Commodores Host Alabama In Salute To Service Game

After a two-game road swing, the Commodores return home to Memorial Gym to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday evening. The game will begin at 7:30 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 and the vucommodores app.

Vanderbilt dropped to 9-13 overall and 0-9 in SEC play after falling to Arkansas, 69-66, in Fayetteville, Ark. on Tuesday night.  Senior Joe Toye tied a career high with 18 points to lead the Commodores, with Simisola Shittu adding 12 points and Saben Lee pitching in 11 points.

Shittu also added a team-high eight rebounds, with Clevon Brown also adding seven rebounds.

Lee leads the Commodores in scoring with 13.5 points per game.  In his last seven contests, Lee is averaging 16.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, and is shooting 50.0% from the floor (33-66) and 53.3% from three (8-15).  He tied a career-high with 24 points at Oklahoma.

Salute To Service

Saturday is the Commodores’ annual Salute To Service Game, with current Vanderbilt players wearing the names of fallen soldiers on their shooting shirts prior to the game.  The Nashville Police and Fire Departments will also square off in a halftime basketball game.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Vanderbilt, an inaugural member of the Southeastern Conference, is in their 86th season of SEC competition. Vanderbilt has won two SEC Tournament titles (1951, 2012) and three regular season titles in 1965, 1974, and 1993.  This will be the 67th SEC season in Memorial Gym for the Commodores.
  • The Commodores enter the game as the 302nd-most experienced team in the country according to Vanderbilt’s leading top three leading scorers are two freshmen, Aaron Nesmith and Simisola Shittu, and sophomore Saben Lee.  
  • Nesmith leads the Commodores in SEC games only with 14.1 points per game.  He also averages 4.9 rebounds per game against league opponents, and has scored in double figures in six of his last eight games.
  • Shittu is the league’s freshman leading rebounder with 7.1 rebounds per game in all games.
  • Nine Commodores have scored in double figures in a game so far this season.
  • Vanderbilt freshman guard Darius Garland declared for the NBA Draft on Jan. 22.
  • Vanderbilt’s average height is 78.5 inches (6 feet, 5 inches) and ranks 17th nationally according to KenPom.
  • The Commodores have marched to the charity-stripe 545 times this season, which leads all SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is fourth in the SEC with 373 free throw makes.  23.0% of the team’s points comes from free throws (16th nationally).
  • Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (4th, 511), Defensive rebounds per game (5th, 26.23) and 3FG% Defense (4th, 32.5).
  • Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (8th, 3.9), free throw attempts (2nd, 162) and free throws made (2nd, 114).  Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (7th, 133), total 3FG made (48), and 3FG made per game (8th, 2.14), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (7th, 5.32), double doubles (10th, 3), free throw attempts (6th, 112), rebounds per game (9th, 7.1), and total rebounds (9th, 157).
  • Lee is averaging 7.4 free throw attempts per game, which is second all-time on Vanderbilt’s single-season list.  Clyde Lee averaged 8.1 free throw attempts per game in 1964-65.  A.J. Ogilvy, Vanderbilt’s all-time total attempts leader with 229 in 2007-08, averaged 6.7 attempts per game.
  • Joe Toye scored in double figures in 10games this season, including a season-high tying 18 points at Arkansas.
  • Vanderbilt won their 800th career game at Memorial Gym against Arizona State on December 17.  Memorial Gym, which opened in 1952, is the oldest basketball arena in the SEC.
  • 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.  VU is now 1-6 in true road games.
  • The Commodores signed a pair of four-star prospects in the early signing period.  Austin Crowley, a 6’4 shooting guard from West Point, Miss. who attends Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, and Dylan Disu, a 6’8 power forward from Plugerville, Texas who attends Hendrickson High School, each signed a letter of intent with the Commodores in November.  

About Alabama
Series Record: 
VU leads 69-68
Last Meeting:  VU win, 76-75, on 1/2/18
Record at Vanderbilt:  VU leads 43-19
Record at Alabama:  UA leads 45-21
Record at Neutral Site:  VU leads, 5-4
Coach Drew vs. Alabama:  Coach Drew is 1-1 against Alabama

  • Alabama enters Saturday’s game with a 14-8 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the SEC after Wednesday night’s  win over Georgia in Tuscaloosa, 89-74.
  • The Commodores and Crimson Tide will meet twice this season.  Vanderbit owns a 43-19 overall advantage over Alabama in games played at Vanderbilt.
  • Kira Lewis Jr. leads the Crimson Tide in scoring with 14.1 points per game.  John Petty (11.9) and Donta Hall (11.1) also average double figures.

Vanderbilt (9-13, 0-9) vs. Alabama (14-8, 5-4)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 7:30 p.m. CT
SEC Network
TV Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Daymeon Fishback (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  Sirius 94, XM 190
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 Alabama, Vanderbilt will move to 1,054 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

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

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 716-717.