NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt men’s basketball has announced a nine-game, nonconference schedule for the 2020-21 season which begins Nov. 27. The slate includes five home games and two on a neutral site.
Here’s a breakdown of whom the Commodores will face over the next month to start head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s second season:
Nov. 27, Valparaiso, Memorial Gymnasium
For the third time in program history, Vanderbilt will face the Crusaders of Valparaiso when the Missouri Valley Conference program comes to Nashville the final Friday in November.
Valparaiso, coached by Matt Lottich, went 19-16 last season and return three starters to a team that fell in the MWC championship game to Bradley.
Vandy is 2-0 against the Crusaders with victories coming in 2007 in Puerto Rico and 1996 in Nashville.
Dec. 1-3, Roman Legends Classic, Uncasville, Connecticut
Vanderbilt will leave Nashville first week of December to take part in the Roman Legends Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Commodores will begin the two-game event with a matchup against Connecticut at 4 p.m. CT on Dec. 1 on ESPN. The Huskies, coached by Dan Hurley, have three starters back for a team that finished 19-12 a season ago.
Vandy will then take the court at 6 p.m. (ESPN) or 8:30 p.m. CT (ESPN2) on Dec. 3 against either Southern California or Brigham Young. The Trojans of USC are coming off a 22-9 campaign and head coach Andy Enfield has three returning starters and three graduate transfers on this year’s squad.
The Cougars of BYU, one of the best offensive teams during the course of 2019-20, have two starters back after going 24-8 last season. Head coach Mark Pope had the nation’s best 3-point shooting team last year.
Vanderbilt is 0-3 against UConn, 1-0 against BYU and 2-5 against Southern California.
Dec. 8, Southern Methodist, Dallas, Texas
For the second time in 11 months, Vanderbilt will face the Mustangs of SMU – but this time will travel to Dallas for the first time since 1992.
Vandy will be going for a 15th win in 22 matchups against a Mustangs side that was 19-11 last season and brings back four starters for head coach Tim Jankovch.
Dec. 11, North Carolina Central, Memorial Gymnasium
Vanderbilt has not faced North Carolina Central before, a program out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Coached by LaVelle Moton, the Eagles were 18-13 last season and have four starters returning. Central was 13-3 in conference play last season and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2019.
Dec. 13, Mississippi Valley State, Memorial Gymnasium
Three starters have returned for a Mississippi State Valley team out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Head coach Lindsay Hunter’s squad will be making its second trip to Nashville – the Delta Devils lost 92-56 at Memorial Gymnasium in 1996. Hunter and Stackhouse were teammates on the Detroit Pistons from 1998-2000.
The matchup will be televised live by SEC Network and is slated to tip a 1 p.m.
Dec. 16, Richmond, Memorial Gymnasium
Richmond makes the return trip to Nashville after Vanderbilt dropped a 93-92 game in Virginia in overtime in 2019.
The Spiders went 24-7 last season and head coach Chris Mooney has all five starters returning this winter. Richmond is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Vandy is 2-2 all-time against the Spiders.
Dec. 19, Radford, Memorial Gymnasium
Radford will visit Nashville for the second time in three years after losing at Memorial Gymnasium in 2017.
The Highlanders, out of the Big South Conference, do not have any starters returning from a team that finished 21-11 in 2019-20. Head coach Mike Jones’ team was 15-3 in league play last year.
Dec. 22, Davidson, Davidson, North Carolina
Vanderbilt’s final test and final road game before the start of SEC play (Dec. 30) will be at Belk Arena against Davidson College, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Veteran head coach Bob McKillop has a squad that went 16-14 last season and brings back four starters.
The Wildcats went 36-6 at home over the last three seasons.