Vanderbilt vs.
Georgia Southern
November 26, 2002
Memorial Gym
Projected Starters
Vanderbilt 2-0, 0-0
No Pos Name   Ht Wt Yr Pts Reb
35 F Matt Freije 6-9 230 Jr 16.0 3.5
2 F Brian Thornton, 6-8 255 So 10.0 8.5
44 G/F Corey Smith 6-5 230 So 8.5 2.5
3 G Jason Holwerda 6-5 210 So. 9.5 1.5
11 G Russell Lakey 6-0 182 Jr 7.0 5.0*
Georgia Southern (2-0)
32 F Frank Bennett 6-7 220 Jr 15.5 8.0
34 C Courtney Joseph 6-9 245 So 5.5 5.0
11 G Julius Jenkins 6-2 175 Sr 22.0 4.0
1 G Kenny Faulk 6-3 210 So 3.5 3.5
12 G Terry Williams 6-1 165 So 9.5 8.0

Live Internet Broadcast


Scouting Georgia Southern
Georgia Southern comes to Vanderbilt having won two games in two days this past weekend. The Eagles defeated John Jay 83-60 and then claimed a 91-77 victory over Maine to improve their record to 2-0.

GSU finished 16-12 last season and 9-7 in league play to win the school’s first Southern Conference championship after claiming the conference’s South Division title. The Eagles return eight letterwinners and three starters from that squad.

Senior guard Julius Jenkins has led the team in scoring in the first two games with 22 points in each game. He also has grabbed eight rebounds in the two contests. Last season, Jenkins averaged 14.8 points per game and recorded a team-high 52 steals.

Sophomore Terry Williams also had a solid 2001-02 season. In his first year with the Eagles, Williams averaged nine points per game and finished seventh in the Southern Conferene with 63 three-pointers, while shooting 39.9 percent from behind the three-point arc. Williams has scored 19 points and dished out 16 assists in the first two games of this season.

Dores’ Doomsday Defense
Defense has been the early calling card for this Vanderbilt team. The Commodores limited Alabama A&M to just 19.3 percent shooting from the field after holding Southeastern Louisiana to 33.9 percent from the field. The lowest field goal percentage for an opponent last season was 30 percent by Houston in the opening round of the NIT.

The Commodores held Alabama A&M to just 13 in the first 25:12 and just 40 for the game. It was the lowest scoring output for a Commodore opponent since Vanderbilt held Nicholls State to 37 points in an 85-37 victory Dec. 15, 1996. The lowest point total for an opponent last season was 50 by Houston in the opening round of the NIT.

Vanderbilt also has recorded 22 steals and has outrebounded its two opponents by 23 boards.

Winning Without Treys
Last season, the lowest number of three-pointers Vanderbilt made in a win was five. This season the Commodores are 2-0, making five and four treys in the first two games, respectively.

Conversely, the Commodores have improved their inside game. Vanderbilt scored 44 of its 80 points against Southeastern Louisiana and 28 of its 68 points against Alabama A&M in the paint. Because of this inside presence, the Dores are shooting 51.5 percent from the field, including a 62-percent performance against Southeastern Louisiana.

Dishin’ & Stealin’
Junior guard Russell Lakey has gotten off to a good start this season in the areas of assists and steals. In the first two games, Lakey has handed out 10 assists and recorded six steals.

His talents were best shown against Alabama A&M, where he recorded five steals and five assists. His five steals tied a career high and was just three off school record for a game, while his five assists is just two short of his career best.

Lakey ranks third in single-season freshman assists with 94 (2000-01) and also ranks 10th in single-season steals with 54 during his freshman campaign (2000-01).

Home Sweet Home
Vanderbilt is in the midst of an impressive streak against non-conference opponents. Entering the Georgia Southern game, the Commodores are 53-2 in their last 55 homes games versus non-SEC foes. They have won 15 of these games in a row since dropping a 77- 74 decision to Notre Dame Dec. 2, 2000. The only other loss in the stretch was an 83-68 loss to Wake Forest March 14, 2000 in the first round of the NIT.

Shutting Down Their Ace
In the first two games this season, the Vanderbilt defense has done a good job of holding the opposing team’s leading scorer in check. Southeastern Louisiana’s Amir Abdur-Rahim was held scoreless in the first half and did not score until the 16:27 mark of the second half. He finished the game with 13 points after averaging almost 16 points a game last season.

Alabama A&M’s top threat, Ricky Ricketts, also was shut out in his first half against the Commodores. He did not score until the 14:48 mark of the second stanza and finished the game with just nine points. Ricketts had scored 28 points in the Bulldogs’ season opener after averaging almost 12 points per game last year.

Smith Scores Career High
Sophomore Corey Smith recorded a career high with his gamehigh 13 points against Alabama A&M. Smith was 5-of-8 from the field, including a three-pointer, and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. His previous career high was nine points, which he scored four times last year as a freshman.

Making the accomplishment improbable is that Smith has a hairline fracture in the thumb on his right hand, which is his shooting hand. He is forced to wear a splint, which is taped into place for every practice and every game. He will wear the splint for the next four to six weeks.

“Actually, I think it is helping my shot,” Smith said after the Alabama A&M game. “Because of the wrap on my thumb, I don't put the ball on the palm of my hand which is a bad place for it to be. It also stops my thumb from interfering with my shot.”

Deuce Pulls Down Double-Digit Boards
Sophomore Brian Thornton grabbed 10 rebounds against Alabama A&M, which is the fifth time in his career he has recorded a double-digit rebound game. He also continues to be the only Commodore since the beginning of last season to post a double-figure rebound game.

Holwerda Begins With Career Night
Jason Holwerda is trying his best to avoid a sophomore slump as he began his second Commodore season with a bang. Against Southeastern Louisiana, Holwerda recorded career highs in points (12), FGs made (5), FGs attempted (7), 3-pt FGs made (2), 3-pt FGs attempted (4) and tied a career high with five assists.

The native of Chattanooga, Tenn., also played solid defense throughout the game. And for good measure, he helped out on offense with two alley-oop dunks. With the first dunk, Holwerda set up Matt Freije for the acrobatic slam. For the second play, Holwerda took a midcourt pass from freshman Mario Moore and finished the fast break with a rim-rattling dunk.

Three-Point Streak Moves Past 500 Games
Vanderbilt continues to be one of only three schools (UNLV & Princeton) to have made a three-point field goal in every game since the shot was introduced for the 1986-87 season. Vanderbilt’s streak stands at 506 games, which is just three games behind UNLV’s streak for the longest in the nation.\

Krueger Leaves Team
Vanderbilt freshman Bryson Krueger has decided to leave Vanderbilt University. He plans to attend a junior college in his home state of Arizona.

Krueger, a 6-6, 183-pound guard from Tempe, Ariz., missed most of the preseason practices because of personal issues and did not play in either exhibition game. He was scheduled to be redshirted this season before deciding to leave the program.

Complete Notes



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)