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Gameday Capsule: Vanderbilt at MSU

 

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VANDERBILT (6-11, 1-4 SEC) at MISSISSIPPI STATE (13-4, 1-3 SEC) 

 

BROADCAST INFO: 6 p.m. on SEC Network with Dave Neal and Daymeon Fishback, plus the MSU Radio Network with Neil Price and Richard Williams. 

 

VANDERBILT's LAST 5: L 81-74 at Florida, W 76-75 vs. Alabama, L 71-60 at South Carolina, L 92-84 vs. Tennessee, L 74-67 vs. Kentucky. 

 

MSU's LAST 5: W 109-81 vs. North Florida, W 78-75 vs. Arkansas, L 64-58 at Ole Miss, L 71-54 at Florida, L 76-68 vs. Auburn. 

 

VANDERIBLT's RESUMÉ: Unlike Mississippi State, one can never knock Vanderbilt's strength of schedule. (It ranks eighth in the nation according to KenPom.) That being said, I could argue Vanderbilt has lost to every good team it has played. It only has one win over a top 150 KenPom team, and that was by one point at home over an Alabama team that is fighting for its NCAA Tournament life at the moment. Vandy is 1-11 against top 100 KenPom teams and some of those losses against the top teams have been ugly, like 26 points to Virginia on a neutral floor or 13 points to Seton Hall on a neutral. Granted, Vandy has shown the ability to compete with team of MSU's caliber, such as taking USC to overtime at home, the five-point loss to Kansas State or the three-point loss to Middle Tennessee State. 

 

VANDERIBLT PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 0 Saben Lee, Fr., 6'2", 174 -- 11.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 spg, led the Commodores in scoring in three of the last four games. 

 

G 13 Riley LaChance, Sr., 6'2", 185 -- 10.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, one of the best 3-point shooters in Vanderbilt history after shooting 48.6 percent last year and 41 percent this year. 

 

G 5 Matthew Fisher-Davis, Sr., 6'5", 186 -- 11.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 spg, 87.2 percent free throw shooter, one of Vandy's best at limiting turnovers. 

 

F 11 Jeff Roberson, Sr., 6'6", 220 -- 15.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, second in the SEC with six double-doubles. 

 

C 12 Djery Baptiste, Soph., 6'10", 235 -- 4.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg (team's best shot blocker), only started seven times this season. 

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE PROJECTED STARTERS 

 

G 0 Nick Weatherspoon, Fr., 6'2", 195 -- 11 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 19 steals in 17 games, second on the team with 29.1 minutes per game. 

 

G 23 Tyson Carter, Soph., 6'4", 165 -- 9.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 29.8 percent from 3-point range, averaging 5.3 ppg in conference play. 

 

G 11 Quinndary Weatherspoon, Jr., 6'4", 205 -- 14.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.5 spg, tied for 11th in the conference in minutes played. 

 

F 35 Aric Holman, Jr., 6'10", 225 -- 11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 21 blocks in 17 games, 87th in the nation with a 64.9 percent shooting percentage on 2-point attempts. 

 

F 24 Abdul Ado, R-Fr., 6'11", 250 -- 6.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.25 bpg, 20 steals in 16 games, 13th in the nation with a 68.6 percent effective field goal percentage. 

 

NOTES: KenPom gives MSU a 66 percent chance of winning this game with a projected final score of 69-65...Vanderbilt is second worst in the SEC in field goal percentage (41.4) and last in field goal defense (43.8)...Quinndary Weatherspoon needs 23 points to move up to the next rank in the school scoring list, which would tie him for 32nd in school history...Vandy's Jeff Roberson dropped 23 points on MSU in the last meeting.

 

 

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