Commodores Return Home for South Carolina

Vanderbilt men’s basketball begins a three-game home stand this Wednesday night when they welcome South Carolina to Memorial Gym.  The game will begin at 6 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 9-6 on the season and 0-3 in league play after a 56-47 loss at Kentucky on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.  Freshman guard Aaron Nesmith scored 11 points to lead the Commodores in the game.

The Commodores were limited to 36.2% from the floor, 28.0% from three, and 50.0% from the free-throw line in the loss.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Freshman Simisola Shittu scored 21 points in the SEC opener against Ole Miss, and it was the most by a Vanderbilt freshman in an SEC opener since A.J. Ogilvy scored 25 points in an 80-73 win over South Carolina at Memorial Gym on January 9, 2008.
  • Shittu is tied for third among SEC freshmen in scoring (14.1) and leads all freshmen in rebounding (8.1).
  • 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 305th-most experienced team in the country according to   
  • Nine Commodores have scored in double figures in a game so far this season.
  • Vanderbilt is now 1-1 on the season against ranked teams.  The Commodores lost to Kentucky and defeated Arizona State on Dec. 17 at Memorial Gym. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak to ranked opponents, dating back to a 72-62 overtime win over 17th-ranked Florida at the 2017 SEC Tournament (3/10/17) at Bridgestone Arena.  The Sun Devils went on to defeat Kansas later in the month.
  • 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 384 times this season, which is second among SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is also second in the SEC with 272 free throw makes.
  • Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (4th, 360), Defensive rebounds per game (3rd, 27.87), Fewest Fouls (3rd, 257), Fewest Turnovers (3rd, 190), 3FG% Defense (5th, 31.8), 3FG Made per game (5th, 8.0), Total 3FG made (5th, 120), and Turnovers per game (3rd, 12.7).
  • Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (9th, 3.6), free throw attempts (3rd, 99), free throws made (2nd, 72), and assist-to turnover ratio (10th, 1.59).  Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (5th, 96) and 3FG per game (8th, 2.3), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (4th, 6.1), double doubles (8th, 3), free throw attempts (3rd, 99), free throws made (10th, 56), rebounds per game (6th, 8.1), and total rebounds (5th, 121).
  • 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.   
  • 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 nine games this season.
  • 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.
  • 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.  Disu recently posted a 20-point, 20-rebound performance last week, and Crowley is ranked as the 55th prospect in the nation in the class of 2019 by following a breakout spring and summer. 

About South Carolina
Series Record: 
VU leads 30-27.
Last Meeting:  SC win, 71-60, on 1/6/18 in Columbia, S.C.
Record at Vanderbilt:  VU leads, 17-10.
Record at SC:  SC leads, 15-12.
Record at Neutral Site:  SC leads, 2-1.
Coach Drew vs. SC:  Coach Drew is 1-1 against South Carolina.

  • South Carolina enters the game with an 8-7 overall record and a 3-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play after notching an 85-75 win over Missouri on Sunday.
  • Chris Silva leads the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding with 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.  A.J. Lawson (12.6) and Hassani Gravett (11.3) also average double digits.
  • VU leads the overall series, 30-27, and 17-10 at home in Memorial Gym.  The Commodores have won their last five games against the Gamecocks at home, dating back to 2010.
  • Freshman Aaron Nesmith hails from Charleston, S.C. and was named the Gatorade South Carolina Player of the Year in 2018.

Vanderbilt (9-6, 0-3) vs. South Carolina (8-7. 3-0)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 6 p.m. CT
SEC Network
TV Talent: Roy Philpott (pxp), Mark Wise (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  Sirius 121, XM 192
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 South Carolina, Vanderbilt will move to 1,047 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 715-711.