HOOPS CENTRAL: Vols vs. Ole Miss
Feb. 7, 2017


Live Blog Vols vs. Ole Miss
 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Its four-game winning streak snapped over the weekend, Tennessee looks to get back on track when it welcomes Ole Miss to Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

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Tennessee (13-10, 5-5 SEC)

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Suffering their first loss in two weeks, the Vols (13-10, 5-5 SEC) led by as many as 19 in the first half at Mississippi State on Saturday, but saw that lead evaporate behind poor free-throw shooting and a tough night on the glass.

Jordan Bone led the Vols with 13 points and a season-best eight rebounds while fellow freshman Grant Williams chipped in with 11 points -- his fifth straight game in double figures.

Senior guard Robert Hubbs III continues to lead the Vols in scoring (14.3 ppg), but is looking to break out of a mild shooting slump over the last two games. Hubbs is just 2-of-19 (.105) from the field in that span, including a 2-of-7 outing at MSU in which he finished with his lowest scoring output of the year at four points.

Ole Miss (14-9, 5-5 SEC), which defeated Tennessee 80-69 earlier this season in Oxford, enters Wednesday's contest off back-to-back wins. The Rebels earned an 81-74 win at Vanderbilt on Saturday, just four days after picking up a big, 88-61 home win over rival MSU.

THE SERIES

  • Overall: UT leads, 70-44
  • In Knoxville: UT leads, 40-12
  • In Oxford: Series tied, 25-25
  • Neutral Sites: UM leads, 7-5
  • Current Streak: Ole Miss has won three straight
  • Last Meeting: Ole Miss won, 80-69, in Oxford, 1/17/17
  • Rick Barnes vs. Ole Miss: 0-2
  • Rick Barnes vs. Andy Kennedy: Kennedy leads, 2-0

A WIN WOULD ...

  • Extend Tennessee’s home winning streak to four games
  • Give the Vols their sixth SEC win, which would match their total from last season
  • Snap the Rebels’ three-game win streak in this series, which stands as UT’s second-longest active losing streak to an SEC opponent (lost five straight to Arkansas).

ABOUT OLE MISS

  • Picked by the media in the preseason to finish ninth in the SEC this season, Ole Miss owns a 14-9 (5-5 SEC) record in its 11th season under the direction of two-time SEC Coach of the Year Andy Kennedy.
  • Kennedy has led Ole Miss to 10 consecutive winning seasons for the first time in school history.
  • The Rebels ride a two-game win streak into Knoxville, having defeated Mississippi State in Oxford on Jan. 31 before beating Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday.
  • Five Rebels scored in double figures in Saturday’s win, led by guards Deandre Burnett and Terence Davis, who each had 17.
  • Burnett is the SEC’s fourth-leading scorer at 16.9 ppg.
  • Senior Ole Miss forward Sebastian Saiz (15.6 ppg, 11.4 rpg) has 25 career double-doubles (most among all active SEC players) and 16 this season. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Rebels’ win over the Vols on Jan. 17.
  • Davis added 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Vols in Oxford.
  • Saiz is the SEC’s active career rebounding leader with 862, and last month he became the 38th member of the Rebels’ 1,000-point club.
  • The Ole Miss roster features a pair of Tennessee natives (Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey and starter Marcanvis Hymon, both from Memphis) and international student-athletes from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Spain.
  • The Rebels have eight upperclassmen on their roster, whereas Tennessee has only two.

MEMORABLE VOL PERFORMANCES AGAINST OLE MISS

  • Brandon Wharton scored 20 points, Rashard Lee added 17 and 10 rebounds, Isiah Victor poured in 16 points and C.J. Black totaled 15 and 13 rebounds as UT upset the 11th-ranked Rebels 77-67 in Knoxville on Jan. 17, 1998.
  • Gene Tormohlen grabbed 31 rebounds at Ole Miss on Feb. 11, 1957, to lift UT to a 98-88 win in Oxford. The 31 boards still stand as the second-best single-game effort in school history.
  • Carlus Groves went 11-for-12 (.917) from the floor, the fourth-best single-game average in UT annals, against the Rebels to lift Tennessee to a 98-86 win in Knoxville on Feb. 19, 1992.
  • Jeronne Maymon grabbed an incredible 10 offensive rebounds as part of an 11-point, 17-rebound effort against Ole Miss in the 2012 SEC Tournament in Nashville. Despite 21 points from Trae Golden and 15 from Skylar McBee, the Vols fell in overtime, 77-72.

