Game 29: Vols Face Gamecocks for Possession of SEC Eastern Division Lead
|C ||4 Wayne Chism|
|F||1 Tyler Smith|
|G ||30 J.P. Prince|
|G ||32 Scotty Hopson|
|G ||3 Bobby Maze|
|F/C ||24 Mike Holmes |
|F ||21 Dominique Archie |
|F ||44 Sam Muldrow |
|G ||20 Zam Fredrick |
|G ||2 Devan Downey |
UT Seeks Fifth Consecutive Win Over SC
- The winner of Thursday's game secures at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division title and controls
its own destiny in regards to earning the East's No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament. The Vols finish the
regular season vs. Alabama in Knoxville Sunday, while the Gamecocks play at Georgia on Saturday.
- 2008-09 marks Tennessee's 100th season of varsity basketball. The season-long centennial celebration
included the selection of a Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team, which was honored Feb. 14.
- With two regular-season games remaining, Tennessee is two victories shy of posting its fourth straight
20-win campaign and its 22nd overall 20-win season.
- In its last outing, Tennessee snapped Florida's 17-game home win streak with a 79-75 triumph over
the Gators on Sunday. Bruce Pearl improved to 7-1 in head-to-head meetings with Billy Donovan.
- Thursday's game marks junior Wayne Chism's 100th career game as a Vol. Last month, Chism became
the 41st member of Tennessee's 1,000-point club. He has scored in double figures 49 times in his career.
- Scotty Hopson earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his efforts in Tennessee's wins over
Mississippi State and Florida last week. It was Hopson's second SEC Freshman of the Week award.
- The junior frontcourt tandem of Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism has combined for between 36 and 38
points in each of Tennessee's four SEC road wins (at Georgia, at Vanderbilt at Arkansas and at Florida).
- Tennessee's 45 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 were picked to win the league this year.
- The UT bench has outscored the opposition's bench 664-392 this season. The Vols' bench has scored
more than the opponents' in 24 games, and has done so by at least 17 points in 10 different games.
- UT's strength of schedule is rated the second-toughest in the nation by RPIratings.com.
- Tennessee's postseason résumé includes six wins over teams with an NCAA RPI of No. 50 or better.
The Volunteers have played a total of 12 games against top-50 teams in the most recent RPI.
- Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,439-918-2 in
100 seasons of basketball.
- Tennessee's 78.4 points per game rank third the
SEC this year. Pearl's teams have led their respective
league in scoring in 15 of his 16 full seasons as a
- Tyler Smith (3.4), J.P. Prince (3.2) and Bobby
Maze (3.1) each rank among the top 11 in the SEC in
assists per game.
- Bobby Maze (2.0), J.P. Prince (1.8) and Tyler
Smith (1.6) each rank among the top seven in the
SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Tyler Smith is the only player in the SEC to rank
among the top 20 in the league in scoring (seventh,
17.1 ppg), rebounding (18th, 5.8 rpg) and assists
(seventh, 3.4 apg).
- UT owns a 9-1 record when Wayne Chism records
a double-double (5-1 this season).
- J.P. Prince has 45 assists in UT's last nine games.
He is averaging 3.9 apg in SEC games to rank sixth
in the conference.
- Prince is shooting .628 (49-of-78) from the floor
in SEC play this season.
- The Vols are 17-1 this season when they shoot a
higher percentage than their opponent.
- Tennessee is 18-4 this season when it holds its
opponent under 80 points. The Vols are 0-6 when the
opposition scores 80 or more.
- Bruce Pearl is five wins shy of logging his 100th
victory at Tennessee.
- The Vols are 28-2 in non-conference home games
under Bruce Pearl.
- Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 88-8 when leading or
tied with five minutes left in the game.
- UT is 59-6 when scoring 80 or more points under
the direction of Bruce Pearl.
- Bruce Pearl is 18-10 against ranked teams at UT.
- UT's 643 regular-season SEC victories rank third
all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama
have won more league games.
- Tennessee is 255-90 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 55-6 at Thompson-Boling Arena
since the start of the 2005-06 season.
The South Carolina Series
Tennessee leads the all-time series 30-23 after winning
82-79 in Knoxville on Jan. 17 and posting three
victories over the Gamecocks last season ... The Vols
have won 17 of the last 25 meetings between the
schools ... When the series is played in Knoxville,
the Vols own a 20-7 advantage ... South Carolina
leads the series 14-8 when it is played in Columbia
... Tennessee and South Carolina met for the first
time on Jan 15, 1927, in Columbia ... The teams
played off-and-on between the 1927 and 1972 seasons
but did not play each other from 1972 until 1988
when the series was renewed.
Noting South Carolina
South Carolina (20-7, 9-5 SEC) throttled Kentucky
77-59 in Columbia Wednesday but then fell at
Vanderbilt 96-83 on Saturday ... In his first year at
South Carolina, head coach Darrin Horn has led the
Gamecocks to a 16-1 record at home ... Junior point
guard Devan Downey has led or shared the team lead
in scoring 11 times in SEC play, including seven 20-
point performances ... Junior forward Dominique
Archie sits just 90 points away from 1,000 in his
career, while senior guard Zam Fredrick - who has
already reached 1,000 points for his total career
(including two seasons spent at Georgia Tech), needs
107 points to reach 1,000 in his Gamecock career ...
