Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: Vanderbilt (#2)

Lineup notes

Vanderbilt:

  • Vanderbilt started their 12th different lineup of the season against Alabama on Saturday. They’ve played 18 games. The latest one is…Pippen, Evans, someone named Braelee Albert, Wright, and Disu.
  • The Albert thing is actually nuts. Albert had picked up all of seven minutes of on-court time in conference play…and then Stackhouse gave him 27! against the best team in the SEC. He didn’t do very much, if you’re curious.
  • A guy who’s really lost favor with Stackhouse: Myles Stute. Stute got 21+ minutes in the first four games of conference play, but he hasn’t gotten to double-digit minutes in the month of February (5 games).

Tennessee:

  • Probably the same? Springer, Bailey, Johnson, Pons, Fulkerson if JJJ can’t go. If he can, please start the guy.
  • I guess it’s worth noting that in games where Tennessee has every player fully available and not injured, they’re 14-2. But I also think it’s alarming that despite having the deepest roster they’ve (theoretically) had under Barnes, they’re 1-4 in games without full health.

Key matchups

Scotty Pippen, Jr. vs. Santiago Vescovi/Jaden Springer. Obviously. Pippen is the driver of this team and can single-handedly make them score lots of points. I thought Tennessee did a fantastic job on stopping Pippen last time out, and it was only with an array of free throws that Pippen got close to 20 points. I’d like for Tennessee to target him defensively with both of these players, as he’s committed 3.8 fouls per 40 in conference play.

Dylan Disu vs. John Fulkerson. If Disu goes for 20+, there isn’t really a reason for Fulkerson to be the closing-minutes center anymore once everyone’s healthy.

Three predictions

  1. Pippen and Disu combine for at least 26 shot attempts;
  2. Tennessee takes their fewest mid-range shot attempts in a game since Missouri on January 23 (14 or fewer);
  3. Tennessee 75, Vanderbilt 65. I’m tempting fate.

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