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Woo for Juanny! Tennessee Volunteers 93, Arkansas Razorbacks 71

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Arkansas Logo
Tennessee Logo
71
Points
93
23/59 - 39%
Field Goals
29/60 - 48%
7/18 - 39%
3-Point FGs
8/18 - 44%
18/29 - 62%
Free Throws
27/37 - 73%
36 (13/23)
Rebounds (Off-Def)
38 (10/28)
14
1st Half Fouls
13
14
2nd Half Fouls
9
28
Total Fouls
22
2
Steals
7
2
Blocks
4
17
Assists
17
16
Turnovers
12
17 / 16
Assist/Turnover
17 / 12
31
Bench Points
19
9
Second Chance Points
16
6
Points Off Turnovers
19

It turned out not to be close at all. Arkansas had been riding high, owning a streak of four, blowing out a third of their opponents, but last night they rode into Thompson-Boling Arena, and nothing good happens to non-paying visitors to TBA. The Vols outscored, outshot, outrebounded, outstole, outhustled, and, yes, even outrebounded the big boys from across the way.

Chris Lofton didn't have the best night. He went 2-8 (25%) from the field and 0-3 from beyond the arc.  Nor did J.P. Prince, whose only stats include fifteen minutes and three fouls. Ramar Smith didn't have that great of a game, either. He got six points in 19 minutes, shot 28.6%, and got twos in rebounds, assists, turnovers, and fouls.

Tyler Smith, Wayne Chism, and Duke Crews had decent games, though. T. went 5-8 and 5-6 from the field and the free throw line respectively to put 15 points on the NASCAR Chicken Bucket, Chism put up 15 points, hitting 4-7 field goals, 6-7 free throws, and 1-3 threes, and Duke Crews added 11 points on 4-5 shooting from the field and 3-4 shooting from the stripe. Crews also had 11 rebounds. We really missed him when he was unavailable earlier this season.

But no, this evening belonged to JaJuan Smith:

Players
MIN
PTS
Shooting
Rebounds
AS
ST
BK
TO
PF
FG
FG%
FT
FT%
3PT
3PT%
O
D
T
J. Smith (G)
24
32
9-13
69.2
8-11
72.7
6-6
100
1
3
4
4
1
0
3
2

 

How the basket looks through Juanny's eyes.
Image credit: leeroy09481

Beautiful. 9-13 from the floor, 8-11 from the line, and a perfect 100% three-point shooting percentage. And it's not like he only tried one or two, either. The man hit all six of his attempts.

And that's just shooting the ball. Juanny also had four assists and four rebounds, and, as always, he was an Absolute Pest on defense, grabbing one steal, forcing three turnovers, and getting into the Hogs' passing lanes and his hands on passes all night.

I said last night in the middle of all of this that I thought JaJuan deserved some serious consideration for most valuable player status. Yes, we have some absolutely great players, including one of history's best three-point shooters and the ultra-athletic Tyler Smith. Ramar Smith, Wayne Chism, and Duke Crews are all fantastic players as well. But nobody makes this team go like JaJuan. He's the most consistently excellent guy on our team.

When television announcers (and, shoot, us fans, too) have talked about JaJuan this or any other season, they look at their notes and diligently read them. "JaJuan Smith is a former walk-on, and he's playing as well as the players who were lured here with scholarships." Most comments about JaJuan are tinged with a feeling that he is an overachiever.

It's time to get our nose out of the notes and pay attention to what's really happening. JaJuan Smith is no longer that guy who's surprising everyone.

JaJuan Smith is a star.