LAST MEETING WITH OLE MISS

  • Despite three players scoring in double figures, Tennessee suffered an 80-69 setback at the hands of Ole Miss on Jan. 17, 2017, in Oxford, Mississippi.
  • After trailing most of the first half, the Vols shot out of the gate in the second and raced to a 52-39 lead after Admiral Schofield converted a layup along the baseline at the 15-minute mark. Very little went right for UT following that basket as the homestanding Rebels outscored UT 41-17 over the final 15 minutes.
  • Tennessee was led by 15 points apiece from Robert Hubbs III and Lamonté Turner. Jordan Bowden finished with 14 points. Hubbs paced the Vols on the glass with seven rebounds as UT was out-rebounded 50-42 on the night.
  • Ole Miss used a 13-2 run to regain the lead at 57-56 with 9:23 to play, but Tennessee kept the game within striking distance. The Vols pulled within one at 68-67 when Lew Evans knocked down two freebies, but the Rebels responded with a 10-0 spurt to seal the outcome.
  • The game was slowed by a combined 66 free throws attempted by the two teams. Neither team flourished at the line as Tennessee shot 13-of-24 (.542) at the line and Ole Miss was 27-of-42 (.643). A total of 55 fouls were whistled in the game, including 28 in the first half which left seven Vols entering intermission with two fouls.
  • The Vols trailed by as many as 11 points before halftime and trailed for a total of 15:31 in the opening 20 minutes. Tennessee ended the half on a 7-0 run that included two field goals by Hubbs and a Turner triple just before the halftime buzzer, to enter intermission tied, 38-38. UT then scored 14 of the first 15 points after halftime, marking a 21-1 run on either side of the break.
  • The game marked Tennessee’s first appearance in "The Pavilion at Ole Miss."

MISSISSIPPI LETTERMEN UNCOMMON

  • Incredibly, Tennessee has had just one all-time letterman from the state of Mississippi. Sardis, Mississippi, native Torrey Harris played for the Vols from 1995-99.

VOLS’ S.O.S. NO. 2 NATIONALLY

  • Through the games of Feb. 5, statistical analyst Ken Pomeroy and ESPN each rated Tennessee’s strength-of-schedule as the second-most difficult in the nation.
  • Jeff Sagarin rates UT’s SOS No. 4 nationally.
  • In the official NCAA RPI listing, Tennessee (No. 35) is the only 10-loss team in the top 50.

CHAMPIONS RETURN THIS WEEKEND

  • The 2016-17 season marks the 50th anniversary of Tennessee’s 1966-67 SEC Championship team and the 40th anniversary of its 1976-77 SEC Championship team. Legendary UT head coach Ray Mears was at the helm for both title teams.
  • Members of those teams have been invited back to Rocky Top this weekend to celebrate their accomplishments. They will attend the Georgia game Saturday and will be honored at halftime.
  • The 1966-67 Volunteers went 15-3 in SEC play and posted a final record of 21-7. Led by SEC Player of the Year and league scoring champion Ron Widby (22.1 ppg), the Vols fell to Dayton in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal (and then lost to Indiana in a regional consolation contest). That UT team also owns the school record for scoring defense, allowing only 54.0 ppg.
  • Tennessee’s 1976-77 title team shared the SEC title with Kentucky after going 16-2 in league play and finishing 22-6 overall. The 16 SEC wins stand as the most in program history. Bernard King led the conference in scoring with 25.8 ppg, and Ernie Grunfeld averaged 22.8 ppg. The duo shared SEC Player of the Year acclaim. In the NCAA Tournament, the Vols dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Syracuse—under first-year head coach Jim Boeheim—in the first round (round of 32). Tennessee ended the year ranked 15th in the final Associated Press poll.

HUBBS HITTING THE BOARDS

  • It took only 23 games for Robert Hubbs III to make his senior season the most prolific rebounding campaign of his career. His 121 total rebounds through 23 games pushed him past his junior-season total of 117 boards (in 30 games).
  • Hubbs is Tennessee’s second-leading rebounder this season, pulling down 5.3 per game. He averaged 3.9 rpg last season.

UP NEXT

  • The Vols remain at home and play host to Georgia in their only meeting with the Bulldogs this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
  • The Vols have dropped four of their last five against UGA, including an 81-72 setback in Athens last season.

 

 

 

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