Hoops Central: #11 Tennessee vs. #2 Gonzaga

[Tennessee Athletics] Hoops Central: #11 Tennessee vs. #2 Gonzaga

Fans can stream the game live online at PPV.COM or can order the Legends of Basketball Classic on TV through their cable, satellite or telco providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Dish, Verizon Fios, Altice and other leading providers. The suggested retail price will be $9.99 on all PPV platforms.   Tom Hudson (play-by-play), Dane Bradshaw (analyst) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will have the call.   Tennessee is coming off of a season in which it captured the SEC Tournament title and finished 27-8—marking the fourth-most wins in a single season in program history. This season, the Vols feature three preseason All-SEC selections—senior , senior and sophomore . That trio is complemented by the upperclassman frontcourt duo of and , both of whom started more than 20 games last season.   The 113th season of Tennessee Basketball officially begins on Monday, Nov. 7, when the Vols host Tennessee Tech (7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+).   THE SERIES • Tennessee's trails its all-time series with Gonzaga 2-4, dating to 2007. Five of those six meetings took place at neutral sites. •  The last time these teams met, the seventh-ranked Volunteers upset the top-ranked and previously unbeaten (9-0) Bulldogs, 76-73, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Dec. 9, 2018. •  Nine of the 10 starters from that 2018 clash went on to play in the NBA, including all five Vols. •  The Volunteers are 9-7 all-time against current members of the West Coast Conference, while is 3-7 vs. WCC opposition. • Second-year Tennessee assistant coach coached Gonzaga forward Drew Timme in the Nike EYBL when Timme was a freshman and sophomore in high school. • Tennessee true freshman is a native of Richardson, Texas (same hometown as Drew Timme), which is located 25 minutes south of Frisco. • Gonzaga sophomore forward Efton Reid III is a familiar face for returning Vols. As a freshman at LSU last season, Reid started both games against Tennessee, averaging 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. The Vols and Tigers split those meetings, with each team winning on its home floor.   LAST SEASON • Tennessee made a fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season and entered The Big Dance on the heels of winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa. • For the second time under head coach , Tennessee was unbeaten at home last season. • The Vols finished last season with the third-best defensive efficiency in the country after finishing fifth nationally in 2020-21. • was a first-team All-SEC selection last season while becoming only the second Vol ever to make 100 3-pointers in a single season. • After leading the Vols in scoring (13.9 ppg) last year and winning SEC Tournament MVP honors, true freshman point guard was selected 38th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft and landed with his hometown team, the Memphis Grizzlies.   STORYLINES • Tennessee is testing itself prior to tipping off the regular season with a pair of exhibition matchups against perennial powerhouses Michigan State and Gonzaga. • Proceeds from Friday's charity exhibition vs. the Zags benefit The McLendon Foundation. Through the foundation, recently funded an athletics department staff position at UT Martin for multiple years. • After six years on ' staff—the last three as associate head coach—Mike Schwartz in March accepted the head coaching job at East Carolina. has since been elevated to UT's associate head coach, and analyst was bumped to a full-time assistant coach role. • Vols senior is likely to be inactive for Friday's exhibition, as he works his way back to full speed following an off-season knee procedure.   ABOUT GONZAGA • Gonzaga is coming off a season in which it finished 28-4 (13-1 WCC), earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. • The Bulldogs are ranked No. 2 in the Preseason AP Poll and received 12 first-place votes. • Gonzaga returns three starters from last season, led by 2022 All-American Drew Timme. Timme was also a named a unanimous preseason AP first-team All-American earlier this week. • Timme is coming off a 2021-22 campaign in which he averaged 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. His scoring total led the team, while the rebound and assist totals ranked second behind eventual first-round NBA Draft picks Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard, respectively. • Along with Timme, returning starters Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther were also named preseason All-WCC. • Following last season, the Bulldogs also added two sought-after transfers to their roster—LSU transfer Efton Reid III, a former five-star recruit, and Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith, the 2022 SoCon Player of the Year. • Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is entering his 24th season at the helm of the Bulldogs' program in 2022-23. Few is the winningest active coach in college basketball by win percentage with a .836 mark (657-129). • After facing Tennessee, Gonzaga is set to face a strenuous non-conference schedule this season. The Bulldogs open the season by facing Michigan State and also have games against Texas, Kentucky, Baylor, Washington and Alabama all before the start of conference play—as well as the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland in November.   