Game 20: Vols Welcome ESPN College Gameday for National Spotlight Game
|C ||4 Wayne Chism|
|F||1 Tyler Smith|
|G ||30 J.P. Prince|
|G ||32 Scotty Hopson|
|G ||25 Josh Tabb|
|C ||23 Alex Tyus |
|F ||21 Dan Werner |
|F ||25 Chandler Parsons |
|G ||33 Nick Calathes |
|G ||15 Walter Hodge |
Watch ESPN College Gameday Saturday
Check out Rece Davis' blog about the Big Orange Nation, the SEC and Bob Knight
"We're looking for a big crowd again. We might have to send Digger in early. We'll get him in the dorms and cafeterias to rally the Big Orange Nation. If somebody reads this and paints "Fill Thompson-Boling for Gameday" on that big rock on campus, we'll give you a shout out."
-- Rece Davis
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LIVE Gameday at 11 a.m.
UT has won three straight and 7 of last 9 against the Gators
- 2008-09 marks Tennessee's 100th season of varsity basketball. A season-long centennial celebration includes the selection of a Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team. Ballots are available in the Thompson-Boling Arena concourse for all home games.
- In its last outing, Tennessee dropped a hard-fought game to LSU 79-73 in Knoxville on Wednesday.
- In the last three games, Wayne Chism is shooting .531 (17-of-32) from the floor and averaging a team-best 18.0 ppg to go along with 7.3 rpg. He is also 7-of-11 (.636) from 3-point range during that span.
- Tyler Smith is the only player in the SEC to be ranked among the top 20 in the conference in scoring (seventh; 17.2 ppg), rebounding (18th; 6.2 rpg) and assists (tied for seventh; 3.7 apg). Smith's 18.0 ppg in SEC games rank seventh in the conference.
- Tennessee's 39 Southeastern Conference wins over the past four seasons are the most among all league teams. After claiming the outright SEC title last season, the Vols are picked to win the league this year.
- Thompson-Boling Arena has hosted four of the 20-largest crowds in all of college basketball this season and is drawing an average of 20,763 fans per game to rank third in the country.
- In head-to-head meetings, Bruce Pearl owns a 5-1 edge against Florida's Billy Donovan. The Vols under Pearl have averaged 85.5 ppg in those six contests.
- Tennessee opponents this January are Kansas (L), Gonzaga (L), Georgia (W), Kentucky (L), South Carolina (W), Vanderbilt (W), Memphis (L), LSU (L) and Florida. Through Jan. 28, those opponents combined to boast a 132-46 (.742) record.
- UT's overall strength of schedule is rated fourth nationally by KenPom.com and RPIratings.com.
- This is the last of six nationally televised games for Tennessee this month. Only two teams in the country have appeared on national TV more during the month of January (Kansas and Notre Dame; seven each).
- Tennessee's 80.8 points per game are leading the SEC for the fourth consecutive year. Pearl's teams have led their respective league in scoring in 16 of his 17 years as a head coach.
- The Vols are 11-0 this season when they shoot a higher percentage than their opponent. UT is shooting .463 in SEC games to rank third in the league.
- Tennessee is 12-2 this season when it holds its opponent under 80 points. The Vols are 0-5 when the opposition scores 80 or more.
- The Vols' bench has outscored the opponent's bench in 17 of UT's 19 games this season.
- Tennessee is 51-6 at Thompson-Boling Arena since the start of the 2005-06 season.
- The Vols are 28-2 in non-conference home games under Bruce Pearl.
- Bruce Pearl is 18-10 against ranked teams at UT.
- Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 82-7 when leading or tied with five minutes left in the game.
- UT is 58-6 when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Bruce Pearl.
- Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,434-915-2 in 100 seasons of basketball.
- Tyler Smith has scored in double figures 49 times during his UT career (17 of 18 games this season).
- UT owns an 8-1 record when Wayne Chism records a double-double (4-1 this season).
- UT's 637 regular-season SEC victories rank third all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama have won more league games.
- Tennessee is 251-90 in 22 seasons in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols have posted winning home records in 18 of their 21 full 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 year. UT did so for the fifth time in 2007-08.
