VOLS OPEN THREE-GAME ROAD SWING AT VANDERBILT
- The Vols will play their first SEC road game Wednesday, Jan. 10, when they meet the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gym. It will be the third time this season the Vols have headed west on Interstate 40 to play in Nashville.
- This will be Tennessee's fourth game in the city of Nashville this season. UT played two games in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off and then met Oklahoma State at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
- The Vanderbilt game is the first game of a stretch where the Vols play five of six games on the road. Tennessee only plays two home games during the month of January.
- This Tennessee's first game that hasn't been televised since Nov. 19 (Coppin State). At least 25 of the Vols' 31 regular season games will be televised this year.
- The Vols are riding a nine-game winning streak that includes wins over No. 16 Memphis, No. 15 Oklahoma State, Texas and Mississippi state. It is UT's longest winning streak since opening the 2000-01 season with a 9-0 record. The last time Tennessee had a 10-game winning streak was in 1999-2000 when the Vols opened the season with 11 consecutive wins. In its 98th season of basketball, Tennessee has had just eight winning streaks reach double figures.
- Tennessee has scored at least 90 points in five of its last six games. The Vols scored 100 points in back-to-back games (111 vs. Texas and 101 vs Tennessee Tech) for the just the second time in school history. UT leads the SEC in scoring with 85.9 points per game.
- All-America candidate Chris Lofton is leading the Southeastern Conference with 22.2 points per game. One of the top shooters in the nation, he is averaging 3.7 3-pointers per game and is connecting on 45.8 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
- According to the Jan. 1 NCAA Statistics, Tennessee ranks No. 8 in the nation by averaging 85.5 points per game.
- Tennessee's 13-2 start is its best 15-game start since beginning the 2000-01 season with a 14-1 record.
- Chris Lofton tied a school record for free throw percentage (minimum 12 attempts) by going 13-of-13 from the line against East Tennessee State (12/20/06).
- UT scored 100 or more points in back-to-back games against Texas (111) and Tennessee Tech (101). The only other time in school history that the Vols reached the century mark in back-to-back games was during the 1957-58 season when the Vols won at Florida (100-91) and over Mississippi State (104-83).
- Tennessee is 22-2 at Thompson-Boling Arena over the last two seasons.
- The Vols are 15-0 in non-conference home games under Bruce Pearl.
- Chris Lofton (55) and JaJuan Smith (39) have combined to make nearly as many 3-pointers as Tennessee's opponents have (100).
- Bruce Pearl is 5-2 against ranked teams while at Tennessee. This year he is 2-1 with wins over No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 16 Memphis and a loss to No. 2 North Carolina.
- Chris Lofton has moved into second place on UT's career 3-pointers list with 55 triples this season pushing his career total to 262. Allan Houston (1989-93) holds the school record with 346 3-pointers.
- Tennessee leads the SEC with 14.9 offensive rebounds per game.
- 11 different Vols have hit a 3-pointer this season.
- Chris Lofton has made at least one 3-pointer in 74 of his 76 career games.
- The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 299 consecutive games.
- The Vols are forcing 20.6 turnovers per game.
- UT's bench is averaging 24.7 points per game this season. In 2005-06, Tennessee's bench averaged 21.0 points per game.
- In 2005-06 games, Tennessee's SEC opponents had a 4-12 record in the game immediately following their contests against the Vols. The only teams to win their next game after playing UT were Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Vanderbilt.
- Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 29-2 when leading or tied with five minutes left in the game.
- UT is 23-1 when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Bruce Pearl.
- UT is 25-14 (.641) when playing before crowds of 20,000 or larger at Thompson-Boling Arena. In 2005-06 the Vols were 4-2 playing in front of 20,000 fans at home.
- Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,380-894-2 in 98 seasons of basketball.
- UT's 611 regular season Southeastern Conference victories rank third all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama have won more league games.
- Tennessee is 222-86 in its 20th season in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Volunteers have posted winning home records in 17 of their 19 seasons in the facility.
- Tennessee is the only Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally in attendance for football, men's basketball and women's basketball in the same season. The Vols turned the trick for the third time in 2005-06.
- Seven walk-ons are listed on Tennessee's roster this season. Ben Bosse, Quinn Cannington, Rick Daniels-Mulholland, Justin Jackson, Marq Murden, Steven Pearl and Tanner Wild are each on the Volunteer squad.