PUT SOME 'RESPETO' ON HIS NAME • was the SEC's premiere 3-point shooter last season, and we have the numbers to prove it. His proficiency from beyond the arc only elevated during SEC play. • No other "major conference" player in the nation with at least 100 attempts shot a better percentage during conference play last year.   STAT                            All Games  | Rank        SEC Games | Rank 3FG%                           .403 | 2nd                    .445 | 1st 3FG Makes PG             2.91 | 2nd                    3.17 | 1st Total 3FG Makes          102 | 1st                       57 | 1st   ZEIGLER BACK FOR YEAR TWO • The final addition to last year's Tennessee's roster (signing on Aug. 27, 2021), made a major impact for the Vols as an unheralded true freshman—ranking second on the team in steals (1.7 spg), third in assists (2.7 apg) and fourth in scoring (8.8 ppg). • An eventual 2022 SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC All-Freshman Team selection, Zeigler averaged 10.1 points per game in conference play, while his .866 free-throw percentage during SEC play led the team. • Zeigler finished the regular season just one steal shy of the SEC lead in steals during conference play, averaging 2.2 takeaways per game with 40 steals in 18 SEC games. Additionally, the Long Island, New York, native ranked 11th among all Division I players in steal percentage, logging a steal on 4.54 percent of opponents' possessions when he was on the floor. • Growing into a spark plug role over the course of the season, Zeigler was the first player off the bench in a team-high 19 games.   KEY ADDS SAVVY VET TO VOLS' BACKCOURT • In addition to Tennessee's highly-rated crop of freshmen, the Vols also welcome Indiana State graduate transfer and Tennessee native . • Hailing from Celina, Tennessee—a two-hour drive northwest of Knoxville—Key ascended to sixth on Indiana State's all-time scoring list while averaging 14.5 points per game over four full seasons. Key departed Indiana State as the school's sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,650 career points. • A two-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, Key sat out last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in November 2021. He enters this season having already earned both a bachelor's and master's degree from Indiana State. • In 2017, Key led Clay County High School to the TSSAA Class A State title game, averaging 42.7 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists during three games at the state tournament. • During his senior season at Clay County, Key scored 1,380 points, breaking the 25-year-old TSSAA state record for most points in a single season that was held by former Kentucky star Tony Delk.   VOLS WELCOME FOUR SCHOLARSHIP FRESHMEN • Four scholarship freshmen make up Tennessee's 2022 recruiting class, highlighted by five-star forward and McDonald's All-American . • Guards and and forward round out the class. While Edwards signed with the Vols in November 2021, Jefferson and Phillips didn't sign until May, while Awaka officially joined the team in July. • Phillips, a consensus top-20 prospect in the nation from Blythewood, South Carolina, is the seventh five-star prospect to sign with the Vols during the era. Phillips graduated from Link Academy in Branson, Missouri—who he helped lead to the championship game at the GEICO National Championships and a No. 3 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25. • Edwards, a graduate of Knoxville Catholic High School, led the Fighting Irish to three state tournament appearances and the 2020 Division II-AA state championship. • Named 2021 TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball, Edwards scored 2,240 total points in four seasons as a starter at Catholic—averaging 19.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 52 percent from the field. • Jefferson hails from Richardson, Texas, but graduated from Minnesota Preparatory Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jefferson averaged 16.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a senior and initially signed with Tulsa in November of 2021 but was released and reopened his recruitment following a coaching change following the 2021-22 season. • He then saw his recruiting stock skyrocket after a standout showing at the Iverson Classic in Memphis in April of 2022. • Named the 2022 New York Gatorade Player of the Year, Awaka graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. As a senior in 2021-22, he averaged 19.2 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. • Awaka also played AAU ball with the New York Lightning program in the EYBL—the same AAU program that current Vol competed for.   MEDIA PICKS VOLS THIRD IN SEC • A preseason poll of SEC and national media projected Tennessee to finish third in the SEC race this season, behind Kentucky and Arkansas. • The Vols went 14-4 in SEC play last season to finish second in the league standings before proceeding to earn the SEC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid by winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa.   COMPREHENSIVE EXCELLENCE • Tennessee's men's hoops squad isn't the only team enjoying routine success on Rocky Top. • During the 2021-22 academic year, Tennessee won the SEC Men's All-Sports Trophy and finished second in the SEC Women's All-Sports standings. The Vols and Lady Vols captured five SEC team championships in 2021-22. • Tennessee teams currently ranked in their respective national top 25 polls include football (No. 3), women's basketball (No. 5),  men's golf (No. 7), women's swimming & diving (No. 7), men's basketball (No. 11), men's swimming & diving (No. 13), men's cross country (No. 17) and women's soccer (No. 18).

