Commodores on the Road as They Visit South Carolina Tonight

Greg Arias

A road contest against the South Carolina Gamecocks awaits the Vanderbilt Commodores and head coach Jerry Stackhouse tonight as the Commodores look to snap their current six-game losing streak, and of course the much talked about conference streak that now extends to twenty-four in a row.  

Vanderbilt, 8-10 overall and 0-5 in conference play are still working to find themselves in the wake of injuries that have depleted their starting lineup and bench depth to the point where Stackhouse has started a walk-on at times and has been forced to play others off the bench because of that lack of depth.  

On the other side, head coach Frank Martin and his Gamecocks enter this game 10-8 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Those two conference wins include Texas A&M who manhandled Vanderbilt and a home win over Kentucky.   

Carolina is led by guard tandem of AJ Lawson and Jermaine Couisnard, both averaging double figures with Lawson (13.7) leading the way while Couisnard (10.9) is the only other Gamecock averaging double digits. 

Two other players, guard Jair Boldon (9.7) and forward Maik Kotsar (9.6) average just below double figures while forward Keyshawn Bryant (8.3) round out the top scoring options for South Carolina.    

Offensively Martin's team averages 69.7 ppg while allowing 66.9 ppg. It is a team that is capable of playing solid basketball but also suffers from periods of sporadic and even poor play. 

If there is one stat that should be encouraging to Vanderbilt, it's that the Gamecocks are just 6-6 inside Colonial Life Arena this season, including losses to Boston University, Northern Iowa, and Stetson. 

While the Commodores are, and should be an underdog this is no layup for Carolina if they suffer a poor performance as has happened multiple times this season. 

Granted, the Commodores must bring their best effort as players like Dylan Disu and Scottie Pippen Jr. must provide more offense to back Saben Lee, who also must have his best effort if Vanderbilt is to gain their first conference win of the season and stop two streaks that are plaguing this team this season.  

Tipoff from Columbia is set for 7 pm and can be seen on the SEC Network. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or on Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven

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