SEC Home Opener

Commodores to play Texas A&M 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Gym

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Commodores will begin their SEC home schedule this Saturday afternoon when Vanderbilt takes on Texas A&M at Memorial Gym. The game will begin at 2:30 p.m. and 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.

1974 Team Recognition

The 1965, 1974 and 1993 SEC regular-season championship teams will be honored during three Commodore men’s basketball games this season with the 1974 team to be recognized first this Saturday during Vanderbilt’s game with Texas A&M at Memorial Gym.

“It’s important to us as an athletic department to celebrate the achievements of our student-athletes and to come together as a Vanderbilt family to honor our traditions and great moments. Memorial Gym and the longtime success of our men’s basketball program are central to our identity,” said Malcolm Turner, vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics director. “By celebrating our SEC men’s basketball champions this year, including the beloved F-Troop and SEC Player of the Year Jan van Breda Kolff, we have a unique opportunity to connect our greatest teams from the past with head coach Jerry Stackhouse and a new era of Vanderbilt basketball.”

Confirmed to attend this Saturday from the 1974 team are assistant coach Ron Bargatze, Spence Young, John Norton, Dr. Bob Chess, Bill Ligon, Terry Compton, Dr. Jeff Fosnes, Butch Feher, Jan van Breda Kolff and Kim Ford (widow of Joe Ford).

The 1993 team will be honored Feb. 1 in the Commodores’ game with Florida (7:30 p.m.) and the 1965 team is set to be honored Feb. 11 as the Dores face Kentucky (6 p.m.).

Members of the late Vanderbilt head coach Roy Skinner’s family will be present for the Feb. 11 ceremony.

Tickets Available

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available by visiting the McGugin Center Ticket Office on Friday and the Memorial Gym Box Office 90 minutes before tip-off by calling 615-322-GOLD or visiting VUCommodores.com.

Grab a Lunch Box, See the Vandy Boys

The first 500 children to the game will receive a free Vanderbilt tin lunch box. Additionally, fans will be able to attend a Vandy Boys autograph session that will occur before the game in the practice gym.

There will also be a layup line for children after the game on the Memorial Gym main floor.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

• The Commodores dropped their SEC opener Wednesday at No. 5-ranked Auburn 83-79 in a hard-fought contest at Auburn Arena. Junior Saben Lee led the Commodores with a career-high 27 points while sophomore Aaron Nesmith added 18 points and freshman Jordan Wright a career-high 10 points to go along with a career-best seven rebounds.

• Lee was 10-for-14 from the floor, 3-for-3 from 3 and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Nesmith was an efficient 7 of 14 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3 while also grabbing seven rebounds and notching three steals.

• Nesmith leads the SEC in scoring with 23 points per game and is fifth nationally. He also leads the SEC and nation in 3s per game with 4.29 and 3-point shooting at 52.2 percent. He has also made an SEC-best 60 3s this season. He also ranks eighth in free-throw percentage (82.5) and  field-goal percentage (51.2).

• Nesmith is one of two players in the nation to make seven or more threes in a game four times this season (Dru Kuxhausen, McNeese State). Also, his scoring average of 23 points per game is second to Tom Hagan’s program-best 23.4 points per game in the 1968-69 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 (23) and Lee (16.6) are the third-highest-scoring duo in the nation behind Hampton’s Jermaine Marrow (23.2) and Ben Stanley (21.5) and Texas-San Antonio’s Jhivvan Jackson (25.3) and Keaton Wallace (16.9).

• Nesmith and Lee have scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Nesmith has scored 20 or more in eight Vanderbilt games this season, Lee in four games.

• Lee is eighth in the SEC in scoring (16.6),  fifth in assists/game (5.1) and sixth in field goal percentage (52.2) 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 (eighth, 4.6), free throws made (sixth, 54), free throws attempted (fifth, 77), and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 2.1).

• 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 (.393), second in 3s made/game (9.9) and field goal percentage (47.1). Vanderbilt has been to the charity stripe 321 times this season which ranks fifth in the SEC.

• 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 Texas A&M, Vanderbilt will move to 1,079 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 Information
Series Record:  Vanderbilt leads, 8-5
Last Meeting: Texas A&M – W, 69-52
March 13, 2019 – Nashville, Tenn. (SEC Tournament)
At Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt leads, 5-1
Jerry Stackhouse vs. Texas A&M: First meeting

Texas A&M Series Records/Important Dates

• Vanderbilt leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 8-5. All matchups have come as conference members

• The Commodores are 2-0 against Buzz Williams-coached teams. Vanderbilt defeated Marquette in Nashville on Dec. 29, 2010, 77-76, and won a game at Marquette on Dec. 29, 2011, 74-57.

• This will be the seventh meeting between the two schools at Memorial Gym.

• 2.4.16 – Vanderbilt knocked off No. 8 Texas A&M, 77-60,  behind Jeff Roberson’s 20 points. It was the Commodores’ first win over a ranked team in four years.

• 2.15.14 – The Commodores, down to seven scholarship players, defeated the Aggies in overtime, 57-54. Senior Rod Odom sent the game into overtime with a jump shot at the buzzer, and sophomore walk-on guard  Carter Josephs secured the win in the waning seconds of overtime after drawing a flagrant foul on the Aggies’ Jamal Jones.

Media Information
Vanderbilt (8-6, 0-1 SEC) vs. Texas A&M (7-6, 1-1 SEC)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 2:30 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
Notes: @VandyNotes