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Tennessee Vols take on South Carolina at Thompson-Boling Area Wednesday

 

Tennessee (8-7, 1-2 SEC) vs. South Carolina (12-3, 2-0 SEC)

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 | 5:31pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville TN – Tennessee takes on South Carolina at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 5:30pm CT on SEC Network.

The Vols (8-7, 1-2 SEC) come into Wednesday’s game looking to snap a two-game SEC skid, having suffered setbacks against Arkansas and No. 23 Florida last week.

Senior Robert Hubbs III continues to lead UT offensively, averaging 14.7 ppg to go along with 4.7 rpg — the second-best mark on the team.

Tennessee and South Carolina tip off at 5:30pm CT on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. (Tennessee Athletics Department)

Tennessee and South Carolina tip off at 5:30pm CT on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. (Tennessee Athletics Department)

Both Detrick Mostella and Grant Williams are also averaging double figures, with each putting up 10.5 ppg.

South Carolina (12-3, 2-0 SEC) picked up two wins last week to open SEC play, going on the road to defeat Georgia and picking up a home win over Texas A&M.

The Series

  • Overall: Tennessee leads, 42-25
  • In Knoxville: UT leads, 25-8
  • In Columbia: SC leads, 15-14
  • Neutral Sites: UT leads, 3-2
  • Current Streak: South Carolina has won one
  • Last Meeting: South Carolina won, 84-58, in Columbia 2/24/16
  • Rick Barnes vs. South Carolina: 6-1
  • Rick Barnes vs. Frank Martin: Martin leads, 5-4

A Win Would

Prevent Tennessee’s first three-game losing streak of the season.

Give the Vols 13 victories in their last 14 home games against South Carolina (dating to 2003). UT lost a home game to the Gamecocks on March 7th, 2015.

Improve Tennessee’s record to 3-2 when it wears Smokey Grey uniforms (since 1950).

About South Carolina

South Carolina GamecocksArriving on Rocky Top on a two-game win streak, South Carolina owns a 12-3 (2-0 SEC) record under the direction of fifth-year head coach Frank Martin.

The Gamecocks are 2-1 in true road games this season, with wins at USF and Georgia and a loss at Memphis.

The Gamecocks boast the SEC’s top scoring defense, allowing just 60.0 ppg. Tennessee hasn’t scored fewer than 69 points at home this season and averages 83.9 ppg at Thompson-Boling Arena.

South Carolina also stands atop the SEC in field-goal percentage defense (.371) and 3-point field-goal defense (.286).

Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell–a player heavily recruited by a previous Tennessee coaching staff–has appeared in only nine games, but he leads the Gamecocks in scoring (18.4 ppg), 3-point percentage (.421) free-throw percentage (.833) and rebounding (7.2 rpg).

Sophomore guard P.J. Dozier leads the SEC in steals with 2.3 spg. In SEC games, Thornwell averages a league-best 5.5 spg.

In SEC play, sophomore forward Chris Silva leads the conference with an impressive .706 field-goal percentage.

South Carolina’s roster features international players from Australia, Canada, Estonia, Gabon and Senegal.

Memorable Vol Performances Against South Carolina

On December 6th, 1969, unranked Tennessee strolled into Columbia and upset the No. 1-ranked Gamecocks, 55-54, thanks to 20 points from Jimmy England, and double-doubles by Don Johnson (18 pts, 12 rebs) and Bobby Croft (12 pts, 13 rebs).

A two-overtime thriller in Columbia saw South Carolina pull out a 111-107 win on February 10th, 1993, despite 20-point efforts from Allan Houston (29), Lang Wiseman (26) and Corey Allen (22).

Wayne Chism scored 23 points, JaJuan Smith added 19 and Tyler Smith had 13, but it was Chris Lofton’s 25-footer with 12.0 seconds remaining that lifted the Vols to an 89-87 win over South Carolina in the 2008 SEC Tournament in Atlanta on March 14th, 2008.

2011 first-team All-SEC performer Scotty Hopson had a bright career against South Carolina, owning a sterling 6-0 record against the Gamecocks. Hopson threw down a posterizing dunk in the 2011 Knoxville win that placed fourth in the CBS Dunk of the Year Contest.

