Woolridge looking to rebound against Vandy

Renaldo Woolridge played a great game against No. 1 Kansas, and now he is looking to find a way to find an instant replay of that performance against SEC in-state foe Vanderbilt. Go "Inside" for increased coverage of your Tennessee Volunteer Basketball team, as InsideTennessee.com covers all of UT Athletics like no other. We mean it.

Against Kansas on Jan. 10, Tennessee guard/forward Renaldo Woolridge did what seemed to be his best Chris Lofton impression, hitting 4-of-6 behind the arc en route to scoring 14 points to go along with eight rebounds and a steal.

Not only was the win monumental, it was one of the most balanced, productive games of his career at UT.

Woolridge's hot hand has since fizzled, as the sophomore has gone 2-of-8 from three-point land in the four games following the Kansas upset.

Although the 6-foot-8 Woolridge is expected to be a force in the paint before a sharpshooter from long range, "Swiperboy," as players and fans of his music call him, hopes to get some more open looks when the Vols host Vanderbilt on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

"Only because they like to play zone and I think it'll be spaced out," Woolridge said. "Those are the games I live for, so I'll definitely be hunting it more, I'll be shooting all week."

The drop-off in 3-point attempts is something Woolridge attributes more to his own shot selection rather than the coaches putting him into inside positions.

"I think it's just shot selection," Woolridge said. "I don't really handle my shot as much because I was trying to focus on other areas, just trying to be aggressive and physical on the inside. As the season goes on I'll probably hunt it more."

"Just the way things have been playing out we've been trying to push it into our post players."

Tennessee will have its hands full in the paint with Vanderbilt's two international big men, 6-foot-7 guard Jeffery Taylor and 6-foot-11 center A.J. Ogilvy coming into Thompson-Boling Arena.

Ogilvy, a junior from Sydney, Australia, is averaging over 13 points and six rebounds per game, while Taylor, a sophomore from Norrkoping, Sweden, averages over 14 points and five rebounds a game.

"Just play team defense, that's what we're going to need, especially on the inside," Woolridge said. "Especially from me using my quickness, physicality."

Despite the recent statistical setbacks, the highly recruited youngster from out west is confident that not only his game, but his growth as a team leader is improving.

"I think you can see growth," Woolridge said. "I think you can see two different ends of a spectrum as far as not being in the rotation to starting and having a significant role. It's just trying to find a balance and trying to find my niche and what my role is."


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