Commodores Welcome No. 1 Volunteers Wednesday

Vanderbilt men’s basketball will welcome the number-one ranked Tennessee Volunteers to Memorial Gym for a Wednesday night contest.  The game will begin at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2. 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 fell to 9-8 on the season and 0-5 in league play after a 71-55 loss to Mississippi State Wednesday night at Memorial Gym.  Sophomore Saben Lee scored 13 points to lead the Commodores, while freshman guard Aaron Nesmith, who leads the team in scoring in SEC games, also added double figures with 11 points.  

The matchup with Tennessee will be the 27th all-time against a number-one ranked opponent, and the first since playing Kentucky January 20, 2015 in Lexington (L, 57-65).  The Commodores have played Tennessee one other time when they have been number one and came away with a 72-69 win over the Volunteers in Memorial Gym on Feb. 26, 2008.Vanderbilt has an 8-18 all-time record against teams ranked #1 in the Associated Press poll.  The Commodores have faced Kentucky 19 (5-14) times when the Wildcats are number one, Florida three times (1-2), Michigan two times (0-2), and North Carolina (1-0) and Tennessee (1-0) one time.  VU is 6-9 all-time against number-one ranked opponents all-time at Memorial Gym, with the last meeting coming against Florida on Feb. 25, 2014 (L, 54-57).

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Simisola Shittu is fourth among SEC freshmen in scoring (13.6) and leads all freshmen in rebounding (7.6).
  • 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.
  • Tennessee will be the Commodores’ fourth ranked opponent of the season – Vanderbilt is 1-2 against ranked teams.  The Commodores lost to Kentucky and Mississippi State 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 447 times this season, which is first among SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is second in the SEC with 310 free throw makes.
  • Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (4th, 381), Defensive rebounds per game (5th, 27.18), Fewest Fouls (4th, 294), Fewest Turnovers (3rd, 219), 3FG% Defense (3rd, 31.3), and Turnovers per game (3rd, 12.9).
  • Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (10th, 3.5), free throw attempts (2nd, 123) and free throws made (2nd, 86).  Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (6th, 106) and 3FG made (7th, 2.24), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (5th, 5.76), double doubles (9th, 3), free throw attempts (4th, 99), free throws made (9th, 63), rebounds per game (8th, 7.6), and total rebounds (7th, 129).
  • 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.  He is the team’s lone senior.
  • 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, and Crowley is ranked as the 55th prospect in the nation in the class of 2019 by following a breakout spring and summer.

About Tennessee
Series Record: 
Tenn. leads, 120-75.
Last Meeting:  Tenn. win, 67-62, on 1/23/18 in Knoxville.
Record at Vanderbilt:  VU leads 50-37.
Record at Tennessee:  UT leads 74-24.
Record at Neutral Site:  UT leads 9-1.
Coach Drew vs. Tennessee:  Coach Drew is 1-3 against Tennessee.

  • Tennessee enters the game with a 16-1 overall record and a 5-0 mark in SEC play.
  • The Volunteer duo of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield are 1-3 in the SEC in scoring.
  • Junior point guard Jordan Bone hails from Nashville, Tenn.
  • Vanderbilt owns a 50-37 advantage over the Volunteers in games played in Nashville on Vanderbilt’s campus, although Tennessee has won the last two games played at Memorial Gym.
  • Tennessee is the Commodores’ most-played opponent – Wednesday’s meeting will be the 196th all-time meeting, with the first meeting coming in the 1921-22 campaign.
  • Vanderbilt is 10-17 all-time against ranked Tennessee opponents and 7-6 against ranked Volunteer teams in games played at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt (9-8, 0-5) vs. #1/1 Tennessee (16-1, 5-0)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 6 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Karl Ravech (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  Sirius 121, XM 191
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 Tennessee, Vanderbilt will move to 1,049 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 715-713.