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Tennessee at Georgia Tech Preview

The Vols and Yellow Jackets meet in game two for a pair of squads looking to learn more about themselves.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

We were promised excitement, and the Vols delivered a little more than we were bargaining for against UNC Asheville before pulling out an 82-78 win.  The competition and the answers will get an upgrade tonight, as Tennessee heads to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.  The last time we played these guys in Atlanta, this happened:

One game in, we don't appear to have any Jon Higginses on this team:  the Vols shot 4 of 16 from behind the arc against Asheville.  Fortunately the Yellow Jackets don't appear to have too many either.  Last year Georgia Tech finished 349th of 351 teams in three point shooting at a robust 26.7%.  To help solve this problem they brought in Virginia Tech transfer guard Adam Smith, a 42.4% three point shooter who got off to a good start by knocking down three of six in GT's opening blowout of Cornell 116-81.  Georgia Tech's lead was just two with 16 minutes to play, but they went on an incredible 32-3 run to put things well out of reach.

The Yellow Jackets shot 60.3% from the floor with assists on 30 of 47 made baskets to just six turnovers.  Smith is joined by senior Marcus Georges-Hunt, 6'8" Maryland transfer Charles Mitchell (10 of 11 from the floor against Cornell), and 6'8" Alabama transfer Nick Jacobs.  Check out the preview at From The Rumble Seat.

A team full of transfers is hard to get a read on, but they certainly look more capable than any of Brian Gregory's previous squads.  Last year GT got off to a nice 9-3 start, including wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt, then opened ACC play 0-7 en route to a 12-19 (3-15) finish.  Now in his fifth year in Atlanta, Gregory has never finished better than one game over .500 and never better than 6-12 in conference.

We're making nothing but wild assumptions about everyone at this point, but the Vols will have to be stronger in post defense and better from the arc to steal a win on the road here.  The second test for Rick Barnes' squad begins at 7:00 PM ET tonight on ESPNU.