The Commodores’ men’s basketball team will conclude their 2017-18 regular season this Saturday evening in Oxford, Miss., when they take on the Ole Miss Rebels at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. CT airing live on the SEC Network, on the radio with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network and online at vucommodores.com.
The Commodores dropped to 11-19 on the season and 5-12 in SEC play after losing to Missouri, 74-67, on Tuesday at Memorial Gym in their last time out. Senior Jeff Roberson added 19 points to lead the Commodores while senior Riley LaChance added 17 points.
Roberson having stellar senior season
Roberson is having quite the season for the Commodores. The senior is fifth in the league in scoring (16.9), fifth in rebounding (7.2), third in free throw percentage (.851), fourth in field goal percentage (.484) and second in the SEC in 20-point games in SEC games only with nine (Daryl Macon has 10). His eight double-doubles is also third in the SEC.
The 6’6 senior from Houston is having an All-SEC First Team type of season - if selected to the first team, he would have a higher rebounding average than any first-team Commodore selection since Will Perdue in 1988 when he averaged 10.1 rebounds per game. Vanderbilt has had 19 first-team All-SEC selections since Perdue. Roberson’s scoring average is the highest by a Commodore player since John Jenkins averaged 19.9 points per game in 2012.
News and Notes
- Roberson was named the SEC Player of the Week for his performance on February 19 in two Vanderbilt wins over Mississippi State and Florida. He averaged 24 points, nine rebounds and two assists for the week.
- Roberson is also eighth on Vanderbilt’s all-time total rebounding list with 743, with Bill Depp (1959-61) up next in seventh with 747 career rebounds.
- In all, Roberson has scored 20 or more points in 13 games this year and LaChance in seven.
- LaChance has also had a spectacular senior season. He is fourth in all games in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (.417), sixth in 3FG made (2.5) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5), and in league games only, he is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1), ninth in assists (3.6), ninth in 3FG% (.398) and fifth in 3FG made (2.6).
- LaChance is now 17th on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list (1,448 points), while Roberson is 22nd on the list with 1,338 points.
- Freshman Saben Lee now has 36 steals for the season, seven more than Roberson’s team-best total for the season in 2016-17 (29). Lee is 10th in the SEC in steals (1.2). His nine assists against Texas A&M were the most by a Commodore since Wade Baldwin IV dished out nine assists at Miss. State on 2/16/2016. Lee is also tied for seventh on the single-season assist list for a freshman with 94 (Russell Lakey). Keegan Bell is 6th (95) and Dicky Keffer is 5th (99).
- The Commodores are looking for their first-ever win at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
- Vanderbilt is third in the SEC as a team in free throw percentage (.742) in all games and third in 3’s made (9.0). In league games only, the Commodores are second in three’s made (9.4).
- Roberson, LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis are all members of Vanderbilt’s 1,000-point club. 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.
- LaChance, Roberson and Fisher-Davis are second, third and fourth, respectively, among current players in SEC in career scoring. Georgia’s Yante Maten is the conference’s current career leader.
- LaChance, who has 415 career assists, is eighth on Vanderbilt’s all-time assist list after surpassing Drew Maddux against Georgia (394 career assists). Jermaine Beal is seventh on the list with 421 assists.
- The Commodores have already played nine games this season against ranked opponents - USC (#10/#10), Virginia (RV/#25), Seton Hall (#20/#20), Arizona State (#5/#6), Tennessee (#24/#23; #22/#21), Kentucky (#21/#20; #21/#22) and Auburn (#11/#13). The four ranked non-conference opponents are 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).
- KenPom.com has Vanderbilt with the number three strength of schedule as of March 1. VU had the strongest schedule in the nation in 2016-17.
Vanderbilt (11-19, 5-12) vs. Ole Miss (12-18, 5-12)
Oxford, Miss. - Pavilion at Ole Miss - 7:30 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Barry Booker (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93, XM 191
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB
Series Record: Vanderbilt leads, 75-45
Last Meeting: OM win, 81-74, on 2/4/17 in Nashville
Record at Vanderbilt: VU leads, 48-10
Record at OM: OM leads, 30-23
Record at Neutral Site: OM leads 5-4
Coach Drew vs. Ole Miss: Coach Drew is 0-1 against Ole Miss
More on Ole Miss
- Ole Miss enters the game with a 12-18 overall record and a 5-12 mark in the SEC.
- Deandre Burnett leads the Rebels in scoring with 13.8 points per game. Terence Davis (13.6), Breein Tyree (10.6) and Bruce Stevens (10.4) also average double figures.
- Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew made “The Shot” against Ole Miss in the 1998 NCAA Tournament when he played for Valparaiso. The Crusaders defeated the Rebels, 70-69, in Oklahoma City on a last-second buzzer beater en route to the Sweet 16 that season.
- This will be the 121st meeting between the two schools, with the first meeting coming in the 1924-25 season. This will be the 54th meeting in Oxford - the Rebels hold a 30-23 series lead in those games.
Jeff Roberson: Mr. Double-Double
Jeff Roberson has eight double-doubles on the season, the most in a season by a Commodore since Will Perdue had 10 in his junior season (1986-87) and 16 in his senior season (1987-88).
SEC Strength of Schedule
Here’s a look at KenPom’s strength of schedule among league teams (3/1).
1. Vanderbilt, 3
2. Tennessee, 4
3. Texas A&M, 6
4. Ole Miss, 9
5. Florida, 10
6. Kentucky, 12
7. Alabama, 14
8. Georgia, 18
9. Missouri, 19
10. South Carolina, 22
11. Arkansas, 31
12. LSU, 35
13. Auburn, 50
14. Mississippi State, 76
Vanderbilt in 85th SEC Season
Vanderbilt is in its 85th SEC season and is a charter member of the league. All-time against current members of the conference, Vanderbilt is 714-705.
Vanderbilt has made a 3-pointer in 1,028 consecutive games, a streak which began at the inception of the 3-point line in 1986-87. The Commodores rank third only to UNLV and Kentucky for the longest streak in Division I basketball. Vanderbilt, UNLV and Princeton are the only three schools in college basketball to have made at least one 3-pointer in every game played since the 3-point line was implemented.