NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt men’s basketball team will play their final nonconference game of the season Saturday when they welcome the SMU Mustangs to Memorial Gym.
The game will begin at 8 p.m. and will be aired live 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.
SEC, American Athletic Conference Scheduling Alliance
In an effort to create more quality games during nonconference play, the Southeastern Conference and The American Conference have joined forces to form a scheduling alliance. As a part of this alliance, four schools from each conference will participate in a two-year, home-and-home series that will begin in the 2019-20 season.
Vanderbilt will visit SMU next season.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
• The Commodores moved to 8-4 on the season after knocking off Davidson 76-71 on Dec. 30 at Memorial Gym. Freshman point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. led four Vanderbilt players in double figures with 18 points. The SEC’s leading scorer, Aaron Nesmith, scored 17 points, junior Saben Lee added 11 points and freshman Dylan Disu garnered his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Pippen Jr. has scored in double figures in seven games this season.
• Nesmith has scored 34 points twice this season – against UNC Wilmington on Dec. 21 and earlier this season at Richmond on Nov. 14. Nesmith’s performance against the Spiders was the most points by a Vanderbilt player since Shan Foster vs. Miss. State (3/5/08), and the most points by a Vanderbilt player on the road since Billy McCaffrey at Georgia (35, 2/24/93). Nesmith is the first Vanderbilt player since Shan Foster in 2008 to score 30 or more points in multiple games in a season.
• Nesmith currently averages 22.9 points per game this season which is second all-time behind Tom Hagan’s 23.4 points per game average in the 1968-69 season.
• As of Jan. 2, Nesmith leads the SEC in scoring (22.9 ppg) and is fifth nationally in that category. He is also first in the SEC in three’s made per game (4, seconnd nationally) and second in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (.500, seventh nationally). He also ranks fifth in the SEC in free-throw percentage (.860) and seventh in field goal percentage (.517).
• Nesmith (22.9) and Lee (16.5) are the third-highest-scoring duo in the nation behind Hampton’s Jermaine Marrow (24.9) and Ben Stanley (21.2) and Texas-San Antonio’s Jhivvan Jackson (26.2) and Keaton Wallace (16.3).
• Nesmith and Lee have scored in double figures in every game this season. Nesmith has scored 20 or more in eight Vanderbilt games this season, Lee in three games.
• SMU head coach Tim Jankovich coached at Vanderbilt with former head coach Kevin Stallings as an assistant from 2000-02.
• As of Jan. 2, Lee is seventh (16.5) in scoring, fifth in assists per game (5.5), 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.65), seventh in free throws attempted (60), and ninth in field goal percentage (.511) in the SEC.
• Lee claimed SEC Player of the Week honors after his performance against Buffalo, becoming the first Commodore to win the award since Jeff Roberson on Feb. 19, 2018. Lee joins Scotty Pippen Jr. as weekly honorees from the SEC this season. Pippen Jr. was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Nov. 25 when he averaged 17 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in two Commodore wins over Austin Peay and South Carolina State, respectively.
• Scottie Pippen Jr. is also ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists/game (9th, 4.5), free throws made (7th, 47), free throws attempted (5th, 65), and assist-to-turnovers ratio (5th, 1.93).
• Three Commodores, Clevon Brown (San Antonio), Dylan Disu (Pflugerville), and Maxwell Evans (Houston) all hail from the state of Texas.
• New head coach Jerry Stackhouse is the 28th men’s basketball coach in the history of Vanderbilt basketball. He is the first African American Commodore men’s basketball head coach and is one of two current African American head coaches in the Southeastern Conference (Cuonzo Martin, Missouri).
• As a team, the Commodores are first in the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage (.378). second in threes made/game (9.4), steals/game (8.3), and total threes made (113). Vanderbilt has been to the charity stripe 280 times this season, which ranks second in the SEC behind Auburn, and has made 188 free throws, which ranks third in the SEC.
• A season ago, no Commodore had more than seven assists in a game. This season, it has been done four times by Saben Lee and twice by Scotty Pippen Jr.
• The Commodores are one of only three schools (UNLV and Princeton) to have made a three-point basket since the inception of the three-point line in the 1986-87 season.
With a made three against SMU, Vanderbilt will move to 1,077 consecutive games with a three-pointer.
• The Commodores have had five first-round NBA Draft picks since 2012, the second-most in the SEC in that time span – Darius Garland (5th, Cleveland Cavaliers), Wade Baldwin IV (17th, Memphis Grizzlies), Damian Jones (30th, Golden State Warriors), and John Jenkins (23rd, Atlanta) and Festus Ezeli (30th, Golden State). Garland, Jones, and former standout Luke Kornet (Chicago Bulls) are all active players in the NBA.
Series Record: Vanderbilt leads, 14-6
Last Meeting: Vanderbilt – W, 95-86
Dec. 12, 1992 – Nashville, Tenn.
At Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt leads, 10-0
Jerry Stackhouse vs. SMU: First meeting
Vanderbilt vs. SMU
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 8 p.m.
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Richard Cross (pxp), Barry Booker (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from Learfield/IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Live Stats: VandyStats.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB