2008-2009 VANDERBILT COMMODORES BASKETBALL
If you are looking for our Current Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball page, check out 2009-2010 Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball.
The Vanderbilt Commodores basketball team was the darling of the SEC in 2007-8, finishing the season with a 26-8 record, 10-6 in the SEC. However, Vandy enters the 2008-9 season filled with as many if not more questions than any other team in the SEC, and it seems unlikely, although not necessarily impossible, that the team can have a 2008-9 season of comparable success to last.
First and foremost, Vandy will have to deal with the loss of the single best player in the SEC last season, that being Shan Foster, who averaged 20.3 ppg last season. Replacing 20 points in a lineup is never easy, and considering the fact that Vandy is also losing 3 other key contributors from last season's squad, it is a particularly daunting task. Also departing are Alex Gordon (10.8 ppg), Ross Neltner (8.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg), and key reserve Alan Metcalfe (2.3 rpg). It can be argued that no other SEC team is losing a foursome of players that were so valuable last season.
Now, the cupboard is not entirely bare entering the 2008-9 Commodore season. However, Kevin Stallings is going to have to figure out how to make these ingredients sing as one cohesive recipe. AJ Ogilvy (17.0 ppg in 2007-8) will clearly be offensive focus of this year's team, and that should be a role he is comfortable taking, as there were stretches over the course of the 2007-8 season that Ogilvy did, in fact, carry the squad. The only other significant offensive contributor from last season that will be returning is Jermaine Beal (7.6 ppg).
One obvious bright spot here is the incoming class of youngsters. Redshirt freshman Festsu Ezeli has as much raw potential as any big man in the nation, but admittedly, will take some time to develop. In addition to Ezeli, Kevin Stallings will be bringing in a trio of talented forwards in Lance Goulbourne, Steve Tchiengang, and Jeff Taylor. It would seem that at least one of these 3 forwards need to make a significant contribution this season to help compensate for some of the departing talent.
All told, Vandy looks to be in a valley so to speak, and seems to be a year away from a return to the caliber of play that it put out in 2007-8. That said, there still seems to be enough raw talent here to keep the team towards the middle of the SEC, and should things break right, and if one or two of the youngsters step up, the team should be a fringe NCAA Tourney team. Either way, the good news is that the Dores - are chock full of young talent, and should be a force beginning in the 2009-10 season.
If you haven't read it yet, check out our Kevin Stallings Biography. You can read more about last year's Vanderbilt basketball team at 2007-2008 Vanderbilt Basketball Team and 2009-2010 Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball page. Other Vanderbilt Basketball pages include: Vanderbilt Basketball History and Vanderbilt University -- Nashville -- Trip.
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