Vol Hoops Report: Dec. 7

Dec. 7, 2011

Fifth-year senior guard Cameron Tatum will take part in commencement ceremonies Friday morning. The Lithonia, Ga., native is receiving his degree in Africana Studies.

"My mom and dad, my brother Brandon, my sister Monique and a bunch of friends that are all coming--I'm looking forward to it," Tatum said. "Everything I've worked for is finally paying off. It's been a long journey but I'm so happy I stuck with it when I was hitting those bumps in the road."

Tatum becomes the 10th men's basketball player to graduate from UT since December 2009. The other Vol graduates during that span are: Josh Bone, Quinn Cannington, Wayne Chism, Melvin Goins, Michael Hubert, Chris Lofton, Steven Pearl, J.P. Prince and Tanner Wild.

"I think that the degree is the most important thing," Vols head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "I know a lot of times when you are involved with sports at a high level we somewhat take that for granted, I think that is understood. But not many guys get their degree and that is not their focus. I think he has done a good job of making that his commitment and getting his degree."

After walking across the commencement stage at Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday morning, Tatum will take the court with his teammates in the same facility Saturday as the Vols (3-4) host intra-state foe Austin Peay (1-9) at noon ET. The game will be televised regionally on CSS.

As part of a promotion to benefit Knox County Schools, fans who bring two new school supplies to Saturday's game will receive one free admission to the game.

Tennessee has four starters from the state of Georgia, and those four Vols--guards Trae Golden, Jordan McRae and Cameron Tatum and forward Kenny Hall--account for 59.2 percent of the team's total scoring (47.7 ppg). Golden, McRae and Tatum also account for 72.1 percent of UT's assists (75 of 104, or 10.7 apg).

"We definitely think about that and it's pretty cool that we're all from Georgia," Golden said. "I never thought about 59 percent of our offense coming from our Georgia guys. We're just going to continue to build upon that."

On Thursday, Thad Novak of Bleacher Report published a list of 15 "breakout stars of the season's first month."

Novak wrote, "Some of the biggest names in college basketball this season were thoroughly unknown quantities when the first games tipped at the beginning of November. From freshmen who had yet to prove themselves to reserves stepping into starting jobs, new names are turning into huge names across the country."

Tennessee point guard Trae Golden, who had only one career start and had never scored more than eight points in a game prior to this season, landed at No. 12 on Bleacher Report's list of breakout performers.

"Golden has proven the ideal floor leader to run (head coach Cuonzo) Martin's fast-paced, perimeter-focused offense," Novak wrote.

To view Bleacher Report's complete list of breakout stars, click HERE.






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