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TENNESSEE VS. AUBURN -- GAME PREVIEW



Jan. 15, 2007

Tennessee (13-4)
vs.
Auburn (11-7)

 
Jan. 17, 2007 - Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum - 8 p.m. ET - LFS
QUICK FACTS
BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV Broadcast
(Tom Hammond and Larry Conley)
Radio Broadcast
(Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp)
Internet Broadcast
Satellite Broadcast CH 152
Phone Broadcast
Gametracker

RANKINGSUTAU
Associated Press22--
ESPN/USA Today24--
TICKETS
Available ONLINE or
by calling 1-800-AUB-1957

THE AUBURN SERIES
Series: UT leads 66-35
At Auburn: AU leads 24-21
Last Meeting: UT, 105-89, 2/15/06

THE COACHES
UT: Bruce Pearl (Boston College 1982)
Overall Record:
352-96 (.786 / 15th year)
At Tennessee:
35-12 (.745 / 2nd year)

AU: Jeff Lebo (North Carolina 1989)
Overall Record:
152-103 (.596 / 9th year)
At Auburn:
37-40 (.481 / 3rd year)

NEXT GAME
Jan. 20 South Carolina on FSN/SUN at 6 p.m. ET

FEATURES
Tennessee: Gamenotes (PDF) | Media Guide
Bob Kesling with Coach Pearl
SEC: Standings | Stats | Notes (PDF)
NCAA: Statistical Summary
Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum: Seating Diagram | Directions
CoachPearl.com
NCAAsports.com
Download Free Acrobat Reader
PROBABLE STARTERS
TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
Hometown
PPG
RPG
APG
F 23 Dane Bradshaw 6-4 205 Sr. Memphis, Tenn.
7.4
4.2
4.6
C 32 Duke Crews 6-7 233 Fr. Hampton, Va.
10.2
5.8
0.8
G 2 JaJuan Smith 6-2 196 Jr. Cleveland, Tenn.
14.1
4.0
1.6
G 5 Chris Lofton 6-2 200 Jr. Maysville, Ky.
22.5
3.4
1.6
G 12 Ramar Smith 6-2 185 Fr. Mt. Clemens, Mich.
8.5
3.3
3.1
AUBURN TIGERS
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
Hometown
PPG
RPG
APG
F 3 Josh Dollard 6-7 235 So. Hemingway, S.C.
11.0
7.2
2.1
F 32 Korvotney Barber 6-7 220 So. Manchester, Ga.
12.2
6.5
0.9
G 1 Frank Tolbert 6-4 210 Jr. River Falls, Ala.
11.5
5.3
1.8
G 21 Rasheem Barrett 6-5 220 So. Atlanta, Ga.
12.8
4.6
2.2
G 23 Quantez Robertson 6-3 190 So. Cincinnati, Ohio
7.7
4.5
5.2
GAMENOTES

