You stuffed yourself full of turkey. One week later, you’re still recovering. The good news is that we have two pieces of advice that will help you.
First, don’t eat so much turkey next time. Two, catch up on all the basketball in Nashville by reading the Three-Point Play.
1) Vandy continues climbing college basketball ladder
Vandy’s success at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational is well-documented by now.
The Commodores eased their way through the tournament before falling by seven in the Maui final to now No. 4 Kansas.
Clearly that loss didn’t affect them. All Vandy did was come back home against Detroit on Wednesday night and obliterate the Titans by 50 in a 102-52 final.
Detroit entered the game averaging 96 points per game. They aren’t averaging 96 points per game anymore.
The secret is out on Vandy. Before the season started, it seemed clear that Kevin Stallings was equipped with the best team he’s ever had on West End. And right now they’re playing like it.
The rest of the country is certainly taking notice of it as well. Vandy rose three spots in this week’s USA Today coaches poll to No. 13. The Commodores also went up to No. 16 in the AP poll.
Even Vegas is buying this team as a contender. Vandy’s odds to win the national title rose dramatically from 100/1 to 33/1.
Once again, Vandy’s biggest strength is its depth. Watching them play, it’s easy to understand why they are scoring so many points. It’s because they have so many options on this team that it’s not even funny.
Take the Detroit game as an example.
Luke Kornet didn’t even take a shot against the Titans until early in the second half. It didn’t matter. Vandy was still up nearly 30 at that point.
Wade Baldwin didn’t score in the first 11 minutes of the game. In the three minutes following that, he scored a quick 10 points.
The Commodores were even without freshman Camron Justice, who has already put in big minutes this season.
None of this mattered. Vandy kept scoring. And scoring. And scoring some more.
Perhaps the scoring will slow down against a Top 25 opponent in Baylor on Sunday.
Then again, maybe it won’t. Vandy is just so loaded with talent that few very teams are going to be able to slow them down.
Kansas did it. Baylor might do it.
If they do, they will have earned it. Because stopping this ridiculously talented team is definitely a tall order right now.
2) Belmont takes round one in Battle of the Boulevard
If you’re a basketball fan in Nashville, you know to never miss a Battle of the Boulevard game. You just don’t. Even if you don’t follow Belmont or Lipscomb.
The first installment of the game in 2015 offered plenty of reasons to watch. And also offered plenty of scoring.
Both teams nearly put up 50 in the first, with Rick Byrd’s Belmont team taking a 48-45 lead into the half. But like Belmont has seemingly done all season, the Bruins weren’t satisfied with coasting in the second half. Instead, the Bruins dropped in 57 in the second to score a 105-89 victory on their home court.
Give Casey Alexander and Lipscomb credit. They came into Belmont with confidence and played extremely well in the first half.
However, there’s only so much you can do against this Bruin team. Belmont moved to 5-3 on the season with the win and continued their run of scoring points at will. But we’ll talk more about that shortly.
Of course, the Bruins won’t have long to celebrate. They take a road trip to Valparaiso in what should once again be another high-scoring affair.
After that? Battle of the Boulevard round two.
Yes, it’s a quick turnaround for these two crosstown rivals, as they meet against at Allen Arena on December 7.
It’s safe to say that if you like a lot of points being scored in a basketball game, you might want to pay attention to that one.
3) Vandy and Belmont having no trouble scoring points
Scoring as a whole is up in college basketball thus far this season. That makes sense considering the shortened shot clock and other rule changes.
Two teams that are benefiting greatly from that? Vandy and Belmont.
We’ve already talked about it in the two sections above. But it’s worth diving into a little bit deeper.
The Bruins are current averaging 87.4 points per game. Vandy is currently averaging 85.7. You’re going to win a lot of games when you’re scoring that many points. So far, so good, as Belmont is 5-3 and Vandy is 6-1.
As of this writing, Belmont is 20th in the nation in scoring, while Vandy is hovering around the 30s.
Both teams averaged significantly less than their current average last season, but of course, those numbers will likely fall as the season goes along once conference play gets rolling.
Still, there’s no doubting the fact that both teams are hard to prepare for and will continue to be as they get better and better throughout the season.
This week’s schedule:
Belmont at Valparaiso – 7 PM CT
Stetson at TSU – 1 PM CT
Tennessee Tech at Lipscomb – 4 PM CT
South Alabama at MTSU – 5 PM CT
Vanderbilt at Baylor – 7 PM CT
Belmont at Lipscomb – 6:30 PM CT
Dayton at Vanderbilt – 8 PM CT
In case you hadn’t heard, the Golden State Warriors know how to play basketball. Former Belmont guard Ian Clark also knows how to play basketball.
Clark had a career night in Golden State’s 106-103 victory against the Utah Jazz, scoring 12 points on four three-pointers.
The catch? He only played six minutes. That’s not too bad.
Anything else I should know about in mid-state hoops this week? Let me know on Twitter.