By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The Vanderbilt Commodores continue trying to establish consistency on both ends of the basketball court in the early part of the season. Their record of 6-4 was at least a winning one. But they remain unsatisfied with their overall play, and were especially unhappy after a Friday night 64-62 home loss to Grambling State. t
First, they have to reduce the turnovers. Friday, the Commodores had 19. They went the final nearly three minutes without a field goal. Meanwhile their opponents had only 10, and made the key plays late to pull off the upset. Grambling used a 6-0 run to hold off Vanderbilt despite the fact three of their starters had fouled out.
Head coach Jerry Stackhouse signed an extension before the season began, and there is considerable pressure from fans to see Vanderbilt at minimum have a much better season, both in the SEC and overall, than they’ve enjoyed to date under Stackhouse. . Finishing one or two games over .500 and going out in the first round of the SEC Tournament won’t satisfy Vanderbilt fans who feel there has been enough time for the Stackhouse regime to develop a winning team.
Vanderbilt does have some weapons, most notably on the inside center Liam Robbins and on the outside guard Jordan Wright. Unfortunately Wright was not available for the Grambling game. But in the future Wright and Robbins will be key players as well as Quentin Millora-Brown and Tyrin Lawrence.
“We put ourselves in that position to have to have a desperation three at the end of the game when I felt like we didn’t take care of our business early on,” Stackhouse told USA Today Nashville. “Just protecting the ball, going to the free throw line or making our free throws and just just being stronger with some more opportunities that we had around the basket.”
The Commodores next game will be Saturday on the road against North Carolina State.