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HomeSports#15 Tennessee Vols Basketball hosts Tennessee Tech at Thompson-Boling Arena, Friday

#15 Tennessee Vols Basketball hosts Tennessee Tech at Thompson-Boling Arena, Friday

#15 Tennessee (3-1) vs. Tennessee Tech (2-3)
Friday, November 26th, 2:00pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | SEC Network+

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – The 15th-ranked Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team returns home for another in-state battle, as the Vols are set to take on Tennessee Tech Friday at 2:00pm CT at Thompson-Boling Arena.  

Friday’s game can streamed online through SEC Network+/WatchESPN. Visit espn.com/watch or download the ESPN app to view the game on a computer or mobile device. Andy Brock (play-by-play), Steve Hamer (analyst) and Kasey Funderburg (reporter) will have the call.
 
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp calling the action.
 
Tennessee is coming off of a two-game weekend in Connecticut at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off in which it split contests with No. 5 Villanova and No. 18 North Carolina. The Vols fell to Villanova on Saturday, 71-53, before defeating North Carolina on Sunday, 89-72.
 

Four Vols scored in double figures during the win over the Tar Heels, led by freshman Zakai Zeigler, who exploded for a career-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting—including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Zeigler also had five assists and did not commit a turnover in 28 minutes of action. After standout performances on both Saturday and Sunday, junior guard Santiago Vescovi was named to the 2021 Hall of Fame Tip-Off All-Tournament Team after averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and hitting seven total 3-pointers in UT’s two games at Mohegan Sun.
 
Sunday’s matchup is the 26th all-time between Tennessee and Tennessee Tech and the fourth of the Rick Barnes era. The Vols have claimed wins over the Golden Eagles in 2016, 2018 and 2020 under Barnes.

The Series

Tennessee leads its all-time series against Tennessee Tech 25-1, dating to 1939. All but one of those meetings took place in Knoxville. The Vols beat TTU in an NIT game in Cookeville in 1985.

Tech’s lone win against UT came on December 4th, 1996.

Tennessee owns a 62-2 record against current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Vols head coach Rick Barnes is 3-0 in his career against Tennessee Tech (all three meetings coming during his tenure on Rocky Top). Barnes is 7-0 as a head coach against OVC opposition.

Tennessee Tech sophomore CJ Gettelfinger is a Knoxville native who graduated from Grace Christian Academy.

Golden Eagles junior Jr. Clay hails from Chattanooga, where he attended The McCallie School.

About the Tennessee Volunteers

UT’s backcourt duo of Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi is averaging 30.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while shooting .458 from 3-point range.

According to KenPom, Tennessee boasts the nation’s fourth-best defensive efficiency, allowing only 88.0 points per 100 possessions.

Four different Vols have led or shared the team lead in scoring through four games.
45 percent of Tennessee’s points this season have been scored by first-year Vols (147 of 326).


Tennessee ranks 15th nationally in offensive rebounds per game, pulling down 15.5 per game.

The Vols’ 18.5 assists per game rank 25th nationally. Tennessee’s 28 assists in the win over North Carolina tied a Barnes-era high.

With an appearance Friday, John Fulkerson will tie VFL and current Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson for third place on UT’s all-time games played list (136).

Friday will be Tennessee’s 100th game as a ranked team under Rick Barnes. To date, the Vols are 74-25 as an AP Top 25 team under Barnes’ direction.

Tennessee is riding a three-game home winning streak, dating to last season.
In all four games this season, the Vols have totaled more second-chance points than their opponent.

A Win Would

Extend Tennessee’s win streak over in-state opponents to eight games.

Push the Vols’ record against in-state foes during the Barnes era to 23-5.

About the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Tennessee Tech is off to a 2-3 start through five games this season, having already faced three teams from the state of Tennessee—Memphis, Chattanooga and Lipscomb.

Just under 50 percent of the Golden Eagles’ scoring this season has come from three players—Keishawn Davidson (13.4 ppg), Mamoudou Diarra (12.2 ppg) and Jr. Clay (10.6 ppg).


Clay, a Preseason All-OVC selection, was second in the OVC in scoring last season with a 17.3 points per game average. He ranks 17th in TTU program history with 1,300 career points.

The Golden Eagles’ 2021-22 roster features five newcomer transfers from Division I schools—Diante Wood (Jacksonville/Alabama), Daniel Ramsey (Xavier), Mamoudou Diarra (Cincinnati), Caleb Christopher (Arizona State), and John Pettway (South Alabama).

Two of Tennessee Tech’s four full-time coaches played basketball in the SEC—head coach John Pelphrey at Kentucky (1988-92) and assistant coach Andrew Steele (2008-13) at Alabama. The Golden Eagles’ other two assistant coaches, Alex Fain and Blake Gray, served as student managers at Alabama before moving into full-time roles on the Crimson Tide’s staff.

