Tennessee Volunteers at South Carolina Gamecocks: game preview

The Tennessee Volunteers (18-10, 9-5) head south to challenge the South Carolina Gamecocks (20-7, 9-5) for the SEC East title tonight at 7:00 EST. Woo for tipoffs that aren't at 9:00 because I'm old and need my sleep. Win this one, and it will be the Vols' first streak of three wins in a row against SEC competition. Hopefully, Wayne Chism can garner more than just fouls like he did last time against the Gamecocks. On a happier note, the team seems to be loose, and shooters Scotty Hopson and Renaldo Woolridge have recently been both gettting better and getting humbled by coach Jason Shay:

"How about a game of Pig?'' Shay offered, referring to an abbreviated game of ``Horse'' beyond the 3-point line.

Woolridge, a fun-loving freshman with an infectious smile and serious 3-point range, readily agreed.

Hopson, playing with more confidence at this stage of the season than ever, smiled and rubbed his hands together, awaiting the chance to beat his coach.

I yelled out to the players I was gonna blog about it.

Hopson smiled:"Griff's gonna write about it huh?''

That seemed fine with them.

But then Shay won the first game. And the second game. And the third game.

The players laughed through the first loss.

They tried to intimidate Shay with trash talk in the second game - Shay talked trash back, much to their disbelief and amusement, at one point running down the court after making a shot with his hands held up.

"He's out of shape,'' one of the freshman teased Shay.

"Yeah?'' Shay replied, "What's your excuse?''

Gotta love that.

Observations from the stats

South Carolina simply looks to be the better team on paper after nearly a season's worth of play. Tennessee's better from the free throw line, at rebounding and distributing the ball, and protecting the ball, but other than that, the Gamecocks just look to have the advantage in most facets of the game.

Gamecock players to watch

Devan Downey is averaging 20 points, four assists, and three steals per game. He's an undersized, speedy guard, which should be about all you need to know this season. Yeah, we did hold him to four points in the first half when we played earlier in the season, but he finished with his average.

Other Stuff

KenPom's prediction: Tennessee loses 78-81, with only a 40% chance of winning.

The line ups

Tennessee
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
C 4 Wayne Chism
6-9
242
Jr.
13.3
8.1
1.3
F 1 Tyler Smith
6-7
215
Jr.
17.1
5.8
3.4
G 30 J.P. Prince
6-7
205
Jr.
9.5
3.9
3.2
G 32 Scotty Hopson
6-7
185
Fr.
9.5
2.5
1.2
G 3 Bobby Maze
6-2
185
Jr.
8.6
2.5
3.1
South Carolina
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
F/C 24 Mike Holmes
6-7
230
So.
11.0
7.7
0.4
F 21 Dominique Archie
6-7
200
Jr.
11.3
6.6
0.9
F 44 Sam Muldrow
6-9
216
So.
6.0
5.4
0.1
G 20 Zam Fredrick
6-0
203
Sr.
15.5
2.9
1.8
G 2 Devan Downey
5-9
175
Jr.
20.2
2.7
4.4

The stats

KEY STATS COMPARISON
Tennessee logo
South Carolina logo
Category
Rank
Actual
Rank
Actual
Scoring Offense
26
78.4
12
79.9
Scoring Defense
282
72.8
252
71.1
Scoring Margin
75
5.7
41
8.7
Field-Goal Percentage
87
45.6
84
45.7
Field-Goal Percentage Defense
234
44.5
182
43.6
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game
130
6.6
93
7.0
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage
250
31.4
55
37.3
Three Pt FG Defense
168
34.1
84
32.7
Free-Throw Percentage
206
67.8
301
63.5
Rebound Margin
64
3.3
240
-1.5
Assists Per Game
20
16.2
289
11.1
Assist Turnover Ratio
27
1.22
267
0.8
Blocked Shots Per Game
112
3.6
39
4.7
Steals Per Game
150
6.8
9
9.5
Turnovers Per Game
111
13.2
169
14.0
Turnover Margin
66
2.0
3
5.9
Personal Fouls Per Game
226
19.2
188
18.6

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH Tennessee logo
South Carolina logo
Category Player Rank Actual Player Rank Actual
Points PG       Devan Downey
24
20.2
FG%        
3-Point FG PG        
3-Point FG%        
FT %        
Rebounds PG Wayne Chism
71
8.1
Mike Holmes
93
7.7
Assists PG  
Devan Downey
94
4.4
Blocks PG  
 
Steals PG  
Devan Downey
4
3.1
Assist-TO
Ratio
Bobby Maze
73
1.96
 
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Join Rocky Top Talk

You must be a member of Rocky Top Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rocky Top Talk. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker