis for half the season sort of forewarns would could happen if a key starter went down 2 years from now with a weaker roster. You basically have to stay healthy to have a chance with no big stars.

Also, take a closer look at before the Fisher-Davis injury. We were 6-11 with him and 6-9 without him. The bigger issue is why he declined so much. His shot discipline took a nosedive. Under 2 years in the Stallings' offense, he topped 40% from 3-point range, including a hot 44.6% in 2016. In the two years in this regime, his 3-point numbers crashed to 37 and then 33%.

2. It should be a given that Lee will be better as a junior than a freshman, but you would have thought that also for Fisher-Davis, and you could say that Joe Toye was better as a freshman than last year.

3. I will not say that Nesmith as a sophomore will be better than Lachance as a senior. Let's see what Nesmith can do before giving him this much credit. I remember when sharpshooter Art Welhoelter was going to be the next Keith Thomas and 40/20/10 high schooler Spence Young was going to break all of Clyde Lee's records.

4. Matt Ryan better have improved 100% defensively from when he was exploited nightly in the ACC and reduced to the deep bench. He might be a good perimeter shooter and score 10 points a night but yield 15 to the other guy.

5. Yanni Wetzell is being backed into a corner he will have a hard time emerging from. We are talking about a kid that averaged 15 points per game in the Division II Heartland Conference. Don't you think that Djery Baptiste or Ejeke Obinna could have averaged 15 points a game playing against Lubbock Christian, Rogers State, and Newman--say it like Seinfeld. I checked some of the rosters for those teams two years ago, and he was going up against post players that were 6-7 and weighed 180 pounds and another that was 6-7 and weighed 288 pounds. I hear that after that 288 guy now works as a bridge pier.

It is understandable to think more of your guys than the other teams' guys, but it can lead to major disappointments when others not emotionally attached can see a potential crash and burn in 2019-2020 if none of the top players sign to replace the two one and dones on this roster.

I will add that the SEC is getting tougher again after years of taking a back seat to other leagues. The SEC of 2019-2020 will most likely be several points better than the SEC of 2017-18, and it could be that the basketball program drops down into the bottom four or five schools like the football team.

This is a vital year for basketball, both on the floor and in the recruiting wars. The team needs to go from 20 losses to 20 wins, which is not easy. The recruiting battle needs to land at least one of those top guys and one that is the quality of Jeff Taylor or Damion Jones. Forget Wiseman, because he's not coming. But two of those other 5-stars and top 4-stars need to be signed, or it could mean that Coach Drew and staff will need to worry more about installing air conditioners in the coaching seats at Memorial Gym.



1. MFD played a lot of games last season nursing an injury, he was only completely healthy for a few games in all last season. Also his shot volume went up 50% and his free throw attempts tripled between his Sophomore and Junior season while playing the same number of minutes which is usually correlated with diminishing field goal efficiency.

2. The potential of Lee is astounding and the kid has also got it going between the ears, the sky is the limit for him. MFD was way better as a junior than as a frosh or sophomore.

3. Agreed here, hard to say what Nesmith will be as a soph when we haven't seen him play yet.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby DeefromAtlanta » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:37 am

This will be a better team than last year's version. The question will be how much better will the SEC be this year?

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Matt2309 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:18 pm

BelleVUe wrote:Let's try this response again with the assumption that no top 50 players are signed to replace DG and SS.

1. The fact that we missed Fisher-Davis for half the season sort of forewarns would could happen if a key starter went down 2 years from now with a weaker roster. You basically have to stay healthy to have a chance with no big stars.

Also, take a closer look at before the Fisher-Davis injury. We were 6-11 with him and 6-9 without him. The bigger issue is why he declined so much. His shot discipline took a nosedive. Under 2 years in the Stallings' offense, he topped 40% from 3-point range, including a hot 44.6% in 2016. In the two years in this regime, his 3-point numbers crashed to 37 and then 33%.

2. It should be a given that Lee will be better as a junior than a freshman, but you would have thought that also for Fisher-Davis, and you could say that Joe Toye was better as a freshman than last year.

