USF COACH STAN HEATH SAYS …: "Vanderbilt has an inside/outside game that's worked really well. Shan Foster can knock down long 3-point shots, and A.J. Ogilvy gives them an interior presence, not only shooting but with his passing. Siena won its tournament, so they know how to win. … Look for Vanderbilt to advance on their offensive power."
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
This is the first meeting between Vanderbilt and Siena, a game of experience vs. inexperience. Vandy has three senior starters from last year's team that advanced to the Sweet 16. Siena hasn't been to the tournament since 2002. But don't think the Saints don't believe in upsets. Some Siena fans in attendance today were present in 1989 when the No. 14 seed upset No. 3 seed Stanford 80-78.
The Saints defeated then-No. 20 Stanford 79-67 on Nov. 17. It was Siena's first win over a ranked opponent in 18 years. The game featured 10 ties and eight lead changes.
In early November, Siena lost by eight to unranked Syracuse, then on Jan. 3 lost 102-58 at then-No. 1 Memphis.
About the school
Location: Loudonville, N.Y.
Famous alumni: The Scrittore Case co-author Thomas Stanton; actor Ron Vawter (Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, Sex, Lies, and Videotape); Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy
No. Player POS GP MIN PTS REB
0 Jermaine Beal G 33 27.8 7.8 4.9
3 Alex Gordon G 33 29.8 11.0 2.4
4 A.J. Ogilvy C 33 26.3 17.0 6.8
11 Alan Metcalfe C 33 11.8 5.4 2.3
13 Keegan Bell G 33 13.5 2.6 1.2
15 Elliott Cole G 4 0.8 0.0 0.8
21 Darshawn McClellan F 33 14.3 2.7 3.1
22 Jamie Graham G 14 3.9 1.1 0.6
24 Andre Walker F 33 11.0 2.5 1.9
32 Shan Foster G/F 33 33.7 20.5 4.9
34 George Drake G 32 8.1 2.1 1.2
41 Ross Neltner F 33 26.9 8.2 5.6
50 Joe Duffy F 10 1.8 1.0 0.2
No. Player POS GP MIN PTS REB
00 Chris De La Rosa G 31 9.5 2.5 0.6
4 Tay Fisher G 32 17.6 7.7 1.2
12 Josh Duell F 29 22.8 5.6 3.2
13 Clarence Jackson G 26 9.0 3.8 1.4
21 James Carr C 9 1.9 0.2 0.2
22 Ryan Rossiter F 32 11.0 2.0 2.9
23 Edwin Ubiles G/F 32 33.2 17.3 4.2
24 Cory Magee F 31 11.5 1.5 2.7
25 Ronald Moore G 32 31.9 8.7 4.1
32 Erik Harris C 13 2.5 0.2 0.9
41 Kenny Hasbrouck G 32 31.7 15.6 3.3
42 Alex Franklin F 27 29.4 15.2 8.0
43 Steven Priestley F 15 4.9 1.1 0.8
Coach: Kevin StallingsRecord: 26-7
What's better than knocking off your cross-state rival Tennessee? Doing it when it is ranked No. 1. The Commodores defeated Tennessee three days after the Vols ascended to the No. 1 ranking in February. They also defeated Kentucky and Florida en route to a 19-0 home record this season.
An 86-64 blowout at Florida, which failed to make the tournament, a 20-point loss at Tennessee and a 16-point loss to Ole Miss.
About the school
Famous alumni: Novelist James Patterson; actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson; ex-Vice President Al Gore and wife Tipper; supermodel Molly Sims
Coach: Fran McCafferyRecord: 22-10
BATTLE IN THE MIDDLE: The tallest Siena starter is 6-foot-7 forward Josh Duell, which should give an edge to Vanderbilt, which starts 6-9 senior forward Ross Neltner and 6-11 A.J. Ogilvy. For a Vanderbilt team that has struggled with its defense of late, particularly rebounding, that could be a welcome advantage. And a challenge for the Saints.
"There's no other team we've faced that has a lottery pick in the middle," Siena coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's (Ogilvy) obviously much bigger than anybody we could match up with him."
BIG-TIME PLAYERS: This game features the SEC's player of the year (Shan Foster) against the MAAC tournament most valuable player (Kenny Hasbrouck). Foster is two points shy of 2,000, Hasbrouck has 1,358 in his career.
SCORING, ANYONE: Six of the players in the starting lineups enter the game averaging double figures, so expecting a shootout might not be farfetched. Vanderbilt averages 80.6 points, Siena 76.8.
"The thing I really like about their team is they've got really good balance, they've got three guys that can get 25 or 30, which most teams are happy to have one guy that can do that," Vandy coach Kevin Stallings said.
REST VS. (LESS) REST: While Vanderbilt played its most recent game on March 14, it has been 11 days since Siena finished its conference tournament. While the players said they would like to have had less time off to stay sharp, they have maintained the right attitude in practice to be ready today.
"We're trying to stay focused," senior guard Tay Fisher said.
JUST ASK JOSH: This is Siena's first NCAA appearance since 2002, so Duell is the lone player with tournament experience. A transfer from Vermont, he was on the 2005 team that upset Syracuse in the opening round. When asked, he's told his teammates this: "You've got to really enjoy it. It's one of those experiences that you might not ever get a chance to come back here again."