NASHVILLE – Melanie Balcomb and her coaching staff – Ashley Earley, Tom Garrick and Kim Rosamond – have earned a reputation as one of the premier skill development staffs nationwide. Often times, they’ve made deep postseason runs despite not having the type of highly ranked recruiting classes that other schools have compiled. With back-to-back top 15 recruiting classes, that is no longer the case. The Commodores are supposed to sit amongst the nation’s elite. Here is our take on the current state of Vanderbilt women’s basketball.
1) The current freshman class is as good as advertised.
The collection of freshman was ranked No. 8 in the country by ProspectsNation.com this time last year. Through the first month of their initial campaign, they have been as good as projected helping lead Vanderbilt to quality wins over Dayton and Wisconsin. The trio of players in guard Rebekah Dahlman, forward Kylee Smith and post Marques Webb have narrative essay write up mixed in perfectly with the roster needs that Balcomb and her staff had.
Here’s the freshman class having fun on Media Day:
2) Christina Foggie is an All-SEC caliber player.
The senior guard is back to her sophomore year form after battling through the injury bug last season. When healthy, Foggie is an elite off the ball scorer capable of heating up from the outside at any moment. She very well could emerge as this year’s version of recent Kentucky graduate A’dia Mathies and serve as the primary scorer for a talented roster. Foggie is off to a red hot start averaging 19.6 points per to go along with 4.4 rebounds a game as well.
3) Melanie Balcomb is coaching with a full deck…sort of.
In Foggie, Balcomb has a potential first team all league guard. Dahlman, Smith and Webb could all very well be all freshman team selections. That said it appears that coach Balcomb has a loaded roster. That’s only partially true as there is essay writing service fast a void in the middle that Stephanie Holzer was projected to fill. An injury-riddled career forced Holzer to hang her sneakers up in the spring. Then sophomore center Kendall Shaw went down with a season long knee injury this summer. The Commodores have filled the voids in nicely so far using the versatility that the Vanderbilt faithful have become so accustomed to seeing from Melanie Balcomb coached teams dating back to Carla Thomas and Christina Wirth.
4) Versatility is key for the ‘Dores.
The aforementioned word versatility applies as much to this group as any in Balcomb’s tenure on the West End. Smith and sophomore forward Morgan Batey were both projected more as perimeter based options as high school prospects. Both of them have made a seemingly flawless transition to more of a high post based role. Webb and sophomore post Heather Bowe have been clutch on the interior early in the season. Out on the perimeter, it’s been business as usual with the scoring load carried by Dahlman and Foggie early. The point guard play of senior oral cancer research paper Jasmine Lister and sophomore Jasmine Jenkins has provided stability as the Dores navigate through a challenging non-conference schedule.
5) The future only gets brighter on the West End.
Vanderbilt is locked and loaded to welcome their third consecutive top 15 recruiting class next summer. The Commodores have recruited as well as any team in the SEC in that time frame. That success is evident in the underclassmen that they have been able to get to visit Nashville recently. Three class of 2016 prospects – No. 4 Crystal Dangerfield, No. 11 Chassity Carter and No. 13 Erin Boley – have all taken unofficial visits to catch up with Balcomb and her staff since the school year started.
Brandon Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Report, Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. The JumpOffPlus.com is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com