VOLS FACE NO. 5 BUCKEYES IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE TILT
- Tennessee will take its final non-conference test when the Vols travel to Columbus, Ohio, to meet preseason Big Ten Conference favorite and fifth-ranked Ohio State. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST at Value City Arena and will be televised nationally by CBS.
- The Vols will be looking to bounce back from an 81-82 loss at Vanderbilt Wednesday. A Duke Crews dunk with 4.7 seconds left gave UT an 81-80 lead but Shan Foster tipped in a shot as time expired to give the Commodores the win. Chris Lofton led the Vols with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
- The loss at Vanderbilt ended Tennessee's nine-game winning streak that started in November. It was UT's longest winning streak since opening the 2000-01 season with nine consecutive wins.
- The Ohio State game is the second game in a stretch where the Vols play five of six contests on the road. UT continues its road trek Wednesday, Jan. 17, when the Vols return to SEC action at Auburn.
- Saturday's game will be Tennessee's second consecutive road game that has been sold out. UT's game at Vanderbilt was played before a sold out crowd of 14,316 at Memorial Gym.
- Tennessee has scored at least 90 points in five of its last seven 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 and ranks sixth in the nation with 85.6 points per game.
- All-America candidate Chris Lofton is leading the SEC with 22.6 points per game. One of the top shooters in the nation, he is averages 3.8 3-pointers per game and is connecting on 48.0 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
- According to the Jan. 8 NCAA Statistics, Tennessee ranks No. 6 in the nation by averaging 85.9 points per game.
- Tennessee's 13-2 start was 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 (61) and JaJuan Smith (41) have combined to make nearly as many 3-pointers as Tennessee's opponents have (106).
- 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 61 triples this season pushing his career total to 268. Allan Houston (1989-93) holds the school record with 346 3-pointers.
- Tennessee is second the SEC with 14.7 offensive rebounds per game.
- 11 different Vols have hit a 3-pointer this season.
- Chris Lofton has made at least one 3-pointer in 75 of his 77 career games.
- The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 300 consecutive games.
- The Vols are forcing 20.3 turnovers per game.
- UT's bench is averaging 24.2 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 23-2 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 1,380-895-2 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 Ohio State
Ohio State enters Saturday's contest with a 13-3 overall record following a 69-72 setback at third-ranked Wisconsin Tuesday night ... The Buckeyes boast a deep and balanced rotation of nine players who are averaging at least 13 minutes per game ... OSU has been road tested this season, having played games at North Carolina, Florida and Wisconsin ... Freshman guard Daequan Cook comes of the bench to lead the Buckeyes with 14.8 points per game ... Greg Oden, who is regarded as one of the top freshmen in the nation, leads OSU with 9.2 rebounds while ranking second on the team with 13.9 points ... Freshman guard Mike Conley Jr. ranks 10th in the nation with 6.6 assists per game ... Conley leads the Big Ten Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5) while backcourt mate Jamar Butler is ninth (2.6) ... Conley's 105 assists this season are on pace to easily break the school single-season record of 188 set by Curtis Wilson (1984-88) ... OSU averages 9.2 3-pointers per game and connects on 39.3 percent of its shots outside the arc ... Ohio State's highly regarded freshman class featured three McDonald's All-Amercias (Butler, Conley and Oden) and brought the squad's total to four that have earned the honor ... The Buckeyes are 10-0 at home this season and are 42-3 under head coach Thad Matta when playing in Columbus ... Matta is 59-21 in his third year at Ohio State and 161-52 in seven years as a head coach.
The Ohio State Series
Saturday's game will be the first between the Volunteers and Buckeyes in more than a quarter century ... Ohio State leads the all-time series 2-0 ... The last time the two schools met came Dec. 22, 1979 when the second-ranked Buckeyes took a 91-65 win in Columbus ... OSU won the first meeting 86-78 Dec. 9, 1978 in Knoxville.
Tennessee - Ohio State Connections
UT sophomore forward Ryan Childress is a native of Cincinnati and his grandfather, George Wittmer, played football at Ohio State and was a member of the 1961 national championship team ... UT's Tony Passley (North Central HS) and OSU's Mike Conley Jr. (Lawrence North HS) and Greg Oden (Lawrence North HS) are natives of Indianapolis and competed in the same basketball conference ... Tennessee radio play-by-play announcer Bob Kesling is a native of Kettering, Ohio, and his father, Devon Kesling, was the drum major for the OSU Marching Band in 1947 and 1948 ... Former Tennessee head coach Don DeVoe is an Ohio State graduate ... UT head coach Bruce Pearl and Ohio State head coach Thad Matta both coached in the Horizon League before moving to their current positions ... Pearl coached at UW-Milwaukee four seasons (2001-05) while Matta spent one year (2000-01) at Butler ... OSU sophomore center Kyle Madsen spent the 2005-06 season at Vanderbilt but did not see any action in the Commodore's two games against Tennessee since he was spending the season as a redshirt.
