The Vanderbilt men’s basketball team returns home to take on Auburn in a late morning tip-off Saturday at Memorial Gym. The game will begin at 11 a.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 vucommodores.com and the vucommodores app.
Vanderbilt dropped to 9-15 overall and 0-11 in SEC play after dropping a 66-57 decision to Florida Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla. Freshman Aaron Nesmith led the team with a career-high 26 points, while also adding nine rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Nesmith was the only Commodore in double figures in the game.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
- Saben Lee leads the Commodores in scoring with 13.5 points per game. In his last eight contests, Lee is averaging 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game, and is shooting 50.6% from the floor (40-79) and 47.6% from three (10-21). He tied a career-high with 24 points at Oklahoma and against Alabama in that eight-game stretch.
- Nesmith’s 15 free throw attempts against the Gators tied for the fourth-most by a Commodore in a single game in the last 20 years. He is one of three Commodores (Saben Lee, Simisola Shittu) to attempt double digit free throws in a game.
- Vanderbilt and Auburn will meet one time in the regular season this season. The Commodores are 51-16 all-time against the Tigers in Nashville, and has won nine in a row at Memorial Gym and 14 of the last 15.
- 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 KenPom.com. 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 (14.5 ppg). Lee is averaging 13.6 per game in league contests.
- 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 594 times this season, which leads all SEC schools. Vanderbilt is third in the SEC with 406 free throw makes. 23.2% 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, 557) and 3FG percentage defense (3rd, 32.9%).
- Individually, Lee is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game (8th, 3.8), free throw attempts (2nd, 168) and free throws made (2nd, 118). Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (6th, 151), total 3FG made (7th, 53), and 3FG made per game (7th, 2.21), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (8th, 5.21), free throw attempts (6th, 120), rebounds per game (9th, 7.0), and total rebounds (9th, 167).
- Lee is averaging 7.0 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.
- 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, 89-52
Last Meeting: Auburn win, 93-81, on 2/3/18 in Auburn
Record at Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt leads, 51-16
Record at Auburn: Vanderbilt leads, 35-30
Record at Neutral Site: Auburn leads, 6-3
Coach Drew vs. Auburn: Coach Drew is 1-1 against Auburn
- Auburn enters the game with a 16-8 overall record and a 5-6 record in SEC play.
- Bryce Brown leads a trio of Tiger players in double figures for the season with 16.3 points per game. Jared Harper (15.4) and Chuma Okeke (11.1) also average double figures.
- Saturday’s meeting will be the 142nd all time in the series and the only meeting between the two schools this season.
- Auburn ended a 13-game losing streak to the Commodores a year ago at Auburn Arena. Vanderbilt has won 13 of the last 14 in the series and the last nine at Memorial Gym.
Vanderbilt (9-15, 0-11) vs. Auburn (16-8, 5-6)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 11 a.m. CT
TV Talent: Tom Hart (pxp), Sean Farnham (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 94, 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 Auburn, Vanderbilt will move to 1,056 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 716-719.