The Commodores season of misery continued on Wednesday night as the team was routed 84-48 by an Arkansas team that hasn’t been at all good in 2019. Could this matchup with LSU on the road really be the final regular season contest for Bryce Drew as the ‘Dores head coach?
By Steve Wright
Only time will tell with that, but for now here are the three keys:
Shoot the ball better
We noted in our last preview how the game against Arkansas was the last best chance for the Commodores to avoid going winless in the SEC. The 84-48 score was every bit as brutal as it sounds, with Vanderbilt choosing the 17th game of the SEC season to put in its worst shooting performance of the year.
This team has had a myriad of problems over the 2018-19 season, but shooting has generally been on the low end of that threshold. Against Arkansas, however, it was shooting that ruined any chance of a Vandy victory.
At one point the ‘Dores went an unreal 17 minutes and 35 seconds between made field goals. For the game, Vanderbilt shot a season low 29.6 percent from the field.
It doesn’t matter who you are playing, you cannot win when shooting like that. LSU is a much better team than Arkansas and a win for the Tigers here will clinch the SEC Title. Vandy has to shoot way better to have any type of chance here.
Focus on the fundamentals
If Drew does leave at the end of this season it will be because his team seems to have no grasp of the basic fundamentals of basketball.
Shooting, as we have mentioned, was a huge problem against Arkansas, but in his post-game presser Drew also apologized for the ball-handling and passing woes that Vanderbilt somehow still has as we enter the final game of the regular season.
Yes, the team was given a mountain to climb when Darius Garland went down with his knee issue. That, though, is no excuse for some of the basketball we have seen Vanderbilt play this season. The inability to not turn the ball over has been a particular problem and while there is no reason to assume that it will suddenly be better on Saturday, Vanderbilt does need to control the ball to have a shot.
Score a three-point shot
This season is a total write off. As soon as this game, and then the obligatory SEC Tournament game, is over, then it will be time to move on to the drawing board for next year.
With it being such a write of it is important that Vanderbilt claims something out of the season. That something has to be the continuation of making a three in every game since the three-point line was introduced in 1986.
The ‘Dores remain one of only three teams in the country to have hit a three in every game since (1,061 and counting). Let’s just hope the wins start to pick up before that record disappears.