Vanderbilt MBB returns from finals to face #20/20 Arizona State

The Vanderbilt Commodores return from a 12-day final exam break to take on nationally-ranked Arizona State Monday evening at Memorial Gym.  The game will tip off at 6 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 and the vucommodores app.

The Commodores improved to 6-2 on the season in their last time out after a 79-51 victory over Middle Tennessee December 5th at Memorial Gym.  Freshman Simisola Shittu scored a team-high 15 points against the Blue Raiders, with Matthew Moyer also adding double figures with 14 points.

Gameday Promotions
The Commodores will be hosting a Winter Wonderland in the Memorial Gym Hall of Champions on Monday beginning at 4:30 p.m.  Stop by for for a holiday photo, hot chocolate bar, ornament and cookie decorating, and the first 1,000 fans get a free winter hat.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Shittu has scored in double figures in seven of eight games as a collegian and leads the team in scoring and rebounding.  He posted double-doubles in his first two games against Winthrop and USC, respectively.  As of December 13, Shittu ranks sixth in the SEC in rebounding (7.8) and eighth in scoring (15.9).
  • Arizona State will be the first ranked opponent for the Commodores this season.  All-time against ranked opponents, Vanderbilt is 94-236 and 64-78 in home games.  The Commodores have lost their last eight games against ranked opponents, with Vanderbilt’s last win coming in a 72-62 overtime win over 17th-ranked Florida at the 2017 SEC Tournament (3/10/17).
  • The game with the Sun Devils is Vanderbilt’s first since December 5 because of final exams.
  • 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.  
  • On November 27, the Commodores scored 120 points against Savannah State, the most by a Vanderbilt team since December 22, 1970, when Vanderbilt scored a program-best 130 points in a win over Ole Miss (130-112).  
  • 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 five games this season.  Toye is the team’s lone senior.
  • Shittu tallied 15 rebounds against USC, the most by a Commodore since Jeff Roberson had 16 rebounds against Minnesota on December 3, 2016 in Sioux Falls, S.D. His 15 rebounds tied for the ninth-most by a Commodore in a single game in the last 20 seasons.
  • 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.  
  • As of Dec. 13, the Commodores rank second in SEC in 3FG% defense (.305) and fourth in the SEC in scoring (83.9).
  • Garland scored the most points by a Vanderbilt freshman in his collegiate debut (24 points) since Phil Cox scored 30 against Duke in 1981.  He also tied Savion Flagg of Texas A&M for the most points scored for an SEC team in their opening game of the season.
  • Shittu’s double-double was the first by a Commodore freshman in a season opener since Ted Young tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds against Rice in 1979.
  • Prior to the season, Garland was named to the Naismith and Wooden Award Preseason Watch Lists, while Shittu was named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List, given to the nation’s top power forward.
  • According to KenPom, the Commodores rank 313th in the nation in terms of experience (1.19 years).
  • Head coach Bryce Drew, now in his third season, led the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Nashville, marking the first time in the history of the program a first-year Vanderbilt coach led his team to the tournament. 
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Matthew Moyer, who transferred from Syracuse after the 2017-18 season, was granted immediate eligiblity by the NCAA this season on November 15.
  • As of December 13, Shittu is eighth in the SEC in scoring (15.9), sixth in rebounding (7.8), seventh in defensive rebounding (5.6).  He also third in field goal percentage (.563).  Saben Lee is eighth in assists (3.9) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.6), and Matt Ryan is tied for seventh in three’s made (2.4) and 10th in 3FG % (.396).

About Arizona State

  • Arizona State enters the game with an 8-1 record after a 76-74 win Saturday against Georgia in Athens.
  • Freshman Dort Luguentz leads the Sun Devils in scoring with 20.9 points per game.  Kimani Lawrence (13.8), Zylan Cheatham (12.2), and Remy Martin (12.0) also average double figures.
  • Sophomore guard Saben Lee hails from Phoenix, Ariz. and Corona Del Sol High School.
  • This will be Arizona State’s first visit to Vanderbilt to play the Commodores.
  • Monday’s game is the back end of a home-and-home agreement with the Sun Devils.  Arizona State won last year’s meeting in Tempe, 76-64, on December 17, 2017.

Vanderbilt (6-2) vs. #20/20 Arizona State (8-1)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 6:00 p.m. CT
SEC Network
TV Talent: Tom Hart (pxp), Andy Kennedy (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 190
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 Arizona State, Vanderbilt will move to 1,040 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

Freshmen Leading the Charge
The Commodores are one of only two programs (Duke) in the nation to have three separate freshman score 20 points or more in a game (Darius Garland, Aaron Nesmith, Simisola Shittu)

A freshman has also led the Commodores in scoring in every game this season.

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 715-706.

Against Pac 12
The Commodores are 12-15 all time against the Pac 12 after winning earlier this season at USC on November 11.