Vanderbilt hires NBA G League President Malcolm Turner as its new AD

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt has hired NBA G League President Malcolm Turner as its new athletic director, opting for a business executive over candidates with experience in college athletic administration for the Southeastern Conference’s only private university.

Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said current and former athletic directors were among the diverse candidates Vanderbilt considered before choosing Turner.

“Malcolm didn’t come up through college athletics but I think he is a great fit for Vanderbilt,” Zeppos told The Associated Press.

David Williams II, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt University is seen here shaking hands with former SEC Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow. (Photo Mike Strasinger)

Turner will start Feb. 1 and replace David Williams, the first African-American athletic director in the SEC, to cap a search that started in September.

It has been a remarkable run and I have cherished the opportunity to work with so many passionate and committed students, coaches and staff,” said Williams. “After 27 years as a senior administrator in higher education, I am also excited to move back to my first love of teaching and to bring all that I’ve learned and experienced fully into that role.”  ”

— David Williams, from his official resignation statement

Zeppos introduced Turner on a conference call with reporters Tuesday and said Turner was a top candidate from the first names suggested by the search firm used by Vanderbilt. Zeppos sees Turner’s experience will give him a sense of where college athletics are going.

“Vanderbilt is a really special place and offering that rare combination of student-athletes and that commitment to an opportunity for excellence on and off the field was just a very compelling proposition for me,” Turner said.

“The strategic thinking and the ability to kind of say this is where this should be going, it was very, very important to me,” Zeppos said.

A graduate of North Carolina, Turner earned both law and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard. He was a senior vice president at OnSport, a North Carolina-based sports and entertainment consulting firm that worked with the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR and also media rights in both professional and college sports. After being acquired by Wasserman Media Group, Turner worked for the consulting division as managing director helping launch the company’s golf division.

He became the third president of the G League in 2014, and he worked on both coach and player development and pushed for two-way contracts with the league adding 10 clubs. He will be replaced as G League president by 12-year veteran Shareef Abdur-Rahim, currently the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations.

Turner also has been on advisory boards for Teach for America, North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the UNC Board of Visitors and the board of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund.

Map of the franchises for the 2018-2019 season.

John Ingram, chairman of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust and a member of the search committee, called Turner a unique candidate and a perfect fit.

“I’m excited to assist and support Malcolm as we write this next chapter in Commodores history,” Ingram said in a statement.

Vanderbilt faces a unique challenge in the SEC landscape fighting for attention and support in Nashville, which has become a professional market with the addition of the NHL’s Predators and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans in the late 1990s. This also is the SEC’s smallest and only private university with a small local alumni base along with high academic standards.

In the NCAA’s last Academic Progress Rate for the 2016-17 academic year, 11 Vanderbilt programs finished with perfect 1,000 APR scores with the football team No. 2 nationally. Yet under Williams, Vanderbilt won four national championships in baseball (2014), women’s tennis (2015) and women’s bowling (2007 and 2018). Football just earned its second bowl berth in three seasons.

“The business background certainly will be important for him in looking at the whole range of revenues, expenses, facilities working with a very talented management team and putting this all into a big and bold university strategic plan,” Zeppos said.

Williams also will be available for questions staying on campus as a full-time law professor overseeing a Sports, Law & Society program at Vanderbilt Law School. Turner called Williams a “legend” and someone whose expertise he plans on tapping.

“He certainly leaves a wonderful legacy, and I’m intent to build upon the fine work he and his team have already done,” Turner said. “I really believe the foundation is showing the future is bright, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about what we can accomplish together as a Commodore community.”

Turner said he discussed the future of Vanderbilt’s athletic facilities in general while interviewing for this job. Vanderbilt Stadium, home of the football program, had its last major renovation in 1981. Turner said he plans to start by listening to athletes, coaches and the Vanderbilt community first.

“Certainly we will develop an athletic strategic plan to help us build and grow the program,” Turner said.


