NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Commodores return home after two consecutive road contests to take on the Florida Gators Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. The game will begin at 8 p.m. 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 fell to 9-18 overall and 0-14 in SEC play after dropping a 68-61 decision to Alabama Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Freshman Simisola Shittu led the team with 16 points and 11 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season, while freshman Aaron Nesmith added 14 points and junior Yanni Wetzell 10 points for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
- Nesmith was named the Co-SEC Player of the Week two weeks ago after averaging 25.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in games against Florida and Auburn. The honor is the third by a Vanderbilt freshman after Darius Garland and Simisola Shittu captured the honor earlier this season.
- Nesmith has led the team in scoring in three of the last four games.
- Vanderbilt and Kentucky are the only two teams in the SEC that have had three different players named as Freshman of the Week. This year is also the first time the Commodores have had three different players selected as Freshman of the Week in one season.
- Lee leads the Commodores in scoring with 12.7 points per game and Shittu in rebounding with 6.9 rebounds per contest. Nesmith is the team’s leading scorer in SEC games only (15.0 points).
- This will be the Commodores’ second game against the Gators, with the previous meeting happening two weeks ago in Gainesville on February 13 in a game Florida won, 66-57. Florida is one of three opponents (Kentucky, Tennessee) that the Commodores play twice every season.
- This will be the 137th career meeting between the two schools.
- 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 302nd-most experienced team in the country according to KenPom.com. Vanderbilt’s leading top three leading scorers are two freshmen, Aaron Nesmith and Simisola Shittu, and sophomore Saben Lee.
- Shittu is the league’s freshman leading rebounder with 6.9 rebounds per game in all games. His current rebounding average is the fourth-highest by a Vanderbilt freshman in the history of the program. Nesmith’s 5.9 rebounds per game ties him for seventh with Ted Young (1980) among all Commodore freshmen all time.
- 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 637 times this season, which ranks third in the SEC. Vanderbilt is fourth in the SEC with 436 free throw makes. 22.8% 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, 620), defensive rebounds (4th, 26.41), and 3FG percentage defense (3rd, 33.0%).
- Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (8th, 3.9), free throw attempts (2nd, 174) and free throws made (3rd, 123). Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (7th, 170), total 3FG made (7th, 58), and 3FG made per game (7th, 2.15), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (8th, 5.19), free throw attempts (7th, 132), rebounds per game (8th, 6.9), and total rebounds (8th, 186).
- 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.
Series Record: Vanderbilt leads 71-65.
Last Meeting: Florida win, 66-57, in Gainesville, Fla. on 2/13/19.
Record at Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt leads 45-15.
Record at Florida: Florida leads 44-23.
Record at Neutral Site: Florida leads 6-3.
Coach Drew vs. Florida: Coach Drew is 4-2 against Florida.
- Florida has won four consecutive games and enters Wednesday’s game with a 16-11 overall record and an 8-6 mark in SEC play.
- The Gators are led by KeVaughn Allen, who averages 12.0 points per game. Noah Locke also adds double digit points per game with 10.7.
- The Commodores have a 45-15 overall advantage in the series in games played at Vanderbilt and have won four straight against the Gators at Memorial Gym.
- Overall in the series, Vanderbilt has won six of the last eight meetings in the series dating back to the 2015-16 season. The only wins for the Gators came this season (66-57) and last season in Gainesville (81-74).
Vanderbilt (9-18, 0-14) vs. Florida (16-11, 8-6)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 8 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Barry Booker (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: XM 386
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 Florida, Vanderbilt will move to 1,059 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 716-722.