The Vanderbilt men’s basketball team hits the road for their first SEC road game this season when they take on Georgia on Wednesday night in Athens, Ga. The game will begin at 5:30 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.
Vanderbilt dropped to 9-4 on the season and 0-1 in league play after falling to Ole Miss, 81-71, on Saturday evening at Memorial Gym in the league opener for both teams. Freshman Simisola Shittu scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Commodores, while senior forward Joe Toye also scored in double figures with 12 points.
The Commodores were limited to 40% from the floor, 30% from three, and 58.6% from the free-throw line in the loss.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
- Shittu was named the conference’s Freshman of the Week after averaging 19 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 assists against UNC Asheville and Ole Miss. Shittu is the Commodores’ second Freshman of the Week selection, joining Darius Garland, who won the honor in the first week of the season.
- Shittu’s 21 points 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.
- Vanderbilt, an inaugural member of the Southeastern Conference, will are 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 opener in Memorial Gym for the Commodores.
- The Commodores enter the game as the 304th-most experienced team in the country according to KenPom.com. Sophomore Saben Lee is Vanderbilt’s returning scorer from league play a year ago when he averaged 11.7 points per game. In all, 34.9% of the team’s scoring in league play returns from 2017-18. Only four Vanderbilt players, Lee, Maxwell Evans, Clevon Brown, and Joe Toye, played in an SEC game prior to the team’s opener with Ole Miss.
- Nine Commodores have scored in double figures in a game so far this season.
- Vanderbilt’s average height is 78.5 inches (6 feet, 5 inches) and ranks 17th nationally according to KenPom.
- Earlier this season, Vanderbilt knocked off nationally-ranked Arizona State at Memorial Gym on December 17th. 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.
- The Commodores have marched to the charity-stripe 357 times this season, which tops all SEC schools and ranks 35th nationally. Vanderbilt also leads the SEC and is 32nd nationally in free throw makes with 255.
- Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (4th, 310), Defensive rebounds per game (3rd, 29.31), Fewest Fouls (4th, 222), Fewest Turnovers (4th, 168), Scoring Offense (4th, 82.0), 3FG% Defense (5th, 31.9), 3FG Made per game (5th, 8.2), Total 3FG made (5th, 107), Total Rebounds (3rd, 520), Rebounds per game (4th, 40.0), and Turnovers per game (3rd, 12.9).
- Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (9th, 3.8), free throw attempts (2nd, 90), and free throws made (2nd, 65). Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (5th, 84), 3FG per game (6th, 2.5), 3FG% (6th, 39.3), and total threes made (6th, 33), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (5th, 6.1), double doubles (8th, 2), free throw attempts (6th, 81), free throws made (5th, 56), rebounds per game (8th, 7.8), and total rebounds (7th, 102).
- 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.
- 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, including four of his last five.
- 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.
Series Record: VU leads, 89-50
Last Meeting: UGA win, 78-62, on March 7, 2018, at SEC Tournament in St. Louis, Mo.
Record at Vanderbilt: VU leads 51-17.
Record at Georgia: UGA leads 35-31.
Record at Neutral Site: VU leads 7-5.
Coach Drew vs. Georgia: Coach Drew is 1-2 against Georgia.
- Georgia enters the game with an 8-5 overall record and an 0-1 mark in league play after dropping a 96-50 decision to Tennessee on Saturday.
- Rayshaun Hammonds leads the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game. Nicolas Claxton adds 12.7 points per game, while Tyree Crump pitches in 10.8. Claxton leads also leads the Bulldogs in rebounding, assists, blocks, and steals.
- Vanderbilt leads the series 89-50 but the Bulldogs lead the series in Athens, 35-31. Georgia has won the last two games in the series in Athens, with Vanderbilt’s last win coming at Georgia on January 29, 2014 (59-54).
Vanderbilt (9-4, 0-1) vs. Georgia (8-5, 0-1)
Athens, Ga. – Stegeman Coliseum – 5:30 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Mark Wise (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 98, 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 Georgia, Vanderbilt will move to 1,045 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 715-709.