Vol Hoops Central: UTEP (Battle 4 Atlantis)

Nov. 25, 2013


Nov. 28, 2013   |   9:30 p.m. ET
Atlantis   |   Paradise Island, Bahamas

  • Atlantis is located 800 miles from Knoxville.
  • The Vols are sharing a chartered Boeing 737 jet to Paradise Island with the Xavier basketball team.
  • Tennessee opens tournament play with a Thanksgiving Day tilt vs. UTEP (9:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Net).
  • The Miners, under the direction of head coach Tim Floyd, are off to a 3-2 start this season. UTEP has four players averaging more than 10.0 points per game.

  • When the lone previous meeting in this series took place, UTEP was known as Texas Western University. The Miners' head coach was Don Haskins, who later guided Texas Western on its famous national championship run in 1966.
  • Nolan Richardson, who went on to coach Arkansas to a national title in 1994, scored a game-high 20 points for UTEP in that contest, which the Miners won 77-57 on Dec. 28, 1962, in Knoxville.
  • Antonio Davis, father of Vols freshman A.J. Davis, played on four NCAA Tournament teams at UTEP and helped the Miners win 95 games from 1986- 90. Antonio played 13 seasons in the NBA.

  • Starting point guard Antonio Barton (8-13) and starting two-guard Jordan McRae (9-20) have combined to shoot better than 50 percent from 3-point range through UT's first four games.
  • The duo is shooting .515 from long range.

  • After landing on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 earlier this month, senior Jordan McRae and junior Jarnell Stokes were named to the Naismith Trophy watch list last Thursday.
  • Wooden Award candidate Jordan McRae has led the Vols in scoring in all four games this season. Dating to last season, he has led the team in scoring in nine of UT's last 12 games.
  • Point guard Antonio Barton owns an "effective field goal percentage" of .870, which ranks second among all Division I players nationally.

  • Tennessee is shooting .444 (24-of-54) from 3-point range through the season's first four games. That ranks 21st nationally.
  • Junior wing Josh Richardson has played 101 minutes this season and has yet to commit a single turnover (seven assists).
  • Tennessee has not trailed during its last 88:41 of game action. That duration spans the entirety of UT's two most recent wins, as well as the final 8:41 of the Nov. 16 victory over USC Upstate.

  • Tennessee owns a 25-16 (.610) combined record against the seven other programs in the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis field and has won its most recent meeting with four of those opponents.

  • True freshman Darius Thompson is averaging 16.3 minutes per game, and coach Cuonzo Martin has said recently that Thompson is deserving of more minutes due to his solid contributions.
  • Tennessee's backup at point guard, Thompson leads the team in steals (10) and has only three turnovers in 65 total minutes played.
  • He is averaging 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
  • In UT's last two games, Martin played Thompson and starting point guard Antonio Barton together as part of a four-guard lineup.
  • Thompson leads the nation in steal percentage (9.62, a KenPom metric), ranking just ahead of national POY candidate Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State.

Complete Game Notes





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