2017-18 SEC Player Preview: Matthew Fisher-Davis

In Features by Blake Lovell

It wasn’t exactly a smooth junior season for Matthew Fisher-Davis.

After being benched and suspended at different periods throughout the year, the rocky season ended with a memorable foul when a foul wasn’t needed at the end of the NCAA Tournament game against Northwestern.

The good news? That was last year.

What happened in the NCAA Tournament no longer matters. What happened during the ups and downs that led to less minutes no longer matters.

Fisher-Davis now has a clean slate heading into his final season with the Commodores, and he’ll have a chance to showcase why he’s one of the SEC’s top players when he’s at his best.

Inside the Numbers

Despite the fluctuation in minutes at times last year, Fisher-Davis still averaged 13.9 points in 27.9 minutes per contest.

His 3-point percentage took a bit of a dip from his previous two seasons – 37.2 percent last year versus 44.6 percent the year before – but that likely had more to do with some of the struggles that he faced throughout the season.

Of course, the stat that jumps out the most from the 2016-17 campaign is games started.

Fisher-Davis only started 22 of the team’s 34 games, which was certainly much lower than expected after such a good sophomore season.

Lovell’s Analysis

Here’s the deal: Although Fisher-Davis had his ups and downs, he was still an important part of this Vanderbilt team.

And with a fresh start, he now becomes the most important part of this Vanderbilt team.

He’s a prolific scorer that can explode for points in a hurry, as evidenced by his 24 double-figure scoring games last season and his 33-point outburst against Auburn last January.

What Bryce Drew will need most from Fisher-Davis is to find the consistency needed to be the most reliable player on the court, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

If the senior guard can find that, it’ll go a long way towards erasing the negatives of last season.

And in turn, it should help the Commodores stay on track for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

Blake Lovell is the founder of Southeast Hoops. He hosts the Marching to Madness podcast, which features interviews with coaches around the country. He also hosts a weekly college basketball show on WNSR 560AM/95.9 FM in Nashville. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Athlon Sports, Rivals, FanRag Sports, and many more.