DePaul vs. Tennessee Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons square off with the 10th ranked Tennessee Volunteers in the semifinal round of the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands on Sunday evening.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Tennessee Volunteers – Sunday, November 22nd, 5 p.m. Central – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Game Preview

After a pair of slower-paced grinder wins over Columbia and Northern Iowa, the Blue Demons (2-0) are in for a change of pace when they face the high-octane, fast-paced Tennessee Volunteers (3-0) on Sunday night.

The 10th ranked Vols have been averaging 104 points per game after wins over Austin Peay, UNC-Asheville, and East Carolina.

Tennessee has been holding teams to an average of 56.3 points per game using what UT coach Bruce Pearl calls his "piranha-style of defense".

Ballhandling is going to have to be a key for DePaul. The Vols like to get out and press and force turnovers. In Tuesday's 124-49 win over UNC-Asheville, UT scored 49 points off of 29 turnovers. In Friday's 105-66 Paradise Jam opening round win over East Carolina, their defense forced 35 turnovers and scored 50 points off of miscues.

Needless to say, Jeremiah Kelly, Will Walker, and Mike Bizoukas are going to have to take care of the basketball in this one.

The Vols are long and athletic and have four players averaging in double figures. Tennessee is led by sophomore guard Scotty Hopson, who is averaging 22 points per game. Hopson has been red hot from behind the arc, shooting 14 of 18 from three point territory through three games. At 6-7, Hopson makes for a difficult matchup.

In Friday's rout of ECU, five UT players finished in double figures. Hopson with 25 points, senior guard Bobby Maze (15 pts.), sophomore guard Cameron Tatum (14 pts.), senior swingman Tyler Smith (13 pts.) and junior college transfer Melvin Goins (10 pts.).

Senior forward Wayne Chism leads the Vols with 6.3 rebounds per game and averages 9.7 points per contest.

Vols coach Bruce Pearl has a deep bench and will go to it often to keep his guys fresh. DePaul could be forced to play some of their walkons if the pace becomes too frenetic.

Depending on the outcome of Sunday's semifinals, the Blue Demons will take on either Purdue or St. Joseph's on Monday night.

Tennessee Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.-Exp. Hometown (Prev School)

0 Renaldo Woolridge G/F 6-8 208 So.-1L Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Harvard-Westlake HS)

1 Tyler Smith G/F 6-7 215 Sr.-2L Pulaski, Tenn. (University of Iowa)

3 Bobby Maze G 6-3 195 Sr.-1L Suitland, Md. (Hutchinson CC)

4 Wayne Chism F/C 6-9 246 Sr.-3L Jackson, Tenn. (Bolivar Central HS)

5 Emmanuel Negedu F 6-7 218 So.-1L Kaduna, Nigeria (Brewster [N.H.] Academy)

10 Michael Hubert G 6-2 203 Jr.-Sq. Hendersonville, Tenn. (UT Chattanooga)

11 Quinn Cannington G 6-4 165 Sr.-Sq. Knoxville, Tenn. (Fulton HS)

13 Skylar McBee G 6-3 190 Fr.-HS Rutledge, Tenn. (Rutledge HS)

20 Kenny Hall F 6-8 220 Fr.-HS Stone Mountain, Ga. (Redan HS)

21 Melvin Goins G 5-11 195 Jr.-Tr. San Diego, Calif. (Mt. San Jacinto [Calif.] College)

22 Steven Pearl F 6-5 232 Jr.-1L Knoxville, Tenn. (West HS)

23 Cameron Tatum G 6-6 197 So.-1L Lithonia, Ga. (The Patterson School)

24 Josh Bone G 6-3 195 Jr.-Tr. Nashville, Tenn. (Southern Illinois University)

30 J.P. Prince G 6-7 205 Sr.-2L Memphis, Tenn. (University of Arizona)

32 Scotty Hopson G 6-7 200 So.-1L Hopkinsville, Ky. (University Heights HS)

33 Brian Williams C 6-10 278 Jr.-2L Bronx, N.Y. (Harmony Community Prep)

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