The terrific Saben Lee scored 19 points, Riley LaChance chipped in 19 more in a superb effort, Jeff Roberson had another fantastic night scoring 11 and pulling down 7 boards, and Payton Willis sank 3, pinpoint trifectas and finished with 13 points in the Commodores' 81-66 victory over Georgia before 8,761 fans at Memorial Gym last night.
Those 4 played extremely well, but it was a superb overall team effort as we moved to 9-15 overall and 3-8 in the SEC. Georgia, a good team like they all are in the SEC with a couple of great teams, fell to 13-10 and 4-7. The awesome Yante Maten, Georgia's 6'8", 240 power forward, finished with 20 points and 6 boards.
The effort and unity of the guys were sensational. These guys still believe we can finish strong and do well in the SEC Tournament and still get in the Big Tourney. I believe in'em.
Saben was 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-5 from three, and 6-of-6 from the line. As a team we finished a perfect 16-of-16 from the stripe. That's phenomenal. Riley was 7-of-13 from the field, including an acrobatic reverse lay-up and an incredibly athletic floater from the side of the basket. He and Saben were going off. It was fun to watch. Jeff was his usual hard hat, lunch pale player who is superb, and Payton was awesome off the bench. To go along with his 13 points, Payton pulled down 5 boards. We out-rebounded them 29-28 and that's quite an accomplishment with Georgia's size up front.
I thought Joe Toye did some really good things driving to the basket and scoring. Joe keeps getting more effective every game. He's a stud. Clevon Brown played well and keeps improving. Clevon is going to be a highly effective inside player for us this season and he sank his only 3 point attempt. He's a good shooter from the outside. Ejike Obinna and Maxwell Evans did some important things. Those 2 freshmen are getting more and more effective each game. They're really good players and are going to help us the rest of this month and in March. Djery Baptiste keeps playing hard and is a selfless player for us. Djery will work hard and keep getting better and better. He has good talent.
We shot 55% from the field, 27-of-49, which is outstanding. We were 11-of-24 from three, a sparkling 46%, and, as I posted earlier, 16-of-16 from the stripe. Georgia shot 48% from the field and was 1-of-5 from triple, 20%. They were 8-of-12 from the line, 67%.
So super effort by the team. @ Arkansas Saturday at 7:30 PM on the SEC Network. They are 16-8 and 5-6 in the SEC. They are a 10th seed right now per Joe Lunardi of ESPN. They defeated South Carolina at home Tuesday Night, 81-65.
We'll have to play well. They're a fast, athletic team, so we'll have to do a good job of taking care of the ball and be very good in our transition defense to prevent fast break points and big runs by the Razorbacks.
If we shoot it well, defend and hold our own or even win the boards, I like our chances. Our guys are still fighting hard. They still believe.
5 Football signees yesterday
Coach Mason added 5 more players to our now 22 man, 2018 team. Like them all and really like this class overall. Some of them can contribute this coming season and they'll be awesome players going forward. If Coach can keep adding classes like this, we'll be a really stellar football team in years to come, and I see this 2018 team being extremely talented and having a chance to win many games as I've said in the past.
The talent is there. Maybe a little younger at wide receiver, but really like the talent we have there. O line will be terrific with a lot of talent and depth. Tight end will be excellent with Jared Pinkney and Sam Dobbs among others along with a couple of talented freshmen in Gavin Schoenwald and Ben Bresnahan. Quarterback with Kyle Shurmur, Deuce Wallace and now Allan Walters, will be fantastic. Like running back a lot with transfer Ke'Shawn Vaughn now eligible to play. He was a 4 star out of high school and did very well at Illinois. He should be spectacular. Also like what Khari Blasingame and Jamari Wakefield can do. And we have freshman Ja'veon Marlow coming in who is very talented. We'll have size and speed at RB. Defense will be led by linebackers Jordan Griffin, Caleb Peart, Josh Smith, safety LaDarius Wiley, cornerback Joejuan Williams along with several studs upfront led by defensive ends Charles Wright and Dare and Dayo Odeyingbo. Those guys are all excellent players and there are many more. Really like the makeup of this 2018 team. They can do some great things.
So really like our material and really high on this 2018 class. Here are the 5 latest additions.
1. BJ Anderson, High 2 star defensive back but totally underrated. BJ is 6'1", 175 out of Andalusia High School in Andalusia, Alabama. He caught 65 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 TDs as a receiver, and, as a cornerback, he intercepted 7 passes and recorded 28 tackles. He's a member of the National Honor Society. BJ's film looks super. Like what we're getting here. Coach Mason wants him to be a cornerback at Vanderbilt. We've got a highly talented, smart cornerback in BJ. His first name is Bridges, but he likes to go by BJ.
2. Amir Abdur-Rahman, Amir is 6'4", 210 out of Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta. He is an 85, 3 star by 247 and a 5.6, 3 star by Rivals, and he's a superb player. Love Amir's length, size and his hands and speed look excellent on tape. He caught 35 passes for 810 yards and 17 TDs in 2017 at Mays. He was second team All State in the talented football state of Georgia and was first team all region. He also lettered in swimming and track. He's going to be a great one. Amir has size, super speed, and athletic power to break tackles, and, with his speed, make many house calls at Vanderbilt. Really like this signee, Amir, as well.
3. Lorenza Surgers, Lorenza is a 6'7", 235 pound defensive end out of Panther Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina. A diamond in the rough player, Lorenza is a sacking machine. He's aggressive, athletic and he's an excellent tackler. He was an honor roll member all 4 years at Panther Creek. We're getting a high IQ player both off the field and on it. Lorenza will be a very effective, dominant defensive end for us in the future.
4. Parker Thome, Parker is a 6'3", 210 pound punter from Hortonville, Wisconson, who transfers to VU from Columbia University. Parker led the Ivy League and was 11th nationally with a 42.9 average. He helped the Lions rank 3rd nationally in punt return defense. Parker will help immediately. Parker is the third Columbia kicker to punt for an SEC school as Cameron Nizialek of Georgia and Matthew Panton of Kentucky both did it in 2017. Both were very good. Obviously a bright guy and heckuva punter. Looking forward to seeing Parker boom punts for us in 2018.
5. Louis Vecchio, Louis is a 6'4", 260 pound defensive linemen who could play d end or d tackle for us. He is a transfer from Penn and he is from Orange, California, just south of LA. He lettered all 4 years at Penn and earned first team All Ivy League in 2016 and 2017. He led the Quakers in tackles for loss with 8 1/2 this past season. He also posted 10 1/2 TFLs and 5 1/2 sacks in 2016. I read an article on Louis in the Orange Country Register when he was coming out of high school in 2014, and he had offers from Penn, Harvard, Yale and other Ivies along with a preferred walk-on with Stanford, meaning he would most likely get a scholarship there. He had a 4.6 grade point average in high school. Wow.
So we're getting exceptional students who are also very serious football players who are serious about helping this team win immediately. Our whole 22 man class looks like that. There could be 1 or 2 more graduate transfers. Will keep you posted on that. Now onto the Spring and start getting ready for 2018. Psyched for the season already. Strength Coach James Dobson has our players getting stronger and faster in the weight room and in getting quicker and faster in speed and agility drills. Love what Coach Dobson does. I know Coach Mason and the staff do.