Jerry Stackhouse has had really good success in the NBA as a player and coach. In his college career, he played two seasons at North Carolina and in his sophomore season, he was named Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated. He played in the NBA from 1995-2013 with various teams including 76ers, Pistons, Mavericks, Bucks, Heat and Nets. After his playing career, he became an assistant for the Toronto Raptors and then the head coach of their D-League affiliation. In 2018-19 he became an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies.
College Experience and Player Development
Stackhouse lacks the college experience being in the NBA in the past two decades. The staff he hired will play a key part in the transition immediately. He will be dependent on David Grace and James Strong with adjusting to the college game with their experience. The ability to develop his players will be important to get the most out of his roster. Therefore Adam Mazarei, and himself, with NBA experience will be great for the player’s development. In order for Vanderbilt to have the best success under Stackhouse, the adjustment period must be quick and the staff must put themselves in a position to recruit and develop at a high level.
His roster has holes on it that must be filled out through bringing in more talent. However, he will have a very dynamic wing in Aaron Nesmith to be the go-to player this season. The continued growth of Saban Lee will be very important, as this would give them a lead guard depend on. Also, the development of Yanni Wetzell, Clevon Brown and Matthew Moyer will be very important for the frontcourt’s success. Year one will be difficult as there are many departures from the previous year in Darius Garland, Shimu Shittu and Matt Ryan. The recruiting success will be the biggest booster for the future success of Vanderbilt.
The recruiting dynamic will be to bring in high-level recruits who are NBA bound. His experience in the NBA makes him very appealing for top-level players. The connection to the NBA gives Stackhouse the opportunity to get off to a quick start in recruiting. Furthermore, the mold of the recruiting plan can be very similar to Memphis. Just like Memphis, they have a coach with great NBA experience with great recruiting ties to high-level recruits. If he can implement the similar recruiting tactics of Memphis, then Vanderbilt can become a major force in the entire country. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and his style could be very beneficial to quick success at Vanderbilt.
The ability to get traction in the SEC will be difficult with the number of great programs. The ability to add highly talented recruits will be key to match the success of other top teams in the conference such as Kentucky, Florida and LSU. In order to have longevity, there must be a consistent success in conference play and start to get back to the middle of the SEC. The development of players on the roster will be crucial for success with many great players and coaches across the conference. Success for Vanderbilt starts by succeeding the SEC.
Stackhouse has a very hard task to bring Vanderbilt to a level to compete consistently in the SEC. Aaron Nesmith will give Vanderbilt a very good go-to player with a roster who had many departures from last season. The further development of Lee, Wetzell, Moyer and Brown will be very important for immediate success. Next, the staff will need to continue to develop chemistry throughout the season, as well as, understand the college landscape quickly to then capitalize on the recruiting trail. High-level recruits will be the target for Vanderbilt to give them an identity and ability to compete with the rest of the SEC. Jerry Stackhouse has a difficult task at Vanderbilt, but if he can dominate the recruiting trail in a similar way of Memphis then Vanderbilt could have major success under Stackhouse.
Images Courtesy of, 247Sports, FOX13 Memphis
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