Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics
Both Vanderbilt Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams have dropped their much anticipated non-conference schedules ahead of the 2023-2024 seasons.
The men’s team are one of four in the inaugural ESPN Events Vegas Showdown Nov. 23-24, and are set to take on NC State in the first semifinal on the opening night of the tournament. They will face either Arizona State or Brigham Young the second night, with the event scheduled to be held at the Michelob Ultra Arena.
This will mark the Dores’ third consecutive season competing in an ESPN event in front of a national television audience. Vandy went 2-0 at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii in 2021, and 1-1 in the Wooden Legacy in California in 2022. They have excelled in neutral-site competition over the last two seasons, including a 4-2 mark in SEC Tournament action over that time.
“We believe that we have constructed a challenging schedule with competition that can prepare our team for success in the SEC and postseason,” says Jerry Stackhouse, Head Coach and reigning SEC Co-Coach of the Year. “Our program will face multiple NCAA Tournament-caliber opponents throughout the non-conference schedule. These contests are beneficial to the development of our team, and in addition they provide significant postseason resume building opportunities. This schedule also provides our student-athletes with multiple home games, TV exposure and unique travel that showcases our program nationally. We are ready to get started and continue building on the momentum that was on display in Memorial last season.”
The Commodores will return home to play host to Boston College on Nov. 29 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge, and will also face Texas Tech as part of the USLBM Coast to Coast Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 16.
Eight other home contests are on the Dores’ non-conference slate, including four in a row to open the season against Presbyterian (Nov. 7), USC Upstate (Nov. 10), UNC Greensboro (Nov. 14) and Central Arkansas (Nov. 17). Vanderbilt will also play host to Alabama A&M (Dec. 2), San Francisco (Dec. 6), Western Carolina (Dec. 19) and Dartmouth (Dec. 30).
In their last game prior to Christmas break, the Commodores will visit Memphis on Dec. 23 in a battle of two of the state’s marquee programs. Vandy is 8-6 in the all-time series versus the Tigers, who earned an NCAA Tournament bid a year ago.
The women’s team is slated to play a total of 14 non-conference games prior to the start of SEC action this season.
Vandy will host a total of nine non-conference games at Memorial Gymnasium, with the season-opening contest taking place Nov. 6 against Kennesaw State. After a trip to UT Martin on Nov. 9, Vanderbilt opens a three-game homestand at Memorial, beginning Nov. 12 with matchup against Fairfield. The mid-November homestand continues Nov. 15 against Western Kentucky, and concludes Nov. 20 with Alabama State.
“My staff has worked hard to make sure the level of competition we face will not only prepare us for a grueling SEC season, but also helps showcase our talented student-athletes against varying styles of play,” says Head Coach Shea Ralph. “We will visit historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and face familiar and competitive programs in the South Point Shootout and ACC/SEC Challenge. Most importantly, we will spend a lot of time in front of Commodore Nation here in Nashville. After an amazing summer with our team and an unforgettable foreign tour in Italy, I could not be more excited to see this group in action. This will be a special year for the growth of Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball.”
The Commodores close out the month of November with three contests outside of the Music City. Vanderbilt will head to Las Vegas during the week of Thanksgiving to play in the 2023 South Point Thanksgiving Shootout. The Dores begin their Sin City trip with a matchup against Iowa State on Nov. 24, before taking on Northern Iowa the following day. All games at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout will be played at South Point Casino and Spa. After the Las Vegas trip, Vanderbilt will head to North Carolina to take on NC State on Nov. 29 as part of the ACC/SEC Challenge.
Ralph’s squad opens the final month of 2023 with a home contest against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 3. The last road trip of the 2023-2024 non-conference slate will take place Dec. 7, as the Commodores head to Indianapolis to take on Butler.
Vanderbilt closes out their non-conference schedule with four-straight home games in December. The Dores begin the homestand Dec. 17 against Lipscomb, and will host Dayton for a Dec. 20 contest. Fairleigh Dickinson makes a visit to Memorial Gymnasium on Dec. 29, before the Commodores wrap with a home game against Radford set on Dec. 31.