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Preview and Gamethread: Arkansas vs Vanderbilt

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Arkansas looks to put away a struggling Vanderbilt team

Time: 8 p.m. CT

TV: SEC Network

Line: Arkansas -7.5, O/U: 147

Location: Bud Walton Arena

The Hogs return home and face a struggling Vanderbilt team, who has gone 35 days without winning a basketball game. Expectations were a lot more optimistic for this team in the preseason, but losing McDonald’s All-American Darius Garland to a season ending injury in the fifth game of the season has been brutal for them. Garland had looked every bit the part of an excellent point guard and the Commodores have struggled without him this year.

Garland wasn’t the only McDonald’s All-American joining the Commodores. Simisola Shittu has been the second leading scorer and leading rebounder for the Commodores, but doesn’t have the ceiling or ability to carry a team. In non conference play he averaged 13.8 ppg and that’s dropped to 9.1 ppg in SEC games. Saben Lee has been the go to scorer for the Commodores in SEC play.

This game likely won’t be a pretty one, and could look a lot like the Georgia game in terms of turnovers. The Commodores haven’t been able to force turnovers at all this season and it’s hurt them. Both teams have been able to defend the three point shot pretty well so there could be a big advantage had there.

Another thing both teams do a lot is get to the free throw line. They also both shoot a pretty poor percentage. Vandy is 229th in D1 in FT%, while the Hogs are pretty similar. They’ve shot more free throws than their opponents this season, getting to the line a good amount, but are a very rough 64.9% from the line. This one could have plenty of trips to the line with plenty of misses.