Tennessee is back in Thompson-Boling Arena tonight — albeit with most of its students home for Winter Break — and govols247 is in the house for a 7 p.m. EST game against North Carolina State.
Tennessee junior guard Josh Richardson (UT athletics photo)
NC State (7-2), led by former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried, should present a solid test for the Vols (6-3) on their home floor.
After losing two of their first home games — including a stunning home setback to North Carolina Central — the Wolfpack have rallied to win five consecutive games against Northwestern and four mid-major programs, but they were pushed in close wins over Long Beach State and Detroit.
NC State is led by sophomore T.J. Warren, a 6-foot-8 wing who averages 23.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and it has a 7-1, fifth-year senior center in Jordan Vandenberg who averages 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Freshman Anthony Barber and junior Desmond Lee combine to average 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the backcourt, as well, and Barber shoots nearly 50 percent from the field as a point guard.
Tennessee hopes to bounce back from a tough, 70-61 loss at top-10 opponent Wichita State on Saturday. The Vols, who led the Shockers by one point at halftime before fading down the stretch, got another big game from senior All-SEC guard Jordan McRae, but their All-SEC frontcourt duo of junior Jarnell Stokes and senior Jeronne Maymon struggled in the loss.
NC State lost the first and only road game it has played this season (at Cincinnati on Nov. 12), but Gottfried was 11-5 against the Vols while coaching Alabama and has enough pieces on his current roster to worry Tennessee in a few areas.
Tonight’s game will be broadcast by ESPNU, with Joe Davis handling the play-by-play and Dan Dakich analyzing.
Updates and analysis from tonight’s game, as well as quotes and notes from postgame interviews with players and coaches from both teams, will be included in this thread.
Got a question? Or just a comment? This thread is the place for both.
Contact Wes Rucker at email@example.com, www.twitter.com/wesrucker247 or www.facebook.com/wesrucker247
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