JaJuan Smith (2), Ramar Smith (12)
VOLS RETURN TO SEC PLAY AT AUBURN

  • Tennessee returns to Southeastern Conference action when the Vols travel to Auburn, Ala., to meet the Auburn Tigers at 8 p.m. EST at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
  • UT fell to fifth-ranked Ohio State 66-68 Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. OSU's Ron Lewis sank a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left to give the Buckeyes the two-point win. Chris Lofton led the Vols with 21 points while Ramar Smith had 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Greg Oden led Ohio State with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
  • The Vols have dropped their last two games by a combined three points. Vanderbilt scored on a tip-in as time expired to take an 82-81 win in Nashville Jan. 10 and then Ohio State needed a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left for a 68-66 in Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 13.
  • Before hitting the losing streak, Tennessee had won nine consecutive games. The streak, which began in November, was UT's longest since the 2000-01 season.
  • Tennessee is playing its third consecutive road game and is in the middle of a stretch where the Vols play five of six games on the road. UT will return home Saturday, Jan. 20, to host South Carolina before traveling to Ole Miss (Jan. 24) and Kentucky (Jan. 28).
  • All-America candidate Chris Lofton is leading the SEC and ranks 10th in the nation with 22.5 points per game. One of the top shooters in the country, he is averages 3.8 3-pointers per game and is connecting on 46.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
  • Tennessee is leading the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 84.5 points per game.
Tennessee Trends
  • Dane Bradshaw needs two and Chris Lofton needs three steals to tie Allan Houston for 10th on UT's career lists with 133 thefts.
  • Dane Bradshaw needs one assists for 300 in his career.
  • Tennessee is shooting just 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the free throw line in its last two games.
  • In his 15th year as a head coach, Bruce Pearl has never lost three consecutive games.
  • Chris Lofton (64) and JaJuan Smith (42) have combined to make nearly as many 3-pointers as Tennessee's opponents have (110).
  • Tennessee is third the SEC with 14.4 offensive rebounds per game.
  • The Vols are forcing 20.3 turnovers per game.
  • Tennessee's 13-2 start was its best 15-game start since beginning the 2000-01 season with a 14-1 record.
  • 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.
  • Bruce Pearl is 5-3 against ranked teams while at Tennessee. This year he is 2-2 with wins over No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 16 Memphis and losses to No. 2 North Carolina and at No. 5 Ohio State.
  • 11 different Vols have hit a 3-pointer this season.
  • Chris Lofton has made at least one 3-pointer in 76 of his 78 career games.
  • The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 301 consecutive games.
  • UT's bench is averaging 23.5 points per game this season. In 2005-06, Tennessee's bench averaged 21.0 points per game.
  • Since 2005-06 Tennessee's SEC opponents have a 5-13 record in the game immediately following their contests against the Vols.
  • 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 1,380-896-2 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 Auburn
Auburn is looking to end a two-game losing streak when the Tigers host the Vols ... Auburn is coming off a 63-65 loss at 13th-ranked LSU Saturday ... After opening SEC play with a 68-65 win over Vanderbilt, AU has dropped games at Kentucky and at LSU ... Sophomore guard Rasheem Barrett leads the Tigers with 12.8 points per game ... AU ranks second in the SEC with 17.50 assists per game ... Sophomore forward Korvotney Barber is second on the team with 12.2 points and ranks 11th in the SEC with 6.5 rebounds per game ... The 6-foot-7 Barber's 3.0 offensive rebounds per game are second in the SEC ... Quantez Robertson ranks third in the league with 5.17 assists and is seventh with 1.94 steals while adding 7.7 points per game ... Auburn is one of two teams in the SEC that does not list a senior on its roster (Arkansas is the other) ... The Tigers are 11-2 at home this season with their only losses coming to nationally-ranked Pittsburgh and Texas A&M ... Five of Auburn's seven losses have come to ranked teams ... Jeff Lebo is 37-40 in his third season at Auburn and 152-103 in his ninth year as a head coach.

The Auburn Series
This will be the 102nd meeting between the two schools ... The Tigers hold a 23-22 advantage in Auburn ... Tennessee has won seven of the last nine meetings between the schools ... Tennessee leads the all-time series 66-35 ... The Vols lead the series 40-7 in Knoxville ... UT has won seven of the last eight meetings in Knoxville, including the last four ... Last year the Vols took a 105-89 win in Knoxville ... UT holds a 7-3 advantage over Auburn when the two teams meet in the SEC Tournament.

Tennessee - Auburn Connections
Tennessee junior guard Jordan Howell has several connections to Auburn ... A native of Auburn, Ala., he attended Bob Jones High School ... Howell's older brother, Brett, is a graduate assistant/manager for the Tigers ... The Howell brother's father, Rex, played basketball for the Tigers in 1966 while their uncle, Alex Howell, was a two-year starter and a 1967 All-SEC selection for the Auburn basketball team ... UT's sophomore Ryan Childress (Moeller HS) and Auburn sophomore Quantez Robertson (Withrow HS) are both from Cincinnati, Ohio ... Auburn SID Chuck Gallina is a native of the Volunteer state.

