VU and Middle Tennessee do battle Wednesday on Star Wars Night

Dec. 5, 2017

Vanderbilt Gamenotes
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Ellis: Roberson Stepping Up As A Senior

The Commodores will welcome regional foe Middle Tennessee to Memorial Gym on Wednesday night in the 36th career meeting between the two schools. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. CT, with the game airing live on SEC Network +, on the radio with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network, and online on

Vanderbilt dropped to 3-5 on the season on Sunday after an 84-79 defeat at the hands of Big 12 foe Kansas State at Memorial Gym. Senior Jeff Roberson paced the Commodores against the Wildcats with his fifth double-double of the season in a 22-point and 10-rebound effort in 34 minutes of play. Freshman guard Saben Lee tied a career high with 19 points, and junior forward Joe Toye also tallied a season-high 11 points.

Jeff Roberson is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Roberson also leads the SEC in double doubles with five, while also leading the league in rebounding and defensive rebounding. Riley LaChance pitches in 12.6 points per game and is shooting 45.0% from three on the season, and Matthew Fisher Davis adds 11.3 points per game.

Wednesday is Star Wars Night
Fans in attendance will be treated to a Star Wars themed night at Memorial Gym, with several giveaways and contests in store:

  • Enter to win for movie tickets
  • Fans dressed in their best Star Wars costumes can win prizes
  • Special dance team performance
  • Take photos with your favorite characters
  • Lightsaber giveaway to the first 500 fans

Media Information
Vanderbilt (3-5) vs. Middle Tennessee (5-1)
Nashville, Tenn. - Memorial Gym - 7 p.m.
TV: SEC Network +
TV Talent: Kevin Ingram (pxp), Shan Foster (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College,
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates:  @VandyMBB

Series Information
Series Record:  VU leads, 29-6.
Last Meeting:  MT win 71-48 on 12/8/16 in Murfreesboro.
Record at Vanderbilt:  VU leads 16-0.
Record at MT:  VU leads 13-5.
Record at Neutral Site:  MT leads 1-0.
Coach Drew vs. Middle Tennessee:  Coach Drew is 0-1 against Middle Tennessee.

More information on the Middle Tennessee series

  • Middle Tennessee enters the game with a 5-1 record after defeating Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, 81-76.
  • Leading scorer Nick King is a graduate transfer from Alabama where he played seven games for the Crimson Tide last year before a lung infection sidelined him for the rest of the season.  King averages 24.3 points per game.
  • Brandon Walters (11.4) and Giddy Potts (10.3) also average double figures.
  • This is the first meeting between the two teams at Memorial Gym since 2012 and the 17th meeting overall at Vanderbilt.
  • Middle Tennessee has a two-game winning streak in the series, the longest for the Blue Raiders in the 35-game history.  The first game between the two schools came in the 1913-14 season.

Jeff Roberson:  Mr Double-Double
Jeff Roberson has five 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 began the season with three straight double-doubles, the first time a Commodore has had three straight double-doubles since Dan Langhi in 1998. 
  • Roberson led the team in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (8.0) at the NIT Season Tip-Off and was named to the event’s All-Tournament team.  He posted a 20-point, 13-rebound performance against Seton Hall.
  • Fisher-Davis’ scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Vanderbilt’s last game at Memorial Gym against USC - his 30-10 game was Vanderbilt’s first since A.J. Ogilvy in 2009 (33 and 10, at LSU, 3/4/09).
  • Vanderbilt shot their best percentage of the season against USC - 50.9%.  The Commodores also had season highs in three-point percentage (.478) and threes made (11).  The Commodoers shot 46.0% from the field against Kansas State.
  • The Commodores have already played three ranked opponents this season in USC (#10/#10), Virginia (RV/#25), and Seton Hall (#20/#20).  According to, Vanderbilt has the 40th toughest schedule so far in the nation and the seventh-toughest among Power Five schools (Arkansas 4th, Michigan State 21, Tennessee 30, Purdue 31, North Carolina 38, Texas A&M 39).
  • Vanderbilt’s next two games are against Middle Tennessee (#81), and at Arizona State (#54).
  • 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 Tournament team UNC Asheville also on the challenging slate.
  • Freshman Saben Lee leads the team in assists with 2.9 per game.
  • 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.
  • Vanderbilt has two 1,000-point scorers on their roster - Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis, with Jeff Roberson 54 points away from the 1,000-point mark.  LaChance is 2nd in the SEC in career returning scorers while Fisher-Davis is third behind Georgia’s Yante Maten. 
  • The Commodores return eight letter winners and three of their top four scorers in 2017-18 that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year - seniors Matthew Fisher-Davis (13.9), Jeff Roberson (10.8), and Riley LaChance (10.5).  Junior Joe Toye, who started in 13 games a year ago, also returns after averaging 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.  In all, Vanderbilt returns 70.5% of its scoring and six players who started at least one game in 2016-17. 
  • Vanderbilt had five top-25 wins, six top-50 victories and 11 top-100 RPI wins a year ago, the overall toughest strength of schedule and toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, and were the only SEC team to sweep Florida. 

SEC Three-Point Leaders
Of the top 20 season 3 pt FG %’s in SEC history, Vanderbilt has 5 of them.
4. Billy McCaffrey (51.2%, 1993)
7. Barry Booker (50.0%, 1987)
T9. Riley LaChance (48.6%)
12. John Jenkins (48.3%, 2010)
16. Shan Foster (46.9%, 2008). 
On the top 20 SEC career 3-point % list with at least 300 attempts, Vanderbilt has six guys.
2. Booker 46%
3. McCaffrey 44.6%
8. Scott Draud 43.8%
8. Jenkins 43.8%
14. Dan Cage 42.6%
19. Foster 42.1%

Career and Single-Season Lists
Matthew Fisher-Davis is tied for seventh in 3’s made in a career with 246, and Riley LaChance is tied for 10th with 197 made threes.  Riley LaChance’s 48.6% from three clip in 2016-17 is Vanderbilt’s 3rd-best all-time and in his last two seasons, LaChance is 88-188 (46.8%) from three and has made four or more threes in a game seven times during that span.

700th SEC Win
Vanderbilt is in its 85th SEC season and is a charter member of the league.  The Commodores won their 700th league game at Florida, and all time against current members of the conference, Vanderbilt is 709-693.

Vanderbilt has made a 3-pointer in 1,007 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.



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