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December 29, 2007
UT-Martin (5-7) at Vanderbilt (11-0)
Sat., Dec. 29 at 12 p.m. CT
Memorial Gym (14,316)
Radio: 104.5 the Zone; Sirius: Channel 125
Vanderbilt leads 4-0. All meetings have taken place at Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt won the last meeting, 94-60, on November 29, 2004.
Kevin Stallings is in his ninth year at Vanderbilt (155-108) and his 15th overall (278-171). Bret Campbell is in his ninth season with UT Martin (91-148) and overall.
RPI/SOS: Vanderbilt 7/62; UT-Martin 274/283
Sagarin ranking/rating: Vanderbilt 27/85.80; UT-Martin: 29/63.64
PG: Djero Riedewald, 6'8/220, 3.9/4.0/0.3
2G: Carlos Wright, 6'1/180, 3.5/2.1/4.5
WF: Marquis Weddle, 6'1/185, 15.7/3.8/1.5
PF: Lester Hudson, 6'3/190, 26.7/7.8/3.7
C: Olajide Hay, 6'6/235, 5.2/4.8/0.5
PG: Jermaine Beal<, 6'3/190, 7.4/2.6/4.8
2G: Alex Gordon, 5'10/180, 10.6/2.8/3.5
WF: Shan Foster, 6'7"/220, 20.5/5.3/1.5
PF: Ross Neltner, 6'8"/240, 9.5/5.6/2.5
C: Andrew Ogilvy, 6'10"/250, 19.0/6.52.5
The Commodores have continued to garner national attention, as their 11-0 record has landed them in the top 20 and, last week, No. 1 in the RPI index. Forward Foster and center Ogilvy rank among the top three scorers in the SEC, and have established themselves as one of the most lethal inside-out tandem in the entire NCAA. VU is coming off a seven day holiday break, after disposing of another OVC team, crosstown Tennessee State, last Saturday.
The 'Dores' 11-0 record is the second best in school history, and will be heavy favorites in the remainder of their four pre-SEC games. VU faces Iona, Rice and UMass before beginning their conference schedule against South Carolina on January 9 at Memorial.
UT-Martin lags in the lower half of the RPI with a 5-7 record. The Skyhawks opened the season with a 102-71 loss at Memphis, and have also lost to Mississippi State 86-70. Martin's five wins came against Maine (291 RPI), Central Baptist (unranked), Covenant (also unranked), St. Peter's (251) and Jacksonville State (340) - hardly SEC-level competition.
That said, Martin brags the top two scorers in the OVC. Hudson has become one of the big stories nationally, averaging 26.7 points (third in the nation) and 7.8 rebounds per contest. He's hitting 53 percent from the field, including 47 percent from three, as well as 69 percent from the free throw line. Against Central Baptist, Hudson's 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals made him the first player in NCAA Division 1 men's basketball history to record a quadruple-double.
In last Saturday's loss to UNLV, Hudson had with 26 points and 11 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season. He also recorded 36 points against Morehead State. Against Memphis, Hudson scored a game-high 36, but of note, the Tigers still managed to whip the Skyhawks by 31. Defense clearly is not a point of emphasis for the Skyhawks.
Weddle, last year's Class A Mr. Basketball, provides the other half of UT-M's scoring punch. The true freshman from Union, Tennessee makes most of his hay from his mid-range game, shooting just 8-of-27 from three. At 6'1", Weddle will be at a distinct disadvantage when he's being defended by anyone other than Gordon.
Today's game promises to be a fast-paced contest, as Martin is rated as the 22nd fastest-paced offense in the NCAA. However, their offensive efficiency -- rated an abysmal 274 -- tells you all you need to know about the team's discipline on both ends of the floor. If you're looking for a high-scoring game, with plenty of fast break slam dunks, today's contest is for you.