Crunching numbers

The Tennessee basketball team's lack of height is painfully evident in the latest SEC statistics. The Vols rank at or near the bottom in every category related to size.

For instance, UT ranks 11th among the 12 league programs in rebound margin (-0.2), in blocked shots (4.0 per game) and in scoring defense (allowing 67.5 points per game). Tennessee ranks 10th in rebound defense (allowing opponents to grab 37.8 per game) and dead last in field-goal defense (44.3 percent). Because UT's undersized lineup does most of its scoring from long range, the Vols rank eighth among SEC teams in field-goal percentage (47.4).

Conversely, the Vols rank at or near the top in every other category. They are first in scoring offense (86.2 points per game), assists (18.5 per game), steals (11.75 per game) and turnover margin (plus-9.5 per game). UT ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (1.30 to 1), second in scoring margin (18.8) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (40.7).

What makes the turnover margin especially impressive is this: Tennessee leads at plus 9.5. Second-place Vanderbilt checks in at plus 4.2.

Here's an interesting irony: The Vols are forcing 23.8 turnovers per game, five more than anyone else in the SEC. When they don't force a turnover, however, they are allowing foes to hit 44.3 of their field-goal tries, which is the worst mark in the league.

Individually, UT's C.J. Watson leads the league in 3-point percentage (57.1) and ranks third in free-throw percentage (83.3). Chris Lofton leads in 3-point field goals (4.25 per game). He and teammate Dane Bradshaw are tied for second in steals (3.0 per game) with Watson fourth (2.5 per game). Watson ranks third in assists (5.75 per game), while Bradshaw is 10th (3.5 per game).

Bradshaw ranks 10th in rebounding (7.3 per game) and Andre Patterson is 12th (6.8 per game). Lofton is fourth in scoring average (17.8 points per game) and Watson is 10th (15.5).

NOTE: All statistics are through games of Dec. 4.

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