South Carolina leads the SEC in scoring offense
(79.9) and ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage
(.373) ... Carolina is 12-0 this season when it tallies
10 or more steals in a game and 6-0 in games this season
when dishing out 14 or more assists ... Carolina
was picked by league media to finish fifth in the SEC
Eastern Division this season.
Last Clash With South Carolina
Tennessee enjoyed one of its best shooting nights of
the season as it used a 58.5-percent shooting performance
to down South Carolina 82-79 in Knoxville
Jan. 17 ... It was UT's fourth straight victory over the
Gamecocks and improved coach Bruce Pearl's
head record against South Carolina head coach
Darrin Horn to 3-0 ... The Vols led by as many as 17
numerous times in the second half, but missed free
throws late enabled the Gamecocks to cut the lead to
four points (81-77) with 35 seconds on the clock ...
pushed UT's lead to five points on a
free throw with 15 seconds remaining, and a Mike
Holmes jumper then made it a three-point game with
nine seconds to play ... Holmes missed a free throw
after drawing a foul just outside the lane, and Scotty
Hopson secured the rebound to seal the win ... Hopson scored a season-high 19 points on 7-of-12
shooting, and he also made all five of his free-throw
attempts ... Tyler Smith
led all scorers with 20 ... Four
Gamecocks scored in double figures, led by Devan
Downey and Dominique Archie who each tallied 19
... The Vols' bench outscored the South Carolina
bench 28-10, and UT enjoyed a 54-36 advantage in
points in the paint and an 18-8 edge on fast-break
Vols Aiming For Third Straight SEC Win
Tennessee has not put together three straight SEC
wins yet this season, but it has the chance to do so
with a victory in Columbia Thursday ... The 2004-05
season marks the last time UT failed to author an
SEC win streak of at least three games.
Tennessee Top-Rated SEC Team in NCAA's RPI
In the NCAA's most recent RPI listing (through the
games of March 2), Tennessee occupies the No. 21
spot ... The Volunteers are the highest-rated team in
the Southeastern Conference, with the next-closest
league team landing at No. 25 (LSU) ... Tennessee
boasts six wins over teams with a top-50 RPI, and the
Vols have played 12 total games against teams with a
top-50 rating ... UT has played only three teams with
an RPI of 200 or lower.
Road Success Within The Eastern Division
Tennessee has had a winning record on the road
against SEC Eastern Division opponents in three of
the last four seasons and owns more divisional road
wins than any other Eastern Division rival during that
span ... Sunday's win at Florida puts UT's record on
the road at Eastern Division venues at 3-1 this season
... Bruce Pearl
owns a 12-7 (.632) record on the road
within the division over the last four years; no other
East team has more than nine such victories.
Tennessee's Schedule Among The Most Difficult In America
The non-conference portion of a team's schedule is the only part of its slate that it can control, and UT was ambitious and aggressive when building its non-conference schedule for this season ... Here's a look at what the Vols have faced outside of SEC play:
A dozen games against teams with a top-50 NCAA RPI.
Only three teams with a current RPI of 200 or lower (UNC Asheville, Georgia and Louisiana-Lafayette).
Six teams picked by their conference's coaches to win their respective league/division.
Memphis - A team riding an active 20-game win streak and sporting an NCAA RPI of No. 8.
Kansas - The Vols traveled to KU Jan. 3; the Jayhawks are 16-1 at Allen Fieldhouse this season (NCAA RPI of No. 7).
Marquette - Tennessee is one of only six teams to beat the Golden Eagles this season, and the Vols did it at a neutral site without third-leading scorer J.P. Prince.
Georgetown - The Vols downed the Hoyas 90-78 at a neutral site; UT is one of only three teams ever to score 90 against a Georgetown team coached by John Thompson III.
Vols Valuing The Basketball
Tennessee has had 15 or less turnovers in each of it's
last 12 games and has had only two negative assistto-
turnover ratios during that span ... UT's opponents,
meanwhile, have had a negative assist-toturnover
ratio in seven of the last 12 games ... On the
season, Tennessee is 14-1 when its opponent has a
negative assist-to-turnover ratio ... UT's six turnovers
at Florida Sunday tied for the lowest of the Bruce
After allowing an average of 76.3 ppg through Jan.
17, UT has allowed an average of 67.4 ppg in its last
11 contests ... On Jan. 24, UT held Memphis to its
lowest scoring output of the season (54) ... Jan. 31
against Florida, UT held the Gators to their secondlowest
scoring output of the season (63) and their
fourth-lowest shooting percentage of the season
(.423) ... The Vols forced 25 turnovers against
Georgia on Feb. 11 before forcing 23 turnovers on a
season-high 15 steals against Vanderbilt Feb. 14.
Pearl's Vols Play Well On ESPN
Tennessee under Bruce Pearl
owns a 15-6 (.714)
record on ESPN ... The Vols enter Thursday's game
riding a two-game win streak on the network.