Vanderbilt Returns to the Road to Face Alabama

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt returns to the road this Saturday to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the second time this season in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  The game will begin at 5 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 9-17 overall and 0-13 in SEC play after dropping a 58-46 decision to Tennessee Tuesday evening in Knoxville, Tenn.  Freshman Aaron Nesmith led the team with 13 points, and sophomore Saben Lee tied a career high with nine rebounds.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • 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.
  • Nesmith has led the team in scoring for the last three games and rebounding in three of the last four contests.
  • 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 12.9 points per game.  Nesmith is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in conference games only (15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds).
  • This will be the Commodores’ second game against the Crimson Tide, with the previous meeting happening two weeks ago at Memorial Gym on February 9 in a game Alabama won, 77-67.  It marks only the second time since 1990 that the two teams have met twice in the regular season.
  • 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.  
  • Shittu is the league’s freshman leading rebounder with 6.7 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 621 times this season, which leads all SEC schools.  Vanderbilt is third in the SEC with 425 free throw makes.  23.0% of the team’s points comes from free throws (18th nationally).
  • Vanderbilt also ranks in the top five in the SEC in 3FG Attempts (3rd, 603), defensive rebounds (5th, 26.31), 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, 172) and free throws made (3rd, 121).  Matt Ryan is ranked in 3FG attempts (5th, 165), total 3FG made (6th, 57), and 3FG made per game (7th, 2.19), while Shittu is ranked in defensive rebounds per game (8th, 5.08), free throw attempts (7th, 126), rebounds per game (T-9th, 6.7), and total rebounds (9th, 175).
  • 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 Alabama
Series Record: 
Series tied at 69
Last Meeting:  Alabama win, 77-67, on 2/9/19 in Nashville
Record at Vanderbilt:  Vanderbilt leads 43-20
Record at Alabama:  Alabama leads 45-21
Record at Neutral Site:  Vanderbilt leads, 5-4
Coach Drew vs. Alabama:  Coach Drew is 1-2 against Alabama

  • Alabama enters Saturday’s game with a 15-11 overall record and a 6-6 mark in the SEC after losing to Texas A&M on Tuesday night, 65-56.
  • This will be the second regular season meeting between the two schools this season.  The overall series is tied at 69, with the Crimson Tide owning a 45-21 advantage in the series in games played in Tuscaloosa.
  • Kira Lewis Jr. leads the Crimson Tide in scoring with 14.0 points per game.  John Petty (11.0) and Donta Hall (10.7) also average double figures.

Vanderbilt (9-17, 0-13) vs. Alabama (15-11, 6-7)
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Coleman Coliseum – 5 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Mike Couzens (pxp), Mark Adams (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 390
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 Alabama, Vanderbilt will move to 1,058 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 716-721.