Preview: Tennessee at South Carolina
South Carolina has been the biggest surprise during SEC play thus far and will try to send an even bigger shockwave through the league when it hosts top-ranked Tennessee on Tuesday. The Volunteers have won 14 straight contests, one shy of matching the longest streak in program history.
Tennessee hasn’t lost since Nov. 23 against Kansas, and 11 of its 14 consecutive victories have come by double digits. The Vols’ dominant streak has included four road wins, and they’ve captured six straight on opponents’ home courts dating to last season. The Gamecocks struggled through the non-conference schedule but hit their stride in time for SEC play. They’ve lost two of their last three, including a 74-70 setback at Oklahoma State on Saturday, but have won four in a row at home.
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
ABOUT TENNESSEE (18-1, 6-0 SEC): The Vols have put together an offensive juggernaut that is shooting 50.7 percent from the field, which leads the SEC and ranks third nationally. Grant Williams (20.2 points, 7.3 rebounds), who is the SEC’s leading scorer, poured in 43 points in Wednesday’s overtime win at Vanderbilt. Swingman Admiral Schofield (16.6 points) has extended his range to create a major matchup problem and Jordan Bone (13.1, 6.3 assists) ranks second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5).
ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (10-9, 5-1): The Gamecocks struggled to find an offensive identity early in the season but have blossomed in league play. Freshman A.J. Lawson (13.2 points) continues to lead the team in scoring by a narrow margin, but senior Hassani Gravett (11.4) has paced the team during SEC play with 15 points per contest. Chris Silva (13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds) has scored in double figures in four of the Gamecocks’ six conference games, including a monster performance that included 32 points and 14 boards in a home win over Auburn last Tuesday.
1. Tennessee’s 6-0 start to SEC play is its best since 1981-82, when it won its first eight conference games.
2. South Carolina F Felipe Haase has made 16 consecutive free throws over his last five games.
3. The Vols are 11-0 when G Jordan Bowden (10.9 points) scores 10 or more points.