Rematch With Tennessee Awaits Commodores Tuesday

The Commodores will once again meet their most-played rival when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to take on Tennessee for the second time this season Tuesday night. The game will begin at 6 p.m. 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 fell to 9-16 overall and 0-12 in SEC play after dropping a 64-53 decision to Auburn Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym.  Freshman Aaron Nesmith led the team with 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

Nesmith was named the Co-SEC Player of the Week last week after averaging 25.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in games against Florida and Auburn last week.  The honor is the third by a Vanderbilt freshman after Darius Garland and Simisola Shittu captured the honor earlier this season.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Vanderbilt and Kentucky are the only two teams in the SEC that have had three different players named as Freshman of the Week.
  • The game at Tennessee will be the sixth game against a ranked opponent this season (1-4 in other games).  The Commodores are 95-240 all time against ranked opponents and 20-142 in road games against ranked opponents.  
  • Lee leads the Commodores in scoring with 13.1 points per game.  Nesmith is the team’s leading scorer in conference games only (15.1).
  • Tennessee is one of the Commodores’ three teams it plays twice every season.  Earlier this year at Memorial Gym, Vanderbilt dropped a heartbreaking, 88-83 overtime decision to the number-one ranked Volunteers on January 23.
  • 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 is 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.  
  • After Nesmith’s 26-point performance against Florida, he surpassed Lee for the team lead in scoring in SEC games only (15.3 ppg).  Lee is averaging 12.8 per game in league contests.
  • Shittu is the league’s freshman leading rebounder with 6.8 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 615 times this season, which leads all SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is third in the SEC with 422 free throw makes.  23.4% of the team’s points comes from free throws (11th nationally).
  • Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (3rd, 580), defensive rebounds (4th, 26.36), and 3FG percentage defense (3rd, 33.0%).
  • Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (8th, 3.8), free throw attempts (2nd, 170) and free throws made (3rd, 120).  Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (7th, 157), total 3FG made (8th, 55), and 3FG made per game (9th, 2.20), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (8th, 5.08), free throw attempts (7th, 124), rebounds per game (10th, 6.8), and total rebounds (10th, 169).
  • 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.
  • 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 Tennessee
Series Record: 
Tennessee leads, 121-75.
Last Meeting:  Tennessee win, 88-83, on 1/23/19 in Nashville.
Record at Vanderbilt:  Vanderbilt leads 50-38.
Record at Tennessee:  Tennessee leads 74-24.
Record at Neutral Site:  Tennessee leads 9-1.
Coach Drew vs. Tennessee:  Coach Drew is 1-4 against Tennessee.

  • Tennessee enters the game with a 23-2 overall record and a 11-1 mark in SEC play.
  • The Volunteer duo of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield are 1-4 in the SEC in scoring.
  • Junior point guard Jordan Bone hails from Nashville, Tenn.
  • The Commodores have won three of their last four games in Knoxville against Tennessee, with the Volunteers stopping a three-game Vanderbilt Thompson-Boling Arena win streak last season.  It was only the Commodores’ second ever three-game win streak in Knoxville.
  • Tennessee is the Commodores’ most-played opponent – Tuesday’s meeting will be the 197th all-time meeting, with the first meeting coming in the 1921-22 campaign.
  • Vanderbilt is 10-18 all-time against ranked Tennessee opponents and 3-12 against ranked Volunteer teams in games played in Knoxville.

Vanderbilt (9-16, 0-12) vs. #5/5 Tennessee (23-2, 11-1) 
Knoxville, Tenn. – Thompson-Boling Arena – 6 a.m. CT
TV Talent: Roy Philpott (pxp), Sean Farnham (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 380
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 1,057 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 716-720.