Vanderbilt-Kentucky pregame notes

Kentucky hopes to have a lot to cheer about Saturday in Nashville. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

Series Information

Series Record:  UK leads, 142-47.

Last Meeting:  UK win, 73-67, on 2/28/17 in Lexington.

Record at Vanderbilt:  UK leads 53-27.

Record at Kentucky:  UK leads 84-15.

Record at Neutral Site:  Tied at 5.

Coach Drew vs. Kentucky:  Coach Drew is 0-2 against Kentucky.

 

Roberson Leads Commodores 

Jeff Roberson is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in all games, averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.  Roberson is second in the SEC in double doubles, fourth in the SEC in all games in rebounding, sixth in free throw percentage, and first in defensive rebounding.  In league games only, he is tied for seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.474) and tied for ninth in three’s made (2.3).

 

Lee Leads All SEC Freshman in League Play

Freshman Saben Lee has led the Commodores in scoring for the last three games and is averaging 20.3 points per game in that span.  In four league games, the freshman from Phoenix is the conference’s leading freshman scorer with 18.5 points per game and 6th overall in league games only.  He also ranks seventh in SEC-only field goal percentage (.545).

 

Commodores Have Played Most Ranked Opponents in SEC

The Commodores have already played five ranked opponents this season in USC (#10/#10), Virginia (RV/#25), Seton Hall (#20/#20), Arizona State (#5/#6), and Tennessee (24/23), the most in the SEC.  The four ranked non-conference opponents is the most by a Commodore team since 1988, when Vanderbilt also played four (11/22 – # 2 Michigan, L, 66-91; 11/27 – #16 Ohio State, L, 82-97; 11/30 – #13 Louisville, W, 65-62; 12/7 – #8 North Carolina, L, 77-89).

 

More on Kentucky

  • Kentucky enters the game with a 13-3 overall record and a 3-1 mark in SEC play.
  • Kevin Knox leads five Wildcat players that average in double figures with 14.1 points per game.  Hamidou Diallo (14.0), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11.8), P.J. Washington (11.1), and Quade Green (10.7) also average double figures.
  • This will be the 190th meeting between the two schools, with Kentucky holding a 142-47 advantage in the series.  The Wildcats are 53-27 all-time against the Commodores in games played on Vanderbilt’s campus.
  • Saturday will be the 100th meeting against a ranked Kentucky team – Vanderbilt is 16-83 all-time when the Wildcats are ranked overall and 12-32 against a ranked Kentucky team at Memorial Gym.
  • Vanderbilt’s last win over a ranked Kentucky team came in a February 16, 2016 74-62 win at Memorial Gym. 

A Commodore Win Would…

  • Give Vanderbilt their first win over Kentucky since February 16, 2016.
  • Move the Commodores’ record to 2-3 in SEC play and 7-4 in games played at home.
  • Be the 28th win against a Kentucky team on Vanderbilt’s campus.

Jeff Roberson:  Mr Double-Double

Jeff Roberson has six double doubles on the season, the most in a season by a Commodore since Damian Jones had seven in the 2015-16 season.  Seven is also the most by a Commodore since Will Perdue had 10 in his junior season (1986-87) and 16 in his senior season (1987-88). 

 

Vanderbilt Quick Hitters

  • Roberson eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier in his career with his 21-point game against Alcorn State.  He joins two other 1,000-point scorers on this year’s roster – Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis.  There has been only one other class of Vanderbilt players to have three 1,000-point scorers – the vaunted “F Troop” – Butch Feher, Joe Ford, and Jeff Fosnes in 1976.
  • Matthew Fisher Davis adds 12.1 points per game, Riley LaChance pitches in 11.3 points, and Saben Lee averages 11.2 points per game.
  • Fisher-Davis has 1,210 points and LaChance has 1,206 career points, and are 29th and 31st on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list, respectively, and are second and third among current players in SEC in scoring.  Georgia’s Yante Maten is the conference’s current career leader.
  • Fisher-Davis is ninth in the SEC in 3’s made with 2.3 in all games and seventh in SEC games only (2.5).
  • LaChance, who has 364 career assists, is now 10th on Vanderbilt’s all-time assist list after surpassing Al McKinney against Florida.  McKinney played from 1981-84 and finished his career with 351 career assists.  Russell Lakey is ninth on the list with 369 assists.
  • Vanderbilt’s record against ranked opponents is 94-233 all-time and 64-77 against ranked opponents at home.  
  • The Commodores have used eight different starting lineups this season, with their eighth coming against Tennessee (Lee, LaChance, Evans, Roberson, Baptiste).
  • This season’s non-conference schedule features eight games against teams who played in the postseason a year ago.  Five opponents, USC, Seton Hall, Virginia, Kansas State, and Middle Tennessee, all played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, with NIT participant Belmont, 2017 NIT Champion TCU, and CollegeInsider.com Tournament team UNC Asheville also on the challenging slate.  KenPom.com has Vanderbilt’s strength of schedule at 10 as of January 7.
  • Commodore head coach Bryce Drew, now in his second season, led the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Nashville, marking the first time in the history of the program a first-year Vanderbilt coach led his team to the tournament.  Overall, the Commodores made their 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their first back-to-back appearances since making three consecutive tournaments from 2010-12. 

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