Vanderbilt vs.
December 1, 2002
Memorial Gym
Projected Starters
Vanderbilt 3-0, 0-0
No Pos Name   Ht Wt Yr Pts Reb
35 F Matt Freije, 6-9 230 Jr 18.0 3.0
2 F Brian Thornton, 6-8 255 So 12.7 8.7
44 G/F Corey Smith 6-5 230 So 8.0 2.0
3 G Jason Holwerda 6-5 210 So. 8.7 1.7
11 G Russell Lakey 6-0 182 Jr 9.7 6.0*
Connecticut 2-0
30 G/F Shamon Tooles 6-5 225 Jr 6.0 6.5
33 F Denham Brown 6-5 205 Fr 5.0 3.0
50 F/C Emeka Okafor 6-9 252 So 14.5 12.0
4 G Ben Gordon 6-2 195 So 19.5 4.0
12 G Taliek Brown 6-1 200 Jr 10.0 7.0

Live Internet Broadcast | Complete Notes


Scouting Connecticut
Connecticut comes to Nashville riding a two-game home winning streak to start the season. The Huskies defeated Quinnipiac 91-72 and George Washington 67-55. They enter the Vanderbilt contest ranked No. 12 in the nation.

The Huskies have four players averaging double digits this season with sophomore guard Ben Gordon leading the way at 19.5 points per game. Following him are senior guard Tony Robertson (15.5), sophomore center Emeka Okafor (14.5) and junior guard Taliek Brown (10.0).

Okafor, who last season was named a First-Team Freshman All-American and is a preseason Wooden Award candidate this season, is averaging a team-high 12 rebounds per game and has already collected 11 blocks in two games. Last season he set a school record with 138 blocks and was first in the BIG EAST and third in the nation with 4.1 blocks per game.

Vanderbilt Director of Athletics Todd Turner presided over Connecticut athletics as the Huskies’ Director of Athletics for three years from 1987-90. At UConn, Turner supervised the construction of Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies’ on-campus basketball facility.

Memorial Magic Night
The Vanderbilt athletic department has focused on making tonight’s UConn game special. Memorial Magic Night is designed to pack Memorial Gym with the most rabid of Commodore fans as well as to provide them a Vanderbilt basketball experience unlike any other. There will be special presentations and acknowledgements of former players throughout the game to go along live entertainment in the lobbies and throughtout the concourse.

Three...Dot...Data vs. Georgia Southern
After turning the ball over 48 times in the first two games, Vanderbilt had just four turnovers in the first half and 15 for the game...Head Coach Kevin Stallings stayed with his starting five through the first media timeout for the first time in recent memory...Points in the paint: VU 48, GSU 18...Points off turnovers: VU 38, GSU 7...Secondchance points: VU 14, GSU 18...Fast-break points: VU 11, GSU 4.

Vanderbilt Finds Offense in Lakey
Junior guard Russell Lakey put together one of the more solid games of his career against Georgia Southern. Lakey dished out a career-high eight assists and pocketed four steals, while committing no turnovers. For the season, he has 18 assists to just six turnovers.

Also, Lakey’s 15 points, which he scored all in the first half, was just three off his career best. Lakey made them count as he scored 11 points in the final 6:08 to help key Vanderbilt’s 31-10 run to close out the first half.

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).

Deuce Just Misses Double-Double
Sophomore Brian Thornton had one of his best games as a Commodore versus Georgia Southern. In just 19 minutes of action, he scored a career-high 18 points and just missed his second career double- double with nine boards.

It was Thornton’s second consecutive good game as he 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.

Vanderbilt Versus Ranked Opponents
Vanderbilt finished the 2001-02 campaign 3-4 and 9-15 under Kevin Stallings versus ranked opponents. The Commodores collected victories over ranked foes Western Kentucky, Georgia and Kentucky. In the 36 games versus ranked opponents leading up to Stallings’ arrival (1994-99), VU won just six games.

Dores Still Serving Up Wins on Silver Treys
With all of the preseason talk about Vanderbilt’s lack of a perimeter threat, it was hard for some to believe what they saw in the Commodores’ 96-60 win over Georgia Southern. VU finished the game 10-of-16 (.625) from three-point range. It was the highest three-point percentage since Vanderbilt hit 65.2 percent (15-23) of its treys Jan. 1, 2000 against Florida.

Through Tuesday’s games, Vanderbilt ranks second in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (.422) and fifth in three pointers made (6.33).

Going Inside More
Conversely, the Commodores have improved their inside game. Vanderbilt has scored more than 49 percent of its baskets from the paint. Because of this inside presence, the Dores are shooting 55.6 percent from the field, including a 62.7 percent effort versus Georgia Southern and a 62-percent performance against Southeastern Louisiana.

JT Makes His Mark on the Stats Sheet
Freshman Julian Terrell had a statistical coming out party against Georgia Southern. In just 19 minutes of action, he scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded three steals.

Home Sweet Home
Vanderbilt is in the midst of an impressive streak against non-conference opponents. Entering the Connecticut game, the Commodores are 54-2 in their last 56 homes games versus non-SEC foes. They have won 16 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.

Complete Notes




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