MBB faces first true road test at Georgia Tech

Dec. 19, 2014

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Vanderbilt will face its first true road test of the 2014-15 season this Saturday in Atlanta when the Commodores take on ACC foe Georgia Tech. The game will be televised on ESPN3, and can be heard on the Vanderbilt IMG College Radio Network throughout Middle Tennessee.

The Commodores won their second consecutive game on Tuesday against Western Carolina, 99-79, at Memorial Gym behind Riley LaChance’s 26-point performance and Vanderbilt’s outstanding shooting from the floor. The Commodores’ 99 points in the contest was the most by a Vanderbilt team since February 16, 2012, when VU scored 102 at Ole Miss. It was also the most points scored at home since a 99-71 win over Longwood on December 19, 2011.

Game 10/Vanderbilt (7-2) vs. Georgia Tech (7-2)
Atlanta, Ga. – McCamish Pavilion – 1 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Nolan Alexander (pxp), Jon Babul (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB

Series Information
Series Record: Vanderbilt leads the all-time series, 40-32.
Last Meeting: Vanderbilt win, 76-63, on 12/21/2013.
Record at Vanderbilt: VU leads, 26-8.
Record at GT: GT leads, 22-13.
Record at Neutral Site: GT leads, 3-0.
Coach Stallings vs. GT: Coach Stallings is 3-2 vs. Georgia Tech.

About Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech enters the game with a 7-2 overall record after defeating Appalachian State, 70-57, on December 15. Marcus Georges-Hunt (11.4) and Demarco Cox (10.3) lead the Yellow Jackets in scoring. Charles Mitchell leads the team in rebounding at 7.2 per game. Georgia Tech has a +10.9 rebounding margin entering the game. This will be the 73rd meeting between the two schools, with Vanderbilt holding a 40-32 series advantage. Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt were both charter members of the SEC in 1932, with the Jackets leaving the league in 1964. Since Georgia Tech left the conference in 1964, the teams have met six other times, with the two teams splitting six meetings. The last meeting came last season at Memorial on December 21, a game Vanderbilt won, 76-63.

LaChance remains hot from the field
Freshman Riley LaChance poured in a career-high 26 points in Vanderbilt’s win over Purdue on Saturday and claimed SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his performance, and then followed with another 26-point game against Western Carolina. It was the most points scored by a Commodore freshman since A.J. Ogilvy scored 27 points on March 13, 2008, in a first-round game of the SEC Tournament in Atlanta, and the first time first a Commodore has scored 25 or more points in consecutive games since John Jenkins scored 26 at Ole Miss (2/16/12) and 28 at Georgia (2/19/12). LaChance is the leading freshman scorer in the SEC at 13.6 points per game and leads all SEC freshmen in three’s made per contest at 2.1 per game, which is fourth in the conference overall.

Damian Jones leads Commodores
Sophomore post player Damian Jones is off to a great start to his sophomore campaign, averaging 17.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in eight early contests. Jones, a preseason All-SEC First Team selection by the league’s coaches, has scored 20+ points in four games this year and is second in the SEC in field goal percentage (.598), 2nd in the SEC in scoring, 4th in rebounding, 5th in blocks (1.7), and 5th in defensive rebounding (4.9/game).

Vanderbilt among SEC leaders
The Commodores lead the SEC in FG% and is ninth in the country at 50.9%. VU is also 2nd in assists (17.0) and 3-Pt FG% (.410).

Assists Numbers
Vanderbilt has 153 assists against only 120 turnovers early in the 2014-15 season, and has two players in the top six in the SEC in assists, with Wade Baldwin IV second (5.3) and Shelton Mitchell sixth (4.4). Vanderbilt is second in the league in assists (17.0/game). The Commodores have 153 assists on 230 made baskets, a 66.5% clip, the best in the SEC, and are 16th in the nation in assists per game with 17.0 per contest.

Assist to Turnovers
The Commodores are on track to post their first positive assist-to-turnover ratio in a season since the 2010-11 season (454 assists, 441 turnovers that year).

Free Throws Galore
The Commodores made 38 of 43 free throws against Western Carolina, and was 22-22 at the charity stripe in the second half. It was the most made free throws in a game since Vanderbilt tied a school record with 40 against Kentucky on February 20, 1991.

Baldwin Off To Fast Start
Guard Wade Baldwin IV won his first SEC Freshman of the Week honor for his performance in wins over Lipscomb and Tenn. State. The 6’3 guard from Belle Mead, N.J., averaged 9.5 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in the two Vanderbilt wins. He also posted 10 assists in the win over TSU. Baldwin is 3rd in the SEC in assists (5.3) and 3rd in A/TO ratio (3.1).

SEC’s Youngest Backcourt
The Commodores’ freshman backcourt is the youngest in the SEC. In fact, Vanderbilt is the only school in the league to start three freshmen at the three guard spots.

Luke Kornet: En Fuego
7’0 sophomore forward Luke Kornet had a career-high vs. Lipscomb, posting a career-high 24 points on 10-11 shooting from the floor, and is shooting 50.0% (15-30) from three on the year.

Siakam Coming On
Senior forward James Siakam has started to come on as of late, averaging 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in the last six games coming off the bench. For the season, the Douala, Cameroon, native is averaging 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and is converting on 65.1% of his shots from the floor. He scored 20 points and had seven rebounds in his last game against Western Carolina.

Three-Point Streak Still Intact
Vanderbilt has made a 3-pointer in 905 consecutive games, a streak which began at the inception of the 3-point line in 1986-87. The Commodores rank second only to UNLV for the longest streak in Division I basketball. Vanderbilt, UNLV and Princeton are the only three schools in college basketball to have made at least one 3-pointer in every game played since the 3-point line was implemented.

Frontcourt Height
Vanderbilt’s starting frontline of 7-0, 6-10 & 6-6 is the second tallest in the SEC in terms of average height. Kentucky – 82.3 inches; Vanderbilt – 81.3 inches; LSU – 81.3 inches

Coach Stallings in 16th Year
Head Coach Kevin Stallings, the school’s all-time winningest coach, is in his 16th season with the Commodores and 21st overall as a head coach. Stallings has 299 career wins at Vanderbilt and 422 overall as a head coach. He has seven 20-win seasons in the last 10 seasons, with six NCAA tournament appearances and two Sweet 16’s (2004 and 2007). Against Tennessee State earlier this year, he won his 200th career game at Memorial Gym.

Commodores vs. the ACC
Vanderbilt has a 92-85 all-time record against the ACC. The 72 meetings against Ga. Tech is the most vs. any ACC team.