3. I will not say that Nesmith as a sophomore will be better than Lachance as a senior. Let's see what Nesmith can do before giving him this much credit. I remember when sharpshooter Art Welhoelter was going to be the next Keith Thomas and 40/20/10 high schooler Spence Young was going to break all of Clyde Lee's records.

4. Matt Ryan better have improved 100% defensively from when he was exploited nightly in the ACC and reduced to the deep bench. He might be a good perimeter shooter and score 10 points a night but yield 15 to the other guy.

5. Yanni Wetzell is being backed into a corner he will have a hard time emerging from. We are talking about a kid that averaged 15 points per game in the Division II Heartland Conference. Don't you think that Djery Baptiste or Ejeke Obinna could have averaged 15 points a game playing against Lubbock Christian, Rogers State, and Newman--say it like Seinfeld. I checked some of the rosters for those teams two years ago, and he was going up against post players that were 6-7 and weighed 180 pounds and another that was 6-7 and weighed 288 pounds. I hear that after that 288 guy now works as a bridge pier.

It is understandable to think more of your guys than the other teams' guys, but it can lead to major disappointments when others not emotionally attached can see a potential crash and burn in 2019-2020 if none of the top players sign to replace the two one and dones on this roster.

I will add that the SEC is getting tougher again after years of taking a back seat to other leagues. The SEC of 2019-2020 will most likely be several points better than the SEC of 2017-18, and it could be that the basketball program drops down into the bottom four or five schools like the football team.

This is a vital year for basketball, both on the floor and in the recruiting wars. The team needs to go from 20 losses to 20 wins, which is not easy. The recruiting battle needs to land at least one of those top guys and one that is the quality of Jeff Taylor or Damion Jones. Forget Wiseman, because he's not coming. But two of those other 5-stars and top 4-stars need to be signed, or it could mean that Coach Drew and staff will need to worry more about installing air conditioners in the coaching seats at Memorial Gym.

Here we go

1. We did miss Matt a lot. 37 percent from 3 isn't crashing, especially with the increase in volume from him, and his increased production in other areas. In both seasons, he's had other things keeping him from being the best he can be, like whatever you want to call the behind the scenes issues in his junior season, and his injuries in his senior season.
2. Fisher-Davis and Toye were both better players as Juniors than frehsman. Lee will be too.
3 and 5. Oh I agree, we should be in wait and see mode with Wetzell and Nesmith. And you'll see how good they are this season
4. I agree, Matt isn't the best defender in the world, but he wasn't benched because he couldn't play D, he didn't play a lot because he had two seniors in front of him. You can ask anyone around Notre Dame and they'll tell you that he probably would have started last year had he been on the team.
6. The SEC will not be tougher. We aren't the only team that will lose players. MSU will lose Holman and Q to graduation, but they'll both get drafted. Peters and Nick Weatherspoon both tested the waters last year, and will go after this year with the draft lacking many good guards. Florida will lose their two best players in Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen, as well as their best big man. Auburn will lose Spencer and Brown to graduation, and Wiley, Purifoy, and Harper all tested the waters last year, so they're not coming back for a long stay, especially with the weak draft. I mentioned what some of the other schools lose in one of my other posts. You get the point. Next year is a down year for the SEC. A lot of talent will be lost, not just from our team.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Ndorefin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:54 am

I’ll be very surprised if Garland is one and done.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Matt2309 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:57 am

Ndorefin wrote:I’ll be very surprised if Garland is one and done.

Darius is the best PG in the weakest draft and weakest PG crop of a draft in 3 or 4 years. This isn’t my opinion, this is NBA scouts opinions

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Nashmann » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:02 pm

I think Max Evans will surprise a lot of folks this year. He had flashes last year but I think he tried too hard much of the time. I believe he will be more under control this season.....be more consistent on his outside shot and pick his spots to drive.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Matt2309 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:33 pm

Nashmann wrote:I think Max Evans will surprise a lot of folks this year. He had flashes last year but I think he tried too hard much of the time. I believe he will be more under control this season.....be more consistent on his outside shot and pick his spots to drive.

I also think he’ll be improved. I know he’s been working incredibly hard this offseason, so hopefully that pays off

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby Ndorefin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:28 pm

Matt2309 wrote:
Ndorefin wrote:I’ll be very surprised if Garland is one and done.

Darius is the best PG in the weakest draft and weakest PG crop of a draft in 3 or 4 years. This isn’t my opinion, this is NBA scouts opinions

I don’t disagree with that, at all. If he stays, it won’t be because he lacks the talent....maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. I do believe he could use another year to become more physically prepared.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby UltimateVUFan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:46 pm

Ndorefin wrote:
Matt2309 wrote:
Ndorefin wrote:I’ll be very surprised if Garland is one and done.

Darius is the best PG in the weakest draft and weakest PG crop of a draft in 3 or 4 years. This isn’t my opinion, this is NBA scouts opinions

I don’t disagree with that, at all. If he stays, it won’t be because he lacks the talent....maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. I do believe he could use another year to become more physically prepared.

That's what the G league is for...

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby alathIN » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:27 pm

The big problem with this last season was defense. We had decent offense most of the time, but some of our best players were iffy on the defensive side of the ball.

I don't think you can predict a team's success soley based on how good the best players are at the best parts of their game. In recent Vanderbilt hoops history, we've often hit a ceiling based on some critical missing piece or otherwise very good players with an Achilles heel.

If you want to go pessimistic about the upcoming or next season, tell me the areas where we have a glaring hole or key players with glaring weakness in some aspect of their game.

One example - we may not have anyone on the team this year who shoots the 3 at Riley's percentage. But if you you replace him with someone who shoots a few % less than Riley, but can also defend a quick perimeter player and who is a threat to drive, the net effect could be a plus.

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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby BelleVUe » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:27 pm

I do not consider myself pessimistic about 2019-20. I consider this realistic. As you requested, here are my reasons for realistically believing that 2019-20 could be a tough year IF we do not land 2 players that are at least 4 stars and preferably at least 1 5-star recruit.

This is the opinion ONLY if we sign only 3-star players and down in the upcoming class.

First, the SEC is already enjoying a great recruiting bonanza for 2019-20. Kentucky, Auburn, Alabama, and Texas A&M already have multiple signees that are at least 4-stars. Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and LSU already have one 4-star. If we don't get 2 that are at least 4-stars, we will be losing a lot of ground just from this.

This is the roster of scholarship players for a 2019-20 team that signs 2 3-star players.

Ejike Obinna, 6-10 Jr. C
Yanni Wetzell 6-10 Sr. F/C
Matt Ryan 6-8 Sr. F
Clevon Brown 6-8 Sr. F
Matt Moyer 6-8 So. F
Aaron Nesmith 6-6 So. F
Max Evans 6-2 Jr. G
Saben Lee 6-2 Jr. G
Two 3-star Freshmen
For the sake of argument--I will pick 2, 3-stars from this class and say they sign
Majok Deng 6-5
Chris Ledlum 6-6

This roster has some good parts, but this is not the roster of a team that will make a dent in the SEC race.

LSU will lose one or two of their freshmen and return about 10 quality players. They have no star seniors. Wade probably got an extra 2 or 3 wins out of the team last year. That's a great omen for LSU.

Kentucky will only be weak if they get hit with major violations, and the roster bails. They will still be Kentucky--at worst a 2nd or 3rd place team in the league and probably #1

Mississippi State doesn't have a senior on this year's roster other than a walk-on. At most, one of their freshmen might be one and done. The rest are like Nesmith--very good but not one and done material. Howland may have a Final Four contender in 2019-20.

Florida will lose Chiozza, who enters his 15th year with the Gators this season and has announced he plans to retire after this season. They still will have 5 4-star starters next year with an incredibly recruiting class that is just under the level of one and done talent. They will have senior leadership that has already proven to be Elite 8 worthy.

Alabama will have 6, 4-star players remaining on their roster.

Arkansas will have 4, 4-star players in 2019-20

Vanderbilt will have 1 4-star player in Saben Lee.

You can say that certain 3-star players for Vandy might become better than some of the other teams' 4-star players, but there isn't any way you then cannot also say that some of those other teams' 3-star players might also become better than the 4-star players.

