LMU vs. Vanderbilt
Game Time: 2:00 p.m. PST
Team Records: LMU – 5-1 – Vandy – 3-2
Leading Scorers: LMU – Ireland 19.2 – Vandy – McClellan 17.0
Leading Rebounders: LMU – Levin 8.8 – Vandy – Siakam 5.4
Leading Distributors: LMU – Ireland 6.0 – Vandy – Fuller 4.0
4th place is on the line at the Virgin Islands, as Loyola Marymount takes on Vanderbilt to conclude each teams stay at the Paradise Jam. After falling to Northern Iowa in the opening round, the Lions take on the Commodores in hopes of closing the Paradise Jam with a winning record.
Head Coach Kevin Stallings has his team at 3-2 after wins over Georgia State, Lipscomb, and Morgan State in the Paradise Jam, and losses against Butler and Providence, both away from Nashville.
The Commodores don’t feature any bonafide superstars this season, but they possess a bevy of capable scorers they can come at you with. Four Vanderbilt players are averaging over 10 points per game this season, and three others are averaging more than 5 per game.
Eric McClennan and Rod Odum are the leaders on this Vanderbilt squad. The sophomore guard and senior forward lead the Commodores in minutes per game, and have the trust of coach Stallings. Look for senior guard Kyle Fuller to come off the bench and provide a scoring punch to the Commodores as well.
Vanderbilt was picked to finish 10th in the SEC this season and do not have a player on a preseason All-SEC team. After losing four key players this offseason, this should not come as much of a surprise.
Keys to the Game
Make them Earn It and Draw Fouls
Vanderbilt is one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country at 56.1% (341st in the nation). LMU can afford to play tough defense, and not allow any easy shots for the Commodores because they have not proved that they can get it done at the line.
In comparison, LMU is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country, making 76.0 % of its free throws (33rd in the country). If the Lions make it to the charity strip frequently and cash in, they will have a distinct advantage over Vanderbilt in which would be tough to overcome.
Although it is important to see contributions from Anthony Ireland, Ben Dickinson, and Ayodeji Egbeyemi, the play of the freshmen could determine this game.
Evan Payne and Gabe Levin have been great this season, averaging a combined 26.2 points and 10.0 rebounds this season. If Payne and Levin play to their potential, then the Lions could potentially take down this major conference squad with relative ease.