Vanderbilt’s hiatus from the men’s basketball rankings didn’t last long — just a week.
The Commodores are back in the polls, sitting at No. 25 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today rankings.
Vanderbilt (6-3) is the only three-loss team in either poll. The Commodores are tied with Creighton in the AP rankings, and just behind the Blue Jays in the coaches’ poll.
Vanderbilt's only game last week was an 87-83 victory at Davidson. It got a huge lift from 6-foot-11 center Festus Ezeli, who played for the first time since he sprained ligaments in his knee two weeks before the season opener. He scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots in just 21 minutes of action off the bench.
Jeffery Taylor scored a career-high 30 points and John Jenkins had 22 as Vanderbilt showed off its offensive strengths.
The Commodores started the season seventh in the AP preseason rankings — their highest mark in more than 45 years. They dropped a stunner to Cleveland State in the second game of the season. Then, two weeks ago, they lost consecutive overtime games to Xavier and Louisville, which are still unbeaten and ranked eighth and fourth, respectively.
Those setbacks dropped them from No. 18 to two spots outside of the top 25.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Saturday against Indiana State for a 4:30 p.m. tip-off (CSS) at Memorial Gymnasium.
• Women move up: The Vanderbilt women climbed up the top 25 rankings, moving up to 20th in the Associated Press poll.
It is the Commodores’ highest ranking in nearly two seasons. They are off to a 10-0 start — just the third time in coach Melanie Balcomb’s 10 years and first since 2004-05.
They play at North Carolina State at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Wolfpack (6-2) are 2-0 against the Southeastern Conference this season, with wins over Alabama and South Carolina.