On the whole, the team with the most talent usually wins in sports. The rare exceptions are when you have a deviant philosopher who makes it much harder to play against his talent than a conventional coach. Mike Anderson at Arkansas is one of these. Pete Carril at Princeton was one of these. Bryce Drew is a very conventional coach--his style is vanilla. He will be as good as his talent is, and he will succeed or fail based on his recruiting ability, just like 95% of the coaches in D1.

On talent alone, and nothing else, because we don't have much else to go on, then on paper, the 2019-20 team does not measure up in talent to other SEC teams that will have significantly higher-rated talent.

This is why I say Coach Drew desperately needs 2 signees that are 4-stars at the minimum in order to avoid a potential crash in 2019-20. I refer to the bottom of the league as any team having to play in the opening round of the SEC Tournament--11,12,13, or 14. If this team ends up in this round in 2019-20 for the second time in three years, then I stand by my statement that the coaches will need to get air conditioning installed on their coaching seats for 2020-21.

This comes from an objective look based on talent. It does not mean I have anything against the players or coaches. It means that while we may have incredibly outstanding players that stay out of trouble and will graduate and become outstanding gentlemen, there are other teams with better overall talent.

Put these grades on certain players from the past

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan--100
Ben Simmons and Jack Givens--95
TR Dunn and Carlos Clark--90
Wesley Person and Andrew DeClerq--85
Typical Good SEC starting player--80
Average SEC starting player--75
Average key reserve--70
Project to contribute in the future--65
Replacement level player--60

In 2019-20, Vanderbilt will have a roster of one or two 80 or 85 players, a number of 75 and 80 players, and the rest 60-70 players. Placing a talent level on the 200 minutes per game to the team, the average talent for the Commodores will be 75 at best or average at best.

There will be at least 7 or 8 teams that have considerably better talent on their rosters. There will be 4 to 6 more that will have comparable talent on their rosters. Without some new stars in this coming class, Vanderbilt will be looking at competing for 9th or 10th place at best and hoping to stay out of the opening night of the 2020 SEC Tournament.

Now for the sake of argument, let's say Vandy signs the 2, 3-stars I mentioned above in Deng and Ledlum, and then also signs Nico Mannion and Trendon Watford.

According to the calculations I see at 247, this would jump their rating from 0 to 64.3, which would be #2 in the nation. There would then be 2, 5-stars and 1, 4-star on the roster, which would move Vanderbilt up to about 5th place in the league and a for sure NCAA Tournament contender.

This is why I said that this 2019 recruiting class will be decisive in deciding this staff's future length of tenure.
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Re: Another 2019 Recruiting Update

Postby TwoSaints » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:02 pm

BelleVUe wrote:Vanderbilt will have 1 4-star player in Saben Lee.


Again, I think you're overlooking somebody, because we'd have another four-star player on our roster: Aaron Nesmith. If not for Garland and Shittu, Nesmith would be the highest-ranked recruit we've had since Dai-Jon Parker in 2011--which includes three guys currently on NBA rosters (Jones, Kornet, and Baldwin). Nesmisth was awarded four stars by ESPN, Rivals, and 247 and ranked #69, #69, and #64 respectively. Although I suppose it is possible he could be a one-and-done as well, it seems highly unlikely to me. Nonetheless, with his combination of shooting, defense, and athleticism, I think he could be a star in the making.

I do take your point about our talent level relative to the SEC, if we don't add any more talented players. But it seems awfully early in the year to be expecting us to have signed them already. And regarding the rest of our roster, who really knows about our interior guys? But I think you're a bit remiss in dismissing Yanni before he has even arrived. I used to teach at St. Mary's and people in San Antonio say he's very good. You may not have heard of St. Mary's but they have a bit of a hoops tradition there. This is the same school that produced Robert Reid, for instance (a helluva player, who started for the Houston Rockets in two NBA Finals and is essentially the guy who got Paul Westhead fired as the coach of the Lakers). And of course San Antonio has a pretty good professional team as well. So when people there say he's got some game, I tend to listen. More important, though, a team with Saben Lee, Max Evans, and Aaron Nesmith on the perimeter, even with a bunch of stiffs inside, is a team with some talent, yes even in a resurgent SEC.






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