January 4, 2010

Previewing MTSU at Vanderbilt

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (7-6) at Vanderbilt Commodores (10-3)

When: Monday, 8 p.m. Central

Where: Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn. (14,168)


Radio: Nashville: 104.5 FM

Rankings: Neither team is ranked

RPI: Vanderbilt is 49th, MTSU is 246th

The line: N/A

Sagarin prediction: Vanderbilt by 17.5

Pomeroy prediction: Vanderbilt 78, MTSU 60 (VU 96 percent chance of victory)

Series record: Vanderbilt leads 26-4, and has won the last two in the series, including last season's 65-57 victory in Nashville

No.PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPGA/S/BPG Pos.No.PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.PPGRPGA/S/BPG
0Jermaine Beal6-3205Sr. a PG15James Washington5-11170Jr. a
1Brad Tinsley6-3210So. a SG5Rod Emanuel6-3190Jr. a
44Jeffery Taylor6-7205So. a SF4Calvin O'Neil6-4195Jr. a
24Andre Walker6-7220So. aPF 31Desmond Yates6-7220Sr. a
4A.J. Ogilvy6-11250Jr. b C 32Trevor Ottley6-7220Jr. b
23John Jenkins6-4215Fr. aG34James Gallman5-11190Fr. a
5Lance Goulbourne6-8225So. b F24Montario Haddock6-5235Sr. s
3Festus Ezeli6-11255Jr. b C/F30J.T. Sulton6-7200Fr. s

About the Blue Raiders

Last year was supposed to be the year that coach Kermit Davis got MTSU basketball back to postseason play after finishing strongly in the 2007-08 season. Davis had an all-senior backcourt, which, coupled with conference player of the year candidate Desmond "Boogie" Yates and a pair of quality inside players in Montario Haddock and Theryn Hudson, gave the Blue Raiders a legitimate chance at the Sun Belt title.

It never quite all came together. Yates played with knee issues for most of the year, Hudson got hurt and missed the remainder of the season after game six, and senior point guard Kevin Kansaski played with two fractured vertebrae most of the season, and consequently, MTSU limped to an 18-14 overall mark and 10-8 in the conference.

History has seemed to repeat itself this season. Hudson and Yates have missed half of this season with injuries, and Middle has started 7-6, including a 75-54 loss to Tennessee on Dec. 11 in Nashville in Middle's only game against a Southeastern Conference opponent.

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