Billikens Look to Extend Winning Streak at Vanderbilt
SETTING THE SCENE
Saint Louis, a winner of its last five, searches for its fourth non-conference road win Monday when it travels to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt. Tip time from Memorial Gymnasium is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on ESPNU.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Monday’s game will be televised on ESPNU, with Rich Hollenberg and Carolyn Peck on the call. The radio broadcast will air on 101 ESPN and 101Sports.com. As always, Billiken Hall of Famer Bob Ramsey will provide the play-by-play, while St. Louis American sports editor Earl Austin Jr. handles the analysis. The game will also be streamed through WatchESPN.
• Saint Louis has won five in a row and enter Monday’s game at Vanderbilt with an 11-2 record. During the streak, SLU has won by an average of 16 ppg.
• Dwayne Evans was named the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Player of the Week Dec. 22. He averaged 23.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg last week as the Billikens knocked off Indiana State and North Carolina A&T.
• In SLU’s last outing, Dwayne Evans posted the 20th double-double (22 points and 13 rebounds) of his career in a 79-57 victory against North Carolina A&T.
• Five Billikens average 8.0 ppg or more. Senior forward Dwayne Evans (15.9 ppg) and senior guard Jordair Jett (10.7) lead the way for SLU. Senior guard Mike McCall Jr. and senior forward Rob Loe contribute 9.7 ppg apiece. Sophomore guard Austin McBroom averages 8.2 ppg.
• Junior forward Grandy Glaze is SLU’s top rebounder with 6.8 rpg. He also scores 5.6 ppg. Dwayne Evans is second on the squad with 5.9 rpg.
• Senior guard Jordair Jett is fourth in the A-10 with 4.6 assists per game and 12th in the league with 1.46 steals per contest. Senior guard Mike McCall Jr. is tied for 10th in the A-10 with 1.54 steals per game.
• The Billikens lead the A-10 and are fourth nationally in scoring defense, yielding 58.4 ppg. SLU is second in the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.393) and first (fourth in nation) in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.253). The Billikens are also first in the A-10 in scoring margin (+13.8) and second in assist-turnover ratio (+1.3).
• Saint Louis, which has advanced to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, is the reigning Atlantic 10 Conference champion. The Billikens captured the 2012-13 A-10 regular-season title outright, then claimed the A-10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. SLU was picked to finish second in the A-10 preseason poll. Dwayne Evans was a first-team preseason All-Conference selection, while Jordair Jett was voted to the third team and preseason All-Defensive team.
• Next up, the Billikens host Yale (5-6) at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 4:30 p.m.
• Dwayne Evans and Mike McCall Jr. are two of 29 Billikens who have scored 1,000 or more points in their careers.
• Evans, the Billikens’ active leading scorer with 1,231 career points, became the 28th player in SLU’s 1,000-point club last year in the NCAA Tournament win against New Mexico State.
• McCall Jr. entered “the club” in the North Carolina A&T game with a free throw. He now has 1,004 career points.
• Jordair Jett needs 96 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
• Saint Louis’ senior class has the chance to go down as the winningest class in school history. Currently, the group has 77 victories. The Billikens need to post 24 victories this season to better the four-year class of Cory Remekun and Cody Ellis, who had 89 wins in their careers from 2009-10 to 2012-13.
• The all-time winningest player in school history is Kwamain Mitchell. He was a part of 95 victories in his career from 2008-09 to 2009-10, and 2011-12 to 2012-13.
• Saint Louis is 3-0 so far this season in non-conference road games.
• That is SLU’s best start in non-conference road tilts since 1993-94, when the Billikens went 4-0 with wins at SMU, Creighton, Murray State and UMKC.
• Prior to this year, the Billikens had gone 1-15 in non-conference road tilts in the regular season since the 2007-08 campaign.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
• Dwayne Evans is moving up SLU’s career rebounding list with 797 career boards. Evans needs eight more rebounds to surpass Eugene Moore for fourth on the all-time list.
• In the latest NCAA men’s basketball statistical report (Dec. 22), Evans ranked eighth in the nation among all NCAA Division I players in total career rebounds.
• Another record to watch is the Billikens’ all-time steals list. Jordair Jett and Mike McCall Jr. have been battling all season for a better spot in the top 10.
• Currently, Jett is sixth with 142 steals, while McCall Jr. follows in seventh with 138 steals.
• Dwayne Evans recorded his 20th career double-double in the win against North Carolina A&T. He is one of three active Billikens with double-doubles, joining Grandy Glaze and Rob Loe who have one apiece.
• Loe neared a double-double against Oral Roberts but fell one rebound shy. Mike McCall Jr. was one rebound away from his first double-double at Southern Illinois. Jordair Jett needed one more assist at Valpo for the rare points-assists double-double.
EVANS HAS CLASS
• Saint Louis senior forward Dwayne Evans is one of 30 men’s basketball players in the NCAA selected as a candidate for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award.
• To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievement in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
• The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season. Those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot, which will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. Together, they will select the one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
BARNETT A NOMINEE FOR NABC GOOD WORKS TEAM
• Saint Louis senior Jake Barnett is a nominee for the 2014 Allstate NABC Good Works Team.
• The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
• In its second year, the Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® honor players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. The student-athletes nominated for this prestigious award embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back.
• The Billikens close out the non-conference season Saturday, Jan. 4, against Yale (5-6). Game time at Chaifetz Arena is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.
• The Billikens open league play with a two-game road trip, beginning at Rhode Island Tuesday, Jan. 7. SLU then heads to Dayton to face the Flyers Saturday, Jan. 11.
• Vanderbilt enters Monday’s game 7-3 overall and riding a three game winning streak.
• Sophomore guard Eric McClellan leads the Commodores with 14.8 ppg. He has also posted a team-high 10 steals.
• Senior forward Rod Odom contributes 13.3 ppg and a team-high 5.4 rpg, while senior guard Kyle Fuller has 10.0 ppg. Odom is among the SEC’s top 3-point shooters, hitting 28-of-61 for 45.9 percent.
• Last season, Vanderbilt went 16-17 overall and 8-10 in the SEC.
• Kevin Stallings, a native of St. Louis suburb Collinsville, Ill., is 284-178 in 15 seasons at Vanderbilt. He is 407-241 in 20 seasons, which also includes a six-year stint at Illinois State.
• Vanderbilt leads the all-time series 5-3.
• The last meeting came during the 1997-98 season, with the Billikens posting a 78-74 victory at Scottrade Center. In that game, freshman Larry Hughes scored a game-high 27 points and added 12 rebounds. That Billiken victory avenged a 20-point loss to the Commodores a year prior in Nashville.
• Vanderbilt and Saint Louis met in the 1990 NIT title game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Commodores captured the title with a 74-72 victory.• Saint Louis is 58-46 all-time against SEC squads.