Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters: Tennessee Edition Part II

Greg Arias


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
- Interstate 40 awaits the Commodores, as Vanderbilt travels to Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena for a Tuesday night matchup. The game will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT, with the game being aired live on the SEC Network.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

• Vanderbilt dropped to 9-16 overall and 1-11 in SEC play after a loss to Florida Saturday night in Gainesville, 84-66. Saben Lee led Vanderbilt with 23 points, his fourth consecutive game with 20 or more points and his ninth of the season. Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 12 points, his 18th game in double figures this season, and Maxwell Evans pitched in 10 points.

• Junior guard Saben Lee is the team’s scoring leader. He is averaging 17.2 points and 4.4 assists per game, which ranks 6th and 5th in the SEC in all games, respectively. His 18.8 ppg average in SEC play is fifth in the league. In all games, Lee is also seventh in field goal percentage (.477), fifth in total free throws made (114) and attempted (150), and seventh in steals/game (1.6). Lee is averaging 24.0 ppg in his last four games. Lee (1,175) passed Luke Kornet (1,135; 40th), Mario Moore (1,137; 39th), Babe Taylor (1,144; 38th) and Brett Burrow (1,149; 37th) on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list against Kentucky. Billy Joe Adcock (1,190) is 36th.

• Dylan Disu notched his fourth double-double this season vs. Kentucky. He’s tied for the conference lead among all freshmen in the SEC in double-doubles (Trendon Watford). He has the highest single-game total for a freshman in the league for steals (5, vs. Tulsa, 11.30.19) and blocks (5, vs. Kentucky, 1.29.20)

• Scotty Pippen Jr. is ranked in the top 10 in the SEC in assists/game (9th, 3.8) and free throws attempted (7th, 135).

• The Commodores are a youthful bunch - in the last game against Florida, Vanderbilt started two true freshmen (Disu, Pippen Jr.), a redshirt sophomore (Obinna), and two juniors (Evans, Lee). True freshmen have accounted for 39% minutes played, and with Aaron Nesmith’s minutes taken away, freshmen have played 45% of minutes played. Disu, Jordan Wright, and Pippen Jr. have all scored in double figures in a game in at least one game. Ninety-nine of the 200 minutes played against Florida were played by true freshmen. According to KenPom.com, Vanderbilt has 1.13 years of experience on its roster, which ranks 320th in Division I basketball.

• Among freshmen in the SEC in all games, Pippen Jr. ranks sixth (11.3) and Disu 13th (6.9 ppg) in scoring. Pippen is third in assists with 3.8/game. He is second in the league in free throws made (97) and first in attempted free throws (135) among all freshmen.

• As a team, the Commodores are second in the SEC in threes made/game (8.4) and total threes (210). Vanderbilt has been to the charity stripe 567 times this season, which ranks 5th in the SEC.

• The Commodores captured their first SEC win of the season and snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 99-90 win over No. 18 LSU Feb. 5 at Memorial Gym. Lee and Evans are only the second scoring duo in the country to score 30 or more points in a single game this season, joining Austin Peay’s Jordyn Adams and Terry Taylor, who have done it twice. It was the first multiple 30-point efforts by an SEC team since Jodie Meeks (32) and Patrick Patterson (33) against Tennessee State (12.22.2008).

• Lee and Evan’s 30-point+ games are 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 12.21.74. Clyde Lee (33) and John Ed Miller (30) also accomplished the feat on 2.16.65 against Kentucky.

• It was announced before the Texas A&M game that Vanderbilt’s leading scorer Aaron Nesmith would be out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Prior to the injury, Nesmith led the SEC in scoring with 23.0 points per game and was fifth nationally. He also led the SEC and nation in 3FG/game with 4.29 and 3FG% at .522. He had also made an SEC-best 60 threes this season through 14 games. He also ranked eighth in free-throw percentage (.825) and field-goal percentage (.512) prior to his injury.

• Amazingly, Nesmith is still fifth in the SEC in threes made in all games (60). Nesmith has not played a game since Jan. 8.

• Bad luck Commodores - Vanderbilt has lost one of its leading scorers in each of the last three seasons due to injury - 2019-20, Aaron Nesmith (leading scorer); 2018-19, Darius Garland (leading scorer); 2017-18, Matthew Fisher-Davis (second-leading scorer).

• 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: Tennessee leads, 123-75

Last Meeting: Tennessee - W, 66-45

Jan. 18, 2020 - Nashville, Tenn.

At Tennessee: Tennessee leads, 63-16

Jerry Stackhouse vs. Tennessee: 0-1

Tennessee Series Records/Important Dates

• Tennessee leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 123-75. The Volunteers are the Commodores’ most-played opponent in program history.

• The Volunteers have won five consecutive games in the series.

• Tennessee leads the series, 63-16, in games played in Knoxville.

• 2.22.17 - The Commodores won for the third consecutive time in Knoxville for only the second time in school history with a 67-56 win at Thompson-Boling Arena.

• 2.27.10 - Vanderbilt knocked off the No. 14-ranked Volunteers, 85-76. Senior Jermaine Beal scored 25 points in the win to lead the Commodores.

• 1.12.00 - Vanderbilt defeated No. 12 Tennessee, 76-73, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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