Scotty Pippen Jr. became the 50th member of Vanderbilt’s 1,000-point club and he looks to add to his total when the Commodores play Hawaii on Wednesday night in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic at Honolulu.
Pippen resides in 48th place with 1,014 career points after reaching the milestone with 16 points in Saturday’s 77-51 rout of visiting Austin Peay.
Pippen appreciates his newfound place in Vanderbilt history, but he was just as proud that the Commodores (6-4) snapped a three-game slide and can enter the Diamond Head Classic with a positive mindset.
“We’re real confident,” said Pippen Jr., the son of basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. “Getting that win gives us a lot of momentum so we should feel real confident going to Hawaii.”
Pippen averages a team-best 17.3 points per game as one of two Vanderbilt players scoring in double digits. Jordan Wright (13.2) is the other.
The Commodores had Dayton transfer Rodney Chatman on the floor for the first time this season during the win over Austin Peay. The senior guard underwent knee surgery to repair meniscus damage in early November.
Chatman was limited to 16 minutes and had two points and two assists. Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said Chatman will move into the starting lineup when he’s up to speed from a fitness level.
Hawaii (4-3) will play for the first time since routing Hawaii Pacific 88-52 on Dec. 8.
Rainbow Warriors coach Eran Ganot is looking forward to the eight-team Diamond Head Classic after last season’s version was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s one of our crown jewels of the program and we didn’t have it last year,” Ganot said. “We host one of the great tournaments in the country and we couldn’t have that last year. So when we walk in and see that Diamond Head is happening, that’s exciting.”
Noel Coleman missed two games with a hip injury before returning against Hawaii Pacific and scoring a career-best 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Coleman, who averages 14.6 points, knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers while attempting seven.
The Diamond Head Classic is staged on Wednesday and Thursday before taking Christmas Eve off. The championship game and the consolation-type games are on Christmas Day.
Vanderbilt won both previous meetings against Hawaii.
–Field Level Media