Jan. 11, 2006

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"It was a terrific game, a phenomenal venue, and a great Southeastern Conference home opener. Nobody else in our conference would have 21,000 in the building except for Kentucky. This kind of crowd elevates your game. Every time we made a run, Georgia called timeout and the fans celebrated. I have been in buildings that are too small. I like the problem of having them too big. It did not look too big tonight.

"We have been able to see our kids do the things that they can do. We had a terrific second-half effort and kept our opponent from doing its thing.

"What C.J. Watson means to this team is unreal. He is the best point guard I have had. He is the most productive at his position in the SEC. He is a real difference in how we control the game. We need JaJuan Smith's offense. He understands pressure and his play is super. He played 27 minutes tonight, which is just like being a starter.

"We held serve at home tonight. Now we are getting ready to go on the road. I know what is coming up, but I believe in taking them one at a time. We have LSU to worry about. Two teams we are facing on the road now, LSU and Memphis, are two of the top five in the nation for talent.

"Georgia is an extremely improved team. I had seen all of the Georgia tapes, and I understood how good they were. I was also concerned about Georgia's depth. Our conditioning was a factor in the game.

"Dane Bradshaw turned his ankle in the first half. His continuing in the game was a matter of pain tolerance. He will be fine for Saturday, but he is hurting tonight."

"We certainly turned it over more than we wanted to in the first half. We did a little better job after halftime, but still had some costly turnovers that created momentum for them. We were fighting to compete. Tennessee had better control of the game all night. Their aggressiveness was better than ours and they did more to dictate the terms of the game than we did.



"It was hard for Levi Stukes to find some rhythm, I am sure, because he did not get to play for any stretch in the first half.

"If you look at our team, we have a developing frontcourt that is not high-scoring by any means. Rashaad Singleton actually made some progress and had one of his better games."

Game Notes

  • C.J. Watson moved into third place on UT's career assists list with 512. He past Tony Harris (1997-2001) who had 509. Watson's 512 assists are 15th in SEC history.
  • Watson started the 100th game of his career and is tied with Brandon Crump (2001-05) for seventh on UT's career starts list. He has started 76 consecutive games.
  • Watson tied his career-high with five steals (Stanford 2004). He has 170 for his career, becoming the fourth Vol to record that many. Tyrone Beaman (1980-84) is third with 173.
  • Watson scored 20 points for the fifth time in his career and third time this season.
  • Dane Bradshaw tied his career-high with eight assists done last week against South Alabama.
  • JaJuan Smith matched his career-high with 16 points. He has scored 39 points in the last three games.
  • Tennessee posted its 600th SEC victory and has an all-time record of 600-480 in league play.
  • The crowd of 21,612 is a season high, bettering the 21,280 against ETSU to start the season. The Vols are averaging 15,569 fans per game, well over last year's average of 12,450.
  • Dane Bradshaw saw his streak of 181 minutes played (almost 7 games) without a turnover come to an end. He hadn't had a turnover since the Appalachian State (12/6/05) games. He had 34 assists during the streak.


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