Vanderbilt Time Change
The start time for Tennessee's Feb. 10 game against Vanderbilt has been changed to 1 p.m. EST. Lincoln-Financial Sports will televise the game from Thompson-Boling Arena.
Looking At Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt dropped to 10-5 overall and 0-1 in SEC action with a 65-68 loss at Auburn Saturday ... The Commodores rallied from a 12-point second half deficit but could not hold on for the win against the Tigers ... Despite the loss, Vandy has won nine of its last 11 games ... Shan Foster, a first team All-SEC selection last year, leads the `Dores with 15.3 points while adding 5.1 rebounds per game ... The 6-foot-6 junior guard/forward scored his 1,000th career point in a 29-point effort against Rice Jan. 2 ... Derrick Byars, a 6-7 senior guard/forward, is second on the team with 13.9 points and is tied for the team lead with 21 steals ... Byars owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2-to-1 (48 assists, 24 turnovers) ... Ross Neltner, a transfer from LSU, leads the team with 6.0 rebounds while adding 11.4 points ... The `Dores lead the SEC with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.32 and are second in the league with a turnover margin of +4.33 ... They also rank second in the league with 8.9 3-pointers per game ... VU is holding its last 11 opponents to 29.4 percent shooting behind the 3-point arc ... Vanderbilt is 7-2 when playing at Memorial Gym this season, including a win over Georgia Tech ... Kevin Stallings is 132-101 in his eighth season in Nashville and 255-146 in his 14th year as a head coach.
The Vanderbilt Series
Tennessee leads the all-time series 104-65 ... The Vols swept last year's meeting with a 69-62 win in Knoxville and a 68-59 victory in Nashville ... UT leads the series 63-16 when playing in Knoxville ... Vanderbilt leads 48-35 when it is played on the Commodores' home court ... Tennessee's 104 wins over Vanderbilt is the most by the Vols over any opponent ... Tennessee and Vanderbilt have played every season since their first meeting during the 1922 season except for the war years of 1944 and 1945 ... Only Kentucky has been an opponent of the Vols more times than Vanderbilt ... The Vols have played the Wildcats 201 times while Wednesday's game will be their 170th against the Commodores ... UT has won 11 of the last 17 meetings between the schools ... Tennessee has won more games at Vanderbilt (35) than any other place outside of Knoxville.
Tennessee - Vanderbilt Connections
UT head coach Bruce Pearl was an assistant coach to Dr. Tom Davis at Iowa for six seasons (1986-92) ... Two of the years Pearl was at Iowa, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was on the Purdue bench (1979-1988) assisting the legendary Gene Keady ... Tennessee's Chris Lofton and Vanderbilt's Ross Neltner each earned Mr. Basketball honors in the state of Kentucky ... Neltner earned the honor in 2003 while Lofton received the award in 2004.
Last Meeting with Vanderbilt
Tennessee rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to sweep the regular season series with Vanderbilt with a 68-59 win in Nashville March 4, 2006 ... Vanderbilt held a 37-21 lead early in the second half but the Vols used a 10-0 run to tie the game 44-44 with just over nine minutes left ... The 10-0 run, which was a result of the Vols turning up the heat on their fullcourt press, took less than two minutes to complete ... The teams battled back-and-forth until Andre Patterson gave the Vols the lead for good when he stole the ball and took it in for a slam dunk and a 56-55 lead with 2:50 remaining ... Dane Bradshaw extended the lead to 59-55 with a 3-pointer and then, after a pair of Mario Moore free throws, Chris Lofton hit another 3 to make the lead 62-57 with just over a minute to go ... The Vols went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the game's final minute to seal the win ... Vanderbilt shot a season-low 32.8 percent from the field and turned the ball over 12 times in the second half ... Chris Lofton led the Vols with 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting ... Lofton shot just 2-of-11 from 3-point range but was 6-of-7 from inside the 3-point arc ... C.J. Watson added 11 points and Major Wingate had 10 points and six rebounds ... Patterson had 10 points, five steals, four blocks and four rebounds ... Shan Foster scored nine of his 15 points in the first half to lead the Commodores.
