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Men's Basketball Preview: Norfolk State at Vanderbilt

Luke Kornet was an eskimo aiming at snow last week when he drilled his first nine shots of the night en route to a career-high 24 points against Tennessee State. Can he recapture that magic tonight when Vanderbilt plays Norfolk State?

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt rolled their hot start out to 3-0 on Sunday when they steamrolled Tennessee State. Tonight, they'll try to keep that hot streak alive against Norfolk State.

The 2-2 Spartans will give a young Commodore team another key warmup before they head off to the Big Apple for the Barclays Center Classic. There, they'll have to adjust from low-major opponents to face off with Rutgers and one of the combatants from Friday's game between #8 Virginia and La Salle. As such, Tuesday's home contest could set the tone for Vandy's first road test of the budding 2014-15 season.

Norfolk State is a big underdog, but Vanderbilt is due for some regression after a big performance last week against the Tigers. Can the Commodores keep rolling as they prep for a big step up in competition? Let's take a closer look.

Key Stat: 90.9. That was Luke Kornet's shooting percentage from Sunday night's game against Tennessee State. The seven-foot sophomore was effective from all over the court, scoring at the rim and making three out of four three-point attempts. He probably won't be able to keep that pace up (but, fingers crossed, right?), but Vandy fans will be waiting anxiously to see if he can keep his rapid development on track.

Matchup to Watch: Jeffrey Short vs. Riley LaChance. Short has been a scoring threat for the Spartans thanks to a high-volume approach from behind the three-point line. That will force LaChance (as well as Wade Baldwin, Shelton Mitchell, and Matthew Fisher-Davis) to stick to him anytime he's within 25 feet of the basket. We've seen what LaChance can do on the offensive side of the ball, but Vandy's opponents have yet to test his perimeter defense. Short will provide a step up in that department. If LaChance is looking to prove that he can hang with the SEC's premiere scoring guards, he'll have to start with Short.

Starters and Rotation Players:

Pos. Player PPG RPG APG
G - Shelton Mitchell 5.7 3.3 4.7
G - Riley LaChance 11.7 3.7 2.7
F - Jeff Roberson 5.3 5.0 1.7
F - Luke Kornet 15.0 6.7 0.3
C - Damien Jones 19.3 8.7 1.0
Key Reserves
G - Wade Baldwin IV 9.3 5.0 6.0
G/F - Matthew Fisher-Davis 4.7 1.7 2.3
C - Josh Henderson 2.7 4.3 0.0
Norfolk State
Pos. Player PPG RPG APG
G - Jamal Fuentes 1.3 1.0 5.3
G - D'Shon Taylor 8.3 2.5 0.5
G - Jeffrey Short 17.3 4.3 1.3
G - Malik Thomas 14.0 7.5 1.8
F - Paulius Vinogradovas 0.8 1.8 0.0
Key Reserves
F - RaShid Gaston 12.0 5.5 0.5
F - LeTre'e Russell 3.8 2.3 0.3
G - Devonte Banner 4.0 1.3 1.5