NCAA Preview: Tennessee VolunteersPosted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009
Tennessee (#9 seed, East region, Dayton pod)
vs. Oklahoma State (#8 seed)
12:25 p.m. ET – 3/20/09
Vegas Line: Tennessee -2
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Conference: Southeastern, at-large
Coach: Bruce Pearl, 98-36 for 73.1%
08-09 Record: 21-12, 10-6
Last 12 Games: 7-5
Best Win: 78-64, @ Siena, 11-27-09
Worst Loss: 67-70, vs. Alabama, 3-8-09
Off. Efficiency Rating: 114.9; #17
Def. Efficiency Rating: 95.7; #70
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Tyler Smith – junior forward – 17.2ppg…6th in SEC – 5.9rpg…17th in SEC – 3.36apg…leads team and 8th in SEC – 75.5% FT…8th in SEC – 1.63 a/to…5th in SEC…First-Team All-SEC
Unsung Hero: Wayne Chism – junior forward – 13.8ppg…15th in SEC – 8.1rpg…5th in SEC – 71.6% FT…13th in SEC – 1.00bpg…13th in SEC
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Tyler Smith, projected #24
Key Injuries: none
Depth: 34.0%, #99
Achilles Heel: The Vols simply rely too much on Tyler Smith and their paint play as a whole. Tennessee is a very poor three-point shooting team, easily the worst in the SEC at 31.4%.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Freshman Scotty Hopson plays up to his potential and sees touches from behind the arc.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The Vols become too uni-dimensional underneath the basket, or if Tyler Smith doesn’t show up.
Last Year Invited: 2007-08 2nd round
Best NCAA Finish: NCAA Sweet 16, 2007
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a
Six Degrees to Detroit: None
Distance to First Round Site: 303 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Rocky Top
School Wishes It Could Forget: Phil Fulmer’s last few seasons in Knoxville.
Prediction: Unfortunately, I think the Vols are too reliant on post play to succeed in the postseason. The Vols also don’t seem to be playing inspired basketball right now, and I would think a second-round ousting by Pittsburgh is in order.
Major RTC stories: None
Preview written by… Kurt Wirth/SEC Hoops: The Good. The Bad. The Dirty