Last Meeting With South Carolina

Behind an offensive showcase and dominant night in the paint, South Carolina avoided a regular-season sweep, defeating Tennessee, 84-58, on February 24th, 2016, at Colonial Life Arena.

South Carolina’s 42-14 scoring advantage in the paint gave the Gamecocks their most conference wins since 2009, while Tennessee continued its struggles away from home.

Devon Baulkman paced the Vols with 19 points, shooting 7-of-15 from the field and 5-of-10 from 3-point range. His seven made field goals tied a career high. Shembari Phillips scored 16, while Armani Moore added 10.

South Carolina shot 52 percent from the field on 32-of-61 shooting. The Vols were held to 35 percent shooting, going 22-of-63.

Trailing by 25 in the second half, the Vols chipped away at South Carolina’s lead, going on a 14-2 run midway through the second half to cut the deficit to 13 at 61-48 with 9:20 remaining.

South Carolina’s offense hit on all cylinders in the opening half, shooting 59 percent (19-of-32).

Despite falling in an 11-2 hole to open the game, Tennessee shot at a high clip in the early stages, beginning 11-of-17 (65 percent) from the field. However, the South Carolina zone stymied the Vols in the latter portion of the half and held Tennessee to 2-of-11 shooting to end the half.

Phillips set career highs in points and field-goals made, totaling 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

South Carolina’s Duane Notice led the Gamecocks in scoring with 17 points.

Bowden, Keita Were Prep School Teammates Last Year

At this time last year, Tennessee freshman Jordan Bowden and South Carolina freshman Sedee Keita were teammates at 22 Feet Academy of Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, South Carolina.

Mississippi State freshman guard Eli Wright also was a member of that team.

Former Big 12 Rivals Barnes, Martin Now Under SEC Banner

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes and South Carolina headman Frank Martin meet for the 10th time as conference rivals Saturday, but just the third time under the SEC banner.

The two squared off seven times as coaches in the Big 12 Conference, when Barnes was with Texas and Martin was at the helm at Kansas State.

Martin owns a 5-4 edge in head-to-head meetings.

The 50-year-old Martin went 117-54 in five seasons at Kansas State, taking his 2009-10 squad to the Elite Eight and winning the Big 12 Coach of the Year award that same season. Barnes was one of the top coaches in the Big 12 during his 17-year tenure at Texas, winning four Big 12 Coach of the Year awards.

Interestingly, the Vols host Martin’s old Kansas State program later this month as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge (January 28th).

Martin accepted the head coaching position at South Carolina in 2012 and owns an 82-66 record in Columbia.

Vols Donning The Smokey Greys

For the first time this season–and just the fifth time since 1950–Tennessee will wear Smokey Grey uniforms Wednesday vs. South Carolina.

For portions of the program’s first 40 seasons, black and grey were staples of Tennessee’s basketball uniform color palette.

Date Opponent Result Site
March 15, 2014 vs. No. 1 Florida L, 49-56 Atlanta
Jan. 6, 2016 Florida W, 83-69 Knoxville
Feb. 20, 2016 LSU W, 81-65 Knoxville
March 5, 2016 Ole Miss L, 60-83 Knoxville

Bowden On Target

Jordan Bowden’s .416 field-goal percentage ranks fifth among SEC freshmen guards who have at least 100 attempts.

A starter in each of UT’s last 14 games, Bowden scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting Saturday at Florida. It was his fifth game of 10+ points this season.

Double-Doubles Off The Bench

In somewhat of an oddity, Tennessee’s two double-double performances this season have both come from players who were not in the starting lineup.

Admiral Schofield came off the bench Saturday at Florida to post 18 point and 10 rebounds, and freshman John Fulkerson (currently sidelined due to injury) came off the bench in Maui to log 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Prior to this season, each of Tennessee’s last 31 double-doubles were recorded by starters, dating to January 2014.

Up Next for UT Vols

The Vols are back on the road this weekend, but will remain in the state of Tennessee as they travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Saturday night (7:30pm CT, SEC Network).

UT went 1-2 against its in-state, conference rival last season with its lone win coming as a 67-65 victory on the second day of the 2016 SEC Tournament.


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