The Commodores open their 85th season in the Southeastern Conference when they travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators at Exactech Arena on Saturday afternoon. The game begins at 3 p.m. CT, with the game airing live on ESPN2, on the radio with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network, and online on vucommodores.com.
Vanderbilt won its second consecutive game when they took down Alcorn State, 92-51, on December 22 at Memorial Gym in their last time out. Senior Jeff Roberson led the team with 21 points on 7-10 shooting and 5-6 shooting from beyond-the-arc. Seniors Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis added 16 and 15 points, respectively, and freshman point guard Saben Lee chipped in 10 points. The Commodores shot a season-high 53.3% from the floor and 48.6% from three in the win.
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.
Most Ranked Opponents in Non-Conference Play since 1988
The Commodores have already played four ranked opponents this season in USC (#10/#10), Virginia (RV/#25), Seton Hall (#20/#20), and Arizona State (#5/#6). 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).
Commodores Looking For Six Straight Over Gators
Vanderbilt has won five consecutive games against the Gators, dating back to a 50-47 loss to Florida in Gainesville on Feb. 18, 2015. The five-game streak is the longest over the Gators since sweeping three games in 1990 and two games in 1991. The Commodores’ longest streak over the Gators is six games (1980-82).
The first meeting between the two schools came in the 1930-31 season.
Vanderbilt (5-7) vs. Florida (8-4)
Gainesville, Fla. - Exactech Arena - 3 p.m. CT
TV Talent: Rich Hollenberg (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 113, XM 191
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB
Series Record: UF leads, 70-63.
Last Meeting: VU win, 72-62, on Mar. 10, 2017, in overtime in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena.
Record at Vanderbilt: VU leads 44-15.
Record at Florida: UF leads 42-23.
Record at Neutral Site: UF leads 6-3.
Coach Drew vs. Florida: Coach Drew is 3-0 against Florida.
More on Florida
- Florida enters the game with an 8-4 record after knocking off Incarnate Word, 75-60, on December 22 in Gainesville.
- A pair of transfers lead the Gators in scoring - Jalen Hudson (Virginia Tech) averages 18.2 points per game, while Egor Koulechov (Rice) averages 14.1 points per contest. Returning guards Chris Chiozza (12.9) and KeVaughn Allen (11.8) also average double figures.
A Commodore Win Would…
- Move Vanderbilt’s overall win streak to three and their streak over the Gators to a record-tying six games.
- Give Vanderbilt their first road win of the season. Vanderbilt had five road wins in league play last year, the most by a Vanderbilt team since winning six league road games in 2010.
- Start the Commodores 1-0 in their 85th season of SEC play.
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).
Roberson is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Roberson leads the SEC in double doubles with six, and is third in the SEC in rebounding and first in defensive rebounding. Matthew Fisher Davis adds 12.0 points per game and Riley LaChance pitches in 11.7 points per game.
Vanderbilt Quick Hitters
- LaChance is 2nd in the SEC in career returning scorers while Fisher-Davis is third. Georgia’s Yante Maten is the conference’s current career leader in scoring.
- LaChance, who has 350 career assists, is one assist away from cracking Vanderbilt’s all-time top 10 assist list. Al McKinney, who played from 1981-84, is 10th with 351 career assists.
- 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.
- Vanderbilt is 29-65 from three in their last two games, a 44.6% clip, and dished out 43 assists.
- Fisher-Davis’ scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Vanderbilt’s 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).
- Freshman Saben Lee, from Phoenix, Ariz., who has started nine games at point guard for the Commodores, scored a career-high 24 points in a homecoming game at Arizona State on December 17. He also added five rebounds and six assists.
- The Commodores have already played four ranked opponents this season in USC (#10/#10), Virginia (RV/#25), Seton Hall (#20/#20), and Arizona State (#5/#6). 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- In the early signing period, the Commodores signed a consensus top 10 recruiting class for next season - the Commodores received commitments from two five-star players, point guard Darius Garland (Brentwood, Tenn.) and forward Simi Shittu (Burlington, Ontario, Canada.), and four-star wing player Aaron Nesmith (Charleston, S.C.), one of the nation’s top shooters.
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%
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 1,011 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.