Vanderbilt basketball announced its nonconference schedule on Wednesday, and as it’s almost always been under Jerry Stackhouse, the Commodores are going to challenge themselves a bit before SEC play begins.
The season opens with a visit from Memphis on November 7; the Tigers finally made the tournament in Penny Hardaway’s fourth year after flailing around with talented teams for three years. That’s followed by a home game against Southern Miss on November 11 — which is a team you’ve heard of, but they went 7-26 last season (although they did add former Vanderbilt signee Austin Crowley from the transfer portal.)
Vanderbilt’s first road game of the season comes on November 15 when they visit Temple, in the return game of a home-and-home from last season. Morehead State, a solid team with a 23-11 record last season, visits Nashville on November 18. Then it’s off to Anaheim, California, for the Wooden Legacy, where Vanderbilt will play St. Mary’s (an NCAA Tournament team in 2022) on November 23, then either Fresno State or Washington on November 24. The Commodores will then visit VCU on November 30; the Rams went 22-10 in 2021-22 and also held Vanderbilt to 38 points in Memorial Gym.
That’s the last true road game of the nonconference schedule; Vanderbilt will play five games at Memorial Gym in December, with Wofford (December 3), Pittsburgh (December 7), Grambling (December 9), Alabama A&M (December 22), and Southeastern Louisiana (December 30) coming to Nashville. In between all that, Vanderbilt goes to Chicago on December 17, where they’ll play NC State. No, I have no idea why that game is in Chicago, either.