Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball Preview: Tennessee Volunteers

The Vanderbilt Commodores hope to win their third straight conference game when they visit Tennessee on Wednesday in Knoxville. Here's your VandyMania.com preview of the Vols.

Tennessee (9-8, 2-3 SEC)  opened its season winning four of it first five games, with the only loss being a 2-point heartbreaker at Georgia Tech.  Since that opening run UT is just 5-7 with the best wins coming at home against Florida and, most recently, at Mississippi State.  

Looking at the Vol stat leaders, UT has four players that average in double figures.  Point guard Kevin Punter is the Vols top shooter and scorer.  In the win at Mississippi State Punter scored 23 points while making all eight of his free throws.  Three 6-foot-4 players, guard Robert Hubbs III , forward Armani Moore, and guard Devon Baulkman are the other Vols that average in double figures.

Punter is the Volunteer's top threat from both 3-point range and field goal range, Baulkman, and guard Detrick Mostella, who scored 24 points against the Bulldogs on Saturday, are also effective from beyond the 3-point arc.  

Other UT stat leaders include Punter and Moore who each has over 60 assists. Punter also leads the Vols in steals.  Moore and 6-7 forward Derek Reese lead the team in rebounds.

Looking at the Vandy-UT stats comparison, the two teams score about the same but the Commodores give up fewer points and lead in 3-point shooting and assists. The Vols have the edge in steals and rebounding.  

This is a game Vanderbilt could probably win at a neutral site but in Knoxville, the Commodores are just 18-70 all-time. To win the Dores need to make more than five three-pointers and keep their key players, especially the big men, out of foul trouble as UT is a bit undersized.  

Wednesday's game tips off at 8 pm central and can be seen on the SEC Network.

For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.


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