The Vols In Nashville
Tennessee will be playing its fourth game in the city of Nashville this season when the Vols travel to Vanderbilt ... The Vols are 44-52 all-time when playing in Nashville ... UT is 3-0 in Nashville this year ... Eighty-four of Tennessee's games in Nashville have been against Vanderbilt with the Commodores holding a 48-35 advantage ... Earlier this season the Vols defeated Fordham (78-71) and UNC Wilmington (87-75) in the NIT Season Tip-Off and Oklahoma State (79-77) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Last Game: Vols Win SEC Opener
Fab Freshmen? Don't Forget These Guys
Tennessee ran its winning streak to nine game with a 92-84 victory over Mississippi State Sunday, Jan. 7, at Thompson-Boling Arena ... The Vols took a 49-42 lead at halftime when Ramar Smith tipped in a Chris Lofton miss as time expired ... After UT extended its lead to 10 points in the second half, the Bulldogs went on a 14-2 run to take its first lead of the game ... Mississippi State led by as many as five points until UT came back to take a 68-67 lead with nine minutes left ... After trading leads, the Vols took over for good when a Lofton free throw gave UT a 74-73 advantage ... Lofton scored 11 of his team-high 21 points in the game's final six minutes ... Duke Crews added a career-high 18 points ... Ramar Smith had 13 points, seven assists, six rebounds and just one turnover ... JaJuan Smith added 12 points ... Jamont Gordon led the Bulldogs with 25 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists ... Tennessee shot 55.4 percent from the field while MSU shot 55.2 percent.
The Vols will play against three of the most highly-rated freshmen in the nation this season ... Tennessee has faced North Carolina's Brandan Wright and Texas' Kevin Durant and will meet Ohio State's Greg Oden Jan. 13 in Columbus, Ohio ... However, Tennessee's freshmen are deserving of some attention too ... UT's recruiting class was rated sixth in the nation by Rivals.com and they have not disappointed.
UT Leading SEC In Scoring
- Duke Crews (Rivals.com No. 26 overall) is averaging 10.8 points and leads SEC freshmen with 6.0 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 forward is shooting 54.2 percent from the field.
- Wayne Chism (Rivals.com No. 34 overall) is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds and is fourth on the team with 8.5 points.
- Ramar Smith (Rivals.com No. 20 overall) has shown a lot of versatility and athleticism to his game as he learns the point guard position after playing primarily the two-guard spot for much of his career. In his last four games he has 22 assists against six turnovers.
Tennessee is leading the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense with 85.9 points per game ... Leading the league in scoring is nothing new for a Bruce Pearl coached team ... Pearl's teams are leading their conference in scoring for the eighth consecutive year ... The last time one of his squads did not lead the league in scoring was in 1998-99 when Southern Indiana finished second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with 81.2 points per game.
Tennessee has overcome a second half deficit to win four of its last five games ... The Vols took a 79-77 decision over No. 15 Oklahoma State and a 111-105 overtime thriller against Texas.
- Oklahoma State led by as many as seven points in the second half and it took a Dane Bradshaw tip-in with 1.9 seconds left to give the Vols the win.
- The Vols trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half against Texas and were down by seven with less than two minutes left. Chris Lofton made a pair of 3s, Duke Crews scored a bucket and Ramar Smith hit a free throw to send the game to overtime.
- East Tennessee State held a six-point (58-52) lead with just over 15 minutes left but the Vols went on an 11-0 run and took a 93-88 win.
- Mississippi State held a five-point (67-62) with 10 minutes left but UT rallied to win92-84.
Lofton Leading UT On Nine-Game Win Streak
Tennessee has won each of its nine games since dropping consecutive games to Butler and North Carolina at the NIT Season Tip-Off finals in New York ... During the nine-game winning streak Chris Lofton has been averaging 26.1 points on 52.6 percent (71-of-135) shooting, including 47.4 percent (36-of-76) 3-point shooting ... Four times in the last nine games he has scored 30 or more points ... As a team, UT is averaging 90.1 points and is outscoring its opponents by 12.4 points per game.
- UT's nine-game winning streak is its longest since opening 2000-01 with nine consecutive wins.
- Tennessee hasn't had a 10-game winning streak since opening the 1999-2000 campaign with 11 consecutive wins.
- In its 98th season of basketball, UT has had just eight winning streaks that reached double figures.
Vols Bring The Pressure
- Leads the SEC with 22.2 points per game.
- Leads the SEC with 3.7 3-pointers per game.
