2007 Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball Preview
After missing the NCAA tournament in 2005- 2006, the Vanderbilt Commodores (22- 12 overall, 10- 6 SEC) tied for second in the SEC East and for the third time in four years won at least 20 games. Coach Kevin Stallings (144- 108 in eight years at Vanderbilt, 267- 171 in 14 years overall) has gotten his team to the Sweet 16 NCAA brackets twice in the past four years. With five seniors, three of them starters, returning and some good new talent upfront, Vandy should be back in the tourney mix again.
Offensively, the Commodores were solid, finishing fourth in the SEC, averaging 76.3 PPG and first in assists, averaging 17.0 per contest. Important factors for college basketball betting. Ball control was good too as Vanderbilt averaged 12.4 TPG, placing them third in the SEC. But off the rim and defensively, Vandy was weak, as they were 11th in rebounding margin (minus-2.2 RPG) and 10th in scoring defense (70.2 PPG).
Upfront, the Commodores should get some much-needed help from freshman center A.J. Ogilvy. Ogilvy, who was a member of the Australian national team, is a major force at the low post and will probably start immediately. It’s hoped that senior forward Alan Metcalf (2.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 44.2 FG%) can finally become a factor on the court and in the. Senior forward Ross Neltner (9.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 52.9 FG%) is the team’s leading returning rebound man. He’s an excellent scorer upfront.
The backcourt features senior swingman Shan Foster (15.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 44.9 FG%). Foster is one of the best shooters in the SEC. Starting at the point, it will either be sophomore Jermaine Beal (3.8 PPG, 1.8 APG, 33.7 FG%) or senior Alex Gordon (7.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 39.6 FG%). Last season, Gordon showed fine ball control and leadership, while Beal proved to be an excellent defender.
The Vanderbilt Commodores return enough talent and have found some promising freshmen to continue to be a NCAA tournament participant. The Sweet 16 is certainly a possibility and the Elite Eight could be within Vandy’s reach. Stallings has managed to make the Commodores a perennial contender and this year will be no exception.