Gators Next Up for Commodores

The Vanderbilt men’s basketball team travels to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the Florida Gators in a Wednesday night tilt at Exactech Arena.  The game will begin at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPNU. 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 9-14 overall and 0-10 in SEC play after falling to Alabama, 77-67, at Memorial Gym on Saturday night.  Sophomore Saben Lee tied a career high with 24 points while also tying a career best in field goals made in a game with nine.  Simisola Shittu also added 11 points for Vanderbilt against the Crimson Tide.

Lee leads the Commodores in scoring with 13.9 points per game.  In his last eight contests, Lee is averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game, and is shooting 53.2% from the floor (42-79) and 55.6% from three (10-18).  He tied a career-high with 24 points at Oklahoma and against Alabama in that seven day stretch.

Vanderbilt and Florida will meet twice this season.  The Commodores also play the Gators in Nashville on February 27.  The Commodores have won six of their last seven games against Florida.

The Commodores’ game on Wednesday marks the first game of a stretch of games that has Vanderbilt on the road for three of their next four contests.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • From January 12 to January 29, the Commodores took on four ranked opponents and two opponents that were receiving votes.
  • 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 301st-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.  
  • Lee also leads the team in SEC games only with 14.6 points per game.  Nesmith also averages double digits in SEC play with 13.3 points per game.
  • Shittu is the league’s freshman leading rebounder with 7.0 rebounds per game in all games.
  • 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 14th nationally according to KenPom.
  • The Commodores have marched to the charity-stripe 573 times this season, which leads all SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is fourth in the SEC with 390 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 (3rd, 533) and Defensive rebounds per game (5th, 26.22).
  • Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (8th, 3.9), free throw attempts (2nd, 168) and free throws made (2nd, 118).  Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (7th, 140), total 3FG made (8th, 50), and 3FG made per game (9th, 2.17), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (7th, 5.22), free throw attempts (6th, 118), rebounds per game (8th, 7.0), and total rebounds (8th, 161).
  • Lee is averaging 7.3 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 10 games 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 Florida
Series Record: 
Vanderbilt leads 71-64
Last Meeting:  VU win, 71-68, in Nashville on 2/17/18
Record at Vanderbilt:  VU leads 45-15
Record at Florida:  UF leads 43-23
Record at Neutral Site:  UF leads 6-3
Coach Drew vs. Florida:  Coach Drew is 4-1 against Florida

  • Florida enters the game with an overall record of 12-11 and a conference mark of 4-6.
  • The Gators are led by KeVaughn Allen, who averages 12.8 points per game.  Noah Locke also adds double digit points per game with 11.6.
  • Florida leads the all-time series in Gainesville, 43-23.  Head coach Bryce Drew is 1-1 in games played at Exactech Arena, and the Commodores have won two of their last three games in Gainesville.
  • Overall in the series, Vanderbilt has won six of the last seven meetings in the series dating back to the 2015-16 season.  The only win for the Gators came last season in Gainesville (81-74).

Vanderbilt (9-14, 0-10) vs. Florida (12-11, 4-6)
Gainesville, Fla. – Exactech Arena – 8 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Karl Ravech (pxp), Seth Greenberg (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 389
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 Florida, Vanderbilt will move to 1,055 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

Freshmen Leading the Charge
The Commodores are one of only 10 programs (Duke, UNC Asheville, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Mount St. Mary’s, Rice, and UTEP) 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 716-718.