Follow Teresa M. Walker at

Hillsboro High School ISR Seniors and Juniors participate in the annual science symposium event at UTK

Recently, five Hillsboro High School students from the Interdisciplinary Science and Research traveled to University of Knoxville to present their independent research projects at the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Oliver Eagan, a junior, placed first in the poster talk category with his presentation of “Investigating Oxy E as a Cancer therapeutic using MOCCA Cells”. Eagan also qualified for a bid to the TJSHS national competition.

Others who attended are senior Joshua West, senior Sylvie Stephenson, senior Maya Kiev, and  junior Tony Potchernikov are ISR seniors and juniors who proposed and completed intensive research projects that took nearly an entire semester to complete.

Josh West, a HHS senior shared that his biggest takeaway from the trip was learning that people really can change life for the better.  “People our age can make a real impact in science, and I was impressed by the amount of research my peers conducted”.

The project has been described as similar to capstone projects college students complete their senior year. Learning how to complete long, indepth research projects enables students who opt for the challenge to be college ready before graduating high school.

Presenting infront of an audience can be terrifying for many, however, Sylvie Stephenson learned public speaking is an obstacle that can be conquered and overcome.  “Personally, I can see how far I’ve come in terms of public speaking, and it was a good confidence boost. It has always been difficult for me to speak in front of people, so this was a great opportunity for me.”

Using the skills, they learned from the past three years in the program, they work independently and communicate with their peers and instructors Dr. Joshua Swartz and Dr. Daniel Michel to produce their best research for their last year in the program. The Juniors create posters to show their research in cancer research for their semester. There are opportunities to present this research in which one is the TJSHS.

Three students nominated from schools give oral presentations, and two students for poster presentations. The objective of TJSHS is to promote research and experimentation in the sciences, tech, engineering, and mathematics at a high school level, recognize the significance of research in human affairs and the importance of human and ethical principles in the application of research results, search out talented youth, recognize their accomplishments, and encourage their interest, expand the horizons of research oriented students by exposure, increase the number of adults capable of conducting research and development, and provide opportunities for outstanding student researchers to present their findings orally to interested students and adults.

Selected by Dr. Swartz and Dr. Michel, these students represented the school and program excellently. Their project titles are shown:

 Sylvie Stephenson- Senior

Establishing a Link Between CCL5 Absence and Calbindin-Positive Amacrine Cells in GUS-GFP Mice

 Josh West- Senior

Teaching Students Computer Science Through AR Development with the Xbox Kinect

 Maya Kiev- Senior

Determining the Survival Rate of Stress Induced Wolbachia Infected Fruit Flies

 Tony Potchernikov- Junior

An Investigation into the Health of Richland Creek between 2013 and 2017

 Oliver Eagan- Junior (Placed First in Poster Talk)

Investigating Oxy E as a Cancer therapeutic using MOCCA Cells

The Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) Program  at Hillsboro is a four‐year program designed for highly motivated high school students who are interested in pursuing studies with a research‐based interdisciplinary science focus. These curricula are rigorous and will require students to be dedicated learners, open to new ideas, diligent in their work habits, intellectually honest, and willing to work collaboratively and respectfully with fellow students and university scientists.

Selected Achievements of ISR Students

  • Median ACT score of 28, with one third scoring above 30
  • 2015 National Merit Scholar and 2016 National Merit Semifinalist
  • 2015 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology Semifinalist
  • 12 students selected for Vanderbilt’s 6-week summer research internship Research Experiences for High School Students (REHSS)

College Matriculation

Colleges attended by recent ISR graduates include:

  • Belmont University—Full Ride Scholarship
  • Rhodes College—Full Ride Scholarship
  • Lee University—Full Ride Scholarship
  • University of Colorado at Boulder—Full Ride Scholarship
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Dartmouth College
  • George Washington University
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago

NCAA bowling championship: Vanderbilt stages comeback vs. McKendree, wins second title

ST. LOUIS — In a drama-filled title game, Vanderbilt bowling rallied from an early deficit to top McKendree four games to three and claim the 2018 NCAA bowling championship on Saturday night.

MORE: Final bracket | Highlights

In a best-of-seven format, McKendree jumped out to a 3-2 lead and forced the Commodores to stage a comeback to stave off a loss at Tropicana Lanes in St. Louis.

