Tag: Vanderbilt

Kevin Stallings

Report: Vanderbilt lands commitment from 2014 SG Matthew Fisher-Davis

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With Kyle Fuller entering his senior season and leading scorer Kedren Johnson suspended for the entire 2013-14 season, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings needed some reinforcements on the perimeter. Earlier this summer the Commodores received a verbal commitment from shooting guard Wade Baldwin, and late Sunday evening it was reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.com that Charlotte, N.C. shooting guard Matthew Fisher-Davis has verbally committed to the SEC school (subscription required).

The 6-5 Fisher-Davis, who attends Charlotte Christian, is highly regarded as a perimeter shooter and his recruitment gained momentum back in July. In addition to Vanderbilt, Fisher-Davis considered programs such as Georgia, Wake Forest and Virginia before making the decision to commit according to Jamie Shaw of the Phenom Hoop Report. Fisher-Davis took an official visit to Vanderbilt in late August, with Baldwin also taking an official to the SEC school that weekend.

Last season was a tough one for the Commodores, as key personnel losses from a team that won the SEC tournament in 2012 proved to be too much to overcome. Johnson’s 13.5 points per game are gone (as is leading rebounder Kevin Bright, who signed a professional contract to play in his native Germany), leaving forward Rod Odom (10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Fuller (8.7, 2.3) as the team’s leading returnees from a statistical standpoint.

And with both players being seniors, the development of guards Eric McClellan and Dai-Jon Parker becomes an important aspect of the 2013-14 campaign. Both McClellan and Parker will have eligibility remaining in 2014, as will forwards Shelby Moats, Damian Jones and Luke Kornet with the latter two being freshmen.

Here are a few highlights from Fisher-Davis’ junior season at Charlotte Christian, where he averaged 17.2 points per contest.

Three-star guard Wade Baldwin commits to Vanderbilt

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Kevin Stallings and Vanderbilt received the first commit in the Class of 2014. St. Joseph’s High (N.J.) senior shooting guard Wade Baldwin announced that he had verbally committed to the Commodores on Sunday morning.

Baldwin had been on an official visit to the Nashville campus, and used his Twitter account to break the news. In early August, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard cut his list of offers to five: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.

It appears that Vanderbilt’s hiring of former Harvard assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel is paying dividends. The Crimson had offered the New Jersey native in July 2012, and some recruiting insiders believe he helped sway Baldwin to the Commodores.

This addition should bring optimism to a Vandy program that was looking for some this summer. Once sophomore guard Kevin Bright elected to turn pro in July, Stallings’ entire 2012 recruiting class had left the program. Vanderbilt has a two-man class beginning this season, which includes four-star center Damian Jones.

Baldwin, ranked No. 177 overall in the Class of 2014, is high school teammates with Kentucky commit Karl Towns.

Kevin Stallings unhappy with reviewable plays after Kentucky loss

Kevin Stallings

Thursday night saw another instance of what appears to be a blown call late in a close game.

This happened with under 20 seconds in a one-possession game between Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Kentucky freshman, Nerlens Noel collected a loose ball and floated a shot in the middle of the lane. With Noel’s hand still on the ball and the shot clock at zero, the bucket was counted giving Kentucky a 60-55 lead with 17.3 seconds.

Kerden Johnson hit what would have been the game-tying 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds remaining. Vandy even had a final chance, but the Commodores came up short on the last-second three.

Officials told Stallings that Noel’s bucket was not reviewable, which was the right call according to NCAA rules. However, Stallings wants to see some changes to replays, according to The Tennessean.

“It’s not a reviewable play, and that needs to be changed probably in the last two minutes of the game,” Stallings said on Friday. “They need to be able to review that. I think they would have preferred to have reviewed it. I’m sure they would have. I guess as it stands now, the only time they can review (a play involving the clock or shot clock expiring) is end of game, or end of half.

According to Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean, Stallings has yet to watch the replay. Despite being upset about the two-point loss that drops to 6-7 (0-1 SEC), he did recognize the position the refs were in on that play, late in the game.

“I’ve heard from officials that’s one of the more difficult things that they have to do,” said Stallings. “It’s hard for them to keep their eye on the ball and on the clock at the same time, which is kind of understandable.”

Kentucky opened SEC play with a win and have won six of seven.

In a related note, Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight and ESPN analyst, Bob Knight, seemed confused about the game clock and shot clock during the Noel score.

Lockridge added a comment via email from the ESPN public relations department about the incident:

“There was confusion and we could have done a better job explaining the relevant rules. We’ve spoken to all involved in order to have a deeper understanding and better execution next time.”

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne