Tennessee Vols hosts Georgia Tech Saturday
Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 | 12:00noon CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | SEC Network
Knoxville, TN – The Tennessee basketball program returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Georgia Tech at 12:00noon CT at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Saturday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed online through SEC Network +, available on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Darren Headrick (play-by-play), Ryan Childress (analyst) and Maddy Glab (reporter) have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to catch Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp describing the action.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased online through AllVols.com.
Tennessee (2-3) is returning from a break of over almost 10 days after closing proceedings at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational last week.
Tennessee and Georgia Tech meet for the 71st time on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena. (UT Athletics Department)
The Vols went 1-2 in the Aloha State, dropping close games to then-No. 16 Wisconsin and then-No. 13 Oregon before topping tournament host Chaminade on the event’s final day.
Detrick Mostella and Robert Hubbs III put together strong showings in Maui, averaging 16.0 and 15.3 points per game, respectively, over the three-game schedule. Mostella finished in double figures in all three games and hit seven 3-pointers. He had 22 points against Oregon, including 18 in the first half. Meanwhile, Hubbs did the bulk of his damage in the win over Chaminade, dropping 28 points — 22 of which came in the second half.
Georgia Tech (4-2) enters Saturday’s game in the midst of a three-game road swing. The Yellow Jackets dropped a 67-60 decision at Penn State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.
Freshman Josh Okogie leads Tech in scoring at 18.0 ppg while junior center Ben Lammers is averaging a double-double at 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He also leads the country with an average of 5.3 blocks per contest.
A Win Would …
Improve UT’s record vs. current members of the ACC to 106-97.
Give Rick Barnes 67 career wins against current members of the ACC (against 72 losses).
Extend Tennessee’s December home win streak to 12 games, dating to 2013.
Give the Vols wins in six of their last seven home games in the Georgia Tech series.
About Georgia Tech
There is plenty of history in this series, as these programs met annually from 1945-68 (Tech was a member of the SEC from 1932-64).
After spending the last seven seasons as the head coach at Memphis, Josh Pastner was hired to lead the Georgia Tech program in April. Pastner twice brought his Tigers to Knoxville, but the in-state series with the Vols was not renewed following the 2012-13 campaign, which marked his last visit to Thompson-Boling Arena.
Pastner led Memphis to five postseason berths—including four straight NCAA Tournament appearances—and was twice named Conference USA Coach of the Year (2010, 2013).
The Yellow Jackets enter Saturday’s contest with a 4-2 record and are in the midst of a three-game road swing. In its most recent action, Georgia Tech fell at Penn State, 67-60, Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Senior forward Quinton Stephens (13 points, 11 rebounds) and junior center Ben Lammers (12 points, 11 rebounds) each notched double-doubles in the loss.
Four Yellow Jackets average in double figures through six games this season, led by freshman guard Josh Okogie (18.0). A native of nearby Snellville, Georgia, Okogie erupted for 38 points in Georgia Tech’s 82-68 win over Tulane last Saturday. The 6-10 Lammers averages a double-double at 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game while Stephens adds 8.3 rpg to go along with his 11.2 ppg. Junior guard Tadric Jackson rounds out the quartet, averaging 12.4 ppg. Jackson scored a career-best 20 points against Southern on November 14th.
Georgia Tech ranks first in the nation in blocked shots per game, averaging 9.0 swats per game. Lammers is at the forefront of GT’s block party, notching a nation-leading 5.3 blocks per contest.
Averaging 71.8 points per game, Georgia Tech has attempted only 73 3-pointers through six games (an average of 12.2 per game). Only seven NCAA Division I programs have attempted fewer field goals from distance.
The Yellow Jackets own a rebounding margin of +3.8 and a turnover margin of –1.3 this season.
The 2016-17 roster features six newcomers, including a pair of fifth-year graduate transfers. None of Georgia Tech’s returners averaged more than six points per game last season. Tech was selected to finish 15th in the ACC preseason poll.
This game marks the second clash of a four-year, four-game contract between the Vols and Yellow Jackets.
The Volunteers fell to Tech, 69-67, last season in Atlanta (11/16/15). Tennessee will play a second game in Atlanta next season and will then host the Yellow Jackets again in 2018-19 (dates have yet to be determined).
Tennessee sophomore guard Shembari Phillips is an Atlanta native who graduated from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia, in 2015.
Tennessee also has produced two All-Americans who are Georgia natives: Reggie Johnson (Ellenwood) was a first-team All-American in 1979 and 1980; Dale Ellis (Marietta) was a first-team All-American in 1982 and 1983.
Second-year Vols assistant coach Desmond Oliver worked as an assistant at Tech rival UGA in Athens, Georgia, from 2004-09. He was on the Bulldogs staff when UGA won the 2008 SEC Tournament in Atlanta.
During Oliver’s time at UGA, the Bulldogs were 2-3 against the in-state rival Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech’s leading scorer, freshman guard Josh Okogie, who hails from Snellville, Georgia, was recruited by the Vols and took his official visit to Rocky Top the same weekend as current UT freshmen Jordan Bone and Grant Williams.
Last Meeting with Georgia Tech
Tennessee’s late charge wasn’t enough as the Vols lost at Georgia Tech, 69-67, on November 16th, 2015, at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech’s 17-3 run in the second half proved to be too much for the Vols to overcome, as Tennessee had three chances in the final 80 seconds to tie or take the lead. Devon Baulkman’s 3-pointer was just long as the buzzer sounded.
The Vols were led by Armani Moore’s 17 points. Robert Hubbs III added 13 points, while Jabari McGhee had a career-high 10 points.
After grabbing only 33 rebounds in its opener, Tennessee corralled 53 boards, led by Derek Reese’s career-high-tying 10. Four Vols had five or more rebounds, and UT grabbed 24 offensive boards.
Tennessee’s 53 rebounds were its most in a regulation game since totaling 53 vs. Auburn on January 28th, 2012 (116 games had elapsed since then).
Tennessee rattled off 11 consecutive points to take a 53-44 lead on a jumper by Kevin Punter Jr. with 14:31 left in the second half. That nine-point lead was the largest of the game.
Georgia Tech answered with a 10-0 spurt minutes later to regain a 58-55 advantage on a Nick Jacobs layup with 10:19 left in the game.
The Vols struggled with turnovers in the closing minutes, finishing with 16 on the night.
The Yellow Jackets were led by Jacobs, who had a career-high 23 points (17 in the first half). Guard Marcus Georges-Hunt tallied 17 points, while forward Charles Mitchell had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Bone Out With Left Foot Injury
Rick Barnes announced Tuesday that freshman point guard Jordan Bone is sidelined with a stress fracture in his left foot. The injury may keep Bone off the court for two to four weeks, depending on how it responds to treatment and rehabilitation.
The team’s assists leader (3.3 apg), Bone started both of UT’s games prior to the Maui Invitational.
His foot began to bother him during Maui prep once the team was in Hawai’i. He was cleared to play in UT’s game against Wisconsin but was limited to just seven minutes off the bench. He was then held out of Tennessee’s last two games in Maui.
With Bone in a walking boot, point guard minutes have been split between sophomore Shembari Phillips and freshmen Lamonté Turner and Kwe Parker. That trio has combined to average 16.0 points and 5.0 assists over the last two games.
Up Next for Tennessee Vols
Tennessee plays host to Presbyterian on Tuesday night, with tip-off set for 6:00pm CT on SEC Network +. From there, the Vols hit the road for their first true road game of the season, traveling to Chapel Hill to face No. 3 North Carolina on Sunday, December 11th.