Jarred Vanderbilt has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. You can put all of your worries, doubts and speculations to bed.
Vanderbilt made his long-awaited debut at South Carolina on Tuesday night in what was a pretty solid first game of his career. He came in a little too hot in the beginning, but once he settled down and eased those nerves, he showed lots of promise for the future.
As fans, we need to be patient with Vanderbilt as he eases his way into action in the midst of a tough SEC slate. He needs time to get adjusted and familiar with the game, but as Kevin Knox said in his postgame comments, “Once he gets the feel for it and gets the plays down, he’ll be a great addition to the team.”
Vanderbilt was already a great addition, if nothing else than as an extra body for a short-handed team in a ton of foul trouble. But he was more than a sub to relieve the regular cast; he also made some plays that gave everyone a glimpse of what he’ll bring to a Kentucky team that desperately needs him on the floor.
Watch six plays that got us really excited about Jarred Vanderbilt…
1. This pass to Nick Richards was a dart:
Confidence clearly isn’t an issue, and is he already the team’s best passer?
2. He was very unselfish in making this extra pass to Sacha Killeya-Jones:
That’s nice awareness for a guy playing his first minutes of college basketball. There are some other players on the team who wouldn’t even see Killeya-Jones in that moment.
3. He crashed the offensive glass:
Effort and energy will earn him a lot of playing time, considering some of his teammates often lack both.
4. Watch him get this rebound and go:
His ability to rebound and handle the ball, plus his vision, will lead to a lot of easy buckets in transition.
5. He swatted Chris Silva’s shot:
Perfect timing, all ball — not up in here.
6. He showed off a quick turnaround bucket inside too:
If inexperienced and out-of-shape Jarred Vanderbilt can do all that, I can’t wait to see what late-March Jarred Vanderbilt can do.