The Florida Series
Saturday's game marks the 115th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Tennessee holding a 66-48 series advantage ... Tennessee took a 104-82 win in Knoxville last season before also posting an 89-86 victory in Gainesville to sweep the season series ... The Vols have won seven of the last nine meetings ... 13 of the last 18 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less ... Tennessee leads the series 39-15 when playing in Knoxville ... Florida has a 30-23 all-time advantage when playing in
Florida (18-3, 5-1 SEC) has won 12 of its last 13 games, including a 94-69 throttling of Vanderbilt in Nashville on Sunday and a thrashing of Georgia Wednesday that was highlighted by sophomore guard Nick Calathes' second career triple-double ... The Gators under 13th-year head coach Billy Donovan (303-118 at UF) lead the SEC in scoring margin (+15.0), assists (18.1 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.4) while ranking second in field-goal percentage (.495) ... UF also makes an SEC-best 8.1 3-pointers per game ... Calathes leads the conference with 6.6 apg while ranking sixth in scoring with 17.8 ppg ... Calathes averages 19.8 ppg in SEC games ... The Gators have won 23 of their last 25 games overall in the month of January and are 7-1 this year ... Florida is 16-1 when holding opponents under 70 points this season ... UF's three losses have come by a combined nine points, and their last two have come from a combined three points with both decided at the buzzer ... With only one senior and one junior and the rest underclassmen, UF ranks 318 out of 344 NCAA Division I teams in terms of experience per KenPom.com ... Florida was picked by the SEC head coaches to finish second in the Eastern Division.
Last Clash With Florida
Tennessee clinched its first SEC title in eight years with an 89-86 victory at Florida on March 5, 2008 ... The Gators started off scorching hot, making their first nine field-goal attempts in building a 35-19 lead with nine minutes left in the first half ... The Vols trailed 42-55 at the break, but Tyler Smith opened the second half with a three-point play and then hit a pair of shots in the lane to cut the lead to 55-49 ... Chris Lofton hit a 3-pointer to bring the Vols to within one point (69-68) and started a 14-0 run that gave UT its first lead of the game ... JaJuan Smith helped the run with a layup and then two deep 3-pointers with defenders closely guarding him ... The Vols extended their lead to 79-69 before 3-pointers from Nick Calathes and Dan Werner helped trim the lead to 83-81 ... After UF tied the score 85-85, JaJuan Smith missed a pair of free throws with 44.1 seconds left but Tyler Smith got the rebound and putback to give the Vols the lead ... Wayne Chism gave UT a threepoint lead with a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left ... The Gators had one last shot, but a deep 3-pointer from Calathes bounced off the back of the rim ... JaJuan Smith led the Vols with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting ... Lofton added 21 points on 4-of-8 3-point shooting ... Tyler Smith added 13 points and eight rebounds ... Calathes led the Gators with 24 points and nine assists ... Florida shot 59.6 percent from the field while UT shot 52.4 percent.
ESPN College Gameday Makes First (Hoops) Visit To Knoxville
Lending even greater credence to Bruce Pearl's impact on Volunteers basketball, ESPN's popular College Gameday television show will broadcast live from Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday prior to that night's clash with Florida ... While the football version of Gameday has visited Knoxville seven times, this is the show's first trip to campus for hoops season ... Network talent expected to be on hand Saturday includes Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis, Rece Davis, Erin Andrews, Bob Knight, Digger Phelps, Dan Shulman, Howie Schwab and Dick Vitale.
Chism Hot From Long Range During SEC Play
6-9 center Wayne Chism hit a career-high four 3-pointers Wednesday vs. LSU, raising his 3-point percentage in SEC play to .444 (8-for-18) ... If he had enough attempts to qualify for the SEC stat rankings, that percentage would be the fourth-best in the league during conference play ... Overall this season, Chism is shooting .310 (18-for-58) from long range ... 11 of those 18 makes have come in 2009 ... His .367 longball percentage in the month of January is second-best on the team.
Vols Homecourt Boasts Four Of NCAA's 20 Largest Crowds This Season
Tennessee has played just 10 home games this season, and four of those crowds have been among the 20 largest crowds in the country ... UT is one of just two schools with four crowds of more than 21,800 ... The Vols rank third nationally with an average attendance of 20,763.
Rebounding A Strength For Tennessee This Season
Tennessee has been strong on the boards this season, outrebounding its opponents by an average of 5.8 per game and winning the battle of the glass in 12 of 19 games ... The Vols lead the SEC in total rebounds per game (40.9) and offensive rebounds per game (15.1) ... Three times this season UT has pulled down at least 50 rebounds in a game, with a high of 58 against UT Martin on Nov. 18 (a Thompson-Boling Arena record and the Vols' most since at least 1980) ... UT boasts three of the SEC's top rebounders, as Wayne Chism ranks fifth (8.7 rpg), Brian Williams ranks 15th (6.3 rpg) and Tyler Smith ranks 18th (6.2 rpg).
Did You Know?
Tennessee owns a 14-6 (.700) record on ESPN during the Bruce Pearl era (2005-06 to present).
Nine Different Vols Have Started Games
Nine different Volunteers have started for UT this season, and all nine have made multiple starts ... Junior forward Tyler Smith is the only Vol who has started all 19 games ... Head coach Bruce Pearl has used nine different combinations of starters this season ... Freshman forward Emmanuel Negedu is the only scholarship Vol who has yet to start.