Monday, December 17, 2012

Game #12 - Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Volunteers
Conference: Southeastern
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
Date: Friday, December 21th
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Series: Vols own a 6-1 record against the Cats
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV: FOX Sports South
Live Video: Vols All Access

Head Coach Cuonzo Martin's Volunteers posted a 19-15 overall record in 2011-12, and tied for second place in the Southeastern Conference final standings.  The Vols advanced to the second round of of the National Invitation Tournament.

In his second year leading Tennessee, head coach Cuonzo Martin's 2012-13 edition of the Volunteers were selected in preseason to finish fourth in the 14-team SEC by the media.  Tennessee sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes was named to the SEC’s preseason all-conference team, and senior forward Jeronne Maymon  was voted to the second team.

The Volunteers are currently 5-3 overall (plays Presbyterian on Tuesday prior to the WCU game), having played three common opponents of the Catamounts.  The Vols have a 75-68 victory over UNC Asheville, a loss by one point to  #15 Georgetown, 37-36, and a 9 point win over Wichita State, 69-60.

The Vols are led in scoring by junior guard Trae Golden (6-1 / 205) with 13.3 ppg and 3.5 rebounds per game. Golden is followed in scoring by sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes (6-8 / 270) with 11.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, which makes Stokes the leading rebounder for the Vols.

Height in the front court may become a serious match up problem for the Catamounts, as the Vols can and will play starter forward Stokes, 6-8 (270), starter forward Kenny Hall, 6-9 (230) and reserve sophomore center Yemi Makanjuola, 6-9 (250) who is averaging about 10 minutes per game.

Tennessee is averaging 62.4 points per game, hitting an average of 43% of their field goals, and averaging 4.6 three pointers per game, while holding their opponents to an average of 57.4 points.  Tennessee is scoring an average of 29.8 ppg in the paint this season, that’s 47.8 percent of the team’s total scoring.

This could be a very tough game for the Catamounts.  Offensive rebounds and points scored in the paint could be severely curtailed by Tennessee's size.  To make a game of it, the Cats will need that ability to score from the outside, the entire game.  If our long shooters go cold for prolonged stretches in the game, it will spell trouble for the Cats.

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