A pounding in the paint

What Tennessee's inside players did to Vanderbilt's in a 76-63 triumph Jan. 20 at Nashville was a lot like what the Indians did to Custer's troops at The Little Big Horn.

We're talking full-fledged massacre, folks.

Vol post Wayne Chism sank 8 of 11 shots en route to 20 points and 7 rebounds. Power forward Tyler Smith chipped in 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Small forward J.P. Prince added 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Meanwhile, Commodore frontliners A.J. Ogilvie (1 of 6), Jeffery Taylor (1 of 7) and Darshawn McClellan (0 of 2) were combining to score 13 points on 2-of-15 shooting.

So, as he looks ahead to Saturday's 3 p.m. rematch at Thompson-Boling Arena, Vandy coach Kevin Stallings figures keeping the Vols from dominating the paint in similar fashion is crucial.

"They wore us out inside in that game," he said earlier this week. "Chism really played well and really hurt us."

It should be noted that Ogilvy was banged up when the Vols and Dores collided in January. He's much closer to 100 percent now.

"He's healthier than he's been," Stallings noted. "His productivity, like three or four other guys on our team, is critical for our success. If he doesn't provide it at that position, we don't tend to get as much out of it. We've got a few others that we could say the same about. His productivity, like a lot of our main-line guys, is very, very important."

Tennessee's inside game was so effective in Nashville that the Vols attempted just 13 shots from 3-point range that night, making 4. Conversely, they were 23 of 41 from inside the arc and finished at an even 50 percent (27 of 54) overall.

"If you look at their league stats, they're shooting 48 percent through nine games of the league season," Stallings noted, "so that (50 percent) was very close to their average."

You almost get the idea Vandy's coach would be satisfied if his team can limit the Vols to 50 percent shooting and 76 points in Saturday's rematch.

"When you look at their assist/turnover numbers, they're doing a great job of executing offense and taking the right shots," he said. "When you're shooting 48 percent from the field in this league and averaging way more assists than turnovers, you're doing a great job of running offense and taking the right shots."


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