NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The postseason is here and the Commodores get their second season underway against Arkansas when the SEC Tournament takes place Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.
The game will begin at approximately 8:30 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.
Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters
• Vanderbilt won their second consecutive SEC contest Saturday when they defeated South Carolina 83-74 at Memorial Gymnasium in the regular-season finale. Freshman Scotty Pippen Jr. led the Commodores with 21 points, his third game this season with 20 or more points, while junior Maxwell Evans chipped in 20 points, fellow junior Saben Lee scored 19 points and freshman Dylan Disu added 14 points in the victory.
The Commodores won back-to-back league games for the first time since Feb. 14 (Mississippi State) and Feb. 17 (Florida) in 2018.
• Lee was named the SEC Co-Player of the Week after averaging 28.5 points, six rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in wins at Alabama and against South Carolina while Pippen Jr. was named the league’s Freshman of the Week after averaging 17 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals in the two Commodore wins. It is the second honor for both players this season.
• Lee, who scored 38 points in the win at Alabama, has set a career high in scoring three times since the start of February.
• Lee was named to the All-SEC Second Team by the league’s coaches Tuesday,while Pippen Jr. was named to the All-Freshman Team.
• The win at Alabama was Vanderbilt’s first on the road this season and snapped an 18-game overall losing streak in true road contests. The Commodores’ last win on the road came against Southern California in Los Angeles on Nov. 11, 2018. The win was the first road victory in SEC play since defeating Ole Miss in Oxford 82-69 on March 3, 2018.
• Lee’s 38-point performance is the most by a Commodore since Shan Foster scored 42 points in a Senior Night win over Mississippi State on March 5, 2008. Since that game, there have been 13 30-point games by a Commodore, with six of those coming this season (Lee has three, Aaron Nesmith two and Evans one).
• The Commodores have held the lead at the half in seven SEC games this season – Missouri, Georgia, Kentucky (twice), Mississippi State, LSU and at Alabama – and were tied in their game at Tennessee. Vanderbilt won only their second game this season Saturday when losing at the half and their second when being outshot by an opponent.
• Walk-ons Jon Jossell and Drew Weikert have received minutes in Vanderbilt’s last few games. Jossell is a senior from Arcadia, Oklahoma, who joined the team after spending three seasons as a manager while Weikert, from Nashville, is a sophomore who joined the team in October after spending one season at Centre College in Kentucky. Weikert’s father Doug played basketball for the Commodores (1980-83) and is an orthopedic surgeon at Vanderbilt.
Isaiah Rice, Vanderbilt’s 2020 SEC Community Service Team member, is also a walk-on who has played minutes lately.
• The Commodores are a youthful bunch – in the last game against South Carolina, Vanderbilt started three true freshmen (Disu, Pippen Jr., Braelee Albert), and two juniors (Evans, Lee). True freshmen have accounted for 41 percent of minutes played, and with Nesmith’s minutes taken away, freshmen have played 45 percent of minutes played.
Disu, guard Jordan Wright and Pippen Jr. have all scored in double figures in a game in at least one game this season. According to KenPom.com, Vanderbilt has 1.13 years of experience on its roster, which ranks 320th in Division I basketball.
• As a team, the Commodores are second in the SEC in 3s made/game (8.3) and total 3s (256). The Commodores tied a season high with 15 made 3s at Alabama.
• Lee (33 points) and Evans’ (31 points) 30-point+ games against LSU marked the first duo in the SEC to accomplish the feat since 2008 (Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson) and the first in a single SEC game since 1996-97. It was the first Vanderbilt duo to score 30 or more points in a game since Jeff Fosnes (39) and Butch Feher (34) vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 21, 1974. Clyde Lee (33) and John Ed Miller (30) also accomplished the feat Feb. 16, 1965 against Kentucky.
• It was announced before the Texas A&M game that Vanderbilt’s leading scorer Nesmith would be out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Prior to the injury, Nesmith led the SEC in scoring with 23 points per game and was fifth nationally. He also led the SEC and nation in 3FG/game with 4.29 and 3FG percentage at 52.2.
