Asumnu goes 'home'

When Houston native Stanley Asumnu narrowed his college options to two, he knew he was going to play for UT. The hard part was deciding whether the "T" would stand for Texas or Tennessee.

Fortunately for the Volunteer Nation, Stanley Asumnu picked the Tennessee T, which is why he'll be representing the Big Orange instead of the burnt orange when the Vols and Longhorns tip it up at 2 p.m. (EST) Saturday in Austin. Naturally, the prospect of playing before dozens of friends and family members in his home state means a lot to Asumnu.

"It feels good getting a chance to go back home, play in front of my family and stuff," he said, moments before leaving for Austin Friday afternoon. "I'm really excited about that."

Making the game even more special is the fact Asumnu was recruited by the University of Texas twice – once coming out of Westbury Christian Academy of Houston and again following a year of prep school at Hargrave (Va.) Military.

"That adds a lot," Asumnu said. "A lot of people back home thought I was going to go to Texas. When I decided on Tennessee it was a surprise to a lot of people. But I decided on UT, and now I have this great opportunity to go back home and play."

Stanley estimates he will have "around 30 people from my family and friends" at Saturday's game. He figures a few dozen high school classmates friends who are now attending the University of Texas will be in the crowd, as well.

Asumnu has been one of Tennessee's most pleasant surprises this season. After averaging just 2.4 points per game as a junior last year, he is averaging 10.8 points per game this season. His solid play is one of the reasons the Vols are 5-0 heading into Saturday's game.

So, what has been the key for Tennessee thus far?

"We're just playing together as a team," Asumnu said. "We're going out and having fun. Everyone's enjoying their time out there. Now we've just got to continue playing well."

That's a fact. The Longhorns bring an 8-1 record and a No. 6 national ranking into the game.

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