The Crimson Tide, with their 9-4, 1-0 in the SEC, travels to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (5-8, 0-1) on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network. Alabama is coming off a their best performance of the year, a mauling of fifth ranked Texas A&M on last Saturday. VU lost their conference opener to Florida.
The Commodores are lead by Jeff Roberson, who averaged 14.7 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per. Roberson also shoots 45% from the field, 41% from deep and 91% from the free throw line. The 6’6” senior plays 31 minutes a game. Fellow senior Matthew Fisher-Davis plays 29 minutes a game and averaged 12.4 points per game and pulls down 5.3 boards. Six-two senior Riley Lachance is the other Dore in double figures with 11.6 points per game on 45% shooting, 44% from behind the arc. Freshman guard Saben Lee tosses in 9.1 points a game and leads the team with 46 assists. Joe Toye is generally the fifth starter and the 6’7” junior averages 5.5 ppg. Payton Wills, Djery Baptiste and Larry Austin, Jr. are the main bench players for Vanderbilt and none of them really contribute much.
VU averages 71.5 points per game, while shooting 41% from the field, 32% from three point range, and 74% from the free throw line. The Dores grab 37 rebounds a game, and allow 34 per game. Their strength of schedule is 37 and their RPI is 167. The teams five wins are against Austin Peay, UNC-Ashville, Redford, Houston Baptist and Alcorn State. They have lost to name brands, USC, Virginia, Seton Hall, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee, Arizona State and Florida.
By contrast, the Tide averages 77 points per game and allows 70 a game. UA is shooting 47% from the field and 34% from the three point line and 67% from the free throw stripe. BAMA pulls down 37.9 rebounds a night and allows 36.8 opponents rebounds. Collin Sexton continues to lead the Tide, and the league, in scoring at 20.1 points per game in 30 minutes of action. John Petty scores at a 13.3 clip, Donta Hall at 11.5 and Dazon Ingram at 11.5. Hall leads in rebounding with 7.4 per contest, followed by Ingram at 6.6 a game.
Memorial Gym in Nashville is notoriously difficult to win in, partially because of the set of the court, elevated with the bench’s under the goals. Visiting teams typically have a hard time finding their shooting touch in the arena. And in the second half the visitors bench is at the far end of the court. The Tide can win if they continue to play fast, run and gun and hit at least 35% of their three point shots. This Vanderbilt team isn't as good as they have been recently, so the young Tide has a good chance to start conference play with a 2-0 mark. The game is at 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on the SEC Network.
Roll Tide and Buckle Up
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