December 16, 2020
The Vanderbilt Commodores are back in action today with an early tipoff against the Richmond Spiders, the return game of a two-game series that saw Vanderbilt go into the Robins Center last season and almost come away with a win, losing 93-92 in overtime behind 34 points from Aaron Nesmith and 24 from Saben Lee.
Vanderbilt, obviously, has changed a lot since then what with Nesmith and Lee gone to the NBA; Richmond really hasn’t. The Spiders, per KenPom, are 15th nationally in experience and 8th in minutes continuity; essentially, this is the same team Vanderbilt faced last season.
This team, though, is ranked in the Top 25 (at least by the coaches, and they’re the first team in the Others Receiving Votes in the AP poll) based mostly on a 4-1 start and a 76-64 win at Kentucky on November 29, but it turns out that beating Kentucky may not be that big of an accomplishment this season what with the Wildcats being 1-4. They can also claim home wins over decent Wofford and Northern Iowa teams, and their last time out the Spiders took their first loss of the season in an 87-71 loss at West Virginia.
This game tips off at noon CT and no, I don’t know why, either. Vanderbilt was missing Clevon Brown, DJ Harvey, Jordan Wright, and Myles Stute on Sunday and I’m just gonna guess those guys were still in contact tracing. No update on their status, though I’m sure new radio play-by-play man Kevin Ingram will have one on his pregame show at 11:30.