- According to the Jan. 1 NCAA statistics, he ranks seventh in the nation in scoring (22.3), fifth in 3-pointers per game (3.9), 32nd in 3-point percentage (46.6).
- Made at least five 3-pointers in a game six times.
- Made at least two 3s in 24 of his last 26 games.
- Owns four of the top five scoring performances in the SEC this year.
- Scored 30 or more points five times this season.
- Shooting 45.8 percent (55-of-120) from behind the arc this season. Jon Higgins (2000-01) owns the school record at 48.6 percent (53-of-109).
- Has shot 85 free throws this season after shooting just 60 free throws all of last season.
- Scored 28 of his career-high 35 points after halftime to lead the Vols from a 17-point second half deficit to a 111-105 overtime win over Texas (12/23/06).
- Scored his first career double-double with 35 points and 11 rebounds against Texas (12/23/06).
- Scored 34 points in Tennessee's win over 16th-ranked Memphis (12/6/06). With less than a minute left in the first half his 21 points were more than the Tigers' 20 points.
- He reached the 1,000 career scoring mark Nov. 22 against Butler in New York's Madison Square Garden ... He currently ranks 23rd on UT's career scoring lists with 1,260 career points ... Only Allan Houston (1,415), Bernard King (1,290), Mike Edwards (962) and Ernie Grunfeld (928) scored more points in their first two seasons at Tennessee.
Tennessee's pressure defense has made the simple act of inbounding the ball a headache for its opponents ... The Vols are forcing 6.6 turnovers per game off inbounds plays, most of which are coming off their press ... Three times their opponents have had 10 or more turnovers just from trying to inbound the ball ... UT is forcing an average of 20.6 turnovers per game.
- Opponents have had to call timeout 16 times because they could not get the ball inbounds.
- They have been whistled for a five-second count 15 times on inbounds plays.
- Coppin State (11/19/06) committed a season-high 13 turnovers on inbounds plays alone.
Small Lineup Not Keeping Vols Off The Boards
Nine of the 18 players on Tennessee's roster, including two starters, have earned the right to wear the VOLScholar patch on their jersey following the fall semester ... The VOLScholar program, an initiative of UT's Thornton Athletics Student Life Center in cooperation with the men's and women's athletics departments, is a comprehensive academic and citizenship-building program that has gained enthusiastic support from several of UT's athletic teams. Student-athletes earn the right to wear the VOLScholar patch by achieving a 3.0 grade-point average in the previous fall and/or spring semester.
Small Lineup Not Keeping Vols Off The Boards
Much has been made about Tennessee's lack of size this year ... Who can blame them when the Vols' starting lineup lists just one player taller than 6-foot-4, and that player is only 6-7 ... That hasn't stopped the Vols from crashing the boards ... Duke Crews leads the Vols 6.0 rebounds per game and Wayne Chism is adding 5.4 boards.
- UT has outrebounded nine of its 15 opponents.
- The Vols own a +1.5 rebounding advantage.
- UT leads the SEC with 14.9 offensive rebounds.
Thompson-Boling Provides Homecourt Advantage
Tennessee's bench has played a key role in the Vols' success early this season ... UT's bench is averaging 24.7 points per game ... Two times this season the bench has contributed at least 40 points in a game ... Wayne Chism is giving the Vols 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game coming off the bench ... Last year UT got 21.0 points per game from its bench ... Part of the reason for the production off the bench is that no one averages more than 30 minutes per game.
Thompson-Boling Arena is celebrating its 20th season in 2006-07 ... The Vols have won 72.0 percent of their games in Thompson-Boling Arena and have ranked in the top 10 nationally in attendance nine times, including in 2005-06 when UT ranked fifth nationally with 17,954 fans per game ... The arena is getting ready to undergo its first major facelift as construction has already begun on a practice facility and construction will begin on the inside of the arena immediately following the 2006-07 season.
Bomb Squad Is Back
- Tennessee is 222-86 (.721) in its 20th season in Thompson-Boling Arena.
- Since the 1998 season, the Vols are 123-27 (.820) in Thompson-Boling Arena.
- The Vols are 53-20 against SEC teams at home over the last nine seasons.
- UT has won 75 of its last 82 home games against non-conference opponents.
- UT is 15-0 in home games against non-conference opponents under Bruce Pearl.
