Basketball Preview: Georgia vs. Tennessee

KNOXVILLE - Josh Kendall takes a look at Georgia's game with Tennessee.

Georgia (13-6, 5-2 SEC) vs. Tennessee (14-7, 2-4 SEC)

Time/place: 7:30 p.m./Knoxville, Tenn.

Broadcast: No television, 940-AM

About Tennessee: Junior guard JaJuan Smith is the highest scoring Volunteer expected to play. He averages 15.4 points per game. Tennessee's leading scorer, guard Chris Lofton, who's also the SEC's leading scorer, is doubtful due to an ankle injury. Lofton averages 21.5 points per game. . The Volunteers lead the league in steals (9.57) and turnover margin (plus-3.90). Tennessee is second in the league in scoring (81.2 ppg) but last in scoring defense (74.9 ppg allowed).

About Georgia: The Bulldogs are seven games over .500 for the first time in the Dennis Felton era. … Levi Stukes set Georgia's career record for 3-pointers attempted (589) Sunday against LSU. He broke the record of 583 set by D.A. Layne from 1998-2001. Stukes needs eight more made 3-pointers to break Layne's record of 231 in that category. Georgia has outrebounded six of its seven SEC opponents despite having just one player taller than 6-10. Last year, the Bulldogs outrebounded just one opponent. Georgia is No. 12 in the nation in rebounding margin (plus-7.2).

Scouting report: Georgia's improved rebounding prowess is one of the things that worries Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl. The Volunteers are 11th in the league in rebounding margin at minus-0.7. The Bulldogs actually make Tennessee look small in the post. With athletic veteran Major Wingate dismissed from the team during the offseason, Tennessee has just one regular taller than 6-foot-7 and none taller than 6-foot-9. With primary scorer Chris Lofton doubtful for this game due to an ankle injury, the Vols won't be able to make up that difference from the perimeter. Pearl, who led a stirring run to the NCAA Tournament, will rightly tell his team that this is a must-win game for a return trip, but this is a great chance for the Bulldogs to get their second conference road win. "Right now Georgia is probably playing as well as anybody in the league," Pearl said. " Not only are they 5-2, but they're 5-2 against some of the better teams in our league."

Up next: Georgia vs. Vanderbilt (7 p.m., Saturday, Nashville, Tenn.); Tennessee vs. Florida (3 p.m., Saturday, Gainesville, Fla.)


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