Early Wednesday afternoon Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams announced former Valparaiso head coach Bryce Drew as the Men’s basketball team’s 27th coach in program history.
Bryce Drew is a home run hire in my opinion. He comes from a school that experiences many recruiting challenges just as Vandy does which is key. He also has won the Horizon league four out of the five years he has been at Valpo. It is absolutely clear that Bryce Drew knows a lot about the game of basketball and can recruit. He brings a defensive mind to West End that is very efficient and wins them games.
One of the biggest questions that has been asked is why Drew chose the Commodores over Georgia Tech. The answer is that Drew believes in the Commodores basketball program and the future of it. What Bryce Drew understands and I fully support is that with the right coach and right fit, Vanderbilt is a sleeping giant that can really be a top program. It is located in a great city and has seen other academic institutions such as Duke, Baylor and Stanford have great success.
Drew has a 124-49 overall record and is fresh off an incredible 30-7 2016 campaign. This marks the most wins in program history at Valparaiso as the Crusaders earned a berth to the NIT finals at Madison Square Garden.
I think what really makes this a great hire for the Commodores is the big name that Drew carries with himself. Because he is the best basketball player in Valpo history (He holds school records for points, three point field goals and assists) and played in the NBA for six years, people associate the name Bryce Drew among the best minds in basketball. This will help recruiting tremendously which is what Vanderbilt needs the most.
Coach Drew and his family are extremely excited to be in Nashville and I believe this could be a destination job for him, meaning he wouldn’t leave for another job. He definitely has a steep hill to climb and the first question is whether or not star center Damian Jones will return. If he does, The ‘Dores could be a top 25 team next year. If he doesn’t, the rumor is that 6’9″ Forward Alec Peters may transfer in. Peters played three years for Drew at Valpo and can transfer as a graduate student.
Lastly, what I love most about Bryce Drew is his swagger that he has about himself. He is very confident in his abilities as a coach and I love it. According to David Williams, one of the key parts of the interview with Bryce Drew was when the coach mentioned how he would win a National Championship. None of the other interviewees mentioned a Final Four but Bryce was confident enough to say a National Championship. Then, just a few days later, tells Vandy fans at his introductory press conference how hes going to do it. I absolutely love his fiery personality and because of this Vanderbilt basketball will be reborn.
Sometimes all it takes is a new face.
Go ‘Dores and Anchor Down!
University of Dayton ’18