- Tennessee is 9-0 at home this season.
Tennessee returns 80.3 percent of its SEC-leading 8.80 3-point field goals per game from last season ... Leading the way is junior guard Chris Lofton who set a single-season school record with 114 triples in 2005-06 ... Junior JaJuan Smith was second on the team with 61 treys while senior Dane Bradshaw contributed 20 3-pointers and Jordan Howell had 15 ... Tennessee's 264 3-pointers in 2005-06 fell two shy of tying the school record set in 1999-2000.
JaJuan Smith Earns Star(ting) Role
- UT is leading the SEC 9.5 3-pointers per game.
- Lofton leads the SEC with 3.7 triples per game.
- JaJuan Smith adds 2.6 treys per game.
- Combined, Lofton (55) and Smith (39) have made as nearly many 3-pointers as Tennessee's opponents (100).
- Tennessee's 15 3-pointers against second-ranked North Carolina (11/24/06) came just one short of tying the school record of 16.
Named the "Best Player Off The Bench" in the SEC by The Tennessean, JaJuan Smith has worked his way into the starting lineup for the Vols this season ... The Cleveland, Tenn., native saw his minutes increase from 8.0 per game as a freshman in 2005 to 24.0 as a sophomore last season ... Smith saw his production increase along with his minutes as he averaged 11.3 points against SEC opponents 2005-06 ... His 61 3-pointers ranked second and 57 assists were third on the team last season.
Big Game Dane
- Against UNC Wilmington (11/14/06) in the NIT Season Tip-Off he recorded 21 points and five steals in just 27 minutes of action.
- He scored 19 points in UT's win over Texas (12/23/06).
- Scored a career-high 23 points on 5-of-10 3-point shooting against Tennessee Tech (12/28/06).
- He tied that mark with 21 points on 5-of-11 3-point shooting against Western Kentucky (12/16/06).
- Led UT's scoring efforts five times this season after leading the Vols in scoring once last year.
- Ranks second on the team with 15.2 points.
- Last four games is averaging 19.3 points.
Three times in his career Dane Bradshaw has made a late shot to knock off a nationally ranked team ... Two of the teams that fell victim to his late-game heroics were unbeaten entering the game.
Bradshaw Does It All
- Jan. 21, 2006 his lay-up with 20 seconds left gave UT a 78-76 lead and eventually an 80-76 victory over No. 2 Florida. The Gators entered the game with a 17-0 record and were the last unbeaten team in the nation.
- Feb. 22, 2006 his steal of an inbounds pass and layup with 15 seconds left gave Tennessee a 74-72 lead and a 76-72 win at 12th-ranked Florida. The win gave the Vols the 2005-06 SEC Eastern Division title.
- Dec. 18, 2006 against 11-0 and 15th-ranked Oklahoma State he stole the ball with 20 seconds left and then hit the game-winning tip-in over OSU's 6-7 Mario Boggan and 6-8 David Monds with 1.9 seconds left to give the Vols a 79-77 victory.
One of the most versatile players in the nation, Dane Bradshaw can and will play any position for the Vols from point guard through power forward ... Originally recruited to UT as a point guard, the 6-foot-4 Bradshaw started every game last season at power forward for the Vols ... In 2005-06 the Memphis native was second on the team in assists (116), rebounding (5.4 rpg), and third in steals (56) and blocks (11) while his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.76 led the SEC ... Had a streak of 181 minutes (seven games) without a turnover as a junior last year.
- Bradshaw leads the Vols in assists (70), blocks (11) and is second on the team in steals (32).
- He has led the Vols in assists nine out of 15 games this year and recorded a career-high nine dimes against Coppin State (11/19/06).
- Had nine assists against one turnover while adding seven points and seven rebounds against Tennessee Tech (12/28/06).
One of the most heralded freshmen in the Southeastern Conference this season, Duke Crews has not disappointed ... The 6-foot-7 forward earned a starting assignment in the Vols season-opener and has won over Tennessee fans with his hustle and athleticism ... Named the SEC Newcomer of the Year by Lindy's and Athlon, the Hampton, Va., native is averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Big Wayne Strong In The Paint
- Scored career marks with 17 points and nine rebounds against a larger Oklahoma State (12/18/06) front line. Five of his game-high nine rebounds came at the offensive end of the floor.
- Earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Dec. 24 after averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in victories over No. 15 Oklahoma State and Texas.
- Earned his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Tennessee Tech (12/28/06).
- 47 of his 90 rebounds (52 percent) have come at the offensive end of the floor.
- He leads all SEC freshmen with 6.0 rebounds.
- Ranks third in the SEC with 3.1 offensive rebounds per game.
Freshman center Wayne Chism has played a key role for a Tennessee team that lists just two players taller than 6-foot-7 ... A 6-9 native of Boliver, Tenn., Chism became the first Vols freshman to record a double-double since Vincent Yarbrough (22 points and 11 rebounds vs. Georgia) did it during the 1998-99 season when he had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Coppin State (11/19/06) ... Chism is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds and is fourth on the squad with 8.5 points per game.
- Chism has been the first Vol off the bench in 11 of Tennessee's 15 games.
- Had nine points and six rebounds in 14 minutes of action against 15th-ranked Oklahoma State (12/18/06).
- Scored a career-high 18 points to go with eight rebounds in the win over Texas (12/23/06).
Freshman point guard Ramar Smith has shown several different dimensions to his game this season ... Having played primarily the two-guard in high school, the 6-foot-2 Smith is averaging 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 23.4 minutes per game this year.
Hard Work Pays Off For Childress
- He has earned nine starting assignments on the season.
- Against 15th-ranked Memphis (12/6/06) he gathered seven rebounds.
- Against Texas (12/23/06) he turned in a career-high 16 points to go with nine assists and no turnovers.
- He has scored 10 or more points in five of his last six games.
- In his last four games he is averaging 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists. His assist-to-turnover ratio during the four-game stretch is 3.7-to-1.
- He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Jan. 8 after he had 13 points, seven assists (one turnover), six rebounds and two blocks in the SEC opener against Mississippi State.
There is an old saying that goes, "The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores." .. That couldn't be more true for UT sophomore forward Ryan Childress ... As a true freshman last season the Cincinnati, Ohio, product averaged 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 29 appearances for the Vols ... After a summer of hard work that resulted in him dropping 20 pounds and adding more than seven inches to his vertical leap ... That hard work in the offseason has paid huge dividends for the 6-foot-9 Childress is averaging 6.1 points and 4.5 rebounds.
- Childress needed just four games this season to score more points than he did all season as a freshman. He scored 43 points through UT's first four games after having 33 points in 29 games as a freshman.
- This season he has set or tied career highs for points (14), rebounds (11), assists (4), blocks (3) and steals (2).
- He doubled his previous career rebounding best of five when he grabbed 10 boards against Western Kentucky (11/16/06).
- Recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Tennessee Tech (12/28/06).
- He earned his first career start against East Tennessee State (12/30/06).
Injury Interrupts Strong Season For Howell
Two Sign In Early Period
Jordan Howell suffered a fracture to his right (shooting) hand during practice Dec. 21 that is expected to keep him out of the lineup for 6-8 weeks ... The injury has interrupted what was a very strong season for the junior point guard ... A starter for five games before the injury, Howell hadn't been putting up big numbers and that was just fine with head coach Bruce Pearl ... Howell, who made his first career start against the Louisiana-Lafayette (11/27/06), is averaging 3.1 points, 2.2 assists and 0.9 rebounds per game ... But the most significant statistic for Howell has been his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.75-to-1 ... In 174 minutes played this season, the 6-foot-3 junior guard has turned the ball over just eight times.
On the first day of the early signing period Cameron Tatum and Brian Williams signed national letters of intent to play basketball at the University of Tennessee beginning with the 2007-08 season.
- Tatum, a versatile 6-foot-5, 190-pound wing from Patterson Prep in Lenoir, N.C., can put the ball on the floor and create, hit the 3-pointer or take the ball to the rim ... Rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 13 shooting guard in the nation by Rivals.com, he averaged 21 points and 7.7 rebounds as a senior at Tucker High School in Tucker, Ga.
- A 6-9, 300-pound post player at Harmony Community Prep in Cincinnati, Williams will give the Vols much needed depth and size in the paint ... A player with exceptional hands, good feet and a soft shooting touch, he attended Christopher Columbus High School in Bronx, N.Y., before going to Harmony Prep where he was a teammate of current Vols freshman Josh Tabb.