When: 8:30 PM CT, November 6, 2018
Where: Memorial Gym, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: SEC Network+/WatchESPN
Finally, it is here. The first basketball game of the 2018-19 season. Vanderbilt hosts the Winthrop Eagles, who are coming off a 19-12 season and are ranked 179th in the preseason KenPom rankings. KenPom’s algorithm predicts an 81-69 final in Vanderbilt’s favor; the Commodores should win this game, but Winthrop isn’t a pushover.
Of course, we are really excited because tonight marks the Commodore debuts of the program’s first two McDonald’s All-Americans signed out of high school (*I have to add that last qualifier because Billy McCaffrey was a McDonald’s All-American, but didn’t sign with Vanderbilt out of high school.) 6’2” point guard Darius Garland and 6’10” forward Simi Shittu will play their first game for Vanderbilt tonight; so, too, will 6’6” freshman wing Aaron Nesmith and a pair of transfers in Matt Ryan and Yanni Wetzell.
Vanderbilt is coming off a 12-20 season and hopefully will improve on that. If you’re wondering why this game thread is going up so early, the women’s team tips off against North Alabama at 6 PM in its season debut, as well. That game can also be viewed on the SEC Network+.