Hoops Preview: #13 Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The 13th-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team heads to New York City for its second straight game away from home, competing in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden against Texas Tech on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 

Zakai Zeigler – Vols G / Credit: UT Athletics

Fans can catch Tuesday’s game on ESPN and online or on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch. Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (analysis) will have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp calling the action. The broadcast is also available on channel 81 on Sirius, SiriusXM and the SiriusXM app.
Tennessee enters the Jimmy V Classic coming off of a road win over Colorado on Saturday, 69-54. Freshman Kennedy Chandler led the way for the Vols with 27 points on 13-for-20 shooting in 36 minutes of action. Chandler’s 13 made field goals were the most by a Vol in a single game since Feb. 19, 2013.
Santiago Vescovi (13) and John Fulkerson (10) joined Chandler with double-figure scoring performances. Vescovi shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field—including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. In his first game back after missing three games due to injury, Josiah-Jordan James logged a team-high +22 in his 26 minutes of action. James scored five points and had team-highs in both rebounds (9) and blocks (4).
Saturday marks Tennessee’s first appearance in Madison Square Garden since winning the 2010 NIT Season Tip-Off. The Vols have competed in New York City on two separate occasions since then, both times in the Barclays Center—home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
After departing New York, Tennessee will return to action in Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday against UNC Greensboro. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.
• Tennessee lost its only previous meeting with Texas Tech when the Red Raiders posted an 88-71 win in Knoxville on Dec. 3, 1953.
• The Vols own a 15-19 all-time record against current members of the Big XII Conference.
• Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes is very familiar with the Red Raiders from his 17 years as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Barnes led Texas to a 33-4 record against Texas Tech.
• Barnes’s 33 career wins vs. Texas Tech are his most against any opponent.
• Tennessee owns an all-time record of 9-18 in the state of New York, dating to Jan. 27, 1937 (a 30-24 loss at Long Island).
• In New York City, the Vols are 7-17 overall.
• The Vols are 7-8 all-time at the current Madison Square Garden.
• Tennessee freshman Zakai Zeigler is from nearby Wyandanch on Long Island.
• The Vols’ 18.9 assists per game rank eighth nationally and lead the SEC. Tennessee also owns the best assist/turnover ratio in the SEC (1.63, 12th nationally).
• 47 percent of Tennessee’s points this season have been scored by first-year Vols (263 of 561).
• UT’s backcourt duo of Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi is averaging 31.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game while shooting .400 from 3-point range. They average 33.3 ppg away from Knoxville this season.
• After missing three games with a left-hand injury Josiah-Jordan James came off the bench at Colorado to log a game-high plus/minus rating of +22. He led the Vols in both blocks (4) and rebounds (9) in the true road win.
• Through seven games this season, the Vols have already played in front of more fans (92,630) then they did all of last season (89,467).
• The Vols have embarked on a six-day, two-game, 3,909-mile road trip that takes them from Rocky Top to Boulder, Colorado, and then to New York City before returning home.
• Tennessee has produced five basketball All-Americans from New York: Ed Wiener (Brooklyn), Ernie Grunfeld (Forest Hills), Bernard King (Brooklyn), Howard Wood (East Hampton) and Tobias Harris (Dix Hills).
• Tennessee’s all-time leading scorer and New York Knicks great Allan Houston is expected to attend Tuesday’s game. Houston scored 2,801 points as a Vol.
• Improve Tennessee to 3-1 against major-conference opposition this season.
• Boasting a 6-1 record, Texas Tech enters Tuesday’s game against Tennessee coming off of its lone loss of the 2021-22 season. The Red Raiders lost at Providence last Wednesday, 72-68.
• The Red Raiders are in the midst of their first season under the direction of head coach Mark Adams, who previously served as Texas Tech’s associate head coach from 2016-21 under former TTU head coach Chris Beard.
• After finishing sixth in the Big 12 last season and earning a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Texas Tech was picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 this season by the league’s head coaches.
• Terrence Shannon Jr., a Preseason All-Big 12 team selection, missed the Red Raiders’ first three games due to an eligibility review process but has started all four games since returning to the lineup. Shannon Jr. leads Texas Tech in scoring at 16.5 ppg.
• Redshirt junior guard Kevin McCullar is Texas Tech’s second-leading scorer (14.2 ppg) and the team’s leading rebounder (5.8 rpg). McCullar missed two games due to illness, but returned to the TTU lineup against Providence. He has started all five games that he has been available for.
• Texas Tech got a boost during the offseason with the addition of highly-rated transfer Kevin Obanor from Oral Roberts. Obanor helped lead the Golden Eagles to the 2021 Sweet 16 and had three straight double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament. A starter in all seven of the Red Raiders’ games this season, Obanor is averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 points per game.
• In addition to Obanor, the Red Raiders added six more Division I transfers this past offseason: Adonis Arms (Winthrop), Daniel Batcho (Arizona), Sardaar Calhoun (Florida State), Davion Warren (Hampton), Bryson Williams (UTEP), Mylik Wilson (Louisiana).
•  Three former Vols have figured prominently in the history of the New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden.
•  Bernard King (native of Brooklyn), Ernie Grunfeld (native of Forest Hills) and Allan Houston each enjoyed years of success for the Knicks in roles as players and in the front office.
• Bernard King — Ranks second in Knicks franchise history with a 26.5 career scoring average … Led the Knicks in scoring three times, including a club record 32.9 points per game in 1984-85 … Owns the franchise record for single-season field-goal percentage (57.2 in 1983-84) … On Christmas Day 1984, he scored a Knicks franchise record 60 points against New Jersey … Holds the franchise record for points in a playoff game (46 in back-to-back games against Detroit in 1984) … Two-time All-NBA Team selection (1984 and 1985) while playing for the Knicks … Was one of seven all-time Knicks greats honored on Legends Awards Night at Madison Square Garden on May 27, 2009.
• Ernie Grunfeld — Spent 17 seasons with the Knicks as a player (1983-86), coach (1989-90) and broadcaster before eventually settling in as general manager (1991-99), where he built teams that appeared in the NBA Finals in 1995 and 1999 … later served as president and GM of the Washington Wizards.
• Allan Houston — Spent nine of his 12 professional seasons with the Knicks, finishing his career as one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooters … Fourth all-time leading scorer in Knicks history with 11,165 career points and is second with 921 3-pointers … Team captain for six seasons (1999-2005) … His running one-hander with 0.8 seconds to play beat top-seeded Miami in game five of the first round of the playoffs and set the Knicks on the path to the 1999 NBA Finals … In 2001, he set a club record with his 90.9 free throw percentage … Now works as the Knicks’ Vice President for Player Leadership & Development.
• Sophomore wing Justin Powell has given the Vols additional firepower along the perimeter and has proven adept at getting his shot off in a flash.
• The Vols’ third-leading scorer (9.5 ppg), Powell has made 21 field goals this season, and more than half of them have been 3-pointers.
• Of Powell’s 12 made 3-pointers, seven have come directly off the catch—no dribble.
• In addition to being Tennessee’s leading scorer (16.1 ppg), freshman phenom Kennedy Chandler has a team-high 33 assists (4.7 apg).
• Chandler’s assists have led directly to 79 points this season, and junior guard Santiago Vescovi has benefited the most, as he has 21 points off Chandler dimes.
• Chandler’s presence has allowed Vescovi to play off the ball this year, a shift from the last two seasons, during which Vescovi served as the Vols’ primary ball-handler. Vescovi is performing at an All-SEC level in his new role.

-UT Athletics


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