Extended Pregame Blog: Hoops, Baseball in Action Today

Today’s basketball game: Vanderbilt (10-15, 4-9 SEC) at MSU (7-18, 2-11), 12:30 p.m., SEC Network (Dave Baker play-by-play, Jon Sundvold analyst), XM 199, Sirius 93.


Hey y’all. Since there is a baseball game at 3 p.m., I will be dashing from Humphrey Coliseum over to Dudy Noble Field and will be pressed for time. So we’re gonna do a combo pregame blog, starting with the basketball game. Make sense? Great.

The Bulldogs are trying to snap an 11-game losing streak, which is tied for the second-longest SEC losing streak in school history. My advance today is actually not about the matchup, but about walk-on guard Tyson Cunningham. But as for the matchup, the Commodores are 4-point favorites, but they’re also just 1-5 in SEC road games. It’s been a tough year after losing star players like John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor, who last year averaged a combined 36.0 points per game.

This season, Vandy is last in the SEC in scoring, at 59.6 ppg. If MSU comes out strong defensively, it should have a shot to win this thing.

Here’s my scouting report from today’s Journal.


Vanderbilt at MSU

• Tip: 12:30 p.m., Humphrey Coliseum (10,500).

• TV: SEC Network

• Radio: MSU Network; XM 199; Sirius 93.

• Last year: MSU, 78-77 in OT (in Nashville).

• Coaches – Vanderbilt: Kevin Stallings, 394-237 overall (20th season), 271-174 at Vanderbilt (14th season); MSU: Rick Ray, 7-18 (first season).

• Notes: MSU’s 11-game SEC losing streak is tied for second-longest in school history. … Vandy has lost six of its last eight games. … State is 0-15 this season when trailing at the half. … The last five games in this series have been decided by an average of 5.4 points. …  Vanderbilt ranks last in the SEC in scoring offense (59.6 ppg) and fourth in scoring defense (60.9 ppg).

Vanderbilt (10-15, 4-9 SEC)

Probable starters Pts Rebs Also

G Kedren Johnson 6-4 So. 13.8 3.9 3.4a

G Kevin Bright 6-5 Fr. 6.2 5.6 40%3s

G Dai-Jon Parker 6.2 3.5 2.4a

F Rod Odom 6-9 Jr. 10.4 4.1 37%FG

C Josh Henderson 6-11 So. 5.2 3.0 49%FG

Key reserves

G Kyle Fuller 6-1 Jr. 9.7 2.7 2.0a

F Sheldon Jeter 6-7 Fr. 5.3 3.4 42%3s

F Shelby Moats 6-8 So. 3.1 3.0 35%FTs

Key numbers

Scoring average: 59.6

Scoring defense: 60.9

Field goal%: 41.3

Opponent FG%: 41.6

3-point%: 35.8

Opponent 3PT%: 31.9

Free throw%: 60.8

Opponent FT%: 70.5

Rebound margin: –1.8

Turnover margin: –0.9


MSU (7-18, 2-11 SEC)

Probable starters Pts Rebs Also

G Trivante Bloodman 6-0 So. 6.1 3.1 2.5a

G Craig Sword 6-3 Fr. 10.0 2.9 18%3s

G Fred Thomas 6-5 Fr. 9.6 3.4 1.6s

F Colin Borchert 6-8 Jr. 8.1 4.8 1.4a

C Gavin Ware 6-9 Fr. 8.9 6.7 56%FG

Key reserves

G Jalen Steele 6-3 Jr. 9.7 3.0 1.2a

G Tyson Cunningham 6-3 Jr. 2.6 2.2 1.3a

G Baxter Price 5-10 Sr. 0.0 0.3 0.1a

Key numbers

Scoring average: 60.5

Scoring defense: 68.9

Field goal%: 40.6

Opponent FG%: 43.9

3-point%: 27.9

Opponent 3PT%: 34.8

Free throw%: 65.4

Opponent FT%: 67.7

Rebound margin: –3.0

Turnover margin: –1.9


Today’s baseball games: Samford (4-2) at MSU (6-0), 3 p.m.; Purdue (3-3) at MSU (6-0), 6 p.m.


The Diamond Classic continues this afternoon at DNF. MSU took a 3-2 win over Purdue last night, and this afternoon it has a rematch with Samford, the team that knocked State out of the Tallahassee Regional with a pair of wins last year. Left-hander Evan Mitchell (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will start on the mound for MSU against Samford, and righty Kendall Graveman (1-0, 0.00) gets the nod versus Purdue.

Since I don’t have lineups yet or anything, this is an abbreviated post, but I will give y’all a pregame playlist from my iPod, because I like you.

• “Already Gone,” Discount Guns

• “The Pretender,” Foo Fighters

• “Cocaine Blues,” Johnny Cash

• “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” Gary Clark Jr.

• “I Will Not Bow,” Breaking Benjamin

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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