McClellan, Drake must step up versus UK

For many teams a sophomore is not considered a veteran, however, for Vanderbilt Darshawn McClellan is a veteran. The Commodores will need a great game from the big forward to have a chance to come away with a victory against their northern SEC rivals.

Shan Foster, Dan Cage and Alex Gordon are gone and Vanderbilt will be counting on freshmen to help help continue their recent dominance of UK. While Jeffery Taylor, Brad Tinsley and their fellow frosh certainly have super Commodore careers ahead of them, they haven't experienced Rupp. Sure A.J. Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal will do their part but someone will need to pick up the slack for the likely shell-shocked freshman. This is where McClellan along with red shirt junior George Drake will need to deliver.

Darshawn McClellan is one of the few Commodores with experience playing in the over 23,000 seat Rupp Arena. Almost a year ago McClellan scored 10 points there in the Commodore's, 79-73, double overtime loss to the Wildcats. Besides McClellan, only A.J. Ogilvy, Jermaine Beal and George Drake have experience playing in the mammoth facility. Andre Walker also played in Rupp last year but he is injured and will not play. Drake has seen action there twice but has yet to score.

Patrick Patterson has had a good season so far, averaging almost 20 points a game. McClellan has the big body to bang with Patterson in order to keep him in check. A solid McClellan performance will help open things up for Oglivy, who has been slowed lately due to an injury. Jodie Meeks is the top scorer in the SEC at 24.4 points a game. George Drake has the build and quickness to at least help slow Meeks game down.

Vanderbilt has had a good amount of success against Kentucky over the past three seasons, winning five out of six. Vanderbilt would have had an unprecedented six straight wins over the Cats if it weren't for the double overtime slip up there last season. However, the Commodores had some fun with the men in blue in Nashville, holding them to just 11 first half points in a 93-52 blowout win in Memorial Gym.

Will Kevin Stallings' boys continue their recent success over Kentucky? We'll soon find out but there's one thing we do know: someone needs to step up their game in order for that to happen. Darshawn, George, are you listening?

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