Last Meeting with Auburn
Tennessee set a school record for 3-pointers in a single game in a 105-89 win over Auburn on Feb. 15, 2006, in Knoxville ... The Vols' made 16-of-29 3-pointers to break the previous record of 15 (set two times) for most 3-pointers in a single game ... Sophomore guard Chris Lofton led the Vols with seven (7-of-11) 3-pointers while JaJuan Smith added a career-high five (5-of-8) 3-pointers ... Tennessee opened the game with an 8-0 run and never let the Tigers get closer than five points the rest of the game ... The Vols shot 56.5 percent from the field and 55.2 percent from 3-point range ... Auburn shot 56.1 percent from the field and 63.2 percent from 3-point distance ... Six Vols scored in double figures for the first time since the 2000-01 season ... Lofton led all scorers with 25 points while Smith added a career-high 19 points ... C.J. Watson added 18 points and Andre Patterson threw in 15 points to go with seven rebounds ... Major Wingate added 12 points while Stanley Asumnu had 10 ... Ronny LeMelle led the Tigers with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Last Game: UT Rally Falls Short At Ohio State
Ron Lewis connected on a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left to lift fifth-ranked Ohio State to a 68-66 win over 16th-ranked Tennessee Saturday, Jan. 13, at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio ... The Buckeyes led 51-41 with 13 minutes left when the Vols mounted a rally ... Chris Lofton scored eight of UT's final nine points and gave Tennessee a 66-65 lead on a lay-up with less than a minute left ... But UT could not put the game away as Ramar Smith and Lofton both missed the front end of a bonus situations, setting the table for Lewis' late shot ... The Vols had one final opportunity but Smith's drive with the clock winding down missed and Wayne Chism's tip failed to find the mark ... Lofton led the Vols with 21 points but struggled from the field, making just 9-of-20 field goals ... Smith had 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds ... Dane Bradshaw added 11 points ... Greg Oden led the Buckeyes with 24 points and 15 rebounds ... Mike Conley Jr. added 16 points ... Ohio State controlled the boards, outrebounding the Vols 46-30 ... Tennessee committed just eight turnovers to OSU's 20 ... The Vols shot just 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from the free throw line.

Close Calls
Tennessee has lost its last two games by a combined total of three points ... Both games were decided by shots in the final seconds ... Vanderbilt's Shan Foster tipped in a miss as time expired to give the Commodores an 82-81 in Nashville Jan. 10 ... Ohio State's Ron Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining to give the fifth-ranked Buckeyes a two-point (68-66) win in Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 13 ... UT is 5-2 in games decided by 10 points or less and 2-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season.

Tough Schedule
Tennessee's schedule ranked as the 10th toughest in the nation according to CollegeRPI.com on Jan. 15 ... The Vols' non-conference slate has featured six teams currently ranked in the Associated Press poll ... UT has played No. 4 North Carolina, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 12 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Memphis, No. 18 Butler and No. 21 Texas (current rankings listed) ... Additionally, the Vols have six more games remaining on their schedule against teams that are currently ranked in the Associated Press poll.

UT Leading SEC In Scoring
Tennessee is leading the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in scoring offense with 84.5 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.
Lofton Lately
  • Leads the SEC with 22.5 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 26 of his last 28 games.
  • Owns five of the top six scoring performances in the SEC this year.
  • Scored 30 or more points five times this season.
  • Shooting 46.4 percent (64-of-138) from behind the arc this season. Jon Higgins (2000-01) owns the school record at 48.6 percent (53-of-109).
  • Has shot 88 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 20th on UT's career scoring lists with 1,310 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.
Freshmen Growing Up
Tennessee has relied heavily upon its freshmen this season and each of them have continued to improve with each game they play.
  • Wayne Chism shot just 34.7 percent from the field through his first 10 games but has adjusted to the physical play in the paint and is shooting 48.9 percent through his last seven games.
  • Ramar Smith averaged just 5.5 points and 2.2 assists and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.7 in his first 11 games. In his last six games he is averaging 14.0 points and 4.7 assists with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.5.
  • Duke Crews made the smoothest transition from high school to college but even he has seen his number increase from 9.2 points and 5.3 rebounds through his first 10 games to 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds while making 61.8 percent of his field goals in his last seven outings.
  • Josh Tabb's contributions are not as obvious statistically but his play continues to improve as he has become one of UT's top defensive players this year.

