SCOUTING THE TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
RECORD: 21-12, 11-7 in SEC (fourth); 44th in NCAA RPI, 11th in schedule strength (per ESPN)
QUICK STATS: Tennessee is in the middle of the Southeastern Conference in scoring, ranking seventh in the 14-team league at 71.3 points per game. But the Volunteers have the league’s second-stingiest defense, allowing just 61.1 points per contest … Tennessee is to be respected on the glass. The Vols rank third in the SEC and 20th nationally with 38.8 rebounds per game, and they possess two of the league’s top three rebounders in 6-foot-8 junior Jarnell Stokes (10.3) and 6-8 senior Jeronne Maymon (8.2) … In team statistics, There isn’t much to be feared nor maligned elsewhere, as Tennessee ranks between fourth and 10th in the SEC in shooting, (44.7), free-throw percentage (71), 3-point percentage (33.6), assists (12.6), steals (5.24) and blocks (0.28). … The Volunteers boast a powerful 1-2 scoring punch. Jordan McRae, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, is fourth in the SEC with 18.6 points per game and shoots nearly 80 percent from the foul line. Inside, Stokes averages a double-double, with 14.7 points on 53 percent shooting. Don’t sleep on Maymon, who chips in 10.1 points.
ABOUT THE VOLUNTEERS: Tennessee is in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the past 10 years and for the 20th time overall. The school’s last appearance was in 2011, and it’s the first NCAA trip under head coach Cuonzo Martin, now in his third year at the school. … The Vols have never been to the Final Four and have just one Elite Eight appearance (2010). The program has reached the Sweet 16 on four other occasions, including three times since 2000. … Tennessee reached the semifinals of the SEC tournament, losing 56-49 to No. 1 Florida. The Volunteers had won their previous five contests, however, and have held their past four opponents to a mere 47.4 points per game.
QUOTABLES: Martin isn’t hiding his excitement about his defense’s performance down the stretch, saying the Volunteers are performing “the way we wanted to, the way we talked about at the beginning of the season. It’s been fun to watch.” … Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin has some cautionary words for Tennessee’s opponents: “They’re a tough, strong team. They don’t back down from anybody.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball