Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers: game preview

The 12-5 Tennessee Volunteers return home with a nice Commodore pelt and prepare to host John Calipari and the 15-3 Memphis Tigers. Memphis isn't perfect this year like they were when these two teams met last year, but the Vols aren't quite Pearlfect, either. Regardless, the teams do appear to be evenly matched and this week's Record of Wrongs figures to be lengthy, so it should be an exciting time on Saturday.

Observations from the stats

Something's got to give, part II. As was the case with Vandy, the Vols' nationally ranked scoring offense figures to be tested by a nationally ranked scoring defense. The Tigers are really good at all sorts of defensivey things, including field goal and three-point percentage defense, blocks, and steals, but fortunately, they don't shoot all that well from the field, and they appear to be no better at hitting three-pointers as do our guys.

Memphis players to watch

Tyreke Evans. Dude's sneaky as Longfellow Deeds' foot-fetishin' butler, ranking 13th in the nation in steals. He's also averaging 16.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. And he's a guard, so expect a career day for him. It's the law.

Shawn Taggart. Taggart's the Tiger's shot-blocker, and he's averaging almost two rejects a game. He also averages ten points and seven boards per contest.

Other Stuff

KenPom's prediction: Memphis wins 78-76, with the Vols having a 43% chance of winning.

Bullets!

  • John Calipari is the devil. Or has enough in common with the devil to be mistaken for him at The Kroger.
  • Under Bruce Pearl, Tennessee is 2-1 record against Memphis and 12-1 against in-state, non-conference opponents. We're 28-1 in non-conference home games during Pearl’s tenure.
  • Tennessee's bench has outscored its opponents bench 469-280 (27.6 to 16.5 ppg) this season. Chism coming off the bench against Vandy Tuesday night resulted in a monster game from Wheezy that started with two three-pointers. Does he come off the bench again tomorrow? I doubt it for some reason.
  • The teams' respective January opponents:

    Memphis logo
    Tennessee logo
    Lamar at Kansas
    Marshall Gonzaga
    at UCF at Georgia
    at Tulsa Kentucky
    UAB South Carolina
    Rice at Vanderbilt
    at Tennessee Memphis
    at East Carolina LSU
    Houston Florida

Anyway, on to the stats:

KEY STATS COMPARISON
Tennessee logo
Memphis logo
Category
Rank
Actual
Rank
Actual
Scoring Offense
7
83.4
45
77.2
Scoring Defense
310
76.3
54
61.8
Scoring Margin
81
7.1
11
15.5
Field-Goal Percentage
91
45.7
179
43.5
Field-Goal Percentage Defense
238
44.4
9
37.2
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game
141
6.6
177
6.2
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage
264
30.3
244
31.2
Three Pt FG Defense
280
0.366
8
0.285
Free-Throw Percentage
145
69.3
261
65.2
Rebound Margin
20
7.6
63
4.5
Assists Per Game
17
16.9
121
14.1
Assist Turnover Ratio
60
1.13
81
1.07
Blocked Shots Per Game
98
3.9
6
6.8
Steals Per Game
141
7.1
10
9.7
Turnovers Per Game
223
15.0
94
13.2
Turnover Margin
155
0.4
16
4.4
Personal Fouls Per Game
296
20.8
223
19.4

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH Tennessee logo
Memphis logo
Category Player Rank Actual Player Rank Actual
Points PG Tyler Smith
68
17.9
     
FG%  
     
3-Point FG PG  
     
3-Point FG%  
     
FT %  
     
Rebounds PG Wayne Chism
42
9.0
     
Assists PG  
     
Blocks PG  
Shawn Taggart
68
1.8
Steals PG  
Tyreke Evans
13
2.6
Assist-TO
Ratio
Bobby Maze
95
1.94
Antonio Anderson
70
2.06
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