99 in 99: #35 Vanderbilt Commodores

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Vanderbilt basketball

I have Vanderbilt ranked fifth out of the six SEC East teams.  That is not as much a slight to Vandy as it is a testament to how tough that division will be this season.

The Sports Bank’s 99 team college basketball preview in 99 days ranks the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-major programs.  Click here if you missed teams #36-#99.

By: David Kay

Vanderbilt Commodores (2nd, 12-4 in SEC, 24-9 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
C: Festus Ezeli (Jr)/Josh Henderson (Fr)
F: Andre Walker (Jr)/Steve Tchiengang (Jr)/Darshawn McClellan (Sr)/Joe Duffy (Sr)
SF: Jeffery Taylor (Jr)/Lance Goulbourne (Jr)/Rod Odom (Fr)
SG: John Jenkins (So)/James Siakam (Fr)
PG: Brad Tinsley (Jr)/Kyle Fuller (Fr)

Gone: C-A.J. Ogilvy, PG-Jermaine Beal, PG-Charles Hinkle (transfer-American)

2010-2011 Outlook:

The SEC East is so deep this season that Vanderbilt comes in fifth out of six teams but is ranked 35th overall in my “99 in 99.”  It is sort of unfair, but Vandy is going to have their hands full trying to keep up with Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, and what should be a very improved Georgia team.

Jeffery Taylor VanderbiltThe Commodores lose their top two scorers but return a talented wing of the athletic Jeffery Taylor and sharpshooter John Jenkins.  Jenkins’ range start once he crosses half-court which is a good compliment for Taylor who has practically no outside shot.

Taking over for Jermaine Beal at the point will likely be junior Brad Tinsley who struggled shooting the ball a year ago.  Freshmen Kyle Fuller, James Siakiam, and Rod Odom will all try to step in and provide some depth on the wing.

Vandy has a lot of depth and size inside to help replace A.J. Ogilvy, who chose to turn pro but did not get drafted.   The question is whether that group can provide the scoring that Ogilvy did.

Festus Ezeli and Steve Tchiengang are big bodies down low that can crash the glass and Ezeli is a talented shot blocker, but neither is much of a factor on the offensive end unless they are a few feet from the basket.

Flossmoor native (SICA!) Andre Walker will likely have an increased role on the offensive end as the he is the most efficient scorer of the bunch.  6-11 freshman Josh Henderson should find his way into the mix as well.

Player to Watch: John Jenkins, SG
Jenkins sort of reminds me of a bigger Stephen Curry in the way they he can hit the threeball from anywhere on the floor as he shot a ridiculous 48.3% from three.  He earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team and was named the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year.  Jenkins will draw the attention of opposing defenses all season long and will have to work that much harder for open looks.  When he is on, watch out…

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/18 vs. Nebraska (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/19 vs. West Virginia/Davidson (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/21 vs. North Carolina/Hofstra/Minnesota/Western Kentucky (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
12/1 vs. Western Kentucky
12/8 at Missouri
12/29 vs. Marquette
1/22 vs. St. Mary’s

Other 99 in 99’s:
#36 Arizona
#37 Murray State
#38 Dayton
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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