#11/#10 Tennessee (12-3 | 5-3 SEC) at Ole Miss (8-8 | 3-6 SEC)
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 | 6:01pm CT / 7:01pm ET
Oxford, MS | The Pavilion at Ole Miss | TV: ESPN2
Oxford, MS – The 11th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers basketball team returns to action on Tuesday, February 2nd for a road contest with Ole Miss. Tipoff from The Pavilion is slated for 6:00pm CT on ESPN2.
Fans can catch Tuesday’s game on ESPN2 and online or on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch. Kevin Fitzgerald and VFL Dane Bradshaw will have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertlekamp describing the action.
Tennessee Men’s Basketball heads south Tuesday to take on Ole Miss. (UT Athletics)
Last time out, Tennessee dominated 15th-ranked Kansas, 80-61, in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The Vols were led in scoring for the third consecutive game by senior Yves Pons who scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. SEC Freshman of the Week Jaden Springer dropped in 13 points, pulled down four rebounds, and dished out a trio of assists.
The victory ended UT’s two-game losing skid to Kansas and helped the SEC earn its second victory all-time in the history of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
A victory on Tuesday would be the Vols sixth consecutive against Ole Miss, marking the longest win streak in the series for UT, since winning six in a row from 1991-96.
Tennessee Series With Ole Miss
Tennessee leads the all-time series with Ole Miss, 75-44, dating to 1924.
The Volunteers own a 27-25 edge when the series is played in Oxford.
Tennessee is riding a five-game win streak in the series, including each of the last two meetings at The Pavilion.
This is the only time these teams are slated to meet during the regular season.
No active Vol has ever played in a loss to Ole Miss. John Fulkerson was on the roster when UT lost at Ole Miss on January 17th, 2017, but he was inactive (season-ending injury in December).
A Win Would
Extend UT’s win streak over Ole Miss to six games. Tennessee hasn’t won six consecutive games vs. the Rebels since 1991-96.
On January 5th, 2015, Ole Miss grad transfer Romello White Tweeted his commitment to Tennessee, but he eventually signed with Arizona State. See note below.
Tennessee dominated #15 Kansas Saturday for an 80-61, wire-to-wire win that clinched the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for the SEC (5-4).
The victory over the Jayhawks capped a perfect 7-0 sweep of the non-conference portion of Tennessee’s schedule.
Yves Pons is averaging a team-best 16.7 points while shooting .655 over UT’s last three games.
Tennessee is No. 10 in the latest NCAA NET ratings, with wins over three teams in the top 35.
Last week, senior Yves Pons was named a top-10 finalist for the Julius Erving Award and one of 15 candidates for Naismith Men’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Vols senior John Fulkerson has been named to the Wooden Award’s Midseason Top-25 List.
Tennessee ranks sixth in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 59.4 points per game.
According to KenPom, the Vols rank second in the NCAA in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 86.6 points per 100 possessions. College teams typically average close to 70 possessions per game.
The Vols are forcing 16.1 turnovers per game while converting those turnovers into 17.9 points per game. Tennessee’s turnover margin stands at +4.8 (10th nationally).
Tennessee has forced 12 of 15 opponents to turn the ball over on 20 percent or more of their possessions.
Tennessee has allowed only one opposing player to score 20 points all season (Xavier Pinson).
Reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Yves Pons has 20 blocks through UT’s first eight SEC games. Pons has 100 blocks in his last 46 games.
About the Ole Miss Rebels
After opening the year with COVID-19 Coronavirus issues, the Rebels jumped out to a 5-1 start, but since the beginning of conference play, it has been of a mixed bag of results for Ole Miss, which owns an 8-8 overall record and a 3-6 mark in SEC play. Most recently, Ole Miss suffered back-to-back road losses to Arkansas (74-59) on Wednesday and Georgia (71-61) on Saturday.
In year No. 3 in Oxford, head coach Kermit Davis has had to develop new offensive leaders after losing Breein Tyree, who was one of the SEC’s most prolific bucket-getters a season ago.
This season, the Rebels have been reliant on senior guard Devontae Shuler. Shuler leads the team and ranks 11th in the SEC in scoring with 14.9 points per game. He’s also dishing out points nearly as efficiently as he’s scoring them, leading the team and ranking seventh among SEC players with 3.8 assists per contest.
On the defensive end, Shuler and Luis Rodriguez have combined to record 55 total steals on the year, with Rodriguez leading the team and sitting in fourth in the SEC in steals (1.8 spg). Shuler ranks seventh in the league and second on the team (1.7 spg).
