Lipscomb(4-5) at Vanderbilt (8-0)
Sat., Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. CT
Memorial Gym (14,316)
Play-by-Play: Willy Daunic
Color: Bruce Elder
104.5 the Zone
Sirius: Channel 126
Vanderbilt leads 20-4; Vanderbilt leads 13-1 at Vanderbilt (3-0 in Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt won 59-50 at Vanderbilt on 12/7/06.
Kevin Stallings is in his ninth year at Vanderbilt (152-108) and his 15th overall (275-171).
Scott Sanderson is in his 9th season with Lipscomb (135-114), and 11th overall as a head coach (219-139).
PG: LaKory Daniels, Senior, 6'3, 185,
9.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.6 apg
2G: Michael Lusk, Junior, 6'3, 180
9.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
WF: Brandon Brown, Freshman, 6'7, 200
9.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 0.4 apg
PF: Jason Hopkins, Senior, 6'7, 230
5.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.7 apg
C: Adam Hodzic, Freshman, 6'9, 245, 5.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.1 apg
Last year, Lipscomb faced Vanderbilt when the Commodores were in the worst part of their season. Doubts about the team's direction, and Coach Stallings' plan to get them turned around, were heard throughout Vandy land.
Lipscomb then played the part of the local mid-major, staying close to the end but eventually falling 59-50. The Bison played the outside game through a never-ending series of screens on the perimeter. In that game, local product Eddie Ard led his team with 14 points, but Ard (35 percent from the field, 27 from 3) has struggled so far this season. Ard came off the bench for the first time this season against Arkansas Tech on Monday, scoring 14. If the Bison are going to upset the Commodores, Ard will probably have to come up big again this evening.
In his place is freshman Brown, who hails from local Brentwood Academy. Brown had 16 rebounds against Samford on Nov. 26, which is a single-game season high in the conference. He's also recorded two double-doubles on the year. Brown landed at Lipscomb largely because of his thin 6'7 frame, which is generously listed at 200 pounds. But Brown, who played with Brandon Wright and Coach Stallings' son Jacob, knows how to compete with good athletes.
Brown will likely be one of the A-Sun's impact players this season, but he draws what will almost certainly be his most toughest assignment of the year. Shan Foster is coming off a 26-point performance against Wake Forest, and appears ready to fulfill his preseason expectations as the best wing in the SEC. Given Brown's frame and level of experience, watch for Stallings to move Foster to the blocks to extend his game prior to the start of the conference season.
At the point, Sanderson will again bring out Daniels, who had an outstanding game last year versus the Commodores. Daniels has unusual size for a mid-major point guard. Jermaine Beal will guard Daniels, and will look to further improve his remarkable assist-to-turnover ratio.
At the two, Lusk will match up on Alex Gordon and George Drake. Neither had good games against Wake, and their defense will need to be spot on tonight if the Commodores are going to hold Lipscomb's weave and cut offense in check.
On the front line, Lipscomb will simply have no answer for Neltner, Metcalfe or Ogilvy. Each have more size, strength, experience and athleticism than anyone Lipscomb can put on the court. Obviously, it will be pick your poison for Sanderson, who also cannot afford to let Foster bomb in 3-pointers without a hand in his face. The key for Vandy will again be in keeping Ogilvy out of foul trouble early, and establishing their inside game. If the trio has a good game, Vandy should cruise to an easy win.
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