Last Meeting with Ohio State
Ohio State had scoring opportunities before the game even started in running to a 91-65 victory over the Vols Dec. 22, 1979, in Columbus ... Tennessee's Mike Stapleton was issued a technical foul for dunking in pregame warmups but Kelvin Ransey missed the free throw prior to the opening tip-off ... Reggie Johnson led the Vols with 14 points while Kevin Nash had 13 and freshman Dale Ellis added nine ... Herb Williams led the No. 2 Buckeyes with 18 points and Clark Kellogg had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Last Game: Late Tip-In Sinks Vols
Fab Freshmen? Don't Forget These Guys
Shan Foster's tip-in as time expired lifted Vanderbilt to an 82-81 upset of 16th-ranked Tennessee Wednesday, Jan. 10, at Memorial Gym in Nashville ... Tennessee had taken an 81-80 lead with 4.7 seconds left when Ramar Smith fed Duke Crews for a dunk ... The Vols had rallied from an 11-point (59-48) deficit with less than 11 minutes left to tie the game ... Chris Lofton led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-7 3-pointers ... Lofton gave UT a 40-37 lead at the half when he drilled a 40-footer with less than 10 seconds left ... Ramar Smith added 17 points and four steals while Duke Crews had 10 points and six rebounds ... Dane Bradshaw had eight assists against one turnover ... Derrick Byars led Vanderbilt with 25 points ... Vanderbilt held a 40-33 rebounding advantage ... UT missed 10 of its first 13 shots in the second half while the Commodores made six of their first 10.
The Vols 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 on Saturday 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 54.8 percent from the field.
- Wayne Chism (Rivals.com No. 34 overall) is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds and is fourth on the team with 8.6 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 five games he has 25 assists against seven turnovers.
Tennessee is leading the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in scoring offense with 85.6 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's bench has played a key role in the Vols' success early this season ... UT's bench is averaging 24.2 points per game ... Two times this season the bench has contributed at least 40 points in a game ... Wayne Chism is giving the Vols 8.6 points and 5.3 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 31 minutes per game.
Tennessee has overcome a second half deficit in five of its last six games ... The Vols have come back to win four of those games, including 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.
- Vanderbilt led by 11 points (59-48) with less than 11 minutes left but Tennessee rallied to take the lead and it took a tip-in as time expired for the Commodores to take the win.
Vols Bring The Pressure
- Leads the SEC with 22.6 points per game.
- Leads the SEC with 3.8 3-pointers per game.
- According to the Jan. 8 NCAA statistics, he ranks ninth in the nation in scoring (22.2), seventh in 3-pointers per game (3.7), 33rd in 3-point percentage (45.8).
- Made at least five 3-pointers in a game seven times.
- Made at least two 3s in 25 of his last 27 games.
- Owns five of the top six scoring performances in the SEC this year.
- Scored 30 or more points five times this season.
- Shooting 48.0 percent (61-of-127) from behind the arc this season. Jon Higgins (2000-01) owns the school record at 48.6 percent (53-of-109).
- Has shot 87 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 21st on UT's career scoring lists with 1,289 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 6.4 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 20.3 turnovers per game.
- Opponents have had to call timeout 17 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.
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.
Thompson-Boling Provides Homecourt Advantage
- UT has outrebounded nine of its 16 opponents.
- The Vols own a +1.0 rebounding advantage.
- UT is second in the SEC with 14.7 offensive rebounds.
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 9.6 3-pointers per game.
- Lofton leads the SEC with 3.8 triples per game.
- JaJuan Smith is third in the SEC with 2.6 3-pointers per game.
- Combined, Lofton (61) and Smith (41) have made as nearly many 3-pointers as Tennessee's opponents (106).
- 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 14.6 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 (78), blocks (12) and is second on the team in steals (33).
- He has led the Vols in assists 10 out of 16 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).
- Last six games is averaging 6.2 assists per game and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.1.
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).
- 49 of his 96 rebounds (51 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 5.3 rebounds and is fourth on the squad with 8.6 points per game.
- Chism has been the first Vol off the bench in 12 of Tennessee's 16 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 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 23.8 minutes per game this year.
Hard Work Pays Off For Childress
- He has earned 10 starting assignments on the season.
- Against 15th-ranked Memphis (12/6/06) he gathered seven rebounds.
- Against Texas (12/23/06) he scored 16 points to go with nine assists and no turnovers.
- He has scored 10 or more points in six of his last seven games.
- In his last five games he is averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists. His assist-to-turnover ratio during the five-game stretch is 3.6-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 6.0 points and 4.4 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.