Damian Jones, freshmen earn honors

With the Commodores surging to pick up their first winning season since 2012, it is perhaps no surprise that some of their players are picking up well deserved accolades. The biggest player, literally, to be in the postseason All-Teams talk is center Damian Jones.

Jones improved in leads and bounds in his sophomore season, leading the ‘Dores with 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and two blocks per game. As Jones got better in the seasons defining months, so did the Commodores as his ability to stay out of foul trouble allowed him to be much more of a force late in games.

Though Jones offensive numbers are impressive, it is the rebounding and blocking categories where he really shone through. His play in the paint defensively was outstanding during the 2014-15 season, outstanding enough to see his name show up on the league’s All-Defensive Team to go along with his First Team All-SEC honors.

With Jones dominating the game inside, other players on Vanderbilt’s young team were able to strut their stuff and earn honors themselves. As a four time Freshman of the Week it is no surprise that Riley LaChance found himself on the league’s All-Freshman team. LaChance leads the team in minutes per game at almost 34 per contest and he is the only other double figure scorer wearing the black and gold.

The other Vandy player to earn a spot on the All-Freshman team is guard Wade Baldwin IV. With 137 assists coming into the SEC Tournament, Baldwin already has the schools freshmen record for assists in a season. His play may have not been consistent enough at the beginning of the year, but it is no coincidence that the Commodores have been at their best since Baldwin picked up the play of this own game.

What is quite clear from the three Vandy stars making these rosters is that the future of basketball is bright in Nashville. Jones has two years of eligibility remaining, while LaChance and Baldwin, along with dead-eye Matthew Fisher-Davis, will be draining threes and dishing out dimes for the next three full seasons. With a strong recruiting class coming in, a couple of wins in the SEC Tournament in order to be selected for the NIT would make the future of this group even brighter.

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