Kevin Bright’s freshman lull appears to be ending at a good time.
As Vanderbilt enters the last week of the regular season, Bright has warmed up during a three-game winning streak. The 6-foot-5 guard from Germany has averaged 13.3 points and six rebounds over the last three games and was honored as the Southeastern Conference’s freshman of the week on Monday.
“He has always been one of our better defenders but he is making shots now,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said on the league’s teleconference Monday. “He is starting to make them from 3 again like he did more early in the season. He is being more aggressive looking at the goal. He might have hit that freshman wall a little bit. Now he seems to have gotten off it and is playing a little better.”
In his last three games, Bright is 12 of 18 from 3-point range. In a pair of wins over Georgia and Auburn last week, seven of his eight field goals — out of 14 attempts — were 3-pointers. The lone two-pointer was a game-winning, off-balance baseline jumper with 0.8 seconds left against Georgia.
He leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage (44.3) and rebounding (5.6).
The weekly honor is the second for Bright, who earned the accolade in December after his second consecutive double-double and an 11-point, 10-rebound effort against Xavier.
That performance capped off his fast start. He scored in double figures just twice in the next 18 games but finally broke out once again against Mississippi State nearly two weeks ago with a career-high five 3-pointers to match a personal-best with 15 points.
Since then, Stallings has seen a more assertive Bright, who has attempted at least five 3-pointers in the last three games. His aggressiveness couldn’t come at a better time as Vanderbilt (13-15, 7-9) tries to stay on a roll heading into next week’s SEC Tournament.
The Commodores travel to No. 11 Florida on Wednesday before ending the regular season at home on Saturday against South Carolina.
“Kevin started off the year in atypical fashion I thought as a freshman,” Stallings said. “He was very steady, very consistent, very solid. And then he sort of went through a lull where he didn’t play as well. Now he seems to have bounced back and is playing a lot better.”