Vols visit Hogs

The numbers suggest Tennessee will beat Arkansas in today's 12:47 CST tipoff at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.


- The Vols are 5-0 in SEC openers since Bruce Pearl was named head coach in 2005.

- The Vols are 5-0 in games televised by the SEC Network.

- The Vols are 8-0 in their last eight games against SEC West opponents.

- The Vols are coming off perhaps their best performance of the year - a 104-84 blitz of Memphis - whereas the Razorbacks are coming off a 79-46 loss at Texas.

There's another number that comes into play today, however, and it might trump all of the others: The Razorbacks are 9-0 at Bud Walton Arena this season. Their losses came vs. UAB in North Little Rock, vs. Texas A&M in Dallas and vs. Texas in Austin.

Another number that could be noteworthy today is 1. That's the number of head coaches who will be missing due to the eight-game suspension Tennessee's Pearl begins serving this afternoon. Associate head coach Tony Jones will serve as bench coach in Pearl's absence.

Statistically, the Vols and Razorbacks are fairly similar.

Tennessee stands 10-4, Arkansas 10-3. Both teams shoot 44.3 percent from the field. Tennessee shoots 68.3 percent from the foul line, the Hogs shoot 68.1 percent. Tennessee averages 75.8 points per game, Arkansas 74.0. The Vols average 13.9 assists per game, the Hogs 13.6. Tennessee averages 14.3 turnovers per game, Arkansas 14.7

The Vols do a much better job on the backboards, posting a plus-6.1 rebound margin compared to the Hogs' minus-1.9 norm. Arkansas has been better defensively, however. The Hogs average more steals per game (9.8 to 6.7) and more blocks per game (7.6 to 4.3), while limiting their foes to fewer points per game (63.6 versus 69.4). Arkansas leads the SEC in steals and blocks per game, along with turnover margin (plus-2.9).

NOTES: Junior Scotty Hopson needs nine points today to become the 43rd Vol to score 1,000 career points.... Arkansas is expected to start 6-9 Delvon Johnson and 6-9 Marvell Waithe inside, with 6-5 Jemal Farmer, 6-0 Rotnei Clark and 6-0 Jeff Peterson on the perimeter.... Johnson averages 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and an SEC-leading 3.8 blocks per game.... Clark averages a team-high 14.1 points per game. He is hitting 40.8 percent from 3-point range and averaging 3.1 treys per game.... Tennessee won last year's game 80-73 in Knoxville. The Vols prevailed 74-72 on their most recent visit to Bud Walton Arena during the 2008-09 season, thanks to a Bobby Maze jump shot with 5.4 seconds left.

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