Volunteer State Rivals Meet in Nashville in SEC clash: Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Commodores, Memorial Gym, Nashville, TN
Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Vanderbilt -6 1/2
Current Line: Vanderbilt -5 1/2
Opening Total: 141 1/2
Current Total: 144
Money Line: Vanderbilt -240 / Tennessee +200

The Tennessee Volunteers are 5 1/2 point underdogs at in-state rival Vanderbilt Tuesday night in the SEC.

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl gets to wear his ugly orange blazer tonight that he only wears for games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Tonight, the Volunteers travel to Nashville to take on the in-state rival Commodores of Vanderbilt in a crucial SEC East battle. Tennessee is 16-11 overall and 6-6 in the SEC. Vanderbilt is 20-6 overall and 8-4 in conference. The Commodores are ranked #18 in both polls. Both teams trail first place Florida who is 10-2 in conference. Tennessee beat Vanderbilt 67-64 in Knoxville January 15. Tennessee also has wins over Missouri St, Virginia Commonwealth, Villanova, Pitt, Memphis, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn and South Carolina. The Volunteers have lost 4 of their last 5 games including a 69-63 home loss to Georgia Saturday. Tennessee has additional losses to Oakland, Charlotte, Southern Cal, Charleston, Arkansas, Florida twice, UConn, Alabama, and Kentucky. Vanderbilt has wins over Nebraska, North Carolina, Marquette, Davidson, Georgia twice, Ole Miss, St. Mary’s (CA), Mississippi St, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, and Auburn. Vanderbilt has won 5 straight games including a 77-60 win at Auburn Saturday. Vanderbilt has losses to West Virginia, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida in addition to the Tennessee loss.

Tennessee leads the overall series 109-69, but Vanderbilt is 51-36 in Nashville. Tennessee has won and covered 3 of the last 5 games, and 3 of 5 have gone under the total as well.

Tennessee center Brian Williams is listed as probable for this game with an illness. Forward Renaldo Woolridge is also probable with an ankle injury. Junior guard Scotty Hopson averages 17.4 points to lead the team, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Forward Tobias Harris averages 14.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists a game, and 1 block a game. Guard Cameron Tatum averages 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists a game.   Melvin Goins leads the team in assists with 3 a game. Goins also leads the team in steals with 1.7 a game.  Williams leads the team in rebounds with 7.7 a game. John Fields leads the team in blocks with 1.4 a game. Tennessee is outscoring opponents 71-67 on the season. The Vols are shooting  43.5% from the field and 32.2% from 3-point range. Tennessee opponents are shooting 41.2% from the field. The Vols make 67.3% of their free throws. Tennessee pulls down 38.6 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of  +4.7. They average 13.6 assists and 13.7 turnovers a game on defense. Tennessee forces 14.5 turnovers a game on defense. They average 7.3 steals and 4.1 blocks a game.

Vanderbilt forward Brad Tinsley is listed as probable versus Tennessee with an ankle injury. He hasn’t missed any games with the injury. Tinsley averages 10.8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists a game to lead the team.   Vanderbilt is outscoring opponents 78-67 on the season.  The Commodores are shooting 45.7% from the field and 39.3% from three point range. Vanderbilt is holding opponents to 40.4% shooting from the field. Vanderbilt is shooting 74.9% from the free throw line.Vanderbilt averages 38 rebounds and has a rebounding margin of +3.7. They average 13.8 assists and 13.8 turnovers a game. Vanderbilt forces 12.7 turnovers a game on defense. The Commodores average 5.3 steals and 5 blocks a game.  Sophomore guard John Jenkins leads the Commodores in scoring with 19.9 points a game. He also averages 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists a game and is shooting 42.3% from 3-point range.  Forward Jeffery Taylor averages 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and leads the team in steals with 0.9 a game. Center Festus Ezeli averages 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 2.4 a game.  Forward Lance Goulbourne averages 6.7 points and 6.8 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.5 assists a game.

These two teams are almost mirror images of each other statistically, except Vanderbilt is slightly better at scoring. Keep an eye on the injuries for both teams. Vanderbilt is the hotter team right now, and look for that momentum to continue tonight.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in 2011. Don’t miss out on any more winners this season.

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