Commodores play N.C. State in Miami Hoophall Invitational Saturday

The Vanderbilt Commodores travel to Miami, Fla. for the Miami Hoophall Invitational to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack this Saturday.  The game will tip off at 4 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.  Commodore fans can also tune into the game on the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on WLAC 1510 AM and 98.3 FM, and online on and the vucommodores app.

The Commodores improved to 5-1 on the season after a 120-85 win over Savannah State Tuesday night at Memorial Gym.  A record eight players scored in double figures, with freshman Aaron Nesmith leading the way with a 20-point, 13-rebound effort, his first career double-double.  The point and rebound totals were also career-bests.

The 120 points scored is the most by a Vanderbilt team since December 22, 1970, when Vanderbilt scored a program-best 130 points in a win over Ole Miss (130-112).  It is also the first time Vanderbilt has scored 100 points or more since December 2, 2015 when the Commodores defeated Detroit, 102-52, at Memorial Gym.  It was also the third time Vanderbilt has scored 120 or more points (other game – March 8, 1969, Vanderbilt 120, Mississippi State 83).

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Freshman point guard Darius Garland, a five-star recruit and a 2018 McDonald’s All-American, was lost for the season after suffering a meniscus injury in his left knee against Kent State on November 23.  He suffered the injury two minutes into the game against the Golden Flashes.  Garland was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week in the opening week of the year after averaging 21.5 points per game in two Commodore wins over Winthrop and USC.  He also scored 33 points against Liberty on November 19, the most points scored by a SEC player this season.
  • Shittu has scored in double figures in six of seven games as a collegian and leads the team in scoring and rebounding.  He posted double-doubles in his first two games against Winthrop and USC, respectively.  As of November 28, Shittu ranks fifth in the SEC in rebounding and eighth in scoring.
  • Joe Toye scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time of his four-year career in the first three games of the 2018-19 season and has double-digit points in six of seven games.  Toye is the team’s lone senior.
  • Shittu tallied 15 rebounds against USC, the most by a Commodore since Jeff Roberson had 16 rebounds against Minnesota on December 3, 2016 in Sioux Falls, S.D. His 15 rebounds tied for the ninth-most by a Commodore in a single game in the last 20 seasons.
  • Vanderbilt won its first road game of the season at USC, the first time the Commodores have had a season-opening road win since a 72-70 win over St. Mary’s on November 20, 2009.  The game with N.C. State marks the first of two non-conference neutral-site games remaining on the Commodores’ schedule.  Vanderbilt will also play Kansas State in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. on December 22.
  • As of Nov. 28, the Commodores rank first in the SEC in 3FG% as a team (.378) and second in threes made (9.3).
  • Garland scored the most points by a Vanderbilt freshman in his collegiate debut (24 points) since Phil Cox scored 30 against Duke in 1981.  He also tied Savion Flagg of Texas A&M for the most points scored for an SEC team in their opening game of the season.
  • Shittu’s double-double was the first by a Commodore freshman in a season opener since Ted Young tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds against Rice in 1979.
  • Prior to the season, Garland was named to the Naismith and Wooden Award Preseason Watch Lists, while Shittu was named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, given to the nation’s top power forward.
  • According to KenPom, the Commodores rank 316th in the nation in terms of experience (1.13 years).
  • Head coach Bryce Drew, now in his third season, led the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Nashville, marking the first time in the history of the program a first-year Vanderbilt coach led his team to the tournament.
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Matthew Moyer, who transferred from Syracuse after the 2017-18 season, was granted immediate eligiblity by the NCAA this season on November 15.
  • As of November 28, Shittu is tied for eighth in scoring (16.0), ranks fifth in rebounding (8.3), first in defensive rebounding (7.0).  He also is tied for second in field goal percentage (.597).  Saben Lee is ninth in assists (4.2), Clevon Brown is tied for eighth in blocks (1.8), and Matt Ryan is tied for fourth in three’s made (2.7) and seventh in 3FG % (.410).

About N.C. State

  • N.C. State enters the game with a 6-1 overall record after dropping a hard-fought, 79-75 decision to Wisconsin in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.
  • Senior Torin Dorn leads the Wolfpack in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game.  C.J. Bryce (13.6) and Markell Johnson (11.9) also average double figures.
  • This will be the third consecutive meeting with the Wolfpack on a neutral floor.  The Commodores won the two previous meetings.  Each team has won on the opponents home floor in the series (Vanderbilt win in Raleigh, 65-59, on 12/30/68; N.C. State win in Nashville, 76-70, on 12/22/69).
  • In 2004 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, Fla., Vanderbilt staged a come-from-behind win to advance to the Sweet 16, 86-79 (3/21/04).  In 2011, the Commodores knocked off the Wolfpack, 86-79, in the semifinals of Legends Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. (11/19/11).

Miami Hoophall Invitational
Vanderbilt (5-1) vs. N.C. State (6-1)
Miami, Fla. – American Airlines Arena – 4 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Dave LaMont (pxp), Dalen Cuff (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 387
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates:  @VandyMBB

Three Point U
The Commodores are one of only three schools (UNLV and Princeton) to have made a three-point basket in every game since the inception of the three-point line in the 1986-87 season.

With a made three against N.C. State, Vanderbilt will move to 1,038 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

Freshmen Leading the Charge
The Commodores are one of only two programs (Duke) in the nation to have three separate freshman score 20 points or more in a game (Darius Garland, Aaron Nesmith, Simisola Shittu)

A freshman has also led the Commodores in scoring in every game this season.

Commodores in 86th SEC Season
Vanderbilt is now in its 86th SEC season and is a charter member of the league.  All time against current members of the conference, Vanderbilt is 715-706.

Against the ACC
The Commodores are 93-88 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference. Vanderbilt last played an ACC school on November 23, 2017, when they dropped a 68-42 decision to Virginia in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn, N.Y.