The RV/#24 Vanderbilt Commodores and the number three seed in the East will take on the number six seed in the West, LSU, in the night cap of the first day of the 2011 SEC Tournament on Thursday at the Georgia Dome. The game tips off at 9 p.m. CT, and can be heard live on the Vanderbilt Sports Network from IMG College and vucommodores.com, and seen live on the SEC Network, ESPN3.com, and ESPN Full Court.
Dave Neal, Mark Gottfried, and Shannon Spake will have the call for ESPN.
Series Info: Vanderbilt and LSU will meet for the 107th time on Thursday night, with the Commodores leading the all-time series, 58-48. The Tigers lead the all-time series in Baton Rouge, 28-21, and 7-4 on neutral floors. Vanderbilt leads the series, 33-13, in games played in Nashville. Last Meeting: The last meeting between the two schools came on February 26, 2011, in Baton Rogue in a game Vanderbilt won, 90-69. Vanderbilt has won the last five meetings between the schools. Head Coaches:Kevin Stallings is in his 12th year at Vanderbilt (234-146) and his 18th overall (357-209). Trent Johnson is in his 3rd year at LSU (49-48) and 13th overall (209-169). 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) TV: SEC Network SEC Network Affiliate List Play-by-Play: Dave Neal; Color: Mark Gottfried; Sidelines: Shannon Spake
The Commodores dropped their last time out against SEC regular season champion Florida on Saturday, 86-76, at Memorial Gym. The loss pushed Vanderbilt into the first day of the tournament, and with Kentucky's win over Tennessee on Sunday, made VU the number three seed in the East.
Vanderbilt owns a 30-48 all-time mark at the SEC Tournament. The Commodores split two games at the 2010 tournament in Nashville, defeating Georgia, 78-66, in the quarterfinals, and then falling to Mississippi State, 62-52, in the semifinals.
In all, Vanderbilt is making its 50th appearance in the SEC Tournament. VU has reached the semifinals 10 times and the finals once. The lone trip to the finals resulted in Vanderbilt's only SEC Tournament Title, which came in 1951 with a 61-57 win over Kentucky.
About LSU LSU enters the game Saturday with an 11-20 overall record and a 3-13 mark in SEC play after losing to Auburn on Saturday, 60-51. The Tigers are the #6 seed in the West.
Ralston Turner leads the Tigers with 12.8 points per game. Andre Stringer also averages double-figures with 11.1 points per contest. Storm Warren leads LSU on the glass with 5.7 rebounds per game.
The LSU Series Vanderbilt and LSU will meet for the 107th time on Thursday night, with the Commodores leading the all-time series, 58-48. The Tigers lead the all-time series in Baton Rouge, 28-21, and 7-4 on neutral floors. Vanderbilt leads the series, 33-13, in games played in Nashville. The last meeting between the two schools came on February 26, 2011, in Baton Rogue in a game Vanderbilt won, 90-69. Vanderbilt has won the last five meetings between the schools.
Stallings Versus LSU Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings is 9-6 in games played against LSU, and is 0-3 against the Tigers in the SEC Tournament.
Stallings In SEC Play Now in his 12th season of SEC play at the helm of the Commodores, Kevin Stallings has an 93-99 record in SEC play. This year's team went 9-7 in league play, and it marked the fourth time in five years his teams have won nine or more SEC games.
League Leaders Vanderbilt finished the SEC season first in scoring (73.8) and 3FG% Defense (.305), and finished second in free throw percentage (.752). In all games, Vanderbilt is first in FG% (.462), 3FG% Defense (.294), and tied for first in threes made (7.9 per game). John Jenkins finished the SEC season as the league's scoring champion (20.8 ppg) and first in threes made (3.1 per game). He's also first in the same categories in all games (19.4 ppg, 3.1 3's/gm).
Vanderbilt-Florida Tidbits The Commodores converted on a season-high 59.2% of their shots from the floor against the Gators, but it was not enough, as Florida knocked off Vanderbilt, 86-76, on senior day at Memorial Gym in both teams' regular season finale. John Jenkins led the Commodores with a game-high 22 points. Vanderbilt's 59% (29-for-49) shooting marked the highest percentage of the season against an SEC opponent, topping the previous best of 54.4% set against LSU on Feb. 26 in Baton Rouge. It was also just shy of the season-high mark of 60.7% set against Presbyterian in the home opener. The 59% from the field was the highest shooting percentage in a loss this season with the previous high being 52.5% set against Missouri. The eight-point half time deficit was the largest of the season in Memorial Gym, topping the previous mark of seven against Arkansas. The Commodores have now trailed at the half nine times against SEC opponents this season. Vanderbilt shot 56% (14-for-25) from the floor in the first half and now holds a 9-2 record when shooting 50% or better to start the game. The Commodores' 30 first-half points matched a season low against an SEC opponent in Memorial Gym this season - the other 30-point first half came against South Carolina on Feb. 5. Vanderbilt was outrebounded, 35-22, including 15-3 on the offensive glass. Florida outscored VU, 15-2 in second-chance points. Saturday was only the fourth time all season an opponent has made more threes than Vanderbilt (UF made 7, VU 6).
Player Notes vs. Florida John Jenkins scored 22 points and made three three-point field goals to give him 89 for the season, putting him in sixth place for most three-pointers in a single season at Vandy. Festus Ezeli blocked four shots to give him 145 for his career, tied for second with A.J. Ogilvy all-time for a Vanderbilt player. He is now 12 behind tying Will Perdue's record. He is already the Commodores' single-season leader with 80. Ezeli's eight free throws were the most he has made since recording 10 against Ole Miss on January 19. Ezeli recorded nine of Vanderbilt's first 13 points. Rod Odom scored 10 points and had five rebounds; it was Odom's fifth double-digit scoring game of the year. Brad Tinsley had five assists against Florida, his 15th game this season with five or more assists.