From Vanderbilt Athletics –
The Vanderbilt men are back in action this Tuesday night when they welcome the Belmont Bruins to Memorial Gym for the 2016-17 home opener. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network, with the action also being heard across the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network and online at vucommodores.com.
The Commodores are looking to bounce back from a season-opening loss to Marquette on Friday at the Veterans Classic presented by Northwestern Mutual in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy. Senior center Luke Kornet led the team with 15 points, while junior Matthew Fisher-Davis added 12 points. Vanderbilt led, 40-39, at the half, but the Golden Eagles opened the second half on a 20-4 run to keep the Commodores at bay. Marquette made 13 threes on the night, the most by an opponent since Kentucky made 12 against the Commodores on January 30, 2010. The loss to Marquette snapped a streak of nine consecutive wins on opening day. The Commodores’ last loss before Friday on opening day was against Georgetown on November 15, 2006 (L, 70-86). Ironically, Vanderbilt and Georgetown matched up in the Sweet 16 later that season in New Jersey in a game the Hoyas won, 66-65, on a controversial non-walk call against Georgetown’s Jeff Green.
Tuesday’s home opener for the Commodores will be the 65th ever at Memorial Gym, the SEC’s oldest basketball facility. All-time in Memorial Gym season openers, Vanderbilt is 57-7 and has won nine consecutive home openers, dating back to an 86-70 loss to Georgetown on November 15, 2006.
Vanderbilt (0-1) vs. Belmont (0-0)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 8 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
TV Talent: Kevin Ingram (play by play), Jon Sundvold (Color)
Radio: Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
Twitter Updates: @VandyMBB
- This is the 114th year of Vanderbilt basketball, with the first season taking place in 1900-01. There were no teams in 1904-05 and 1905-06.
- Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew will coach his first home game as a Commodore against Belmont Tuesday at Memorial Gym. Drew takes over for Vanderbilt’s all-time winningest coach, Kevin Stallings, who left Nashville for Pittsburgh in April of 2016, and became the ninth Commodore basketball coach of the modern era and the 27th all time.
- Drew takes over the Vanderbilt program after spending five seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, Valparaiso, where he posted a 124-49 record. Drew was a three-time Horizon League Coach of the Year and two-time NABC District 12 Coach of the Year with Valparaiso, where he averaged 25 wins a season, won four regular season championships, and made four postseason appearances, two in the NCAA Tournament and two in the NIT, with the Crusaders.
- The Commodores return nine letterwinners for 2016-17, including three starters, Luke Kornet, Jeff Roberson, Matthew Fisher-Davis, and one other player, Riley LaChance, who has started 55 games in his three-year career. Fisher-Davis is the leading Commodore scorer after averaging 9.7 points per game in 2015-16.
- In 2015-16, the Commodores finished in a tie for third nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to only 29.4% from three. Vanderbilt also finished fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.6%) and ninth in blocks per game (5.5). Luke Kornet tied for third nationally in blocks, averaging 3.0 per contest.
- The 11 SEC wins in 2016 was the most since the Commodores registered 12 in 2009-10, and the 15th time in program history a Vanderbilt team has recorded 11 or more league victories.
- Matthew Fisher-Davis led the SEC in three-point field goal percentage in 2015-16, converting on 44.6% of his attempts from beyond-the-arc. Luke Kornet led the conference in blocks with 3.0 per game.
- The Commodores made their 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first appearance since 2012 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament when Vanderbilt advanced to the First Four in Dayton.
- Senior Luke Kornet and junior Matthew Fisher-Davis were each named to the All-SEC Preseason second team by the league’s coaches last week.
- The last time Vanderbilt opened a season away from Memorial Gym came on November 21, 2003, when the Commodores helped open Belmont University’s Curb Center. Vanderbilt won that game, 74-59, and advanced to the Sweet 16 that season.
Series Record: VU leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: Vanderbilt win, 85-76, on Dec. 4, 2010, at Memorial Gym.
Record at Vanderbilt: VU leads, 3-0.
Record at Belmont: VU leads, 1-0.
Record at Neutral Site: NA
Coach Drew vs. Belmont: Coach Drew is 1-1 all-time vs. Belmont
- Belmont will open their 2016-17 season Tuesday after posting a 20-12 overall record last season. The Bruins return four starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s team.
- Senior forward Evan Bradds is the team’s leading returning scorer (17.6 pgg) and rebounder (9.2 rpg). Senior guard Taylor Barnette also averaged double figures with 10.6 ppg.
