The Ragin' Cajuns outrebounded Tennessee 50-32 last year in Knoxville but still came out on the short end of an 83-76 score. That game's leading scorers – Andre Patterson of UT (21 points) and Dwayne Mitchell of Lafayette (19 points, 20 rebounds) – have moved on to new challenges.
This year's Ragin' Cajuns may not outrebound UT by 18 but they boast a physically imposing front line of 6-9, 241-pound Abray Milton (1.8 points, 2.0 rebounds per game), 6-8, 252-pound Courtney Wallace (4.8 points, 5.3 rebounds) and 6-7, 200-pound Ross Mouton (20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds).
Lafayette's backcourt consists of 6-3 David Dees (22.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists per game) and 6-1 Rhett Hebert (6.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists).
Tennessee will answer with its usual lineup of 6-8 Duke Crews (9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds), 6-4 Dane Bradshaw (6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists), 6-2 JaJuan Smith (14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds), 6-2 Chris Lofton (16.3 points, 2.0 rebounds) and 6-2 Ramar Smith (4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists).
Each team has endured one offensive malfunction thus far. Tennessee's came in a 56-44 loss to Butler. Lafayette's came in a 54-51 loss to Oral Roberts.
As usual, the Vols will try to set a hectic pace in order to exploit their depth (11 players average 10 minutes per game or more) and their defensive tenacity (Vol foes average 24.5 turnovers per game).
Following tonight's game the Vols host Murray State Friday at 7 and Memphis next Wednesday (Dec. 6) at 9. The former will be televised by Fox Sports South, the latter by ESPN2.