Tennessee Basketball Notes - South Carolina Game

March 3, 2009

Game 29: Vols Face Gamecocks for Possession of SEC Eastern Division Lead

Quick Facts

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C 4 Wayne Chism
F1 Tyler Smith
G 30 J.P. Prince
G 32 Scotty Hopson
G 3 Bobby Maze
South Carolina
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 Trends

  • 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 head coach.
  • 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 headto- 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 ... Bobby Maze 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 points.

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 Pearl era.

    Defensive Turnaround

    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.





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