All in the family

Tonight's Tennessee-Auburn basketball game has something in common with the Civil War: It will pit brother against brother.

Jordan Howell, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard for the Vols, is the younger brother of Brett Howell, who is a 6-foot-1 junior guard for the Tigers. They were teammates at Bob Jones High in Auburn and have never faced one another in college. Their father, Rex, lettered for Auburn in 1966.

This will be the first time brothers have met in an SEC game since Kentucky coach Tubby Smith's sons G.G. (Georgia) and Saul (Kentucky) squared off in 1998 and 1999. Thus, the Howell brothers' sibling rivalry could provide an interesting sidelight for tonight's game, which tips off at 7:30 in Thompson-Boling Arena.

Jordan is Tennessee's chief backup at the point guard position. He is hitting 41.7 percent (15 of 36) on field goal tries and 40.7 percent (11 of 27) on 3-pointers. He averages 8.0 minutes and 2.1 points per game. His best outing came against Oklahoma State, when he hit 3 of 3 from the field (2 of 2 on 3's) and finished with 8 points and 2 assists in 13 minutes.

Similarly, Brett is a reserve guard for Auburn. He is hitting 33 percent (4 of 12) from the floor, with all dozen attempts coming from beyond the arc. He averages 4.8 minutes and 1.3 points per game.

Tonight's game has another interesting family angle. Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo is the son of Tiger assistant Dave Lebo. They are one of eight father/son coaching combos in college basketball but the only one in which the father assists the son.

Here's another note of interest for Vol fans: Auburn's Joey Cameron originally committed to Tennessee but reneged and signed with the Tigers in November of 2004. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound freshman from Leeds, Ala., has started 12 games this season, averaging 1.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 11.4 minutes per game. He is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor and 47.8 percent from the foul line. His best game came Jan. 21 against Arkansas, when he speared 13 rebounds.

Auburn's probable starting lineup for tonight's game consists of four freshmen and a senior.

The freshmen are 6-7, 225-pound Josh Dollard (9.0 points, 4.7 rebounds per game), 6-7, 220-pound Korvotney Barber (6.6, 4.4), 6-5, 220-pound Rasheem Barrett (11.1, 3.2) and 6-3 Quantez Robertson (7.3, 4.2). The senior is 6-5, 200-pound Ronny LeMelle (11.7, 3.5).


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