I can't remember the last time a Vanderbilt SEC home opener held so much importance to a Commodore basketball team. After letting a precious road victory slip through their fingers (despite a double-digit second half lead!), the Dores take on the newly-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, who are fresh off a win over the title-favorite Kentucky Wildcats. If we want to be a serious threat to win the SEC regular season, EVERY GAME IS "MUST WIN". I just hope the flirtation with complacency the Black & Gold displayed last weekend put a horrible taste in their mouths.
Glancing at the schedules through KenPom colored glasses, Vanderbilt has played the much tougher schedule. Based on their performances to date, Georgia would be the 6th best offensive and defensive teams that the Commodores will have played. Vanderbilt would be the fourth best offensive and third best defensive team the Bulldogs will have played.
Keep in mind though, the Bulldogs are playing much better now than they were at the beginning of the season. So their numbers may be a bit deceiving. They are a quality team that demands respect.
Vanderbilt has a pretty healthy edge in tempo free statistics. Vanderbilt also has the superior bench. I'm really starting to get antsy for Andre Walker's return to full health. The Commodores haven't been at full strength since December 1st.
Four Factors: Vanderbilt holds sizeable leads in eFG% and FTRate, and has a very slim advantage in TO%. Georgia is the better OReb% team. Prediction: VU wins eFG% and FTRate. UGA takes OReb%. TO% is a toss up (and hopefully not a determining factor).
Traditional Statistics -
|Howard Trey Thompkins||11||29.8||7.2||14.1||51.0||0.5||1.8||30.0||3.2||4.5||70.0||2.5||4.5||7.1||1.5||2.9||1.2||1.5||2.0||18.1|
Tipoff is scheduled for 1900 CT and the game will be televised on the SEC Network (Comcast ch. 14 or 236 HD), though the game will also be available on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com. Our open gamethread will go live about an hour before tipoff. Also, don't forget to head over to Stat-King to submit your predictions for the game.