Tennessee (8-5, 0-1 SEC) lost its opening SEC game with LSU on Saturday 78-64. In that game the Vols were down by just one point at the half but couldn’t keep up with the Tigers in the second stanza. Guard Yves Pons and newcomer forward Santiago Vescovi co-led the Vols in scoring, each with 18 points. The Vols leading scorer so far this season is guard Lamonte Turner (12.3 ppg). The Vols have three other players that average in double figures. This does not include Santiago who technically averages 18 points per game in one game played for the Vols. The 2019-20 Tennessee team is way down in scoring points from last season. The Vols hung an average of 82 points a game last season. This season that is down to just under 70 points a game. While the Vols aren’t as offensively potent as last season, they can still play outstanding defense and are currently holding opponents to less than 60 points a game.
On Saturday Missouri (8-5, 0-1 SEC) opened its 2019-20 SEC schedule with a 71-59 loss at Kentucky. In that game Mizzou trailed by three at the half before ultimately losing in the second half. Dru Smith led the Tigers with 11 points. No other Missouri player scored in double figures. For the season, the Tigers are 12th in the SEC in scoring averaging just 67.3 points per game. Only one player other than the aforementioned Smith, averages more than 10 points a game. Simply put, the Tigers have trouble putting the ball in the hoop. They are 12th in the conference in field goal percentage and 11th in three point shooting percentage. They can make shots at the line though (73.9%). Mizzou basketball’s strength is defense. The Tigers allow just 56 points a game so far and did a fairly good job defending UK’s one and dones at Rupp Arena on Saturday.
This game on Tuesday will be a good indicator as to how far Tennessee has dropped from last season after losing Grant Williams and Andrew Bone. This one will likely be a defensive battle. These two teams are the top two teams in defense in the SEC. Prediction is a tossup game so you go with the home team.