Bench Contributing
Tennessee's bench has played a key role in the Vols' success early this season ... UT's bench is averaging 23.5 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 5.2 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.

Comeback Kids
Tennessee has overcome a second half deficit in six of its last seven 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 ... Three times in the last seven games UT has rallied from a double digit deficit.
  • 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.
  • Fifth-ranked Ohio State led 51-41 with 13 minutes left but UT but needed a 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining after UT had taken a 66-65 lead with under a minute to play.
Vols Bring The Pressure
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 19 times because they could not get the ball inbounds.
  • They have been whistled for a five-second count 17 times on inbounds plays.
  • Coppin State (11/19/06) committed a season-high 13 turnovers on inbounds plays alone.

Scholarly Vols
Nine of the 17 players on Tennessee's roster 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.

Bomb Squad Is Back
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.
  • UT is leading the SEC 9.5 3-pointers per game.
  • Lofton leads the SEC with 3.8 triples per game.
  • JaJuan Smith is fifth in the SEC with 2.5 3-pointers per game.
  • Combined, Lofton (64) and Smith (42) have made as nearly many 3-pointers as UT's opponents (110).
  • Tennessee's 15 3-pointers against second-ranked North Carolina (11/24/06) came just one short of tying the school record of 16.
JaJuan Smith Earns Star(ting) Role
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 ranks second on the team with 14.1 points, is third with 30 steals and third with 27 assists while making 42 3-pointers this year.
  • He ranks fifth in the SEC with 2.47 3-pointers per game on the season.
  • Two times this season he has scored a career-high 23 points, accomplishing the feat against Tennessee Tech (12/28/06) and East Tennessee State (12/30/06).
  • He has scored 20 or more points in a game four times this season.
  • Led UT's scoring efforts five times this season after leading the Vols in scoring once last year.
  • 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 scored 21 points on 5-of-11 3-point shooting against Western Kentucky (12/16/06).
Big Game Dane
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.
  • 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.
Bradshaw Does It All
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 tied for the team lead in steals (36).
  • He has led the Vols in assists 10 out of 17 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 seven games he is averaging 5.3 assists per game and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.7.
Crews Missile
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 10.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
  • 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).
  • 50 of his 99 rebounds (51 percent) have come at the offensive end of the floor.
  • He leads all SEC freshmen with 5.8 rebounds.
  • Ranks third in the SEC with 2.9 offensive rebounds per game.
Remarkable Ramar
Freshman point guard Ramar Smith has made significant improvements to his game as the season has worn on ... In his first 11 games this season he averaged 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.7 while struggling to adjust to the point guard position ... In the six games since then he is averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.5 ... On the season, the 6-foot-2 Smith is averaging 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.5 minutes per game.
  • He has earned 11 starting assignments.
  • Against Texas (12/23/06) he scored 16 points to go with nine assists and no turnovers.
  • Gathered a career-high nine rebounds at No. 5 Ohio State (1/13/07).
  • Scored a career-high 17 points to go with seven assists and one turnover at Vanderbilt (1/10/07).
  • He has scored 10 or more points in seven of his last eight games.
  • 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.
Big Wayne Strong In The Paint
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 5.2 rebounds and is fourth on the squad with 8.5 points per game.
  • Chism has been the first Vol off the bench in 13 of Tennessee's 17 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).
Hard Work Pays Off For Childress
There's a 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 ... A summer of hard work 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 as he is averaging 5.9 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
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.

Fab Freshmen? Don't Forget These Guys
The Vols have played 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 Ohio State's Greg Oden ... 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.
  • Duke Crews (Rivals.com No. 26 overall) is averaging 10.2 points and leads SEC freshmen with 5.8 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 5.2 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 six games he has 28 assists against eight turnovers.

Thompson-Boling Provides Homecourt Advantage
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.
  • 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.
Two Sign In Early Period
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.


 

 

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