After ending the season on a strong note Vanderbilt will face a stiff challenge next season when they play Texas in Austin as part of the 2016 SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Commodores will likely be ranked in the Top 25 when they play the Longhorns who will be led by first year coach Shaka Smart. Smart left VCU after making deep runs in the NCAA Tournament the past few years.
The 2016 SEC/Big 12 Challenge will take place on January 30th and will feature 10 SEC teams against 10 Big 12 teams. All the games will broadcast on ESPN networks. The times are not yet known. In addition to Vandy at Texas the games are: Texas Tech at Arkansas, Oklahoma State at Auburn, West Virginia at Florida, Georgia at Baylor, Kentucky at Kansas, Oklahoma at LSU, Ole Miss at Kansas State, Tennessee at TCU, Iowa State at Texas A&M.
Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, and Mississippi State aren’t participating in the games.
With Damian Jones returning to Vandy and a strong supporting cast led by Luke Kornet, Wade Bladwin, Riley LaChance many think the Dores will be a contender in the SEC next season. The Dores their last five in the regular season before falling to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. Kevin Stallings’ squad then won two in the NIT before falling to Stanford on the road.
The 2015-16 schedule won’t be announced until later this year but it’s already known that Vanderbilt will participate in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii. Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, St. John’s, Wake Forest, UNLV and Chaminade are the other schools involved.
Games against Purdue on the road and against Iona and Dayton at home this year have also been rumored but not officially announced.