Certainly, nothing Gee does this afternoon will surprise Tennessee's players. That's because he lit them up last year in a 93-86 loss at Tuscaloosa – sinking 10 of 17 field-goal tries in a spectacular 27-point, 9-rebound, 4-block performance.
Gee probably is playing as well as anyone in the SEC during the past two weeks, averaging 20.3 points per game over the Tide's past three outings. Now that he's getting more help from his supporting cast, Bama (16-13 overall, 6-9 SEC) has managed to win three of its past four games.
Backcourt mate Senario Hillman, a 6-1 sophomore, is averaging 13.2 points per game. JaMychal Green, a 6-9 freshman, checks in at 10.2 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game. Mikhail Torrance, a 6-5 junior, scores 9.4 points per game and averages a team-best 2.3 assists per contest. The other starter is 6-9, 240-pound sophomore Justin Knox, who averages 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Tennessee (19-10 overall, 10-5 SEC) is expected to counter with its recent lineup of 6-9 junior Wayne Chism, 6-7 junior Tyler Smith, 6-8 junior J.P. Prince, 6-7 freshman Scotty Hopson and 6-2 junior Bobby Maze. That personnel grouping has helped the Vols win three games in a row. A victory today will secure sole possession of the SEC East title, their third in four years under head coach Bruce Pearl.
Pearl has been preaching unselfishness and teamwork all season, and the lesson finally appears to be sinking in. During their three-game winning streak the Vols have dished out 53 assists while committing a mere 30 turnovers, a sparkling assist/turnover ratio of 1.77 to 1.
Today's game will be televised by CBS.