|Ole Miss O||Vandy D||Vandy O||Ole Miss D|
|eFG%||49.8% (117)||46.9% (135)||47.1% (207)||42.4% (13)|
|TO%||16.2% (13)||21.9% (111)||22.1% (258)||23.9% (34)|
|OR%||36.8% (49)||30.9% (124)||29.2% (257)||31.1% (139)|
|FTR||39.6 (78)||31.1 (84)||31.7 (258)||33.4 (126)|
The Rebels travel to Nashville tonight to take on the offensively-challenged Vanderbilt Commodores. In two SEC games this season, the 'Dores have scored 91 total points... which is one less point than the Rebels scored in their drubbing of Tennessee in Knoxville. VU is fresh off off their 2nd 33-point effort of the season, this one at the hands of an Arkansas team not exactly setting the world on fire with defense this year.
On paper, the Rebels are a terrible matchup for Vandy. Vanderbilt's offense this season basically consists of playing slowly and chucking up 3s. Using raw data, the Rebels average more than 10 more possessions than VU (73.8-62.2) per game which is significant. 41.3% of their shots this year have been from behind the arc, which is the 25th highest in the country. They also score 36.6% of their points from distance, which is the 16th most in the country. They don't shoot well, they can't rebound, they turn the ball over a lot, and they struggle to get to the FT line. On the rare occasion they do get to the line, they are one of the worst teams in the country at shooting FTs, sporting an unfathomable 58.1% FT%. In short, this is a bad offensive team. If star PG Kedren Johnson is indeed out tonight, 40 points may be optimistic for the 'Dores.
When the Rebels have the ball, Vandy is at least competent on defense. I expect that Kennedy will want to get Buckner involved offensively early on after his goose egg against Mizzou Saturday night. He and Holloway should have their way with an inexperienced, undersized, and underwhelming Vandy frontcourt.
It's always scary to play a team like this Vanderbilt one in the fear that this will be the night that all their 3s start to drop. It’s also a little unnerving that the overwhelming majority of the Rebels have not played in the quirky masterpiece that is Memorial Gymnasium. While offensively, we will undoubtedly hit a 3-4 minute stretch of herp-a-derp, these Rebels guard from the opening tip to final buzzer and there’s nothing that makes me think tonight will be any different. The revenge factor should be an additional motivating factor as the ‘Dores embarrassed (and that’s the nicest thing I can say about it) the Rebs in Oxford last year and then knocked them out of the SEC Tournament. This will be a long night for Vandy.
(More than likely wrong) Predictions:
Ole Miss 68 Vanderbilt 43
Rebels steamroll a 3rd straight opponent behind a +12 rebounding margin and double doubles from Holloway and Buckner
Vandy is held to an eFG% of less than 40% and shoots less than 10 FTs
Marshall Henderson hears some very creative taunts from the Vandy students
(As always, the national rankings pulled from kenpom.com, quite possibly the coolest site on the whole wide intertubes... Red Cup Rebellion excluded of course)