Puerto Rico offers potential previews for Vanderbilt basketball

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 4:56pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt basketball fans who cannot make it to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off might have a second chance to see what they miss.

The university released its 2010-11 men’s basketball schedule on Thursday and two of the Commodores’ possible opponents – Davidson and Western Kentucky – in the later rounds at the Puerto Rico event (Nov. 18-21) already have regularly-scheduled non-conference matchups with VU at Memorial Gymnasium.

Western Kentucky faces the Commodores on Dec. 1 and Davidson comes to town on Jan. 2 in the first of a home-an-home series.

The schedule includes six games against teams that played in the 2010 NCAA tournament, including St. Mary’s, which made it to the sweet 16. The Gaels’ will be the Commodores’ final non-conference opponent when they come to town Jan. 22, in the middle of the conference season.

There also is the potential that Vanderbilt could face two more 2010 tournament teams or storied North Carolina, depending on what takes place at Puerto Rico.

“We’re excited about our schedule,” coach Kevin Stallings said in a release announcing the lineup. “We were very aggressive trying to schedule good teams, and we are playing a large number of them. There are several NCAA tournament teams on the schedule, including a potential matchup with a Final Four team in Puerto Rico (West Virginia) and a game against a team that made the Sweet 16 at home (Saint Mary’s).

“There are a lot of quality games on the schedule. There are also some interesting local games our fans in Middle Tennessee should be excited about.”