#22 Tennessee (14-6 | 5-3 SEC) vs. Texas A&M (15-6 | 4-4 SEC)
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 | 6:00pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: SEC Network
Knoxville, TN – The 22nd-ranked Tennessee basketball team is back home Tuesday, taking on Texas A&M inside Thompson-Boling Arena at 6:00pm CT.
Fans can catch Tuesday’s game on SEC Network and online or on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch. Tom Hart (play-by-play), Dane Bradshaw (analysis) and Alyssa Lang (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. The broadcast is also available on channel 81 on Sirius, SiriusXM and the SiriusXM app.
Tennessee’s run to get back into the game came largely thanks to the efforts of Zakai Zeigler and Josiah-Jordan James on the offensive end. The duo tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Tuesday marks the lone regular season matchup between Tennessee and Texas A&M this season. The Vols have won four of the last five against the Aggies, including last season’s meeting in College Station.
Tennessee leads its all-time series with Texas A&M, 9-6, dating to 1951. The Aggies joined the SEC for the 2012-13 season.
The programs are deadlocked at 4-4 when this series is contested in Knoxville.
Tuesday marks this season’s lone regular-season meeting between the Volunteers and Aggies.
The UT Vols have already faced Texas Tech and Texas this season.
Rick Barnes once interviewed Aggies head coach Buzz Williams for an assistant coach position during Barnes’ tenure as the head coach at Texas.
Tennessee senior Victor Bailey Jr. was born in Dallas and grew up in Austin, Texas. He graduated from McNeil High School in Austin in 2017.
In two games vs. teams from the state of Texas this season, the Vols average just 51.5 points while allowing 54.5 points—very low-scoring affairs.
Layup Lines – Team
The Volunteers have yet to suffer back-to-back losses this season.
Tennessee ranks fifth nationally in average home attendance (17,234) and is a perfect 11-0 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee owns a +22.5 scoring margin at home this season (79.4 ppg to 56.8 ppg).
Tennessee stands at No. 12 in the NCAA’s latest NET ratings. Each of UT’s six losses are Quad 1.
Tennessee ranks 17th nationally on the NCAA’s official “toughest schedule” metric.
According to KenPom, the Vols rank fifth in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 87.0 points per 100 possessions.
The Vols rank among the Division I top 15 in steals per game (9.9, 10th), turnover margin (+5.0, 11th) and turnovers forced per game (17.7, 11th).
Tennessee is undefeated (5-0) when Alyssa Lang is working the game as the courtside reporter.
Layup Lines – Players
Santiago Vescovi has increased his team-leading 14.0 ppg scoring average to 16.4 ppg in SEC play.
Vescovi’s 3.63 3-point makes per game during SEC play lead the league.
Naismith Defensive Player of the Year candidate Kennedy Chandler’s 2.26 steals per game rank 15th nationally and second among all Division I true freshmen.
Over Tennessee’s last four games, true freshman Zakai Zeigler is averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game.
The SEC record for career games played is 152, held by Kentucky’s Darius Miller (2008-12). John Fulkerson is closing in, having now appeared in a Tennessee-record 150 career games.
About The Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M (15-6, 4-4 SEC) has dropped four straight games after racing out to a 15-2 (4-0 SEC) start.
The Aggies’ four straight losses have come by an average of 6.5 points, with two coming to ranked teams (vs. No. 12 Kentucky, at No. 19 LSU).
Texas A&M posted an 11-2 record in non-conference play, yet recorded just one win across Quadrants 1 and 2.
As of January 31st, Texas A&M ranked No. 65 in the NET ratings.
The Aggies’ roster features five Division I transfers that are in their first seasons at Texas A&M: Javonte Brown (UConn), Henry Coleman III (Duke), Ethan Henderson (Arkansas), Tyrece Radford (Virginia Tech) and Marcus Williams (Wyoming).
Jalen Johnson also transferred to Texas A&M from Mississippi State but tore his ACL in October and is out for the season.
Coleman, who appeared in 19 games last season at Duke, is Texas A&M’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. Coleman is averaging 14.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in SEC play. He’s coming off a career-high 15 rebounds on Saturday against South Carolina.
