Preseason rankings long gone; Vanderbilt men fall from top 25

Monday, December 5, 2011 at 3:24pm
Staff reports

In three weeks, Vanderbilt has gone from No. 7 in the country to unranked.

The Commodores (5-3) dropped out of the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll, which was revealed on Monday. After consecutive overtime losses to Xavier and Louisville — both are now in the top 10 — they dropped from 20th to second among "others receiving votes."

Vanderbilt also fell out of the ESPN/USA Today coaches top 25, where it was previously ranked 19th.

The AP preseason ranking was the program's highest in more than 45 years but it didn’t last long. The Commodores were stunned by Cleveland State in the second game of the season. They regrouped for four straight victories but last week they blew multiple second-half leads.

Against Xavier at home last Monday, a 10-point lead disappeared in 82 seconds and they were outscored by a wide margin in overtime. At Louisville on Friday, Vanderbilt held a nine-point second-half lead and was up by five in overtime.

The Commodores are still without 6-foot-11 senior center Festus Ezeli (knee). He participated in a shoot-around on Monday and the team is hopeful to get him back at the start of a three-game homestand on Dec. 17.

Redshirt-freshman Josh Henderson, also 6-11, had helped fill the void, but last week he sustained a stress fracture in his foot. He was to have surgery on Monday and was expected to miss eight to 12 weeks.

Vanderbilt returns to action at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Davidson.

2 Comments on this post:

By: Jughead on 12/6/11 at 8:16

Vandy will be back if they become healthy. Uncle Festus is a beast.

By: Rasputin72 on 12/6/11 at 1:58

They were never a top ten team with or without Festus Ezelli. I have preached that over and over before the season ever started. They are perhap a top 35 team with Festus Ezelli.

Kardokus,Heldman,Southwood.Smith,Kelly and Weiss of 1951 would beat them by five points.

Rochelle,Taylor,Thym,Nordhaus and Harrison would beat them by 8 points

Lee,Miller,Taylor,Schurig,Grace and Thomas would beat them by 10 points.