The Commodores took Game 6 thanks in part to a clutch 10th frame from Maria Bulanova, extending the contest to a Game 7. There, Vanderbilt drilled four straight strikes to build a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The NCAA championship is the second in Vanderbilt bowling history and second for head coach John Williamson. The title is the fourth national championship in Vanderbilt athletics history.

The Nashville Predators extend point streak to 15 and clinched bid to Playoffs!

DENVER  — The Preds are in!

The Nashville Predators didn’t break out the bubbly or anything rowdy like that after becoming the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season.
“Business as usual,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said of the low-key celebration that included some pizza. “Back to work.”

With their win against Colorado, the predators are first in going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Monday night’s win against the Sabres extends the point streak with the Pred’s win, 4-0.

Pekka Rinne earned another shutout with 35 saves.

In addition, The Predators only need fewer than 10 more points in their final 11 games to top the franchise record.

Nashville is coming in hot to the playoffs. They have 106 points as of Monday night and continue to stay on top being chased by Tampa Bay who is second overall in the league. The streaking Predators are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and haven’t lost in regulation since Feb. 17 against Detroit.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe AP
Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) watches the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres Monday, March 19, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Clinching Game against the Avalanche
“The guys knew with a win tonight we would clinch and I think they fought hard for it,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “I really liked our game tonight.”
Starting goalie Pekka Rinne was given the night off after helping Nashville to a win Thursday at Arizona.

MacKinnon nearly tied the game late in the third period, but his shot hit off the shoulder of Saros.

Nashville weathered two penalties by P.K. Subban in the final period. Colorado pulled Varlamov in the final two minutes and it led to a game-sealing goal by Forsberg into an empty net with 1:09 remaining.

Landeskog gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in the second, but Forsberg tied it three minutes later. Sissons put the Predators up for good when his shot clanged off the crossbar and dropped into the net.

The Predators have at least one point in a franchise-best 14 consecutive road games. Sissons scored in the first period by sending in a shot off Varlamov’s shoulder. “You have to be happy with our effort,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. Laviolette felt the same way, and took a measure of pride in becoming the first team to clinch. Now, about that muted celebration. “There’s no champagne in there,” he said. “We’re moving on.”

Extending the Western Conference Lead Over Las Vegas

Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen scored goals 4:34 apart in the second period, and Filip Forsberg and Ryan Hartman sealed the victory by scoring in the final four minutes improving the Nashville Predators point streak to 14-0-1 in their past 15 games

The Preds also extended their team-best road winning streak to nine straight. They haven’t lost in regulation since a 3-1 defeat to Detroit at home on Feb. 17.; And they improved to 12-0-3 in their past 15 road games since a 3-0 loss at Vegas on Jan. 2.

Rinne won his 11th straight to match his personal best in a stretch in which he’s allowed just 18 goals.

The shutout was the 51st of his 12-year career and third in nine games.

And Rinne also improved to 40-9-4 in becoming the NHL’s seventh goalie to win 40 games in a season three or more times.


Looking Forward to Thursday’s Game.

Predators Host Toronto Maple Leafs 


Rinne joined a list of three-time 40-game winners led by former New Jersey goalie Martin Broduer, who reached the milestone eight times.

Washington’s Braden Holtby is the only other active goalie to win 40 games three times.

The other three-time 40-game-winners were Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Mikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov. … Sabres RW Kyle Okposo returned after missing three games with a concussion. … With 10 games left, the Predators inched closer to matching franchise records for most wins (51) and points (110) set in 2006-07.



Matthew Fisher-Davis Injured in recent game, out rest of season

Vanderbilt senior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis will miss the rest of the season with an injured right shoulder. Fisher-Davis already had missed two games since his shoulder was hurt Jan. 13 in a 74-67 loss to Kentucky .

Vanderbilt announced the severity of Fisher-Davis’ injury on Tuesday before the Commodores’ game at No. 22 Tennessee.

Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew on Matthew Fisher-Davis’ injury “He is obviously one of the best shooters in the league”

“Thanks to the Vanderbilt family and, in particular, Athletic Director David Williams and Coach Kevin Stallings and his staff, for affording me the opportunity to be a part of such an esteemed university as Vanderbilt,” said Fisher-Davis.

“Also thanks to Coach Bryce Drew and his staff for my continued development as a basketball player and a young man. I am forever grateful.

I anticipate a speedy and full recovery and look forward to representing Vanderbilt University to the best of my ability. God is good all the time! Anchor Down!” Said Fisher-Davis when asked about his injury.

One user on twitter replied “Devastated for @MFD5_ but he has such a bright future ahead of him. There’s no stopping him.”

Another user said “Vandy fans will miss you, @MFD5_ Thanks for your dedication to the university. Good luck in your recovery”.

Fans of the Commodores are coming together to wish the fallen player well, and to offer best wishes and encouragement on the road to recovery.

Middle Tennessee earns 3rd straight win over Vanderbilt

Middle Tennessee forward Nick King (5) drives between Vanderbilt center Djery Baptiste (12) and guard Saben Lee (0) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Middle Tennessee won 66-63. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In a series that was once a gimme for Vanderbilt and a character building moment for MTSU, the last three match-ups have taken a spin for the toward the interesting as Middle Tennessee gets its third straight win over the Commodores winning Wednesday night 66-63.

Middle Tennessee’s Nick King, one of the nation’s top scorers,  enjoyed leading his team to another big game, scoring 23 points in their third straight win.

MTSU improved to 6-0 against the SEC and Big 10 since 2015. “That’s a great stat for the brand at Middle Tennessee and we’re trying to build it.””

— Kermit Davis, MTSU Head Basketball Coach

King is king when it comes to leadership. “He’s just a guy that can score at all three levels,” Middle Tennessee coach Kermit Davis said. “He can drive the ball, he’s shooting 50 percent from 3 and he’s got a really good post-up game.”

King, a transfer from Alabama, was a top 50 prospect coming out of Memphis East High School. The 6-foot-7 senior forward also played at Memphis for two seasons.

Brandon Walters and Giddy Potts both added 16 points for MTSU (6-1), whose only loss was to Belmont earlier this year.

“It’s great playing with Nick King because he’s pick-and-pop big,” Walters said. “So he’s versatile. His game can go inside-out, so if he goes inside I can pop out and get him the inside paint where he can go one on one because he’s a very good offensive scorer.”

King has earned the respect of his opponents who was sent to the charity stripe 11 times. King went 9 of 11 from the foul line and grabbed six rebounds. “He’s talented, especially offensively and he’s aggressive and he attacks,” Vanderbilt forward Jeff Roberson said. “So it’s about being able to play without fouling and it’s hard sometimes. So once he got rolling he got lots of points at the free-throw line and that didn’t help either.”

MTSU improved to 6-0 against the SEC and Big 10 since 2015. “That’s a great stat for the brand at Middle Tennessee and we’re trying to build it,” Davis said.

Vanderbilt kept it close and led at the half by 4 points. The ‘Dore’s Matthew Fisher-Davis came off the bench to score 17 points, including five 3-pointers, for Vanderbilt (3-6). Roberson added 13 points for the Commodores, who have lost five of their last six games.

“That’s the third one we’ve gotten the short stick here at the end,” Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We missed some key shots and you’ve got to credit Middle.”

Vanderbilt’s Riley LaChance missed a 3-point attempt with two seconds left that could have tied the game. LaChance was 0-for-6 from distance. Vanderbilt also lost tight home games to 25th-ranked Southern Cal 93-89 in overtime on Nov. 19 and to Kansas State 84-79 on Sunday.

The Commodores shot only 29 percent from the floor in the second half as a 32-28 halftime lead dissolved.

Middle Tennessee hosts Ole Miss (4-3) on Saturday before visiting another SEC team, Auburn, on Dec. 16. Ole Miss has lost two straight overtime games.

Vanderbilt visits 16th-ranked Arizona State (7-0) on Dec. 17 after an 11-day break for final exams. ASU’s explosive offense ranks fifth nationally (92.7 ppg).

