With three games left in the regular season, Vanderbilt is still on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Joe Lunardi lists the Commodores as one of the last four teams in the dance, making Saturday’s game absolutely huge for them. Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones admitted as much to reporters yesterday.
“We’re trying to play to get to the tournament and they’re a team we have to beat to get in the tournament,” Baldwin said. “Huge game for us.”
Many believe that Jones, a junior, could head to the NBA after this season, and if you read between the lines, he also believes this could be his last chance.
“Just trying to make the tournament,” Jones said of his impressive play as of late. “It’s been my dream forever and I’m just trying to make it happen.”
Jones had 27 points in Vandy’s win over Florida on Tuesday, and Baldwin said Jones’ sense of urgency has carried over to the rest of the team.
“I think there’s definitely a sense of urgency, especially with all the expectations coming into the season on where we should be and we let it slip a little bit, but now we’re here and the opportunity is right in front of him. And the sense of urgency that got into [Jones] got into the rest of us.”
What will the atmosphere be like in Memorial Gymnasium tomorrow?
“I hope it’s at a maximum capacity,” Baldwin said. “Maximum crowd with maximum energy and loud.”
So, just another day on the road in the SEC for the Cats.