basketball Edit

Arizona State blows out Vanderbilt I The Commodores leave Vegas winless

Vanderbilt entered Friday night's contest trying to salvage its four-day trip to Las Vegas, instead it got ran off of the floor of a quiet arena by Arizona State in a 82-67 loss.

If the season were to end today and KenPom were consulted, Vanderbilt would have a quad four loss and a loss that sits one spot above quad three on its rèsumè.

Vanderbilt dropped its second in a row on Friday night.
Vanderbilt dropped its second in a row on Friday night. (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Arizona played the best half of its young season in the first 20 minutes of Friday night's game. The Sun Devils, who were shooting 36.1% from the field and 24.4% from 3-point range heading into Friday, shot 53.3% from the field and 7-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half.

That out of body shooting performance was personified by Alonzo Gaffney, a career 23% shooter from beyond the arc, went 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half.

Shooting percentages like that paired with a slow Vanderbilt offense allowed Bobby Hurley's team to take a 44-29 lead heading in to the break.

Vanderbilt didn't seem to stand a chance coming out of the break as it battled to fight back without Ezra Manjon (ankle) and Colin Smith (concussion) in the lineup.

Arizona State didn't look back after its 11-0 run in the late first half and extended its lead to as much as 18 at one point.

A dominant performance, but not by Vanderbilt

After being ran off the floor in its 77-49 loss to BYU on Thursday night, Arizona State flipped the switch and made light of a shorthanded Vanderbilt team.

Hurley's team led for 36 minutes and six seconds on Friday afternoon and didn't trail after the 14:16 mark in the first half.

Vanderbilt shot just 37.5% from the field and 17.2% from 3-point range as opposed to Arizona State's 51.8% and 45.5%.

Despite being just a 1.5-point underdog, Vanderbilt fell by 15 points and seemed to be out of this one for much of the second half.

Three quick takes:

Vanderbilt lacks consistency and continuity

While other teams are swinging it all around and finding wide open looks, Vanderbilt is ball-stopping, overdribbling and lacking rhythm. A similar sentiment was also felt on the defensive end where Arizona State exploited Vanderbilt in stretches for open looks.

That can certainly be attributed to Vanderbilt's injury trouble. But that isn't the only reason. Vanderbilt's rotation seems to lack consistency.

The Commodores had 11 players make an appearance on Thursday night. On Friday two of its first three players off the bench didn't play the night before.

Friday night also included Tasos Kamateros, who had played double digit minutes in every game to that point, not coming in until just under the 12-minute mark in the second half.

Stackhouse is obviously still experimenting with some things, that was evident as he tested out a two-big lineup yesterday in the middle of the second half. That has created inconsistency in his lineups and what looks to be a disjointed group.

The vision is clear for Stackhouse, it's worked before. His teams get better throughout the season. That can happen again but as the Commodores sit at 3-3, they sit far away from the team they hope to be on both ends.

Evan Taylor seems to be a real player for Vanderbilt.

Taylor was perhaps the lone bright spot for the Commodores on Friday.

The Lehigh transfer poured in 25 points while shooting 8-for-17 from the field and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.

It wasn't just the numbers that stood out about Taylor, either. It was also how unafraid he looked to attack, particularly off the dribble.

As Vanderbilt continues to attempt to piece lineups together without significant pieces, it will need Taylor to take a step forward. Particularly on off nights like Friday for guys like Tyrin Lawrence and Paul Lewis.

A winless MTE appearance feels troublesome

The rèsumè building opportunities in non-conference play are running out for Vanderbilt.

The Commodores are taking steps backwards in KenPom and are now flying back from Las Vegas having squandered two of their five opportunities to pick up power-five wins before opening SEC play.

Vanderbilt now sits at 3-3 with little margin for error the rest of non-league play and with what looks to be an uphill climb the rest of the way.

3-3 feels worse than it should just three weeks into the season.

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