By Adam Brown
Ole Miss will travel to the Music City on Saturday to take the court against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (13-9, 8-7 SEC) is coming off of a 60-53 win at No. 24 Missouri to complete a season sweep. The Rebels are on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournament. The team has held 10 opponents to less than 60 points, including five SEC foes and all three ranked teams. Ole Miss sits at 57th in the NET.
“Going into the Missouri game, I consider this postseason,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “We just got to stay in the fight, control what we can control, and we probably have holes in our resumes just like everybody’s got holes in their resumes… You’re just trying to keep winning and play your best at the end.”
This season, Davis’ squad is 3-0 against ranked teams and one of nine teams in the country to be undefeated against top-25 opponents.
Ole Miss is shooting 77.9% (95 of 122) from the free-throw line over the past six games; through the first 16 games of the season, the Rebels were making free throws at a 66.1% clip (203 of 307).
Vanderbilt (6-13, 2-11 SEC) is coming off a 70-58 loss to No. 25 Tennessee. The Commodores are led by Scotty Pippen Jr., who is ranked second in the league for points per game with an average of 20.5 ppg.
“I know that Junior did not play in the game against Tennessee,” Davis said. “We’re preparing like he’s definitely going to play. If he is, he’s in the top two or three point guards in our league.”
The Commodores have found success from beyond the arc, making 9.4 three-pointers per game to rank second in the SEC and 28th nationally.
“They run a really good offense, and they spread you out,” Davis said. “They do a great job in their ball screen offense of occupying weak side defenders with different things. (Vandy) got great spacing, and when Pippen is involved, there’s not a handful of guards in college basketball that can play downhill (who) can shoot it.”
Dylan Disu (15.0 ppg) is the SEC’s leading rebounder, bringing down an average of 9.2 points per game.
When the ball is tipped up, it will be the 124th meeting between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt on the hardwood. The Commodores hold a 76-47 lead in the series. The Rebels have won the last four matchups in Memorial Gymnasium, including three double-digit victories (89-79 in 2013, 63-52 in 2014, 81-71 in 2019).