Tennessee Basketball Notes - Marquette Game

Dec. 14, 2008

Game 9: Vols Face Marquette in SEC/Big East Invitational

Quick Facts

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C 33 Brian Williams
F1 Tyler Smith
G 32 Scotty Hopson
G 25 Josh Tabb
G 3 Bobby Maze
F 12 Dwight Burke
F 32 Lazar Hayward
G 23 Wesley Matthews
G 22 Jerel McNeal
G 1 Dominic James

UT looks for continued success at Sommet Center

  • 2008-09 marks Tennessee's 100th season of varsity basketball. A season-long centennial celebration includes the selection of a Tennessee Basketball All-Century Team. Ballots are available in the Thompson-Boling Arena concourse for all home games.
  • In its last game, Tennessee was defeated 88-72 at Temple on Saturday. It was just the second game this season in which the Vols were outrebounded. UT never led, and its 72 points were a season-low.
  • Junior guard J.P. Prince, the Vols' second-leading scorer (11.3 ppg), did not play at Temple after injuring his ankle during practice Friday. His status for the Marquette game is questionable.
  • UT's win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 3 marked head coach Bruce Pearl's 400th career victory. Pearl was the sixth-fastest collegiate coach to reach the 400-win milestone (second among active coaches).
  • Tennessee owns a 35-41 all-time record against current members of the Big East Conference, including a 2-1 mark during the Bruce Pearl era.
  • The Vols under Bruce Pearl have played five games in the Sommet Center, posting a record of 4-1.
  • Tennessee plays just five games during the month of December. Four of those contests take place instate, with three in Knoxville and one in Nashville.
  • The Vols return a total of six letterwinners, including two starters, from last year's squad that posted a 31-5 overall record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
  • UT newcomers include four true freshmen, one junior-college transfer and a redshirt freshman.
  • A panel of SEC and national media tabbed the Vols as the preseason favorite to win the Southeastern Conference championship this season. Tyler Smith was named the preseason SEC Player of the Year by the panel and also was a first-team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches.

Tennessee Trends

  • Through the games of Dec. 13, Tennessee led the SEC in scoring (85.2 ppg) and assists (18.9 apg) while ranking third in rebounding margin (+11.0).
  • UT remains the highest-ranked Southeastern Conference team in the national polls (No. 8 AP; No. 8 Coaches). No SEC team has been ranked higher than the Vols at any point this season.
  • The Vols' bench has outscored the opponent's bench in all eight games this season.
  • Tennessee is 48-2 at Thompson-Boling Arena since the start of the 2005-06 season.
  • UT has a 35-game homecourt winning streak. The Vols' last home loss was a 78-80 decision to Kentucky in the final home game of the 2005-06 season.
  • The Vols are 26-0 in non-conference home games under Bruce Pearl.
  • Bruce Pearl is 17-9 against ranked teams while at Tennessee.
  • The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 363 consecutive games.
  • Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 76-6 when leading or tied with five minutes left in the game.
  • UT is 54-5 when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Bruce Pearl.
  • Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,428-910-2 in 100 seasons of basketball.
  • UT's 634 regular-season SEC victories rank third all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama have won more league games.
  • Tennessee is 248-86 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 the only Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally in attendance for football, men's basketball and women's basketball in the same year. The Vols turned the trick for the fifth time in 2007-08.

The Marquette Series

Tennessee trails the all-time series with Marquette 2-4, dating to 1972 ... The teams split their only two neutral-site clashes, with UT prevailing 57-56 on March 18, 1983, in a first-round NCAA Tournament game in Evansville, Ind., and Temple winning 85-74 in the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 21, 2001 ... Current NBA standout and 2008 Olympian Dwayne Wade scored 30 points during that game in Anchorage while also logging seven assists, eight rebounds and five steals in just 26 minutes of action ... Neither school has won more than two straight games in the series; in fact, the last four games have gone back and forth, with Marquette winning the most recent meeting in 2001 ... The Vols lost both meetings in Milwaukee (1972 and 1986) while splitting the two games that took place in Knoxville (1973 and 1987).

