NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four games into the Southeastern Conference schedule, Vanderbilt is still looking to find its offensive rhythm.
The Commodores (4-6, 0-4 SEC) had been trending in the right direction in that regard until Saturday’s trip to Knoxville. It was there that a rough second half doomed Vandy in an 81-61 loss.
Head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s team sank just three of the 13 long-range attempts it took. That wasn’t nearly good enough to keep up with the Volunteers.
So even though the Dores made 75 percent of their 2-point shots in the second half, they only totaled nine of them.
“I don’t think that we’re a bad two-point scoring team,” Vanderbilt sophomore forward Dylan Disu said. “I think that we can easily score in the paint, but it just comes down to recognizing a good shot versus a great shot from 3, making one more pass and stuff like that.”
Vanderbilt has generally relied on the 3-point shot under Stackhouse and typically has success when those attempts are falling. For this season, for instance, in three-point losses to Kentucky and Mississippi State, Vandy made at least 10 triples in each matchup.
Against Florida (a 19-point loss) and Tennessee (a 20-point setback)? Thirteen combined.
Part of the reasoning for that can be the opponent’s ability to clamp down on the perimeter. Until Vanderbilt can develop a consistent threat inside, that’s what the Commodores can expect to see from the opposition going forward.
“We don’t have anybody in the paint that we can throw the ball down there to,” Stackhouse said. “We’re getting like one percent from each block and that’s not a healthy number for sustainable winning basketball.
“Those are things that we are absolutely going to address going forward as we continue to build our roster and build our program to where we want it to be.”
Vanderbilt will try to reboot its offense this weekend when it welcomes Arkansas at noon Saturday.
The Razorbacks head to Nashville after having broke a two-game losing streak with a 75-73 win over Auburn on Wednesday. The Razorbacks (11-4, 3-4 SEC) are the league’s best rebounding team and are among the conference’s best teams in free-throw shooting, scoring offense, 3-point shooting and steals.
Freshman guard Moses Moody (16.7 ppg) leads four Arkansas players who are averaging double figures in points per game. Point guard Jalen Tate is dishing out 4.5 assists per contest.
The Commodores are 12-28 all-time against Arkansas and have lost six straight in the series. Vandy’s last victory against the Razorbacks came Feb. 7, 2017 and its last home win came Feb. 9, 2013.
Lawrence out for the remainder of the season
Vanderbilt freshman Tyrin Lawrence will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to an ACL injury, Stackhouse announced Saturday.
A 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Georgia, Lawrence had started five of the seven games he played played in and had totaled 20 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists and four steals.
“Kid that was really trending in the right direction, doing a lot of things that we were asking him to do,” Stackhouse said. “He was definitely going to get his opportunity – and he will get his opportunity going forward. He’s a great kid that I know is going to battle back from this setback.”
- Disu now leads the SEC with seven defensive rebounds per game.
- Vanderbilt sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. is second in the SEC with 5.3 assists per game and with 21.2 points per game (19th nationally).
- Vanderbilt has made at least four 3s in 25 consecutive games.
- Vandy will be trying to avoid an 0-5 start in SEC play for the third season in a row.
- The Dores are 4-43 in their last 47 games against SEC competition.
- Vanderbilt is 10-3 (10-1 in regulation) under Stackhouse when scoring at least 80 points.
- The Commodores are 4-2 on the weekend this season and 0-4 on weekdays.
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.