Pelphrey also boasts a wealth of coaching experience in the SEC, having served as the head coach at Arkansas (2007-11), as well as an assistant coach at both Florida (1996-2002; 2011-15) and Alabama (2016-19).

Tennessee’s Last Contest Against Tennessee Tech

Six double-figure scorers and a lights-out shooting night led the 10th-ranked Tennessee basketball team to a resounding, 103-49 victory over Tennessee Tech on Dec. 18, 2020, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The 54-point win was Tennessee’s eighth-largest margin of victory in program history.

The Volunteers finished the night shooting .583 from the field (42-72), along with a highly efficient .474 (9-19) mark from 3-point range. Tennessee also tallied a 4.0 assist/turnover ratio on the night (28 assists, seven turnovers).

Freshman Jaden Springer was UT’s leading scorer, dropping 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field while pulling in six rebounds and dishing off a season-high six assists. Springer did all of this in just 22 minutes of action, logging nearly one point per minute.

Sophomore Josiah-Jordan James and senior John Fulkerson also enjoyed impactful outings, with James tallying 15 points and six rebounds and Fulkerson totaling 13 points and six boards.

Victor Bailey Jr. was the third Vol to pour in at least 15 points, scoring his 15 on 5-of-8 shooting and draining both of his attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Freshman Keon Johnson and senior Yves Pons were the fifth and sixth Vols to reach double-digit points, scoring 13 and 10, respectively.

As the opening half wore on, the Vols asserted themselves on the offensive end, finishing the half with a .583 shooting percentage (21-36) and taking a 49-22 advantage into the break.
Tennessee extended its lead to as many as 58 in the second half.

Pelphrey Keeps Showing Up

Third-year Tennessee Tech head coach John Pelphrey starred as a player at rival Kentucky from 1988-92. He was 6-2 against the Vols as a player.

Tech is the third program he’s faced Tennessee with as a head coach. His coaching record against UT stands at 2-6.

Pelphrey’s first clash against Tennessee as a head coach came on Jan. 4, 2006, when the Vols defeated his South Alabama squad, 87-69, in Knoxville.

Pelphrey joined the SEC head coaching ranks when he was tabbed to lead the Arkansas program prior to the 2007-08 campaign. During his four years with the Razorbacks, he went 2-4 against Tennessee.


He also encountered the Vols numerous times during two separate stints as an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan—first before he was hired at South Alabama, and again after he was dismissed at Arkansas.

Pelphrey worked as a TV color analyst for the SEC Network during the 2015-16 season. He called six UT games, with the Vols going 2-4 in those contests.

Prior to the 2016-17 season, Pelphrey joined Avery Johnson’s Alabama coaching staff. Tennessee owned a 2-1 advantage in that series during Pelphrey’s tenure with the Tide.
In total, Tennessee owns a 17-24 record when Pelphrey is in the building.

Vols Successful On The In-State Circuit

Tennessee has won its last seven games against in-state opponents and is 22-5 vs. in-state foes under coach Rick Barnes.

Those 22 wins include triumphs over Vanderbilt (10x), Tennessee Tech (3x), ETSU (3x), Lipscomb (twice), Chattanooga, Memphis, Tennessee State, and UT Martin.

Tennessee Vols’ Three-PG Lineup Stifled UNC

Rick Barnes deployed a new lineup that featured three-point guards during Tennessee’s convincing dismantling of North Carolina on November 21st.

The lineup featured Kennedy Chandler, Zakai Zeigler, and Santiago Vescovi along with a combination of five different forwards all 6-8 or taller.

Chandler, Zeigler, and Vescovi shared the court simultaneously for 16:50 of game time. The most effective forward combo to join the trio was John Fulkerson and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. That lineup was +7 in 8:54 together.

Barnes: “I thought the three guard line-up was very effective for us today—the tempo, the speed. One thing we’ve said all year is that we want to play at a very high tempo. We got that today with all three guys, because any one of the three can bring it, which they did.”

“I thought they did a terrific job of taking care of the basketball, probing… then when we went to our sets, they did a good job getting us into those.”

Rick Barnes’ UT Vols Pin Another Blue-Blood Pelt To The Wall

Tennessee under head coach Rick Barnes has logged several wins over traditional college basketball “blue bloods.”

The list of highly-successful programs that have suffered losses to the Vols dating to 2015-16 includes Kentucky (eight times), Kansas, Louisville, Gonzaga, Purdue and North Carolina.

This season’s win over the ranked Tar Heels was an emphatic, 17-point triumph. It was just the second time in program history that Tennessee defeated North Carolina.


Next Up For Tennessee Vols Basketball

The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back at Thompson-Boling Arena for another home contest—taking on Presbyterian on Tuesday at 6:00pm CT. The game will be televised on SEC Network.

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