UT hosts Georgia

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Here's the scoop heading into tonight's SEC game with Georgia: When Tennessee's wings shoot well, the Vols win. When Tennessee's wings shoot poorly, the Vols lose.

Can it really be that simple? Apparently. Check out the past nine games:

Wings Cameron Tatum (2 of 6), Josh Richardson (1 of 5), Jordan McRae (1 of 4) and Skylar McBee (0 of 5) combined to make just 20 percent of their shots (4 of 20) in a 69-51 Game 14 loss at Memphis.

Tatum (3 of 7), Richardson (2 of 3), McRae (4 of 9) and McBee (0 of 0) combined to make 47.4 percent of their shots (9 of 19) in 67-56 Game 15 upset of No. 13 Florida.

Tatum (0 of 7), Richardson (0 of 4), McRae (2 of 6) and McBee (1 of 2) combined to make just 15.8 percent of their shots (3 of 19) in a 62-58 Game 16 loss at Mississippi State.

Tatum (5 of 11), Richardson (2 of 2), McRae (0 of 2) and McBee (2 of 4) combined to make 47.4 percent of their shots (9 of 19) in a 65-62 Game 17 loss to No. 2 Kentucky.

Tatum (3 of 9), Richardson (0 of 2), McRae (0 of 2) and McBee (1 of 5) combined to make just 22.2 percent of their shots (4 of 18) in a 57-53 Game 18 loss at Georgia.

Tatum (5 of 8), Richardson (2 of 3), McRae (1 of 4) and McBee (2 of 5) combined to make 50.0 percent of their shots (10 of 20) in a 60-57 Game 19 upset of No. 13 Connecticut.

Tatum (1 of 5), Richardson (1 of 5), McRae (0 of 3) and McBee (0 of 3) combined to make just 12.5 percent of their shots (2 of 16) in a 65-47 Game 20 loss at Vanderbilt.

Tatum (0 of 9), Richardson (0 of 2), McRae (4 of 7) and McBee (3 of 9) combined to make just 25.9 percent of their shots (7 of 27) in a 74-49 Game 21 defeat of Auburn.

Tatum (0 of 7), Richardson (0 of 5), McRae (0 of 2) and McBee (1 of 6) combined to make a frigid 5.0 percent of their shots (1 of 20) in a 69-44 Game 22 loss at Kentucky.

To recap: Every time the four wings combined to shoot better than 40 percent from the field, Tennessee won ... the lone exception coming against a superb Kentucky team.

Every time the four wings combined to shoot worse than 30 percent from the field, Tennessee lost ... the lone exception coming against a weak Auburn squad.

Now that mid-term freshman Jarnell Stokes has combined with junior Jeronne Maymon to give Tennessee a potent inside attack, the Vols usually sink or swim based on the play of the wings.

"That's on us," McBee conceded. "It's all about getting in the gym and getting up shots. We've got to make 'em. That's something we've got to get better at. Our inside guys are doing what they're supposed to do, and our guards have got to make shots. We're just going to put in the work we need to do and, hopefully, it'll pay off the next couple of games."

Tatum agreed, noting: "The game is played inside/out. Our big men are playing great ball, getting the ball and scoring inside, so teams are starting to key in on them, double-teaming them and making them kick the ball outside. Our job as shooters — me, Skylar, Jordan and guys like that — is to start knocking those shots down."

NOTES: Tennessee brings a 10-12 overall record and a 2-5 SEC mark into tonight's game. Georgia is 10-11 and 1-6.... Tatum, a Georgia native from Lithonia, could reach the 1,000-point plateau against his home-state university tonight. The 6-foot-7 senior has 988 career points and needs 12 tonight to become the 44th player in UT history to reach the milestone.... Georgia snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Vols by winning 57-53 in overtime Jan. 18 in Athens.... The Bulldogs rank dead last among SEC teams in scoring margin (minus-9.7 points per game) and field-goal percentage (35.2).... Georgia coach Mark Fox is expected to go with a starting lineup of 6-foot-9, 220-pound Donte' Williams (7.8 points, 5.5 rebounds per game), 6-foot-7, 235-pound Marcus Thornton (2.4 points per game), 6-foot-5, 200-pound freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds per game), 6-foot-1, 180-pound Nashville native Gerald Robinson (13.5 points, 3.6 assists per game) and 5-foot-11, 172-pound Dustin Ware (8.0 points per game).... Tipoff is set for 8:07 with Fox Sports South carrying the telecast.

Josh Richardson


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