Tennessee basketball vs Georgia: Score prediction, scouting report
Tennessee basketball returns to Thompson-Boling Arena after two games.
No. 4 Tennessee (16-3, 6-1 SEC) hosts Georgia (13-6, 3-3) Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, SEC Network) after wins at Mississippi State and LSU.
Here’s what you should know about the matchup:
BIG KEYS:Don’t miss what Tyreke Key did for Tennessee basketball at LSU. He changed the game.
Josiah-Jordan James plays a lot – and plays well
Josiah-Jordan James missed eight games in UT’s first 13 and hadn’t played more than 28 minutes in a game prior to last week. The senior guard played 65 minutes in Tennessee’s wins at Mississippi State and LSU. He scored 35 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and shot 7 of 13 at 3-pointers.
“He’ll get better and better with his conditioning, he’ll do it,” said Vols trainer Rick Barnes. “He will play as many minutes as I know we would need him. I think we could keep him under 30 if we can.”
James struggled with knee pain early in the season following off-season knee surgery. He averages 10.1 points and 4.0 rebounds.
More little ball for Tennessee?
Tennessee made a fresh starting lineup against LSU with Olivier Nkamhoua as the only postal player. Barnes chose guards Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler with forwards Julian Phillips and James.
“I feel like we can spread the ground and have a lot of room to drive,” said James. “We can shoot the ball at a high level and I feel like we’ve really focused on that and refined on that over the past two days and that’s why we’ve been able to come out and execute so well.”
UT had two forwards in the starting XI throughout the season in Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic. Plavsic was unavailable at LSU due to illness, but Barnes said the cast change would come anyway.
Tennessee only sees Georgia once, but the coach is a household name
Tennessee meets Georgia just once this season, but it comes with a familiar face. Bulldogs coach Mike White coached in Florida for seven seasons before taking the job in Georgia in March. He is the brother of Vols athletics director Danny White.
“Mike will win anywhere,” said Barnes. “He’s a great coach.”
Georgia returned most of their goals from last season. Bradley transfer guard Terry Roberts leads the Bulldogs with 15.9 points per game while guard Kario Oquendo is averaging 13.4 points per game.
Tennessee 73, Georgia 54: The Vols win their third straight win in convincing fashion, advancing to 7-1 in the SEC game before taking on Texas in Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Mike Wilson reports on the University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that gives you access to everything.