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Tennessee is looking to build off its defensive win over Auburn as it heads 180 miles west on Interstate-40 to face instate foe Vanderbilt.
The Vols have won 11 straight over Vanderbilt and is looking to get their offense back on track after two disappointing offensive showings last season.
Vanderbilt is teetering early in February having lost three straight, including a 67-point loss at Alabama, before bouncing back Saturday with a home victory over Ole Miss.
Here’s everything to know ahead of the instate matchup.
More From RTI: Where Tennessee Stands In Most Recent Bracketology Updates
How to Watch – No. 6 Tennessee (20-4, 8-2 SEC) at Vanderbilt (11-12, 4-6 SEC)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
Location: Memorial Gymasium
TV: ESPN2. PxP: Roy Philpott, CC: Pat Bradley
Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App
Team Statistics (via ESPN)
What Associate Head Coach Justin Gainey Said About The Commodores
On preparing to face a Jerry Stackhouse coached team
“It is tough. Coach Stackhouse, he is one of the best in the country when you talk about Xs and Os and the depth of their playbook. It doesn’t get any tougher to guard. He is one of the toughest preps in league. They’re versatile. They have big that can stretch the floor. They can play a lot of different ways. (Myles) Stute at the four or five with (Jordan) Wright playing the four. Liam Robbins is coming back. He is a versatile scorer as you saw when he played here. He stepped out and made jumpers. He scored on the inside. Coach Stackhouse puts them in really great positions to be effective. It’ll be a challenging game. It will be a test for our defense. That’s for sure.”
On working out offensive woes against Vanderbilt
“Obviously it’s a rivalry game. In-state rivalry. They’re well-coached. Coach (Jerry) Stackhouse does an amazing job. They always play us close. They’re a really good team. They’ve been playing well this season. So yeah, it will obviously be a tough one, but we’re going to continue to work to get good shots. We believe that those shots will fall. We’ve got good shooters, we’ve got guys that can score the ball. We feel like just keep doing what we’re doing and those shots are going to fall.”
Spread: Tennessee -9.5 (-110), Vanderbilt +9.5 (-110)
Total: Over/Under 135
Spread: Tennessee -11 Vanderbilt
Total: Over/Under 133
Probable Starters (via UT Sports)
Points: Santiago Vescovi – 11.9 PPG, 51.2 FG%, 18.2 3PT%
Rebounds: Olivier Nkamhoua – 5.1 RPG
Assists: Zakai Zeigler – 5.1 APG, 2.3 TOPG, 29.7 MPG
Points: Liam Robbins — 13.8 PPG, 38.4 FG%, 33.8 3PT%
Rebounds: Liam Robbins — 6.3 RPG
Assists: Ezra Manjon — 3.3 APG, 1.5 TOPG, 27.0 MPG
Last Five Games
02/04/23 — W — Tennessee def. Auburn 46-43
02/01/23 — L — Tennessee lost at Florida 67-54
01/28/23 — W — Tennessee def. Texas 82-71
01/25/23 — W — Tennessee def. Georgia 70-41
01/21/23 — W — Tennessee def. LSU 77-56
02/04/23 — W — Vanderbilt def. Ole Miss 74-71
01/31/23 — L — Vanderbilt lost at Alabama 101-44
01/28/23 — L — Vanderbilt lost at Texas A&M 72-66
01/24/23 — L — Vanderbilt lost against Kentucky 69-53
01/21/23 — W — Vanderbilt def. Georgia 85-82
Tennessee is looking for its 12th straight win over its instate rival which would mark its longest winning streak in the series. The Vols have dominated the Commodores since Rick Barnes became head coach with the eighth-year coach losing just once to the instate rival.
After a bad week for Tennessee’s offense, the Vols have a get right opportunity against a Vanderbilt defense that ranks as one of the SEC’s worst. Tennessee might need the bounce back effort too as the Vols’ coaches rave about the looks Jerry Stackhouse’s offense creates against them, and that’s more than coach speak. Vanderbilt always seems to create more open looks than most SEC teams against the Vols.
Still, Tennessee is the better team and has taken care of business at Memorial Gymnasium as of late. Vanderbilt is also struggling as of late, losing three of its last four.
Tennessee 68, Vanderbilt 55