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On Vandy’s kids: Sophomore guards lead Vanderbilt – Christina Foggie, Jasmine Lister help injury-depleted Commodores to 12-1 start

Vanderbilt’s only loss came Dec. 18 to NC State in Raleigh, N.C. While full credit goes to the Wolfpack for that 66-59 win, there were some extenuating circumstances for the Commodores. The day before in practice, they lost promising freshman guard Maggie Morrison to an ACL injury.

That combined with the lingering effects of a concussion that has sidelined junior guard Gabby Smith — she was hurt before the season began and played in just one game before symptoms returned — left Vanderbilt with just nine in uniform. If Foggie has to miss some time, an eight-is-enough strategy will have to do for the Commodores.

From her Chat:

bb1985 (ny) Although there are many positive reasons for the top-tier teams to play much lesser teams, such as helping seed WCBB interest in new locales, or to help out a former player/ assistant now coaching at lesser program, or a historical relationship/ intra-state situation — how much is too much “cupcakes” on a top-tier schedule? It seems that the average of 12-15 cupcakes a year is typical for all the top programs. Yes, there are Conference considerations on the schedules. But should the cupcakes be pared back by 33% or cut back by 50%? Too many 40-50-60 point wins do not seem to bolster WCBB…

Mechelle Voepel: I’m thinking about this question in particular knowing that Baylor is playing Mississippi Valley State on Friday, a game that should NEVER take place. I agree with your latter point in particular, that some of these scores are just gross and make women’s basketball look bad. Which is not to say there are not blowouts in men’s hoops; I’m not comparing the two. But scores in the 20s make me gag. As I mentioned in the last chat, I don’t know what good teams get out of playing opponents that they know, year in and year out, are total doormats.

I, too, understand the reasons for scheduling cupcakes — particularly the economic ones, and recognize that there are negative consequences, too. I think you  also have to take in to account the logistical challenges of scheduling. From Sherri Coale:

You can ask a coach and [they] would not like to be on the road three times in a row. And a coach would like to have at least two games televised on their home court on Saturdays, etc. etc. You come up with 15 criteria [and] at the end of those criteria you can’t build a schedule. It is physically and humanly impossible to satisfy all of those criteria and come up with a schedule.

But, I’ve heard over and over coaches saying, “some teams won’t play us.” This in not just top-10 teams (“they don’t want the loss) but mid-majors (“they don’t want to risk the loss”). Here’s my solution: If one program won’t play the other, let the public know why. Name names.

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