UT vs. Lipscomb

Tennessee's basketball game with Lipscomb tonight at Thompson-Boling Arena should provide an interesting tune-up for the Vols' Jan. 8 Southeastern Conference opener at South Carolina.

Two of the Bisons – 6-10 Ryan Daniel and 6-0 LaKory Daniels – are transfers from SEC schools. Daniel, a native of Madison, began his career at Auburn. Daniels played one season at Alabama before leaving.

In addition, Lipscomb is coached by Scott Sanderson, son of long-time Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson.

Finally, the Bisons already have challenged two SEC programs. They lost 67-49 at Kentucky on Nov. 14 and fell 69-54 at Auburn on Nov. 20.

Although Lipscomb is located in Nashville, it hasn't faced Tennessee in 51 years. That might be because the last meeting saw the Vols romp 95-38 in 1954.

Tennessee brings a 7-1 record into tonight's 7 p.m. tip-off, while Lipscomb carries a 5-4 mark.

The visitors' lineup features an interesting blend of international and local players. Their starting center, 6-8, 250-pound Shaun Durant (10.7 points, 10.0 rebounds per game) is from London, England. Their starting power forward, 6-7, 210-pound Cameron Robinson (8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds), is from the Caribbean island of Dominica.

Conversely, the Bisons' starting guards are both native Tennesseans. Brian Fisk (Newbern) averages 11.9 points per game, while Trey Williams (Memphis) averages 3.7 assists per game. The other starter, 6-5 small forward Eddie Ard, hails from LaPlace, La. He averages a team-high 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Tonight's match-up could be an interesting one, since Lipscomb's greatest weakness is scoring baskets and Tennessee's greatest weakness is defending baskets. The Bison are hitting just 41.2 percent from the field and 29.7 from beyond the 3-point arc. UT, meanwhile, allows opponents to shoot 46.7 from the floor and 40.8 from beyond the arc.

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