South Carolina enters the game with an overall record
of 7-11 and a 1-7 mark in the SEC after suffering a
71-58 loss Wednesday at LSU. After earning a 55-49 win
over Ole Miss to start the conference season, the Gamecocks
have dropped seven straight. They also have yet to win
a game on the road this season, coming in at 0-8 away
from The Carolina Center.
Sophomore Carlos Powell leads the team in scoring
with 13.6 points per game despite not starting two of
the past three games. He is followed by senior Chuck
Eidson (11.2) and junior Kerbrell Brown (10.6). Junior
Rolando Howell leads the team in rebounding with 6.2
boards per game, while Eidson is the squad’s top
assist man with 4.8 assists per contest.
The all-time series between the two schools is tied
15-15. South Carolina has claimed three of the four
games the past two seasons, including both games in
Nashville. All-time in Nashville, the Commodores hold
a slim 8-6 advantage.
Vanderbilt has climbed to No. 40 in the RPI rankings,
which puts the Commodores seventh in the SEC...Matt
Freije is fourth in the SEC in scoring (17.9) and third
in SEC games only (19.4)...Of the top three scorers
in SEC games, Freije is the only one to be ranked in
the top-10 in scoring (3rd), field goal percentage (4th),
free-throw percentage (1st) and three-point field goal
percentage (2nd)...Freije was featured on espn.com as
part of the “Big Man on Campus” poll that
listed five players who had great performances this
past week...Adam Payton, who got his most playing time
in SEC play with 16 minutes, scored six points on 2-of-2
shooting from three-point range...VU did not shoot a
free throw in the first half, but then was 8-of-11 in
the second...All five of MSU’s starters scored
at least 11 points...Martin Schnedlitz played four minutes
at MSU, which is his first action since the Dec. 15
High Point game...As a team, VU had just six assists
and 21 turnovers versus MSU...VU is now 1-7 when trailing
at the half...In six of the past seven games, VU has
recorded seven offensive rebounds.
Vanderbilt and South Carolina have played seven common
with Vanderbilt owning a 2-5 record and South Carolina
2-6 record versus those teams.
Opponent VU USC
ETSU W, 86-75 W, 71-66
Auburn L, 59-62 L, 60-67
Kentucky L, 52-74 L, 55-62
Tennessee L, 66-71 L, 56-60
Florida L, 75-87 L, 75-77
Ole Miss W, 76-68 W, 55-49
Miss. State L, 60-82 L, 48-64
Freije Earns Player of the Week Honors
Matt Freije was selected as the SEC Player of the Week
after leading the Commodores to wins over No. 15 Georgia
and Ole Miss this past week. Freije scored a career-high
31 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Vanderbilt’s
94-91 win over Georgia. The junior forward led Vanderbilt
to a 76-68 home victory over Ole Miss Saturday night.
Freije scored a team-high 20 points, pulled down five
rebounds and pocketed a career-high five steals.
This marks the second SEC Player of the Week honor
for Freije. He was tabbed SEC Player of the Week last
season on January 21, 2002 after scoring a then-career-high
29 points versus Auburn and helping VU to a road victory
at South Carolina. This also marks the ninth time a
Vanderbilt player has received this honor since the
Top Scorers Against Georgia & Ole Miss
In back-to-back games, Vanderbilt put up the most points
its opponent had surrendered all season.
The 94 points VU scored against Georgia topped the
previous high of 83 points that Georgia Tech and Gonzaga
had scored against the Bulldogs. The 94 points also
was the highest Vanderbilt point total versus an SEC
opponent since scoring 101 against Georgia March 1,
The Commodores then scored 76 points on Ole Miss,
which topped the previous high of 69 that Evansville
had scored against the Rebels. The 76 points also was
the most Ole Miss had allowed in 13 games against SEC
Hundley Makes Most of Opportunity
With Corey Smith unavailable, Scott Hundley has been
given more of an opportunity to help the Commodores
and he has made his mark.
Playing a then-career-high 24 minutes versus Georgia,
Hundley scored a then-season-high 14 points, grabbed
four rebounds and pocketed a career-best four steals.
He also had an 8-of-9 performance from the free-throw
line. His 4-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe in
the final 10 seconds of the game secured the Vanderbilt
Hundley then turned in an even better effort against
Ole Miss despite battling illness throughout the game.
He scored a season-best 18 points and pulled down a
game-high seven rebounds, while playing a career-high
33 minutes. Again, he was solid at the charity stripe,
making 8-of-10 free-throw attempts.
Playing Nation’s Sixth Toughest Schedule
As of Monday, CollegeRPI.com has Vanderbilt’s
schedule ranked as the sixth toughest in the nation.
Only Georgia (1) and Arkansas (4) have tougher schedules
in the SEC.
This season VU has played eight teams ranked in the
Top-25 of the national polls, including Connecticut
(12), Indiana (6), Notre Dame (6), Alabama (4), Kentucky
(16), Florida (5), Georgia (15) and Mississippi State
Good as Gold
The Commodores are 4-0 this season when wearing gold
uniforms. The team has three sets of uniforms —
white, gold and black. While white uniforms have been
the standard home attire, Vanderbilt has earned home
victories over Alabama A&M, College of Charleston,
Georgia and Ole Miss in the gold uniforms.