Buffalo meets Vanderbilt in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday from Nashville. Both teams are 5-2 this season, although Buffalo is coming off a win over William & Mary. Vandy lost to Tulsa at home in their last game.
New coach, similar recordBuffalo hired Jim Whitesell, who was an assistant on the staff, to replace Nate Oats, who left for Alabama. Whitesell lost three starters so there was no chance the Bulls were going to repeat last year's 32-4 performance. However, the Bulls have played well, winning three straight. Their only two losses came in the opener to Dartmouth at home (68-63) and to UConn (79-68) in the Charleston Classic.
Since the loss to the Huskies, the Bulls came back to beat Towson by three, edged Missouri State by one and beat up on William & Mary on Saturday, 88-77. Jayvon Graves led the Bulls with 24 points, while Davonta Jordan added 18 points and seven steals. The Bulls forced 18 turnovers and had 15 steals from their pressure defense. They also shot 54.8% from the field and 10-of-23 (43.5%) from beyond the arc. The Tribe shot 50% from the field and Buffalo shot just 10-of-20 from the line.
Free throw shooting could come back to haunt the Bulls down the line (60.6%) but they certainly like a fast pace (81ppg). On defense, they are allowing 74.1 points per game and teams are shooting 44.6% (32.3% 3pt) against them. Graves leads the Bulls with 17.7 points per game, while Jordan leads with 5.4 assists per contest.
Vandy goes coldVanderbilt had won three straight games over mediocre competition (Austin Peay, SC State, SE Louisiana), before facing Tulsa at home on Saturday. The Commodores fell to the Golden Hurricane, 67-58 as they shot just 35.7% from the floor and turned the ball over 15 times. Vandy made just 8-of-24 (33.3%) from beyond the arc and 10-of-16 from the line, while Tulsa hit most of their free throws (16-20) and 45.1% of their shots.
“They just slowed the pace down,” Aaron Nesmith said after the game. “We couldn’t play with our speed and we’ve just got to do a better job of executing our offense all the way through.”
Nesmith (6-6, 215) had 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting (5-8 3pt) and is the nation's leading three-point shooter at 54% (34-63). He's averaging 23.7 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Scotty Pippen Jr. added 12 points and four assists. He's averaging 11.7 points and 4.4 assists per contest. The 'Dores are shooting 39.7% from the three-point line and 49% overall, while averaging 81.3 points per game. They are allowing 70.4 points on 43.1% shooting (33.3% 3pt).
- 4-10-1 ATS last 15 Tuesday games.
- 0-5 ATS last 5 road games.
Trends from Covers.com Vanderbilt is:
- 6-2 ATS last 8 vs. MAC.