The Vanderbilt Commodores return home to the friendly confines of Memorial Gym to take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Wednesday evening. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on the SEC Network. 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.
The Commodores dropped to 5-2 on the season after an 80-65 loss to N.C. State on December 1 in Miami, Fla., at the Miami Hoophall Invitational at American Airlines Arena. Freshman Simisola Shittu and sophomore Saben Lee led the Vanderbilt effort with 15 points apiece.
All Vanderbilt students are invited to take a break from the stress of studying for finals at the game Wednesday. The festivities will begin when gates open at 5 p.m. Students can de-stress with therapy dogs, free massages, inflatables, and taking part in a yoga session. In addition, the first 500 students to the event will receive a free frocket t-shirt and students can enjoy a free Mac n’ Cheese bar while supplies last.
Dee Jay Silver will also be performing live throughout the game.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
- Shittu has scored in double figures in seven of eight 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 December 3, Shittu ranks sixth in the SEC in rebounding (8.0) and eighth in scoring (16.0).
- 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.
- In their last appearance at Memorial Gym, the Commodores scored 120 points against Savannah State, 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.
- 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 five 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 was 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 Dec. 3, the Commodores rank third in the SEC in scoring (84.6).
- 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 December 3, Shittu is eighth in the SEC in scoring (16.0), sixth in rebounding (8.0), sixth in defensive rebounding (5.9). He also is tied for third in field goal percentage (.581). Saben Lee is eighth in assists (4.0), Clevon Brown is tied for 10th in blocks (1.7), and Matt Ryan is fifth in three’s made (2.4) and 10th in 3FG % (.386).
About Middle Tennessee
- Middle Tennessee enters the game with a 3-5 overall record after dropping an 84-74 decision to Lipscomb in their last time out.
- Antonio Green leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game.
- The Blue Raiders have won the last three games in the series, dating back to the 2012-13 season. Vanderbilt’s last win in the series came on January 28, 2012 at Memorial Gym (84-77).
Vanderbilt (5-2) vs. Middle Tennessee (3-5)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Kevin Fitzgerald (pxp), Pat Bradley (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: XM 190
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
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 Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt will move to 1,039 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 Conference USA
The Commodores are 66-25 all-time against current members of Conference USA.