- Coach Drew’s Valparaiso team split a home and home series with the Bruins a year ago, with each team winning on their home court.
- Belmont assistant coach James Strong was a four-year letter winner with the Commodores (1996-2000) and scored 827 career points.
- Belmont associate head coach Brian Ayers was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt from 1996-98.
- Former Commodore great and current radio analyst Tim Thompson’s daughter Lauren is a senior on the Bruin women’s basketball team.
- Belmont and Vanderbilt are situated two miles apart.
Other News and Notes
VU Staff Can Score
The Vanderbilt men’s basketball staff has combined to score a total of 5,486 collegiate points, with head coach Bryce Drew leading the way with 2,142 points. Here’s a breakdown of the staff’s scoring totals.
Head Coach Bryce Drew, Valparaiso=2,142
Asst. Coach Casey Shaw, Toledo=1,562
Assoc. Head Coach Roger Powell, Jr., Illinois=1,178
Asst. Coach Jake Diebler, Valparaiso=586
Kornet Excels in Classroom
Senior center Luke Kornet has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in the three years he has played at Vanderbilt, and also been named a CoSida All-District Academic Selection in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Kornet is double majoring in computer science and mathematics.
Coach Drew’s First Home Game
New head coach Bryce Drew will be playing his first game at Memorial Gym on Tuesday against Belmont, and will be the ninth basketball coach to open their career in the facility. A look at career openers at Memorial.
Bob Polk, Dec. 6, 1952 vs. Virginia, W, 90-83
Roy Skinner, Dec. 2, 1958 vs. Sewanee, W, 71-42
Wayne Dobbs, Dec. 1, 1976 vs. Louisville, L, 76-81 (OT)
Richard Schmidt, Nov. 30, 1979 vs. Rice, W, 94-75
C.M. Newton, Dec. 14, 1981, vs. N. Alabama, W, 116-88
Eddie Fogler, Nov. 29, 1989, vs. Tenn. Tech, L, 76-89
Jan van Breda Kolff, Nov. 26, 1993 vs. Penn. St., W, 83-60
Kevin Stallings, Nov. 23, 1999 vs. Belmont, W, 72-55
Four with 25+ threes
Four returning Commodores made 25 or more threes a year ago, with Matthew Fisher-Davis leading the way with 79. Riley LaChance (43), Jeff Roberson (30), and Luke Kornet (26) also eclipsed the 25 made three mark.
Returning for VU
57.3% of the team’s scoring returns from a year ago, along with six players who played 28 or more games and four players who made 19 or more starts.
In fact, the projected starting five (Kornet – 94 games), Fisher-Davis (67), LaChance (69), Roberson (66), and Cressler (90) have combined to play in 386 games.
Commodores vs. OVC
Vanderbilt has a 58-8 all-time record against schools from the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont will be the only OVC team the Commodores face in the regular season this year.
Vanderbilt has made a 3-pointer in 965 consecutive games, a streak which began at the inception of the 3-point line in 1986-87. The Commodores rank second only to UNLV 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.
Vanderbilt was one of only three schools (Kentucky, Washington) with two first-round selections in the 2016 NBA Draft when Wade Baldwin IV was drafted 17th by the Memphis Grizzlies and Damian Jones was selected 30th by the Golden State Warriors. Baldwin IV and Jones became the sixth and seventh first-round picks, respectively, in the history of the program, joining Will Perdue in 1988 (11th, Chicago), Jeff Turner in 1984 (7th, New Jersey), Clyde Lee in 1966 (3rd, San Francisco), and John Jenkins (23rd, Atlanta), and Festus Ezeli (30th, Golden State) in 2012.
Memorial Gym close to 1,000
The matchup with Belmont will be the 988th regular season game played at Memorial Gym.
2015-16 National Statistics
In 2015-16, the Commodores finished in a tie for third nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to only 29.4% from three. Vanderbilt also finished fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.6%) and ninth in blocks per game (5.5). Luke Kornet tied for third nationally in blocks, averaging 3.0 per contest.
Commodore Postseason History
The Commodores have been named to 14 NCAA Tournaments and 12 NIT’s. Vanderbilt advanced to the Elite 8 in 1965 (field of 23), and the Sweet 16 in 1988, 1993, 2004, and 2007. The Commodores captured the NIT Championship in 1990 and finished runner-up in 1994.
Vanderbilt Coaching History
Bryce Drew is the ninth Commodore basketball coach of the modern era and the 27th all time.