UTEP, Vandy Shoot For Positive Finish to Old Spice Classic
Nov. 24, 2012
UTEP (1-3) concludes play at the Old Spice Classic on Sunday by taking on Vanderbilt (1-3) at noon MT/2 p.m. ET. The game is available for viewing on espn3.com.
Both teams are 0-2 in the Orlando tournament. The Miners lost to Oklahoma (68-61) and Clemson (69-48), and the Commodores fell to Davidson (75-62) and Marist (50-33).
The game matches two teams that have had difficulty scoring this season. UTEP is averaging 57.2 points per game, and Vanderbilt is averaging 55.8 ppg.
UTEP and Vanderbilt are meeting for the first time on the hardwood. UTEP's Tim Floyd is 0-2 in his coaching career against Vanderbilt. Both were NIT games. On March 21, 1990, Floyd's New Orleans Privateers dropped an 88-65 decision to the Commodores in a third round game at Nashville. On March 21, 1994, Vandy upended UNO 78-59 in a second round game at Nashville.
The Miners are facing an SEC team for the first time since knocking off Auburn, 83-76, in the third-place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Christmas Day of last season. That was UTEP's first victory over an SEC team since 1989.
The Miners are 6-0 in Sunday games under Floyd, the only day of the week that they haven't lost a game under his watch.
The Commodores are in a rebuilding mode after losing all five starters from last year's 25-11 squad that won the SEC Tournament and advanced to the third round of the NCAAs. Vanderbilt returns seven players from that team, none who averaged more than 3.1 points per game.
Sophomore guards Kedren Johnson (17.8 ppg) and Kyle Fuller (12.5 ppg) are the team's top scorers. Freshman guard Kevin Bright is averaging 5.8 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. Bright is one of two freshmen seeing significant action, along with forward Sheldon Jeter (3.0 ppg/3.5 rpg).
The Commodores are shooting 37.6 percent from the field, 28.2 percent from three-point territory and 63.5 percent from the line as a team.
Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings was an assistant at Kansas from 1989-93. On March 22, 1992, UTEP engineered one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, beating the top-seeded Jayhawks 66-60 in Dayton.