Key Departures: Dylan Disu (–>Texas); Maxwell Evans (–>TCU); DJ Harvey (–>Detroit); Isaac McBride (–>Oral Roberts); Clevon Brown (Grad)
New In Town: Liam Robbins (<–Minnesota); Rodney Chatman (<–Dayton); Jamaine Mann (<–Gardner-Webb); Terren Frank (<–TCU); Shane Dezonie (#98); Peyton Daniels (#169); Gabe Dorsey (#221)
State of the Program:
The Jerry Stackhouse era at Vandy is off to a pretty rough start through 2 years as he’s amassed a 6-28 SEC record, with some slight improvement in the efficiency numbers in year 2. The good news for Stackhouse is he gets Scotty Pippen Jr (JR) back on campus after he led the Commodores in scoring with 21/game. Pippen’s Robin Dylan Disu exits the program however, as that 2-headed monster was the only thing that kept Vandy even somewhat competitive a season ago. Pippen will once again be tasked with putting this program on his back, and may even need to elevate his game even further for them to see any sort of progress in their overall record. Alongside Pippen they welcome back Jordan Wright (JR), Trey Thomas (SO), and Quentin Millora-Brown (JR). They also bring in a decent group of transfers who can make an impact as well as a couple of Freshmen who have some promise. The seat will begin to warm if this season does not show some more progress towards climbing out of the SEC cellar as year 3 often is seen as a prove it year.
Coming in to help this Vandy program is a slew of transfers, led by Minnesota 7-footer Liam Robbins (SR). Robbins started his career at Drake where he was All-MVC and all-D, then started at C a year ago for the Gophers and put up 12 ppg, 7 rpg and nearly 3 bpg. His ability to stretch to the 3 point line improved a season ago and he’s a very good shot blocker. He should start at C for the Commodores. Rodney Chatman (SR) comes to campus with a ton of experience as a PG and is known for being a tough defender and a steady presence as a lead guard. He has never wowed as a scorer, but his ability to shut down opponents and facilitate has allowed him to start 73 games over 4 seasons and he will battle for that starting PG spot again with Vandy. 6’6” wing Jamaine Mann (SO) enters the program to give the Commodores some depth on the wing and is a good athlete that profiles as a slasher. He did not show a reliable or confident jumper in year 1 but he will have years ahead of him to develop his game, and with his size and strength he has plenty of potential to tap into. The final transfer is 6’8” F Terren Frank (SO) out of TCU where he saw very limited action a season ago. Frank is a lanky stretch 4 prospect who is a good athlete that just needs to work to refine his skills. He has great potential to develop as a real threat as a stretch 4, but at this stage is still pretty raw. The leader of this year’s Freshman class is 6’4” G Shane Dezonie (#98), who isn’t the quickest or the most explosive athlete but has a nice looking jumper and finishes well inside. He won’t be the best shot creator but he should develop as a standstill shooter with ability to attack the basket off the bounce. He will have a shot at minutes right away with the Commodores. Next up 6’2” G Peyton Daniels (#169) who plays more like an off-guard but is undersized for that position at this level, and will need to develop as a facilitator and grow into a lead guard role. He can score at all 3 levels but isn’t a dynamic athlete. He will likely be saddled behind a crowded backcourt this season. The last of this large incoming group is wing Gabe Dorsey (#221) who will not likely see a lot of time on the floor this season but is a decent prospect as he has a nice jumper and potential as a 3 and D guy.
There’s just not enough on this roster around Scotty Pippen Jr for this Vandy team to climb up and out of the cellar in this conference. Liam Robbins will be able to help take some of the pressure off, but there is just not enough proven scoring to think there will be steps forward. Stackhouse will be feeling the pressure after another underwhelming performance as the head of a program that for so long was consistently competitive under Kevin Stallings. Pippen will likely bolt for the NBA after this season and Stackhouse will be left with a roster that is just nowhere close to being able to compete with the top half of the SEC. The exit of Dylan Disu may prove to be the move to end this controversial era at Vanderbilt and send Stackhouse looking for his next opportunity as a head coach.