|vs. Auburn Tigers (10-10, 4-7 SEC)|
|Tuesday, Feb. 9 • 7:30 p.m.|
|Memorial Gymnasium (14,326)|
|Watch: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Daymeon Fishback)|
|Listen: WQZQ 830 AM, 93.3 FM, 101.9 FM
Kevin Ingram (play-by-play), Tim Thompson (analyst)
- This will be the 144th meeting with the Tigers on the hardwood. Vanderbilt holds an 89-54 all-time edge against Auburn, but the Tigers have won the last three matchups, including the 2019 contest at Memorial Gymnasium. That snapped Vanderbilt’s nine-game home winning streak in the series and stands as Auburn’s only win at Memorial Gym since 2000. Vanderbilt is 51-17 all-time at home against Auburn.
- Vanderbilt’s most recent win in the series was in Nashville on Jan. 4, 2017 (80-61). It was the last of a 13-game winning streak over the Tigers.
- Vanderbilt had the same starting lineup in back-to-back games for the first time since the first four games of the season. Vanderbilt has had 10 different starting lineup combinations in 14 games.
- Twelve different Commodores have started a game.
- Scotty Pippen Jr. is the only Commodore to start every game this season and has started 28 in a row.
- Pippen is now the first Commodore in five years with 5+ assists in four straight games (Wade Baldwin IV did so in four consecutive SEC games in February 2016).
- Vanderbilt recorded 15 steals in a game for the first time in nearly nine years (15 vs. UTEP on Nov. 25, 2012), and 15 for the first time against an SEC opponent since Feb. 1, 1997 against Florida (also 15).
- “There’s some things that we’ve gotta clean up,” Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “I think we had a little bit of a letdown when we went to the bench just from a focus standpoint and making sure that we’re doing the things we talk about in the game plan.”
- Vanderbilt had all but one player available at Georgia on Saturday—freshman Tyrin Lawrence (ACL).
- In all, Vanderbilt has had 11 players injured players this season for a total of 39 missed games: Dylan Disu (1), Akeem Odusipe (2), Jordan Wright (2), DJ Harvey (2), Quentin Millora-Brown (3), Drew Weikert (3), Issac McBride (3), Myles Stute (4), Lawrence (6), Clevon Brown (6) and Braelee Albert (7).
Full Steam Ahead
- Vanderbilt hasn’t allowed many second chances. In conference play, the Dores lead the SEC in defensive rebounding percentage (.743).
- The Commodores rank second in the SEC in made 3s per game (9.4) and in free throw percentage (.747).
- Vanderbilt has made at least four 3s in 29 consecutive games. The streak began immediately after the Commodores were held without a 3 for the first time in 1,080 games against Tennessee on Jan. 25, 2020.
Keys to Victory
- In each of the four SEC wins under Stackhouse, Vanderbilt has eclipsed the 80-point mark. In all, Vanderbilt has hit the 80-point mark 14 times in the Stackhouse era with a 11-3 record in those games, including 11-1 in regulation (only regulation loss was Jan. 9 against Mississippi State, 84-81).
- Vanderbilt is 5-1 when tied or leading at the half this season and 0-8 when trailing at the break.
- Vanderbilt is 4-1 when scoring 75 or more points this season and 1-8 when scoring less than 75 this season.
- Maxwell Evans is averaging 10.6 points per game in Vanderbilt’s wins and just 4.2 points in losses.
Worth the Wait
- Vanderbilt’s season-opening date of Nov. 27 was the latest beginning to a season in 31 years. The Commodores began the 1989-90 season by facing Southern Methodist on the same Nov. 27 date. (Vanderbilt won its fourth straight season opener and its 14th straight home opener).
- With eight new players this season, Vanderbilt didn’t have much tune-up before SEC play. The Commodores played just six nonconference games—its fewest since 1952-53 (the first season Memorial Gymnasium opened). At that time, Tulane and Georgia Tech were still in the SEC.
Moving Up the Ranks
- Fifth-year senior Brown has 116 career blocks. That is tied with Julian Terrell for the sixth-most in a Vanderbilt career. A.J. Ogilvy is fifth with 145.
- Disu has recorded three double-doubles this season (eight for his career) and leads the SEC in defensive rebounding with 6.2 per game. He is second in overall rebounding with 8.2 per contest.
- Not only is Pippen Jr. second in the SEC with 21 points per game, he is also second in the league with 5.4 assists per game. He is one of just four players in the nation averaging more than 20 points and 5 assists per game—and one of just two Power 5 players, joining Auburn’s Sharife Cooper (20.3 and 8.9).
- Pippen, who was named preseason All-SEC second team, scored at least 15 points in 11 straight games (Dec. 13 – Jan. 30), the longest streak by a Vanderbilt player since John Jenkins in 2011-12 (19 straight).
- Pippen has scored at least 20+ points seven times and 30+ points twice, including a career-high 32 at Florida (Jan. 27). He is the only player in the SEC this season with multiple 30-point games.
- Pippen has tied or matched his career-high point total five different times this season. He has led the team in scoring nine times in 14 games, and has also led the Dores in assists 12 times.
- Earlier this season against Kentucky and Mississippi State, Pippen became the first Commodore since 2000 with 8 or more assists in back-to-back games, and was the first Commodore since 2005 with 12 assists in a game (Mario Moore). He was also the first Commodore since 2015 to record a double-double with points and assists (Wade Baldwin IV).
- Three transfers became eligible to play for Vandy this season: redshirt junior Harvey, freshman McBride and redshirt sophomore Millora-Brown.
- Harvey, who began his career at Notre Dame, and Millora-Brown, who started his college career at Rice, were both with the program in 2019-20.
- McBride came to West End from Kansas in the spring and was granted a waiver to become immediately eligible.
- All three have started games this season: Harvey (9), Millora-Brown (6), McBride (1).
- Vanderbilt welcomed five true freshmen to the fold for the 2020-21 season: Max Adelman, Lawrence, Odusipe, Stute and Trey Thomas.
- Thomas, a Canadian native, was a late signee in July, while Odusipe is a Nigerian native who prepped at Catholic in Knoxville. Adelman came to Nashville as a walk-on.
- Four Vandy freshmen have started a game this year: Lawrence (5), Stute (3), Thomas (2) and McBride (1).
- Lawrence is out for the season with a torn ACL after seven games and five starts, including a collegiate debut of 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting, four assists and four rebounds and just two turnovers in 25 minutes against Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 13).
- Vanderbilt had four players in double figures and fought back from a late, eight-point deficit Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum, but couldn’t find the winning buckets in a 73-70 loss to Georgia.
- Disu led the Commodores with 15 points and six rebounds while Pippen Jr. had 12 points and five assists. Wright also had 12. Evans finished with 10.
- Back-to-back 3s from Thomas and Evans, respectively tied the game at 68-68 with 97 seconds on the clock. Pippen Jr. then found his way through the lane with 44 seconds to go for a spinning layup knotting the score at 70-70. Georgia was able to make three free throws over the final 15 seconds to escape with the victory.
A Vandy Victory Would…
- … be the first back-to-back home SEC wins since Feb. 14-17, 2018.
- … be the 14th in the last 17 meetings over Auburn, and the 90th overall in the series against the Tigers.
A Vandy Defeat Would…
- … mark the first four-game losing streak to Auburn since a string of six in a row between 1984-86.
- … be less good than a win.
- Two of the next three are on the road with Kentucky sandwiched in between at home Feb. 17.