On the boards, Rodriguez has been a force, pulling in a team-leading 6.4 rebounds per game. He also ranks 11th in the SEC in rebounding through 16 games. On the score sheet, Rodriguez has chipped in his fair share as Ole Miss’s fifth-leading scorer with 7.7 points per game.
Manning Way is a street on campus in Oxford named after football alumni Archie Manning. In his honor, the speed limit is 18 mph—his jersey number. After his son, Eli, starred on the gridiron at Ole Miss, the school changed the speed limit to 10 mph—Eli’s number—to honor the younger Manning.
Tennessee Vols Last Meeting With Ole Miss
A dominant offensive performance, highlighted by John Fulkerson’s double-double, resulted in a Tennessee 73-48 victory over Ole Miss on January 21st, 2020, at Thompson-Boling Arena. The win marked Rick Barnes‘ 100th victory as Tennessee’s head coach.
Fulkerson had a hot hand from the start, scoring 16 points alone in the first half—giving him the highest-scoring half of his career. The Kingsport native finished with a career-high 18 points, and 10 rebounds gave him his third career double-double.
Freshman Josiah-Jordan James surpassed his season scoring average and concluded the evening with 11 points and a game-high six assists.
Tennessee was dominant during the first half. Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis called two timeouts to try and squelch UT’s momentum, but the Vols—aided by 11 points off turnovers—maintained a double-digit lead for the final 10 minutes of the half.
The first half closed with Ole Miss scoreless for the final three minutes. After shooting just 23 percent, the Rebels trailed, 42-23, at the break.
Recently granted eligibility by the NCAA, redshirt freshman big man Uroš Plavši? received a warm welcome from a crowd of 17,031 in Thompson-Boling Arena. Plavsic netted four points in nearly 11 minutes off the bench in his home debut.
Memorable UT Vol Performances Against Ole Miss
Brandon Wharton scored 20 points, Rashard Lee added 17 and 10 rebounds, Isiah Victor poured in 16 points and C.J. Black totaled 15 and 13 rebounds as UT upset the 11th-ranked Rebels 77-67 in Knoxville on January 17th, 1998.
Gene Tormohlen grabbed 31 rebounds at Ole Miss on February 11th, 1957, to lift UT to a 98-88 win in Oxford. The 31 boards still stand as the second-best single-game effort in school history.
Carlus Groves went 11-for-12 (.917) from the floor, the fourth-best single-game average in UT annals, against the Rebels to lift Tennessee to a 98-86 win in Knoxville on February 19th, 1992.
Jeronne Maymon grabbed an incredible 10 offensive rebounds as part of an 11-point, 17-rebound effort against Ole Miss in the 2012 SEC Tournament in Nashville. Despite 21 points from Trae Golden and 15 from Skylar McBee, the Vols fell in overtime, 77-72.
Mississippi Lettermen Uncommon
Incredibly, Tennessee has had just one all-time letterman from the state of Mississippi. Sardis, Mississippi, native Torrey Harris played for the Vols from 1995-99.
Danny White Committed To Tennessee
Current Ole Miss grad transfer Romello White Tweeted the following on January 5th, 2015: Glad to say I’m committing to the University of Tennessee (orange emoji) #VolNation #truly blessed Thank you to all the coaches that recruited me (100 emoji).
White’s verbal commitment to UT came during the head coaching tenure of Donnie Tyndall, which lasted only one season (2014-15). Assistant coach Chris Shumate was White’s lead recruiter; Shumate is now the associate head coach at Georgia Southern.
Following Tyndall’s departure from Tennessee, White reopened his recruitment in April of 2015 and ended up signing with Arizona State, where he starred until enrolling at Ole Miss as a grad transfer prior to this season.
Trending: Tennessee Block Party
Tennessee is on track to finish among the top 10 nationally in block percentage for the third straight season. The Vols are blocking 15.0 percent of opponents’ two-point field-goal attempts this season.
New Athletic Director Danny White Has Hoops DNA
Tennessee’s new director of athletics, Danny White, is a former college basketball student-athlete who played at both Towson (1998-2000) and Notre Dame (2000-02).
White’s father, Kevin White, is a legendary career AD who recently announced his retirement following a long career at Duke. Danny’s older brother, Mike White, played basketball at Ole Miss and is now the head coach at Florida.
Next Up For Tennessee Men’s Basketball
The Tennessee Vols basketball team stays on the road with a Saturday night, February 6th road matchup with Kentucky. The opening tip from Rupp Arena is slated for 7:00pm CT on ESPN.
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