Coach: Kevin Stallings (sixth season)
2003-04 Record: 23-10, 8-8 SEC
New Players (rankings from PrepStars)
|Derek Feussner||6-2||Freshman||Unranked, walk-on|
Mario Moore will be at the point, backed up by Alex Gordon. The wings will be manned by Smith (6-6), Holwerda (6-5), Foster, and Cage (6-5), with seniors Smith and Holwerda starting. The low post will be shared by Przybyszewski (7-2) and Skuchas (6-11), with Dawid getting most of the time. The high post is in the hands of Terrell (6-9), with Nwankwo in back of him. The other three players are not likely to get many minutes.
Moore, Przybyszewski, Smith, and Cage are all good three-point shooters. His ability to hit the long shot draws Dawid away from the hoop, and he will often swap roles with Terrell. Holwerda goes to the basket better than any of the other players, but the team badly needs for him to shed the inhibitions that have kept him from being the scorer that he could be. Terrell has the potential to get more points than he did last year.
Rebounding and Defense
The Commodores held opponents to 65 points per game in 2003-04, but lost two of their best defenders (Russell Lakey and Scott Hundley). Holwerda and Smith are good defenders and Moore will get his share of steals. Terrell and Skuchas are the best rebounders.
Will Moore develop more of a play-making mindset? If not, more reliance might have to be placed on freshman Gordon. Will Holwerda score up to his potential? If not, freshman Foster (who will play a lot anyway) will get more minutes. Will Terrell learn to stay out of the foul trouble that has plagued him in the past? If not, Nwankwo may have to play more. How will the Commodores make up for the loss of Freije's scoring? That is the biggest question mark, but probably by getting more points per game from Przybyszewski and Moore, and a good many from Foster.
Overall Prospects for 2004-05
Vanderbilt will battle South Carolina for fourth and fifth in the SEC Eastern Division, but the presence of three very weak teams in the conference (Ole Miss, Auburn and Georgia) should help them both achieve decent records (8-8 or thereabouts). The Commodores could get to the NCAA tournament once again, but they aren't likely to duplicate last year's success there.