Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
So Vanderbilt lost to Cleveland State last weekend. Your point?
If you think that one loss seals Vanderbilt's fate for yet another first-round upset in March, you're mistaken.
First of all, the Commodores were without Festus Ezeli, their most dominant post player on both ends of the floor. Ezeli will still be sidelined for a few weeks with a knee injury, but Vanderbilt will be a different team with him available.
Three games into the season, the Commodores are averaging four blocks per game. In their loss to Cleveland State, the Vikings out-rebounded them by two.
The senior center averaged 13 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 2010-11.
Do you think those numbers—and, consequentially, the games' margins—would be more in Vanderbilt's favor with a healthy Ezeli?
Yes, Vanderbilt also turned the ball over 20 times against Cleveland State, but in their other two games, the Commodores have a combined 13 turnovers. Don't be too worried about ball control.
Also, if you're concerned because Vanderbilt followed up their loss with a seemingly meager 12-point win over Bucknell, don't be. John Jenkins, who is averaging 20.5 points through his first two games, missed the contest with a sprained ankle.
No Jenkins, no Ezeli, but a 12-point win? Not bad.
Vanderbilt has a lot of talent. The top seven scorers from last season's team are back, and ESPNU Top 100 recruits Kedren Johnson and Dai-Jon Parker have already contributed.
Don't sleep on this team.