Jan. 6, 2011
Media Interview with Coach Stallings | Q&A with Festus Ezeli
The Vanderbilt Commodores open their 77th season of SEC competition when they travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks at 4 p.m. CT in Columbia. The game can be heard on the Vanderbilt Sports Network from IMG College and vucommodores.com.
The game will be televised by ESPN2, with Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes handling the play-by-play and color duties.
Series Info: The all-time series is tied at 23. South Carolina leads 11-10 in games played in Columbia.
Last Meeting: South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt, 77-73, on March 6, 2010, in Nashville.
Head Coaches: Kevin Stallings is in his 12th year at Vanderbilt (224-139) and his 18th overall (346-202). Darrin Horn in his 3rd year at South Carolina (45-30) and 8th year overall (156-78).
Radio: Vanderbilt Sports Network from IMG College (WRQQ - 97.1 FM); vucommodores.com
Play-by-Play: Joe Fisher (13th year); Color: Tim Thompson (10th year)
Play-by-Play: Brad Nessler; Color: Jimmy Dykes
Live Stats, Audio, ESPN3.com video feed
South Carolina Gamenotes
About South Carolina
South Carolina is 9-4 on the season after defeating South Carolina State on Tuesday night, 91-56.
Freshman guard Bruce Ellington leads the Gamecocks with 14.2 points per game - he also paces the team in assists with 3.9 per game. Ellington is the only South Carolina player averaging double figures, but five players average at least 8.6 points per game.
The South Carolina Series
Vanderbilt will meet South Carolina for the 27th time on Saturday afternoon, with the career series tied at 23-23. The last meeting between the two schools came last year at Memorial Gym on March 6, in a 77-73 South Carolina win.
South Carolina leads the series in Columbia with an 11-10 advantage. The Commodores lead 12-10 at Memorial Gym, and the Gamecocks lead 2-1 at neutral sites.
Stallings Versus South Carolina
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings is 10-12 all-time against South Carolina, and 6-5 in games played at Columbia.
Stallings in SEC Play
Entering his 12th season of SEC play at the helm of the Commodores, Kevin Stallings has an 84-92 record in SEC play. In 2009-10, Stallings posted his best SEC record as a coach with a 12-4 mark.
Last Five Game Trends
Commodores are 4-1 and averaging 79.2 points per game.
VU has a scoring margin of +15.6
Jeffery Taylor leads five players averaging double-figures with 18.4 points over the last five games. John Jenkins (16.0), Festus Ezeli (12.6), Brad Tinsley (11.0), and Lance Goulbourne (10.3) and are also averaging double-figures. Steve Tchiengang is just shy of the double-digit mark with 9.4 ppg.
Vanderbilt has shot 48.0% from the floor.
Commodores are 66.7% from the free-throw line.
Brad Tinsley is also averaging 5.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds.
Vanderbilt is 11-2 in non-conference games, with one to play against St. Mary's in Nashville on January 22. The best non-conference regular season record in the Stallings era was 15-0 in the 2007-08 campaign.
VU has had 11 halves of 50% or better shooting this season, and five in which the Commodores have held their opponents to below 30% shooting.
Junior forward Jeffery Taylor entered the Vanderbilt 1,000-point club with 22 points in an 80-52 win over Davidson Sunday at Memorial Gym. The Commodores held the Wildcats to 29.3% from the floor in the win, and never trailed in the game. Junior guard Brad Tinsley tallied the second double-double of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Tchiengang also scored 14 points, and Festus Ezeli added 12 points in the win.
Vanderbilt is now 3-1 all-time against Davidson, including a 3-0 mark in Nashville.
Four players scored in double figures for the Commodores: Jeffery Taylor led the team with 22 points, Brad Tinsley and Steve Tchiengang each scored 14 and Festus Ezeli added 12 points.
Lance Goulbourne made a three-point basket at the 18:57 mark of the first half, which extended Vanderbilt's consecutive games streak with a three-pointer to 775 games.
Vanderbilt was 6-for-14 from beyond the arc, while Davidson was 5-for-27. VU has made more threes than all but one of their 2010-11 opponents (Belmont).
Ties: 0; Lead changes: 0
VU largest lead: 34 (2nd half, 12:50)
VU outscored Davidson 30-28 in the paint, 19-10 off turnovers and 10-4 in fast break points.
The Commodores are 11-0 this season when leading in the final two minutes of the game.
Vanderbilt was outrebounded by Davidson 47-41. The Commodores are 3-1 this season when being outrebounded by its opponents.
With 22 points Sunday, Jeffery Taylor became the 41st player in Vanderbilt history to score 1,000 points. He now has 1,004 career points. He made a season-high 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Lance Goulbourne had a career-high three blocks.
Kyle Fuller had a career-high five assists and tied a career-high with six points.
Brad Tinsley tied a career-high with 10 rebounds (last happened against Presbyterian, 11/12/10). He had his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Smart played a career-high 16 minutes and tied a career-high with two rebounds.
Commodores Hampered By Injuries
Vanderbilt was hoping to return to full strength when Lance Goulbourne returned from a two-game NCAA suspension against Davidson, but instead, were down two men due to injuries sustsained in practice in the two days leading up to the game.
John Jenkins, VU's leading scorer, missed the game after suffering a concussion on Saturday, and Andre Walker, who returned for one game (Marquette) after missing four with mononucleosis, suffered a sprained ankle in the Commodores' Friday practice.
Vanderbilt in Top 25
The Commodores entered the 2010-11 AP Top 25 for the first time last week at #24, and creeped up two spots to #22 this week. VU also entered the ESPN/USA Today poll this week at #24.