NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two games into his tenure, Jerry Stackhouse has seen the emergence of three key scorers on his team.
Sophomore guard Aaron Nesmith is scoring 23 points per contest, junior guard Saben Lee is pouring in 18 per game and senior center Clevon Brown is chipping in 13.5 per game. But the new Vanderbilt head coach doesn’t want his Commodores to become reliant on that trio’s efforts.
“I trust all these guys. I’m not trying to start a ‘Big Three’ or anything like that,” he said Monday. “We need everybody.”
The Commodores (2-0) are coming off a 71-66 win over visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday. Vandy had to fight its way back from a deficit time-and-time again in the first half, then hold off numerous runs by the Islanders in the second half.
Nesmith scored 21 in that win and was 8 of 15 from the floor while Lee came off the bench to net 15, including a key 3-pointer late. Brown, meanwhile, had 12 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Vandy will need similar numbers from those three – and more – for the team’s first road trip of the season and first road trip under Stackhouse. Vanderbilt plays at 6 p.m. CT Thursday at Richmond.
“We’ll just try to prepare for it. We’ll get there, get some dinner, guys will have a gym will they can go and get some shots early,” Stackhouse said. “It changes a little bit for us from a practice standpoint, we got to go earlier because of classes and things like that.
“But it’s a good test for us, to go on the road against a good team and see where we are. It always a positive to get something like on film against a good team to see what we can do. And you never know, we might grow up a little bit between now and then.”
Richmond began its season with a 100-98 win over St. Francis (Pennsylvania) on Friday. The Spiders (1-0) got a Keith Braxton steal and layup with one second on the clock to secure the victory.
Head coach Chris Mooney, now in his 15th season with the program, and Richmond are coming off a 13-20 campaign.
Vanderbilt leads the series with the Spiders 2-1 having lost the most-recent matchup 69-66 in the first round of NCAA Tournament in 2011 in Denver.
The Commodores last played at Richmond in 1978, a 70-59 win.
• Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPN+ with Bob Black and Greg Beckwith on the call.
• The Commodores have made at least one 3-pointer in 1,066 straight games.
• Nesmith is 24th in the country with 10 3s made and 36th with 23 points per game.
• Lee needs 221 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
• Lee ranks 46th nationally with six assists per game.
• Brown is 15th nationally with five offensive rebounds per game and 30th with a field goal percentage of 73.3 percent.