NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Commodores welcome nationally-ranked Kentucky to Memorial Gym for a Tuesday evening contest in the 193rd career meeting between the two schools. The game will begin at 6 p.m. and be televised live on ESPN.
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 VUCommodores.com and the VUCommodores app.
1965 SEC Regular Season Champions To Be Honored
The 1965 SEC regular season champions will be honored at halftime of Tuesday’s game with the Wildcats, the third SEC championship team to be honored this season. Earlier this season, the 1974 and 1993 teams were honored by Vanderbilt Athletics.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
• Vanderbilt dropped to 9-14 overall and 1-9 in SEC play after a hard-fought, 80-70 loss at Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville, Mississippi. Junior Saben Lee scored 20 points to lead the Commodores, his seventh game with 20 or more points this season. He also added six steals, the most by a Commodore since Dan Cage had six steals vs. Furman on Nov. 28, 2006. Redshirt sophomore Ejike Obinna tied a season high with 12 points and freshman Jordan Wright tied a career high with 11 points.
• The Commodores captured their first SEC win of the season and snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 99-90 win over No. 18 LSU last Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. Junior Saben Lee scored a career-high 33 points, while fellow junior Maxwell Evans tallied a career-high 31 points with 25 of those coming in the first half.
• Kentucky will be the second consecutive ranked opponent to play at Memorial Gym after LSU’s visit last week. Vanderbilt is 95-238 all-time against ranked opponents and 65-78 at home. Vanderbilt is 15-89 all-time against a ranked Kentucky team and 14-36 at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats have won seven consecutive games in the season, but the Commodores have led by double digits in four of those games.
• Lee and Evans are only the second scoring duo in the country to score 30 or more points in a single game this season, joining Austin Peay’s Jordyn Adams and Terry Taylor, who have done it twice. It was the first multiple 30-point efforts by an SEC team since Jodie Meeks (32) and Patrick Patterson (33) against Tennessee State (12.22.2008).
• Lee and Evan’s 30-point games are the first in a single SEC game since 1996-97. It was the first Vanderbilt duo to score 30 or more points in a game since Jeff Fosnes (39) and Butch Feher (34) vs. Jacksonville on 12.21.74. Clyde Lee (33) and John Ed Miller (30) also accomplished the feat on 2.16.65 against Kentucky.
• Dylan Disu notched his third double-double earlier this season at Kentucky. He’s tied for second among all freshmen in the SEC in double-doubles (Trendon Watford first with four). He has the highest single-game total for a freshman in the league for steals (5, vs. Tulsa, 11.30.19) and blocks (5, vs. Kentucky, 1.29.20)
• Lee is the team’s scoring leader. He is averaging 16.9 points and 4.5 assists per game, which ranks 6th in both categories in the SEC in all games. Lee is also seventh in field goal percentage (.487), seventh in total free throws made (96), sixth in total free throws attempted (129), and eighth in steals/game (1.7). Lee is averaging 26.5 ppg in last two games.
• Scotty Pippen Jr. is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists/game (9th, 3.7), free throws made (10th, 90), and free throws attempted (6th, 129).
• The Commodores are a youthful bunch – in the last game against LSU, Vanderbilt started two true freshmen (Disu, Pippen Jr.), a redshirt sophomore (Obinna), and two juniors (Evans, Lee). True freshmen have accounted for 39% minutes played, and with Aaron Nesmith’s minutes taken away, freshmen have played 45% of minutes played. Disu, Jordan Wright, and Pippen Jr. have all scored in double figures in a game in at least one game. According to KenPom.com, Vanderbilt has 1.13 years of experience on its roster, which ranks 320th in Division I basketball.
• Among freshmen in the SEC in all games, Pippen Jr. ranks sixth (11.3) and Disu 13th (6.7 ppg) in scoring. Pippen is second in assists with 3.7/game. He is second in the league lead in free throws made (90) and is the league leader in free throws attempted (126) among all freshmen.
• As a team, the Commodores are third in the SEC in threes made/game (8.3) and total threes (119). Vanderbilt has been to the charity stripe 527 times this season, which ranks 4th in the SEC.
• It was announced before the Texas A&M game that Vanderbilt’s leading scorer Aaron Nesmith would be out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Prior to the injury, Nesmith led the SEC in scoring with 23 points per game and was fifth nationally. He also led the SEC and nation in 3FG/game with 4.29 and 3FG% at .522. He had also made an SEC-best 60 threes this season through 14 games. He also ranked eighth in free-throw percentage (.825) and field-goal percentage (.512) prior to his injury.
• Amazingly, Nesmith is still third in the SEC in threes made in all games (60). Nesmith has not played a game since Jan. 8.
• The Commodores have had five first-round NBA Draft picks since 2012, the second-most in the SEC in that time span — Darius Garland (5th, Cleveland Cavaliers), Wade Baldwin IV (17th, Memphis Grizzlies), Damian Jones (30th, Golden State Warriors), and John Jenkins (23rd, Atlanta) and Festus Ezeli (30th, Golden State). Garland, Jones, and former standout Luke Kornet (Chicago Bulls) are all active players in the NBA.
Series Record: Kentucky leads, 145-47
Last Meeting: Kentucky – W, 71-62
Jan. 29, 2020 – Lexington, Ky.
At Vanderbilt: Kentucky leads, 48-23
Jerry Stackhouse vs. Kentucky: 0-1
Kentucky Series Records/Important Dates
• Kentucky leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 145-47. Kentucky has won seven consecutive games in the series, dating back to a Vanderbilt win at Memorial Gym on Feb. 27, 2016 (74-62).
• Kentucky leads the series, 48-23, in games played at Vanderbilt. The Wildcats have won three straight at Memorial Gym.
• 2.27.16 – Matthew Fisher-Davis tied his career-high with 20 points, and Vanderbilt upset No. 16 Kentucky 74-62 for their first over the Wildcats at Memorial Gym since 2011.
• 1.27.88 – Vanderbilt snapped a 13-game losing streak to Kentucky with a dominating, 83-66, win over the ninth-ranked Wildcats. Kentucky native Scott Draud had 22 points and Barry Goheen had 17 as Vanderbilt shot 13-of-20 from beyond the arc. All-American Will Perdue scored 17 and Barry Booker had 14. The win was C.M. Newton’s first against Kentucky in seven years of trying as Vanderbilt’s head coach.
• 3.2.74 – Vanderbilt wrapped up its first SEC title since 1965 when the Commodores topped Kentucky 71-69 on March 2, 1974. During the game, Vanderbilt had learned that Florida upset Alabama in Gainesville, meaning the win would claim at least a share of the SEC. Vanderbilt would have won the title outright over Alabama that year, but lost at Florida to close the regular season.
Vanderbilt (9-14, 1-9 SEC) vs. Kentucky (18-5, 8-2 SEC)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 6 p.m.
TV Talent: Karl Ravech (play-by-play), Jimmy Dykes (analyst), Marty Smith (sidelines)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Live Stats: VandyStats.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB