Well, all this would have seemed mighty improbable a month or so ago.
When Vandy came limping out the gates at the start of SEC play the season looked like a write off. There was no way that a team who had lost games to Davidson and Marist could possibly turn things around and with the loss of production from last year few would have questioned anything if the season had just played out with an opening night SEC Tournament loss. Kevin Stallings and his team however had decidedly different ideas.
The Commodores picked themselves up and finished the season on a tear. Over their last eleven games this team is 8-3 and they have lost just one of their last seven. Whether it was dedication to practice, extra motivation, or a combination of factors there is no denying that Vandy has got hot at exactly the right time. Kedren Johnson, the man who carried the team as best he could through the opening half of the season, is finally getting help from those around him and the 'Dores are beginning to make bubble teams nervous as they are two wins away from a Conference Title in a year where the SEC only has one legitimately outstanding team (Florida).
The win over Kentucky says everything about where this team is right now. Though it is true Kentucky has been borderline awful since Nerlens Noel's knee exploded under him, the Commodores dominated from opening tip in a way that would never have happened in January. Vandy found scoring all over the court and ended the game with four players in double figures and a fifth (Rod Odom) had nine. The 'Dores were also ruthlessly efficient, they shot 50 percent from the field and 47 percent from three, and never let the Wildcats get into a position to make a run in the second half. Giving up only five turnovers will have that effect on an opponent.
Whether or not Vandy can keep this going for another few days the program is in great shape for next season. The 'Dores, remember, don't have a single senior on the roster so all the key parts will be back to make a run. That is the future; this Commodore team clearly believes it can win now and as the hottest team in the conference who is going to argue with them?
Two Down, Two to Go!
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