Quenton Jackson, Texas A&M’s leading scorer, has scored in double figures in three consecutive games and in 14 games this season. Jackson is the Aggies’ leading scorer despite ranking fifth on the team in minutes per game.
Texas A&M leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 18.1 turnovers forced per game. The Aggies also rank sixth in the nation and second in the SEC with 10.5 steals per game.
Tennessee’s Last Game Against Texas A&M
A career-high 23 points from Santiago Vescovi and a smothering defensive display propelled ninth-ranked Tennessee past Texas A&M, 68-54, on Jan. 9, 2021, at Reed Arena.
Tennessee held Texas A&M to 34 percent shooting from the field (16-of-47) while converting on nearly 60 percent of its own field-goal attempts (27-of-46).
The Vols’ .587 FG percentage was a season-best.
Vescovi’s 23 points came on a career-high eight made field goals and a career-high-tying six made attempts from 3-point range. Vescovi also reeled in five rebounds, dished off three assists, and recorded a pair of steals.
John Fulkerson scored 11 points, pulled in five boards, and blocked three shots for the second consecutive contest.
Vols freshman Jaden Springer made his first career start and posted 10 points and a season-high-tying six assists.
Josiah-Jordan James totaled two rebounds, two steals, and five assists with no turnovers.
The opening eight minutes were highlighted by Vescovi’s hot shooting, as he knocked down his first four attempts from 3-point range to help give UT a 16-9 advantage at the under-12 media break.
The Vols maintained control for the remainder of the half, never relinquishing the lead and taking a 37-30 lead into the locker room.
Tennessee used its stifling defense to fend off A&M through the duration of the second half, stretching its lead to as many as 18 before walking away with the 68-54 triumph.
Savion Flagg hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points to lead the Aggies.
Barnes Very Familiar With Texas A&M
As a head coach, Rick Barnes has faced Texas A&M 38 times, compiling a 29-9 (.763) record.
His Texas teams went 23-7 vs. the Aggies from 1999-2015, and he also led Clemson to a 2-0 record against A&M in the mid-90s.
The only teams Barnes has faced more than the Aggies are Oklahoma (41 meetings), Oklahoma State (40), and Baylor (39).
Memorable Tennessee Performances Against Texas A&M
Grant Williams (now with the NBA’s Boston Celtics) tied Tennessee’s all-time, single-game record for blocked shots with six in UT’s 2018 win over the Aggies in College Station. He also added 12 points and five rebounds in the victory.
In the longest game in Tennessee basketball history, the Vols posted an epic 93-85 four-overtime win at Texas A&M on February 23rd, 2013, in the first game between the teams as conference foes. Trae Golden tallied 32 points for the Vols, while Jarnell Stokes totaled 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Jordan McRae scored 23.
Tony White posted the highest points total by a Vol in the series when he scored 34 vs. the Aggies in an 88-70 UT home win on December 7th, 1985.
Several statistical differences stand out in a comparison of Tennessee’s wins vs. its losses.
WINS STATISTIC LOSSES
78.5 Points Per Game 61.7
.367 3-Point Percentage .248
19.4 Assists Per Game 10.5
+5.8 Rebound Margin -3.8
+7.1 Turnover Margin -0.2
Chandler Up For Defensive Honors
True freshman point guard Kennedy Chandler is one of 15 names on the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list. He is also among 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
JoJo Dailing It In From Deep
Junior wing Josiah-Jordan James has seen a spike in his 3-point shooting over the last three weeks, as close to half of his 3-point makes this season—11 of 29—have come in his last six games.
Through his first 11 appearances this season, James was shooting 22 percent from deep (14 of 63). His accuracy boost over the last six games has elevated his season 3-point percentage by five points (.272).
SPAN 3FGs PCT. PPG
Through Jan. 8 14-63 .222 6.3
Last six games 11-29 .379 8.5
Next Up For UT Men’s Basketball
The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back on the road, traveling to Columbia, South Carolina, to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Tip-off is set for 12:00pm CT on CBS.