Alabama Humiliates Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE – After an impressive beat down on Vanderbilt with the score of 59-0 in their home  stadium, the Crimson Tide are now on a 21-0 win streak.

Even though the trash talk was the only thing winning about Vandy, they got what asked for and then got destroyed.

Alabama’s offense did whatever it wanted against Vanderbilt’s defense. For example, the Crimson Tide scored a touchdown on four straight series.

The offense earned a total of 496 all purpose yards, racking up 422 yards on ground in 52 carries for 422 yards. In addition, the running backs having a great game,  even the offensive line jumped in making strong plays.

Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) hurdles Vanderbilt linebacker Jordan Griffin (40) and Vanderbilt linebacker Charles Wright (11) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (Vasha Hunt/Alabama Media Group via AP)

“We want to be respected… usually we are,” Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts said. ” l guess we felt like we didn’t have the respect that we kind of wanted coming into the game, so we just came out there and played Alabama football. I think we did a good job”

Vanderbilt (3-1) came in as one of the five remaining undefeated teams in the SEC with the nation’s stingiest defense in points, total yards and against the passes. This defense failed to show up on the field.

The Commodores had allowed just 13 points combined through three games , yet they no match for Alabama’s dominating ground game. Harris topped his season’s best by the end of the 1st quarter and needed only 12 carries for his big day. Scarborough ran 11 times for 79-yard TD run in the fourth quarter for a 59-0 lead. The Crimson Tide just simply ran all over Vanderbilt with 49 yards in the first half to Alabama’s 48 offensive plays.

“I was just out coached today. We were outclassed,” Mason said.

Alabama got linebackers Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings back after they missed the last two games with injuries. Jennings forced a fumble recovered by Da’Shawn Hand for the second takeaway by the Tide defense in the first quarter. Ronnie Harrison intercepted a tipped pass that ended Vanderbilt’s opening drive.

Kyle Shurmur came in completing 71 percent of his passes for Vanderbilt. With Alabama pressuring the quarterback, Shurmur was just 4 of 15 for 18 yards.

Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. (24) celebrates with Jedrick Wills Jr. (74) and Brandon Kennedy (56) after Robinson scored a touchdown on a 17-yard run against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 59-0. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The dominating team (4-0) now has won 19 straight over the SEC East. Better yet, Crimson Tide hasn’t lost to Vanderbilt since 1984 or in Nashville since 1969. Both streaks were assured at the end of the first quarter with Alabama up 21-0 after the second of Harris’ TDs and didn’t let up.

1st Downs    38    3
3rd down efficiency    9-15    1-11
4th down efficiency    2-2    0-0
Total Yards    677    78
Passing    181    38
Comp-Att    17-27    7-22
Yards per pass    6.7    1.7

Interceptions thrown    0    1
Rushing    496    40

Rushing Attempts    66    16
Yards per rush    7.5    2.5
Penalties    6-40    5-20
Turnovers    0    2
Fumbles lost    0    1
Interceptions thrown    0    1

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason comments “ It was a hard loss and soft spots in parts of his team”. The guys needed to know the difference between ideal self and real self, and real was losing underestimating their opponent. This loss marked the 5th largest losing margin in history. Mason called it a “quick wake-up call,’’ pointing to his team’s only loss after its first 3-0 start since 2011.The football team has some good things but for the first time the Commodores faced some adversity and didn’t punch back, even Mason himself. The humility look on the whole team change on that Sunday morning likely for the rest of the season.

‘’You are humbled by the process. You’ve got to get back to work and you’ve got to drive. That’s what started Sunday when I woke up and it’s probably not going to leave me until the end of the season.” said Coach.

Finally, next up on Alabama list is Ole Miss on their home field. Ole Miss has defeated Alabama in two of the last three matchups. Alabama won a 48-43 thriller in Oxford, Miss., last season. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday 9/30 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Predictions have been made toward Crimson Tide for the victory. As for Vanderbilt they will be facing Florida Gators at their opponent’s home field Saturday 9/30 11;00 AM. Hopefully the Commodores can regain their pride and pull out a victory.