#90 Vanderbilt Commodores: College Basketball 111 in 111

vanderbilt cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With all five starters and their top reserve gone, the Vanderbilt Commodores will exemplify the phrase “rebuilding year” this season as their roster only boasts two upperclassmen.

Click here for The Sports Bank’s Vanderbilt football preview
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#9 Vanderbilt Commodores: College Basketball 111 in 111

vandy cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

With John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor, and Festus Ezeli all electing to return to school rather than bolt for the NBA Draft, the Vanderbilt Commodores became a top ten team in the country since they return all five starters and eight of their top nine players.  Vandy will have to live without Ezeli for the non-conference slate but could be a Final Four contender once they are at full strength.

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2009-2010 SEC Basketball Preview: Part 1 of 5

sec-logo

by: David Kay

Like that catchy Jay Sean/Lil’ Wayne tune flooding radio stations across America, the SEC was “Down, Down, Down” last year.  Only three teams made it to the Big Dance and none of the three received higher than an eight seed.  Only LSU advanced past the first round only to be booted out of the tournament by the eventual national champs.

2009-2010 is a new year though and to quote Slim Shady, “Guess whose back?  Back again?”  The SEC’s back, tell your friends.  In a complete 180, I expect the SEC to be the most competitive conference in the country this season and at least six teams to be tourney bound come March.

Part one of thesportsbank.net’s SEC preview focuses on SEC East.  Vanderbilt and South Carolina should be highly competitive and might be one of those teams to sneak into tournament.  Georgia begins a new era under first year head coach Mark Fox and will probably be pretty terrible for a second straight year.

4. Vanderbilt (T-4th, 8-8, 19-12)

aj-ogilvy2009-2010 Outlook:
With all the hype and national exposure Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida get, Vanderbilt is definitely flying under the radar this pre-season.  They bring back eight of their top nine players from last season and get Andre Walker back from an ACL injury that ended his season just three games into 2008.  The Commadores have a skilled big man in A.J. Ogilvy and talented backcourt with Brad Tinsley and Jermaine Neal.  Vandy may not have the big name players of the other teams in the SEC East, but shouldn’t be slept on and could easily be dancing come tourney time.

Projected Depth Chart
C: A.J. Ogilvy (Jr)/Festus Ezeli (So)
F: Andre Walker (So)/Darshawn McClellan (Jr)/Steve Tchiengang (So)/Joe Duffy (Jr)
SF: Jeffery Taylor (So)/Lance Goulbourne (So)
G: Brad Tinsley (So)/John Jenkins (Fr)
G: Jermaine Beal (Sr)/Charles Hinkle (So)

Gone: G-George Drake (transfer-UAB)

Player to Watch: Ogilvy- The Aussie big man has been on NBA scouts radars since arriving at Vanderbilt.  After a stand-out freshman campaign, Ogilvy’s production took a slight drop during his sophomore season.  Still, he is a skilled big man with a nice touch around the basket and is a true post presence which many SEC teams lack.

5. South Carolina (1st, 10-6, 21-10, NIT)

2009-2010 Outlook:
Despite finishing with the second best record in the SEC, the Gamecocks failed to make the NCAA Tournament and were ousted in the first round of the NIT by Davidson.  South Carolina returns seven of their top eight scorers from a year ago, yet are still my pick to finish fifth in the SEC East because their talent just doesn’t match with the teams ahead of them.  SC did get good news this summer when Dominique Archie and Devin Downey decided to pull their names out of the NBA Draft.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Mike Holmes (Jr)/Austin Steed (Jr)
PF: Sam Muldrow (Jr)/Johndre Jefferson (Fr)
SF: Dominique Archie (Sr)/ Lakeen Jackson (Fr)/Evaldas Baniulis (Sr)
SG: Brandis Raley-Ross (Sr)/Steve Spinella (Fr)
PG: Devin Downey (Sr)/Ramon Galloway (Fr)/Robert Wilder (Sr)

Gone: G-Zam Frederick, G-Branden Conrad

devan-downey

Player to Watch: Downey- The Gamecocks leading scorer from a year ago at nearly 20 points per game, Downey is a crafty scorer despite standing just 5’9.  With second leading scorer Zam Frederick graduated, Downey will need to carry the offensive load again and even take it up a notch if South Carolina is to somehow get into the tourney.

6. Georgia (6th, 3-13, 12-20)

trey-thompkins2009-2010 Outlook:
Georgia wasn’t very good last year and they are not going to be any better this year.  Head coach Dennis Felton was fired in January and replaced this off-season by Nevada head coach Mark Fox.  Fox was a solid choice to take over the program but will need a couple years before the Bulldogs are truly competitive in the SEC.

Projected Depth Chart
C: Albert Jackson (Sr)/Drazen Zlarovic (So)
PF: Chris Barnes (Jr)/Jeremy Price (Jr)
F: Trey Thompkins (So)/Tyler Whatley (Sr)
G: Ricky McPhee (Sr)/Travis Leslie (So)/DeMario Mayfield (Fr)
G: Dustin Ware (So)/Vincent Williams (Fr)/Ebuka Anyaorah (Fr)

Gone: SF-Terrance Woodbury, SG-Corey Butler, PG-Zac Swansey (transfer-Tennessee Tech), SG-Troy Brewer (transfer-American)

Player to Watch: Thompkins- One of the few bright spots from a year ago, Thompkins nearly transferred out of Georgia this summer.  Instead of switching schools, he decided to stay at his home state school and will have every chance to be the star of this team.  He is a 6-10 combo forward who can score from anywhere on the floor and isn’t afraid to battle down low with other bigs.  Thompkins has a chance to develop into a solid NBA prospect and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his final year in Athens.

More sportsbank.net SEC Previews/Power Rankings:

Tuesday: SEC East Teams 1-3
Wednesday: SEC West Teams 4-6
Thursday: SEC West Teams 1-3
Friday: SEC Post-Season Predictions

Thesportsbank.net Pac-10 Preview/Power Rankings:
Teams 8-10 (Washingon State, Arizona State, Stanford)
Teams 5-7 (Arizona, USC, Oregon)
Teams 1-4 (Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Cal)

Thesportsbank.net Big East Previews/Power Rankings

Teams 13-16 (Rutgers, South Florida, Providence, DePaul)
Teams 9-12 (Notre Dame, Pitt, Marquette, St. John’s)
Teams 5-8 (Syracuse, Louisville, Cincinnati, Seton Hall)
Teams 1-4 (Villanova, West Virginia, UConn, Georgetown)
Post-Season Award Predictions