He had also made an SEC-best 60 3s this season through 14 games. He also ranked eighth in free-throw percentage (82.5) and field-goal percentage (51.2) prior to his injury. Amazingly, at the end of the regular season, Nesmith is still 10th in the SEC in 3s made in all games (60). Nesmith has not played a game since Jan. 8.
• 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), 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: Arkansas leads, 27-12
Last Meeting: Arkansas – W, 75-55
Jan. 15, 2020 – Fayetteville, Arkansas
At SEC Tournament: Arkansas leads 4-1
Jerry Stackhouse vs. Arkansas: 0-1
Arkansas Series Records/Important Dates
• Arkansas leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt 27-12. Thirty-seven of the 39 matchups have come as conference members.
• The Razorbacks lead the series in the SEC Tournament 4-1. The two teams last met in the SEC Tournament on March 11, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena in a game Arkansas won 76-72.
• Vanderbilt’s only win in the SEC Tournament against the Razorbacks came March 14, 2013, at Bridgestone Arena 75-72.
• Feb. 7, 2017 – The Commodores, who earlier in the season lost a heartbreaking 71-70 decision to the Razorbacks in Nashville, responded with a win in Fayetteville after jumping out to a 25-4 lead.
• Feb. 27, 2010 – Vanderbilt ended a six-game losing streak in Fayetteville and gave then-Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings his first-ever win at Bud Walton Arena. Jeffery Taylor led five Vanderbilt players in double figures with 18 points.
SEC Tournament History
Vanderbilt And The SEC Tournament
• Vanderbilt will be the No. 14 seed at the 2020 SEC Tournament. It marks the second time Vanderbilt has been the 14th seed at the SEC Tournament.
• Vanderbilt owns a 39-56 all-time mark at the SEC Tournament. The Commodores won their first SEC Tournament crown in 2012 for the first time since 1951 in a 71-64 win over No. 1-ranked Kentucky in New Orleans.
• In all, Vanderbilt is making its 59th appearance in the SEC Tournament. VU has reached the semifinals 14 times and the finals twice. VU’s two trips to the finals have both resulted in SEC Tournament titles which came in 1951 with a 61-57 win over Kentucky and in 2012 in a 71-64 win over the Wildcats.
• Vanderbilt’s SEC Tournament record against each opponent follows: Alabama (4-4), Arkansas (1-4), Auburn (2-6), LSU (4-6), Ole Miss (3-4), Mississippi State (8-6), Missouri (0-0), Florida (3-6), Georgia (6-2), Kentucky (5-4), South Carolina (0-0), Tennessee (1-8), Texas A&M (1-1).
The SEC Tournament in Nashville
The SEC Tournament returns to Nashville this week for the 12th time in tournament history and the second consecutive season. The Commodores have hosted the tournament at Memorial Gym twice in 1984 (1-1) and 1991 (0-1) and the event has been held at the now-Bridgestone Arena in 2001 (0-1), 2006 (1-1), 2010 (1-1), 2013 (2-1), 2014 (0-1), 2015 (0-1), 2016 (0-1), 2017 (2-1) and 2019 (0-1). All-time in games played in Nashville, the Commodores are 7-11.
Jerry Stackhouse At The SEC Tournament
This will be head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s first SEC Tournament.
SEC Legend – Butch Feher
Former Commodore great Butch Feher will be honored as the Commodores’ Allstate SEC Basketball Legend this week at the SEC Tournament. Feher, from Flint, Michigan, scored 1,345 points in his career and played on the Commodores’ 1974 SEC regular-season championship team and Sweet 16 team. He was named to the All-SEC third team in 1976 and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1976 in the second round.
Vanderbilt (11-20, 3-15 SEC) vs. Arkansas (19-12, 7-11 SEC)
Nashville, Tenn. – Bridgestone Arena – 8:30 p.m.
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Tom Hart (play-by-play), Andy Kennedy (analyst), Jon Sundvold (analyst), Alyssa Lang (sidelines)
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