Remember Vandy's big win over the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators last season in Memorial? The Commodores played with passion and energy and pulled off a stunning home victory on national television. Look for the 2-3 Blue Demons to try to do the same thing to Vanderbilt tonight in Rosemont, Ill. A big win over a top 20 Vanderbilt team could rejuvenate their season and get them on the right track after a disappointing start.
Don't let DePaul's 2-3 record fool you either. They have a home win over a good Northwestern team and despite an 84-66 loss at No. 3 Kansas they have talent. DePaul seems to have discovered a player in Draelon Burns, a 6-4 guard who recently had back-to-back 32-point outings before a 10-point showing at Kansas.
With Vandy just coming off a lopsided win over Lipscomb and DePaul still nursing its wounds after the loss to Kansas a Commodore letdown game could be in store tonight in Chicago. It's a scary thought to Vandy fans but the setting is right for a possible DePaul upset of Vanderbilt.
Can the Commodores stay focused and keep the 18,000 Blue Demon fans out of the game? If not look for the Commodores to head back to Nashville 9-1. If the Commodores show up executing their offense while playing solid defense and avoiding dumb mistakes they'll likely arrive home with double-digit wins.
Look for Shan Foster and company to keep close tabs on Burns. The Commodores will need another big night from center A.J. Ogilvy who'll be facing another freshman in 6-foot-10-inch Mac Koshwal who had 10 rebounds at Kansas. Koshwal is not a scoring machine but could present problems under the basket for the Commodores. However, Ogilvy's quickness should give him an advantage over Koshwal.
We will learn a lot about this Vanderbilt team tonight. Are they a great team or just a good team? Great teams pick up road wins in hostile environments against the teams they are expected to beat. Good teams win often at home but blow some games that they are favored to win on the road. It's gut check time for Vanderbilt.