Vanderbilt's health issues with big men extend into offseason

Monday, June 24, 2013 at 2:09pm

Able-bodied post players were in short supply for Vanderbilt last season.

Not surprisingly, coach Kevin Stallings and the Commodores focused on filling those gaps by signing two big men for the 2013 class.

Already that potential depth has suffered a blow. Incoming freshman Luke Kornet, a 6-foot-10 forward, broke a bone in his leg on Friday.

“He will be out for a while,” Stallings said during the Southeastern Conference coaches summer conference call on Monday.

Kornet is the son of Frank Kornet, who played at Vanderbilt from 1986-89 and was an All-SEC selection.

Luke Kornet averaged 15 points, 7.2 rebounds, three blocks and shot 44 percent from 3-point range as a senior at Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas. He also showed huge potential by growing seven inches over the last year.

He joined 6-9 center Damian Jones from Baton Rouge, La., as the team’s only two signees this year. Jones averaged 15.4 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and two assists as a senior and helped Scotlandville Magnet to consecutive state championships.

What roles both would fill is unclear for a team that returns 10 lettermen, all five starters and lost just two players to transfers. But the Commodores, who went 16-17 and 8-10 in the SEC, are in need of better production in the paint.

Center Josh Henderson averaged just 5.4 points, forward Shelby Moats averaged 3.0 points and forward James Siakam scored 2.0 points a game. Vanderbilt also grabbed just 33 rebounds a game — the second-lowest average in the league. The team’s top rebounder was a guard — freshman Kevin Bright, who averaged 5.5 rebounds.