Tennessee visits Vanderbilt on Saturday in a key SEC basketball matchup. Look inside for a preview of the game along with a prediction of the game’s final score.
By 14Powers Hoops
Team Statistical Comparison
Tennessee Scoring Leaders
Tennessee Rebounding Leaders
Vanderbilt Scoring Leaders
|Scotty Pippen Jr.||Vanderbilt||10.8||47.0||63||15|
Vanderbilt Rebounding Leaders
|Scotty Pippen Jr.||Vanderbilt||10||39||49||3.1|
|0||Davonte Gaines||G||6′-7″||178||FR||Buffalo, NY|
|1||Lamonte Turner||G||6′-2″||187||SR||Florence, AL|
|3||Drew Pember||F||6′-9″||207||FR||Knoxville, TN|
|4||Jacob Fleschman||G||6′-3″||176||JR||Austin, TX|
|5||Josiah-Jordan James||G||6′-6″||208||FR||Charleston, SC|
|10||John Fulkerson||F||6′-9″||212||JR||Kingsport, TN|
|12||Victor Bailey Jr.||G||6′-4″||186||JR||Austin, TX|
|13||Jalen Johnson||G||6′-6″||196||JR||Durham, NC|
|21||Olivier Nkamhoua||F||6′-8″||224||FR||Cumberland, MD|
|23||Jordan Bowden||G||6′-5″||193||SR||Knoxville, TN|
|30||Brock Jancek||F||6′-8″||222||SO||Knoxville, TN|
|33||Zach Kent||F||6′-11″||235||SO||Magnolia, DE|
|34||Uros Plavsic||F||7′-0″||240||FR||Chattanooga, TN|
|35||Yves Pons||G||6′-6″||215||JR||Paris, FR|
|0||Saben Lee||G||6′-2″||183||JR||Phoenix, AZ|
|1||Dylan Disu||F||6′-9″||220||FR||Pflugerville, TX|
|2||Scotty Pippen Jr.||G||6′-1″||170||FR||Los Angeles, CA|
|3||Maxwell Evans||G||6′-2″||190||JR||Houston, TX|
|4||Jordan Wright||G||6′-5″||226||FR||Baton Rouge, LA|
|5||D.J. Harvey||G||6′-6″||235||SO||Bowie, MD|
|10||Drew Weikert||G||6′-0″||170||SO||Nashville, TN|
|13||Matthew Moyer||F||6′-8″||229||JR||Gahanna, OH|
|14||Isaiah Rice||G||5′-11″||195||JR||Indianapolis, IN|
|15||Clevon Brown||F||6′-8″||232||SR||San Antonio, TX|
|20||Trace Arbuckle||G||6′-2″||170||JR||Carmel, IN|
|21||Jon Jossell||G||5′-9″||160||SR||Arcadia, OK|
|24||Aaron Nesmith||F||6′-6″||213||SO||Charleston, SC|
|42||Quentin Millora-Brown||F||6′-10″||229||FR||Lorton, VA|
|50||Ejike Obinna||F||6′-10″||243||SO||Enugu, Nigeria|
|55||Oton Jankovic||F||6′-10″||212||FR||Napa, CA|
Tennessee (10-6, 2-2 SEC) fell to Georgia 80-63 on Wednesday night in Athens. The Vols fell behind early 8-3 but were able to battle back and take a 10-8 lead with Jordan Bowden jump shot with 14:47 to play in the first half. However, Georgia would re-take the lead and extended its lead to 26-19 with 8:51 to play in the first half. With 2:36 to play in the half a Tyree Crump 3-point shot extended the Bulldog lead to 40-23. The Dogs would have a comfortable 47-28 lead at halftime. In the second half Georgia quickly extended its lead to 20 and would keep that lead or more for most of the remainder of the game. The Vols were led in scoring by Bowden with 12. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards led all scorers with 26 points. Edwards made 5 of 10 shots from 3-point range. Forward Rayshaun Hammonds added 21 points. Georgia won this game with 3-point shooting making 10 of 23 shots to Tennessee’s 6 of 26 shots. Georgia also made seven more free throws than the Vols.
Guard Jordan Bowden leads Tennessee in scoring (11.8 ppg) followed by forward John Fulkerson (11.1 ppg). Bowden is the team’s top 3-point shooting threat with 27 made 3-point shots. 6-foot-6 Josiah-Jordan James is the team’s top rebounder (5.9 rpg). Tennessee is 13th in the SEC in scoring offense (66.3 ppg) and second in the league in scoring defense (60.6 ppg). The Vols are 13th in the league in 3-point shooting accuracy (31.0%) and 13th in the conference in field goal shooting (41.9%). The Vols are also second in the conference in blocked shots (5.8 bpg) and are tied with Georgia for first assists (15.0 apg).
Vanderbilt (8-8, 0-3 SEC) was defeated by Arkansas 75-55 on Wednesday in Fayetteville. Vanderbilt, the heavy underdogs, competed well early and even led 17-14 with 11:18 remaining in the half on a Dylan Disu dunk. However, Arkansas re-took the lead at 18-17 with 9:52 remaining in the first half. In the latter part of the first half the Razorbacks would lead by as much as nine before heading to halftime on top 34-28. In the second half with 16:07 remaining the Hog lead reached double digits at 43-33 after back-to-back made 3-point shots by Isaiah Joe. Vanderbilt repeatedly left the area around the basket wide open for easy layups and dunks by the Razorbacks. Offensively, the Commodore’s conditioning appeared questionable as shooting accuracy dropped off significantly in the second half. Guard Saben Lee led Vandy in scoring with 17 points. Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt Jr. led all scorers with 30 points. Whitt was the main beneficiary of Vandy’s pathetic defense inside as all but two of his points came from field goals. Vandy hit just 12 of 22 free throws (54.5%). The Hogs were even worse from the line making just 8 of 15 (53.3%). Both teams struggled from 3-point range making 25% (5 for 20) each.
Vanderbilt recently lost its leading scorer, Aaron Nesmith, indefinitely to injury. He was the leading scorer in the SEC. With Nesmith out, Saban Lee is the team’s second leading scorer (15.8 ppg). Freshman guard Scotty Pippen Jr is the team’s second leading scorer (10.8 ppg).
The Commodores are tied at 12th with Georgia in scoring defense allowing 73.2 points a contest. Vandy is fifth in the league in scoring (75.9 ppg). The Commodores shoot well from the 3-point range (1st, 36.6%) and field goal range (4th, 45.8%). Vandy is 13th in the league in rebounding margin (-1.2) but a better sixth in turnover margin (+0.8) and assist to turnover ratio (6th, 1.0). Although the Commodores struggle at stopping opponents from scoring, they do get steals and are sixth in the SEC in that stat category (7.1 spg).
This is a rivalry game. Vandy is thin losing its top scorer and best big man. Depth is also an issue along with conditioning. Vanderbilt looked gassed against Arkansas in the second half and couldn’t throw it in the ocean. Tennessee probably wins this game. They are deeper and better coached.