Scooter slumps, and so does UT

Four years ago, Tony Harris caught a lot of heat from Tennessee basketball fans because of a disappointing senior season. Now another Memphis product, Scooter McFadgon, is catching the same kind of heat from the same fans for the same reason.

Statistically, McFadgon is having a down year. He's averaging 15.0 points per game, down from 17.4 last season. His 3-point percentage is 32.4 percent, down from 38.0 a year ago. His free throw percentage is 81.0, down from 91.2 a year ago. And, because the team is losing, McFadgon is the lightning rod for a lot of fan frustration ... much as Harris was in 2000-01.

The heat on McFadgon has significantly increased recently. He has produced three of his worst performances of the season back-to-back-to-back, and so have the Vols. That may not be coincidence.

The senior guard hit just 2 of 7 field goal tries (0 of 3 from 3-point range) and scored a season-low 4 points in Tennessee's 85-62 loss at Louisville in Game 18. He made just 2 of 9 shots (1 of 5 from 3-point range) and scored 7 points in an 84-62 homefloor loss to Kentucky in Game 19. He made just 5 of 19 attempts (2 of 6 from 3-point range) and totaled 14 points in Saturday's 62-59 loss to lowly Auburn, which was winless in five previous SEC games.

McFadgon's combined stats for the past three games show him hitting just 9 of 35 field goal tries, including an icy 3 of 14 from beyond the arc. That breaks down to 25.7 percent from the field (well below his season's average of 39.7) and 21.4 percent from 3-point range (well below his season's average of 32.4). Meanwhile, the past three games saw him average just 8.3 points per game (well below his season's average of 15.0).

It's reminiscent of the late-season slump Harris endured in 2000-01. He went cold as UT lost 10 of its final 16 games, costing head coach Jerry Green his job. McFadgon's cold streak began with 13 games left in 2004-05 (12 regular-season games, plus at least one SEC Tournament game). It currently stands at three games, and the Vols are 0-3 during that stretch.

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