After notching his first two career double-doubles — in back-to-back games — Lance Goulbourne earned another first on Monday. The junior forward was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week.
The honor was a career first for Goulbourne but was just the latest of the season for Vanderbilt. He became the fourth Commodore so honored. John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli and Brad Tinsley all won it previously.
Goulbourne averaged 14.5 points and 13 rebounds in two home wins against Mississippi and then-No. 22 Saint Mary’s. Against Mississippi, Goulbourne scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds — the most under 12th year head coach Kevin Stallings since Dawid Przybyszewski had 16 in 2004.
“I think that is Kevin Love-type stuff. Those are some crazy numbers,” Jenkins said after the Mississippi win.
Against Saint Mary’s, Goulbourne finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder has corralled at least 10 rebounds in five games this year, including in three of four SEC games. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is averaging eight rebounds a game. His 11.5 rebounds a game in four league games leads the conference.
“Lance has a gift that helps anybody be a good rebounder and that is he is a very explosive two-footed jumper,” coach Kevin Stallings said. “His athleticism allows him to rebound in other people’s areas not just his own. He gets up high. He goes after it with two hands. He can rebound the ball above the rim and he can rebound the ball in other people’s area, not just his own. Those are the things that make him such a good rebounder and he takes pride in it.”
• Back into the rankings: Vanderbilt is No. 19 in the latest Associated Press poll. It is the third week this season that the Commodores have been among the top 25.
The Commodores were unranked the last two weeks after a loss at South Carolina Jan. 8. Prior to that, they were ranked No. 22 on Jan. 3, which after wins against Marquette and Davidson was two spots higher than the previous week.
VU (14-4, 2-2 SEC) moved up 15 spots from the receiving votes category this week with the victory over Saint Mary’s, which was on an 11-game winning streak, on Saturday.
Vanderbilt also is ranked 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. They leaped 12 spots in those rankings.
“I was pleased with our play last week and pleased with how we kind of gutted it out given the fact we were less than 100 percent physically,” Stallings said in the SEC’s weekly teleconference call on Monday. “We enter this week in a reasonably good frame of mind.”
• Meriwether’s mother passes away: The mother of Vanderbilt senior Chris Meriwether died suddenly on Monday morning.
Curline Meriwether, 56, suffered a heart attack on Sunday. Chris Meriwether, a walk-on guard, is a Nashville native and a graduate of Father Ryan.
“From a personal standpoint, we are all kind of hurting right now,” Stallings said.