Nov. 28, 2012
HOOPS REPORT: Playing for Southeastern Conference Pride
Tennessee travels to Washington, D.C., to visit Georgetown at the Verizon Center Friday in the Vols' first true road game of the season (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The contest doubles as an opportunity to play for Southeastern Conference bragging rights, as the game is part of the annual SEC/Big East Challenge.
Tennessee is 2-1 in the five-year history of the event -- initially known as the SEC/Big East Invitational. The Vols lost at home to Pitt last season after beating third-ranked Pitt two years ago in Pittsburgh, Pa. UT's only other previous appearance in the event resulted in an 80-68 win over 24th-ranked Marquette in Nashville, Tenn., in 2008 (UT was not in the event in 2007 or 2009).
"Anytime you have a chance to represent your league in events like this there is an amount of pride that comes with it," UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "The SEC is known for excellence across the board in all sports, so we obviously want to do our part to uphold the SEC's reputation for great basketball. Facing an elite program like Georgetown in their home gym is a challenge we look forward to."
Tennessee point guard Trae Golden agreed that conference pride is a factor for Friday's game.
"We want to show that the SEC is one of the best leagues in the country," Golden said. "So we take pride in games like this. It will be a great atmosphere. Georgetown has a historic program, and we expect a great game."
Since the 2007-08 campaign, Tennessee owns a 7-3 record against current members of the Big East Conference. In addition to the two aforementioned victories, those seven triumphs also include wins over Georgetown, DePaul, Villanova and defending national champion UConn last season. Tennessee also defeated West Virginia on a neutral floor in November 2007 before the Mountaineers left the Big East to join the Big XII Conference.
The Big East enters this year's challenge leading 16-12 over the past five seasons.
THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS
Tennessee has been confirmed as one eight teams in the field for the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis, which takes place annually at the Atlantis Royal Towers Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Seven of the eight teams in next year's field were announced Saturday. Joining the Volunteers in the 2013 field are Kansas, Villanova, Wake Forest, Southern California, UTEP and Xavier. The eighth team will be announced at a later date.
The Battle 4 Atlantis tournament started in 2011. The games are played in the Imperial Arena, a grand ballroom which is turned into a basketball venue.
Tennessee's looming appearance in the Bahamas continues a stretch of trips to exotic destinations. In just the last three years, the Vols have traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Los Angeles, Maui, Italy and Puerto Rico.
EMPHASIS OF THE DAY
Wednesday's "Emphasis of the Day" - Wednesday's "Emphasis of the Day" - daily midcourt talking points spearheaded by head coach Cuonzo Martin prior to each practice - focused on energy.
Life is all about energy. Think about the people who increase your energy and those who drain your energy.