The Citadel (2-2) vs. Tennessee (1-1)
Monday, Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET
Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678) . Knoxville, Tenn.
Radio: Vol Network (WGOW-FM 102.3, Chattanooga)
Series Record: Tennessee leads 4-0
Probable Citadel Starters
G-Ashton Moore, 6-0, 170, JR, (13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.0 apg)
G-Marshall Harris III, 6-1, 180, JR (9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg .667 3FG%)
G-Matt Van Scyoc, 6-6, 218, SO, (18.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg,)
F-Brian White, 6-6, 180, FR, (15.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
C-Todd Koopman 6-8, 210, FR (3.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
Key Reserves: Dylan Setzekorn (6-7, 195; SO); Quinton Marshall (6-5; 205. SO); Raemond Robinson (6-3, 190, SO)
Probable Tennessee Starters
G-Antonio Barton, 6-2, 180, SR, (11.5 ppg, 4.0 apg)
G-Jordan McRae, 6-5, 185, SR, (23.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .500 3FG%)
G-Josh Richardson, 6-6, 190, JR, (8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .600 3FG%)
F-Jeronne Maymon, 6-8, 260, SR (11.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg)
F-Jarnell Stokes, 6-8, 270, JR, (10.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg)
Key Reserves: Robert Hubbs III (6-6, 205, FR); Armani Moore (6-5, 215, SO); Darius Thompson (6-5, 180, FR); A.J. Davis (6-9, 212, FR)
The opening tip
It’ll be a quick, tournament-like turnaround for the Vols when they take on The Citadel Monday night just 48 hours after defeating USC Upstate in a hard-fought game on Saturday night.
There are no true nights off in college hoops, but the level of competition clearly comes down another notch when the Bulldogs, a squad that finished second to last in the SoCon a season ago, travel to Knoxville.
Coming into this contest at 2-2 on the year, The Citadel faces an uphill battle, especially in the paint. The freshman duo of Brian White and Todd Koopman should really struggle against Tennessee’s bruising frontcourt duo of Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes.
Both Stokes and Maymon recorded a double-double on Saturday and the tandem combined for 29 rebounds against USC Upstate. Expect the Vols to dominate on the glass again Monday night.
Can Tennessee find its shooting touch, though? The Vols are shooting just 38.6 percent from the field through two contests, while allowing opponents to knock down 46.8 percent of their shots.
UT was able to overcome that issue on Saturday thanks to strong rebounding, a good turnover ratio and some timely shots late. But poor shooting isn’t a problem the Vols want to follow them all season.
They might be able to get away with some misses on Monday, but with tougher competition coming around the corner, getting that percentage up will be important.
Finding help off the bench will be important as well. Veterans Antonio Barton, Jordan McRae, Josh Richardson, Stokes and Maymon have accounted for 124 of the team’s 137 points so far this season.
The play behind them as been inconsistent, however. Underclassmen Armani Moore, Robert Hubbs and A.J. Davis should have a chance to earn more minutes if they can step up against The Citadel.
“I think the guys like it, less practice and just play ball. [Sunday] we will ice tub, watch film, free throws, walk through and we play Monday. It won’t be a practice as far as banging up and down just more of a walk through.”
– Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin on the short turnaround between games
Tennessee is 74-6 all-time against teams from the SoCon. . The Vols are 81-30 all-time against teams from the state of South Carolina, including Saturday’s win over USC Upstate. . Tennessee’s five turnovers on Saturady were the fewest given up since 1992. . This game is affiliated with the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. The Vols will play three games in the Bahamas to complete the tournament, starting with a matchup against UTEP on Nov. 28. . The Vols are currently on a five-game, regular-season home winning streak dating back to last season.
Daniel Lewis covers University of Tennessee athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga