By Russell Lorentz, for Vandy Insider
Schedule potentially features nine teams who advanced to postseason in 2016
The 2017-2018 edition of the Vanderbilt Commodore Men’s Basketball team looks to set their sights on returning to the NCAA Tournament in the upcoming season, after overachieving in year one of the Bryce Drew Era after losing Wade Baldwin and Damian Jones, both first round NBA Draft selections.
The Commodores were able to navigate the toughest, most grueling schedule in all of college basketball a year ago in route to an eventual opening round loss to Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament.
Six opponents slated to be a part of the 2017-2018 schedule: Southern California, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Virginia, Kansas State, and Middle Tennessee, all played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, while NIT participants Belmont and TCU and CBI Tournament qualifier UNC-Asheville are also on the challenging slate.
Vanderbilt could potentially bolster its non-conference schedule when it participates in the NIT Season Tip-off as ACC power Virginia, Rhode Island, and Seton Hall all take to the hardwood in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, two home contests against Austin Peay and UNC-Asheville will be a part of the tournament.
The Commodores will play 9 of 12 non-conference games in Memorial Gym, including PAC-12 foe USC, Conference USA Champion MTSU, along with Big 12 teams Kansas State and TCU.
Vanderbilt will have two non-conference road tests, but only one true road game until the ‘Dores travel to Tempe, Arizona to take on Arizona State on Dec. 17.
The second contest features a date with cross-town Belmont University, which figures to be a defacto home game for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt suffers the loss of graduating seniors, Nolan Cressler and All-SEC Performer Luke Kornet, who signed a free agent deal with the New York Knicks. Reliable Jeff Roberson, sharp-shooters Matthew Fisher Davis and Riley LaChance, and an athletic Joe Toye all return, paired with a nationally recognized recruiting class in what looks to be a promising upcoming season.
Full schedule link.