Noting Marquette

First-year MU head coach Buzz Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. He guided the Privateers to a 14-win campaign in 2006-07 before serving as an assistant coach at Marquette least season ... Williams has Marquette off to a 8-1 start this season ... Williams and Vols assistant Steve Forbes both worked under current Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M from 2004-06 ... Marquette and North Dakota State were the only two programs in the nation to feature a trio of 1,000-point scorers when this season began ... Senior guard Dominic James (11.3 ppg, 5.3 apg) is on the John R.Wooden Award watch list and earned preseason All-Big East honorable mention ... James is one of four Golden Eagles with more than 500 career assists at MU ... Marquette has had at least three players reach double figures in scoring in every game this season, and as many as five Golden Eagles have reached the 10-point mark in a single contest this year ... As a result of the offensive balance, MU is currently the only Big East program to feature three players in the top-15 in scoring in the league (through games of Dec. 3) ... Guard Wesley Matthews leads the team in scoring with 19.6 ppg, while guard Jerel McNeal averages 18.2 ppg and forward Lazar Hayward adds 16.1 ppg.

Last Clash with Marquette

Dwayne Wade scored 30 points and led a late first half and early second-half surge as Marquette defeated Tennessee 85-74 in the opening round of the Great Alaska Shootout ... The Vols held a 42-37 lead at the break, but Marquette went on a 23-6 run to start the second half ... Wade scored 12 points and handed out an assist during the stretch that put the Golden Eagles ahead for good ... Tennessee kept battling, and Vincent Yarbrough scored after an offensive rebound to pull Tennessee to within 75-65 with just under five minutes to go but the Vols could get no closer ... Marquette scored on 14 of its first 16 possessions in the second half ... Wade finished 8-of-17 from the field, made his only 3-point attempt and hit 13-of-17 free-throw attempts ... He dished out seven assists and grabbed eight rebounds ... The Vols, with only eight scholarship players available, jumped out to a 27-16 lead by hitting 11 of their first 14 shots ... The Vols certainly had the hot hand in the first half, hitting 8-of-14 shots from 3-point range ... Tennessee steadily built a lead in the first half, but Marquette closed the half by scoring 10 unanswered points as Tennessee held a 42-37 lead at the break ... Yarbrough led the Volunteers with 24 points, while Jon Higgins and Thaydeus Holden scored 11 apiece ... Brandon Crump paced UT with eight rebounds.

Smith Records Program's First Triple-Double; Earns SEC Player of the Week Honors

It took 100 seasons and 2,339 all-time games, but a Tennessee player has finally recorded the triple-double that had eluded the program for so long ... Tyler Smith needed just 26 minutes to record 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists during UT's 87-69 win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 3, 2008 ... Smith had no turnovers in the game and also added one steal while going 4-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line ... He earned his second career SEC Player of the Week award for his efforts ... Said UT coach Bruce Pearl after the game: "He's probably the most productive player I've ever coached."

Pearl Earns 400th Career Win

Bruce Pearl needed just 509 games as a collegiate head coach to record his 400th career victory, which he did Dec. 3, 2008, with an 87-69 win over UNC Asheville ... In doing so, Pearl became the sixthfastest coach ever to reach the 400-win milestone (faster than legendary coaches Phog Allen, Jim Boeheim, Dean Smith and Lou Carnesecca just to name a few) ... Pearl was the second-fastest to 400 wins among active head coaches.

Noting the Tennessee Bench

  • On average, the Tennessee bench outscores the opposition's bench by 19.4 points per game (34.9 to 15.5).
  • Tennessee non-starters have scored in double digits 11 times this season.
  • In a testament to UT's depth, in six of eight games this season at least nine different Vols have scored.
  • Chism, Prince and Williams Much-Improved at Free-Throw Line

    Returners Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince and Brian Williams each are shooting more than 10 percentage points better at the free-throw line this season compared to last:

    07-08 FT% 08-09 FT% Increase
    Brian Williams 50.0 78.6 28.6
    Wayne Chism 55.6 74.2 18.6
    J.P. Prince 55.7 70.6 14.9





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