Tennessee will travelling to the state of Washington for the first time in school history when the Vols meet Gonzaga in the Comcast Battle In Seattle at 1 p.m. (PST) Dec. 29 at KeyArena.
The Vols will be playing their final game during the month of December, a month that has been spent primarily on the road. Four of UT’s five December games been away from Thompson-Boling Arena. In fact, the Vols are in the middle of a 39-day period in which they play just one game in Knoxville.
UT stretched its winning streak to six games with an 82-75 victory at Xavier on Dec. 22. The Vols recorded three steals and outrebounded the Musketeers 6-0 while going on a 13-2 run down the stretch for the come-from-behind win. J.P. Prince scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Vols in the victory. Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism each added 12 points.
Tennessee has won 11 of its first 12 games for the second time in three seasons under Bruce Pearl. Pearl’s 2005-06 squad also won 11 of its first 12 games before suffering its second loss of the season.
Chris Lofton recently broke Allan Houston’s school record (346 from 1989-93) for career 3-pointers made against UNC Asheville. Lofton’s 350 career 3-pointers ranks second in SEC history behind only Arkansas’ Pat Bradley (366 from 1995-99) and 21st in NCAA history.
Lofton leads the Vols with 14.8 points while backcourt mate JaJuan Smith is adding 14.1 points per game. Sophomore forward Tyler Smith adds 13.1 points and is tied for the team lead with 3.3 assists. Freshman center Brian Williams has come on strong the last three games and is averaging 4.6 points and a team-best 5.6 rebounds on the season.
J.P. Prince, a sophomore transfer from Arizona, is averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his three games since fulfilling NCAA transfer requirements earlier this month. He is shooting 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field on the season and was named the SEC Player of the Week after his 23-point performance at Xavier last weekend.
A win would give UT a 12-1 record for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Tennessee is averaging 25.6 points per game off turnovers this season (309 points in 12 games).
No UT player ranks among the SEC’s top 30 in minutes played.
Three of UT’s five games away from Thompson-Boling Arena have been sold out. The only two non sell outs were at the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.
After opening the season by making just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) of his 3-pointers, Lofton has made 37.8 percent (34-of-90) over the last eight games.
Lofton’s 1,749 career points rank eighth on UT’s all-time scorers list.
Tennessee has forced an average of 22.7 turnovers off an SEC-best 12.4 steals per game this year.
UT is leading the SEC with 21.0 assists per game.
UT’s 69-point (109-40) win over Middle Tennessee is the second-largest margin of victory in school history.
The Vols tied a school record with 16 3-pointers against Middle Tennessee (11/20/07). Their 30 assists were one dime shy of tying a school record.
The 21,817 fans for Tennessee’s game against Temple (11/9/07) was the largest crowd for a home opener in the nation this year.
Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith were the highest scoring duo in the Southeastern Conference in 2006-07. Lofton averaged 20.8 points while Smith added 15.2 points.
Tennessee is 36-2 at Thompson-Boling Arena since the start of the 2005-06 season.
UT has a 23-game homecourt winning streak. The Vols’ last home loss was a 78-80 decision to Kentucky in the final home game of the 2005-06 season.
The Vols are 22-0 in non-conference home games under Bruce Pearl.
Bruce Pearl is 10-6 against ranked teams while at Tennessee.
The Vols have made at least one 3-pointer in 331 consecutive games.
Under Bruce Pearl, UT is 50-4 when leading or tied with five minutes left in the game.
UT is 38-4 when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Bruce Pearl.
UT is 31-14 (.689) when playing before crowds of 20,000 or larger at Thompson-Boling Arena. In 2006-07 the Vols were 6-0 playing in front of 20,000 fans at home.
Tennessee has an all-time record of 1,402-904-2 in its 99th season of basketball.
UT’s 620 regular season SEC victories rank third all-time in the SEC. Only Kentucky and Alabama have won more league games.
Tennessee is 236-86 in its 21st season in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols have winning home records in 18 of their 20 seasons in the facility.
Tennessee is the only Division I school ever to rank in the top five nationally in attendance for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball in the same season. The Vols turned the trick for the fourth time in 2006-07.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information
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