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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Three thoughts: Vanderbilt avoids bad upset against UNC Asheville

The Vanderbilt Commodores beat UNC Ashville on Friday, November 17th, 2017. Taken by Brent Szklaruk

The Vanderbilt Commodores squeaked out a 79-76 win over UNC Asheville on Friday night.

It shouldn’t have been that close, but they still got it done.

There’s a lot to digest after that one, so here are three thoughts from the win.

Something’s STILL Foul

Less than ten minutes into the game, the Commodores already had five team fouls. Fisher-Davis’ two fouls were enough for him to take a seat early, and Ejike Obinna’s early foul (and two turnovers) also reserved him a seat on the pine.

By the end of the first half, the team had racked up eight team fouls and Jeff Roberson, Matthew Fisher-Davis, and Djery Baptiste each tallied two personal fouls.

Djery Baptiste had himself a great day: he was extremely efficient from the field, scoring 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting, with 8 rebounds. However, his day was limited because he racked up four fouls with about seven minutes left in the game.

The Charity Stripe

The free throw line is also known as the charity stripe for a reason, as the shots should be free points.

Key words: should be.

The Commodores weren’t great at the free throw line. Toye and Austin went 0-2 and 2-4 from the free throw line, which may not seem so meaningful, but those points could’ve been the difference-maker in this one.

If the Commodores are cutting it close against teams like UNC Asheville, it’s going to be super tough to sneak away with a win against an elite team—especially when it’s decided by very few points because of lackluster free throw shooting.

Beastly Backcourt

Coach Drew and this Commodore team is going to have to make some decisions next year. In fact, they’re going to be in a little bit of a dilemma—a good dilemma.

This team is incredibly deep in the backcourt. One name that has garnered plenty of attention is Saben Lee. He showed us once again that he’s an offensive threat that knows how to run the point. He racked up eight points, three assists and a rebound in the first half.

In addition to Lee, Coach Drew is going to have Darius Garland next season, who happens to be a five-star point guard recruit, respectively. In the first game of his senior year, Garland, coming fresh off his commitment to Vanderbilt, scored over 40 points.

So, what happens next year with Saben and Garland fighting for minutes at point? Lee looks like one of the most explosive point guards to come through Memorial Gymnasium in a long time, while Garland is the highest ranked recruit (#11 in the ESPN top 100) the Commodores have ever landed.

Coach Drew has plenty of time to decide how to use both of them, but regardless, the Commodores are going to have plenty of depth at point guard for the next few years.

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About the Contributor
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
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