Vanderbilt has a rich history with the 3-point shot, to say the least.
Even so, the current group of Commodores has a chance to be one of the program’s most prolific from behind the arc. That’s the opinion of coach Kevin Stallings, who was not terribly impressed when his team made seven 3-pointers and 41.2 percent of its 3-point attempts in its season-opening 95-73 victory over Lipscomb on Monday.
“I know this sounds crazy but 41 percent is …I guess I hope it’s an average night,” Stallings said. “But that was just an average night from 3 because we have two or three guys who can make them and we’re going to make them most nights.”
Senior Jermaine Beal made a team-high three on six attempts, and sophomore Brad Tinsley made two of three.
There was only one game in all of 2008-09 when those two both failed to make at least one 3-pointer. Beal was shut out a total of five times and Tinsley just four in 31 contests.
Tinsley eventually made 69, which tied VU’s record for the most by a freshman. Shan Foster made the same number in 2004-05.
Many think that John Jenkins, a graduate of Station Camp, will threaten, if not surpass, that mark this season.
Jenkins attempted five in collegiate debut but made just one, and sophomore Lance Goulbourne made his only long-range shot. Beal, Tinsley and Goulbourne combined to make four 3-pointers in a 25-10 run to start the contest.
As a team, there were opportunities to shoot plenty more throughout the night as Lipscomb relied predominantly on a zone defense.
“We were talking about getting it inside, we wanted to get inside and not just shoot a bunch of 3s,” Stallings said. “That’s the reason they went to a zone – to keep us from throwing it inside. So we wanted to continue to throw it inside.”
Overall, Vanderbilt shot 58.9 percent from the field and outscored Lipscomb 46-28 in the paint.
Tinsley made the first '3,' which extended to 730 Vanderbilt’s streak of consecutive games with at least one 3-point basket. Only UNLV (738) has a longer active streak, and those two schools plus Princeton are the only ones in Division I with at least one 3-pointer in every contest since the shot was added in 1986-87.
For now, there’s no reason to think that streak is in jeopardy.
“They have guys that can shoot it with Beal and Tinsley and Jenkins,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said.
Not only can they shoot 3s, Stallings believes they can make them, Lots of them.
• Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team plays its first road game of the season when it travels to Southern Illinois. Tip-off is 7:05 p.m. (CST).
That team, ranked 22nd in the latest AP poll, defeated Lehigh 90-54 in its opener on Sunday. The Commodores scored 47 points in the first half, their most in the first half of a season-opener under coach Melanie Balcomb.
Southern Illinois is 0-1 after getting beat 71-45 by St. Louis in its opener.