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HomeSports#11 Tennessee Vols Basketball plays Colorado at Bridgestone Arena, Sunday

#11 Tennessee Vols Basketball plays Colorado at Bridgestone Arena, Sunday

#11 Tennessee (1-0) vs. Colorado (1-0)
Sunday, November 13th, 2022 | 1:00pm CT/2:00pm ET
Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena | TV: ESPN

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – The 11th-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team heads to the mid-state this weekend, taking on Colorado in Nashville on Sunday at 1:00pm CT inside Bridgestone Arena.

Fans can catch Sunday’s game on ESPN 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 (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (analyst) will have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp describing the action. The broadcast is also available on channel 135 or 190 on SiriusXM and channel 961 on the SiriusXM app.
Tennessee (1-0) opened its season in Knoxville Monday, defeating Tennessee Tech, 75-43. Making his Tennessee debut, graduate transfer Tyreke Key scored a game-high 17 points with four made 3-pointers, while sophomore guard Zakai Zeigler had 12 points and five assists.
Sunday’s matchup marks the final meeting of a three-game series between the Vols and Buffs. Tennessee defeated Colorado in the 2020-21 season opener in Knoxville and also won the return trip in Boulder last season. Sunday also marks the Vols’ first of three trips to the state’s capital this season—Tennessee is scheduled to play at Vanderbilt on February 8th and return a third time for the SEC Tournament in March.

The Series

Tennessee leads its all-time series with Colorado, 4-0, dating to 1980.

Sunday’s game completes the current three-game contract in this series. The Vols won in Knoxville to open the 2020-21 campaign and also knocked off the Buffs last season in Boulder. See Page 4 for a full recap of last year’s meeting.

The Volunteers are 22-12 all-time against current members of the Pac-12 Conference, while Rick Barnes is 34-23 as a head coach vs. Pac-12 opposition.

During the Barnes era, the Vols are 4-2 vs. Pac-12 teams.

Colorado head coach Tad Boyle was Tennessee’s administrative assistant/director of basketball operations under head coach Jerry Green during the 1997-98 season. That team finished 20-9 and earned an NCAA Tournament berth.

Colorado assistant coach Rick Ray was the head coach at Mississippi State from 2012-15.

Scouting Report

Sunday marks Tennessee’s first of two regular-season games away from Knoxville against Pac-12 opponents. The Vols play at Arizona on December 17th.

The Volunteers are 10-9 all-time at Bridgestone Arena.

Tennessee returns to Bridgestone Arena March 8-12 for the SEC Tournament.

The Vols were 13-1 last season when making 10 or more 3-pointers. They made 14 Monday vs. Tennessee Tech.

The Volunteers tied a Barnes-era high with 17 steals Monday vs. Tennessee Tech. Nine different Vols had a steal in the win, with Tyreke Key, Santiago Vescovi and Jahmai Mashack each recording three.

The Vols are healthy entering Sunday’s showdown after Josiah-Jordan James returned to the lineup for Monday’s opener.

Tennessee has solid depth, with nine players logging at least 10 minutes vs. the Golden Eagles.

Layup Lines

Tennessee tested itself prior to tipping off the regular season with a pair of exhibition matchups against perennial powerhouses Michigan State and Gonzaga.

The Volunteers used a dominant second half to down No. 2 Gonzaga on October 28th in Frisco, Texas, 99-80. See Page 3 for more.

Senior Santiago Vescovi and sophomore Zakai Zeigler were named to the preseason All-SEC first team by the league’s head coaches. The coaches also selected senior Josiah-Jordan James as a second-team selection. All three Vols also landed on the media’s preseason All-SEC teams.

Vescovi and Zeigler also both made the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s 50-man Naismith Trophy watch list.

After facing Colorado Sunday, UT returns home to host Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday. The Vols then depart for the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Monday, November 21st.

About the Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado defeated UC Riverside at home in its season opener on Monday, 82-66. The Buffaloes are set to play one more game—at Grambling State on Friday—before taking on Tennessee in Nashville on Sunday.

CU also defeated Nebraska in a charity exhibition on Oct. 30 at home, 72-61.

The Buffaloes finished 21-12 (12-8 Pac-12) overall last season and qualified for the NIT.

Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is in his 13th season as the Buffaloes’ head coach. During the 1997-98 season, Boyle served as an assistant at Tennessee on the staff of former Vols’ coach Jerry Green.

Boyle has compiled a 255-155 record as Colorado’s head coach. The Buffaloes have logged 23 wins over ranked opponents during his tenure.

Also on Colorado’s staff is former Mississippi State and Southeast Missouri State head coach Rick Ray. Tennessee compiled a 4-1 record against Ray during his time at Mississippi State.

Two Colorado players earned preseason All-Pac-12 recognition—junior forward Tristan da Silva (second team) and sophomore guard KJ Simpson (honorable mention).

During last season’s game against Tennessee, da Silva started and had 11 points in 34 minutes, while Simpson played 25 minutes off the bench and scored seven points.

da Silva and junior guard Nique Clifford are Colorado’s only returning starters from last season. Jabari Walker (NBA Draft), Evan Battey (graduation), and Keeshawn Barthelemy (transfer to Oregon) all departed the program following last season.

Last Season vs. Colorado

Vols true freshman Kennedy Chandler scored a career-high 27 points as No. 13 Tennessee defeated Colorado on the road on December 4th, 2021, 69-54.

The Volunteers snapped Colorado’s nine-game home win streak at CU Events Center. The Buffaloes also saw their six-game home win streak against top-25 foes halted.

Chandler shot 13-for-20 from the field in 36 minutes of action, leading the Vols in both scoring and minutes played.

In comparison to Chandler’s 13-for-20 shooting performance, Colorado’s five starters were a combined 13-for-40 from the field.

Santiago Vescovi was Tennessee’s second-leading scorer, totaling 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. John Fulkerson joined Chandler and Vescovi in double figures with 10 points, also adding six rebounds.

In his first game back after missing three games due to injury, Josiah-Jordan James logged a team-high +22 in his 26 minutes of action. James scored five points and had team-highs in both rebounds (9) and blocks (4).

After going into halftime trailing by 10, Colorado cut Tennessee’s lead to five on four separate occasions in the second half but was never able to draw closer.
When the Buffaloes cut the Vols’ lead to five for the final time at 50-45 with 8:34 remaining, James answered with a deep 3-pointer from the left wing that kickstarted a 10-2 Tennessee run. From that point, Colorado never cut its deficit to fewer than nine points.
In the first half, Tennessee shot 48 percent from the field—aided by 16 points from Chandler—and took a 34-24 lead into halftime.
Colorado was hot out of the gates, racing out to an 8-0 lead in the opening two minutes. Tennessee, however, quickly answered with an 11-2 run to take an 11-10 lead.
The Vols and Buffs went back and forth until a Chandler driving layup spurred a 14-5 Tennessee run to end the half. Chandler scored 12 of Tennessee’s points during the run. He finished the first half with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
Tennessee held Colorado to 19-for-55 (.345) shooting—the Buffaloes’ lowest field-goal percentage at home since December 12th, 2017.

Dynamic Quartet Signs With Tennessee

The Vols signed four dynamic prospects Wednesday, giving Tennessee a signing class ranked No. 8 nationally according to 247Sports and Rivals.

Those signees, set to enroll this summer, are guard Cameron Carr (Eden Prairie, Minnesota), point guard Freddie Dilione (Fayetteville, North Carolina), forward J.P. Estrella (Scarborough, Maine) and forward Cade Phillips (Jacksonville, Alabama).

Comprehensive Excellence

Tennessee’s men’s hoops squad isn’t the only team enjoying routine success on Rocky Top.
During the 2021-22 academic year, Tennessee won the SEC Men’s All-Sports Trophy and finished second in the SEC Women’s All-Sports standings. The Vols and Lady Vols captured five SEC team championships in 2021-22.

Tennessee teams currently ranked in their respective national top 25 polls include football (No. 5), women’s basketball (No. 5), men’s golf (No. 7), women’s swimming & diving (No. 7), men’s basketball (No. 11), men’s swimming & diving (No. 13), men’s cross country (No. 20) and women’s soccer (No. 22).

Next Up For UT Men’s Basketball

The Tennessee Vols basketball team returns home to take on Florida Gulf Coast in one final home game before heading to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis. The home contest against the Eagles is scheduled to tip-off at 6:00pm and set for an SEC Network+ broadcast.


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