The 11th-ranked Tennessee basketball team hits the hardwood for the first time in 2022-23 on Friday, heading to Frisco, Texas, to take on No. 2 Gonzaga in the Legends of Basketball Classic exhibition game. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET at the Comerica Center.Fans can stream the game live online at PPV.COM or can order the Legends of Basketball Classic on TV through their cable, satellite or telco providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Dish, Verizon Fios, Altice and other leading providers. The suggested retail price will be $9.99 on all PPV platforms.Tom Hudson (play-by-play), Dane Bradshaw (analyst) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will have the call.Tennessee is coming off of a season in which it captured the SEC Tournament title and finished 27-8—marking the fourth-most wins in a single season in program history. This season, the Vols feature three preseason All-SEC selections—senior, seniorand sophomore. That trio is complemented by the upperclassman frontcourt duo ofand, both of whom started more than 20 games last season.The 113th season of Tennessee Basketball officially begins on Monday, Nov. 7, when the Vols host Tennessee Tech (7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+).• Tennessee's trails its all-time series with Gonzaga 2-4, dating to 2007. Five of those six meetings took place at neutral sites.• The last time these teams met, the seventh-ranked Volunteers upset the top-ranked and previously unbeaten (9-0) Bulldogs, 76-73, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Dec. 9, 2018.• Nine of the 10 starters from that 2018 clash went on to play in the NBA, including all five Vols.• The Volunteers are 9-7 all-time against current members of the West Coast Conference, whileis 3-7 vs. WCC opposition.• Second-year Tennessee assistant coachcoached Gonzaga forward Drew Timme in the Nike EYBL when Timme was a freshman and sophomore in high school.• Tennessee true freshmanis a native of Richardson, Texas (same hometown as Drew Timme), which is located 25 minutes south of Frisco.• Gonzaga sophomore forward Efton Reid III is a familiar face for returning Vols. As a freshman at LSU last season, Reid started both games against Tennessee, averaging 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. The Vols and Tigers split those meetings, with each team winning on its home floor.• Tennessee made a fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season and entered The Big Dance on the heels of winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa.• For the second time under head coach, Tennessee was unbeaten at home last season.• The Vols finished last season with the third-best defensive efficiency in the country after finishing fifth nationally in 2020-21.was a first-team All-SEC selection last season while becoming only the second Vol ever to make 100 3-pointers in a single season.• After leading the Vols in scoring (13.9 ppg) last year and winning SEC Tournament MVP honors, true freshman point guardwas selected 38th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft and landed with his hometown team, the Memphis Grizzlies.• Tennessee is testing itself prior to tipping off the regular season with a pair of exhibition matchups against perennial powerhouses Michigan State and Gonzaga.• Proceeds from Friday's charity exhibition vs. the Zags benefit The McLendon Foundation. Through the foundation,recently funded an athletics department staff position at UT Martin for multiple years.• After six years on' staff—the last three as associate head coach—Mike Schwartz in March accepted the head coaching job at East Carolina.has since been elevated to UT's associate head coach, and analystwas bumped to a full-time assistant coach role.• Vols senioris likely to be inactive for Friday's exhibition, as he works his way back to full speed following an off-season knee procedure.• Gonzaga is coming off a season in which it finished 28-4 (13-1 WCC), earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.• The Bulldogs are ranked No. 2 in the Preseason AP Poll and received 12 first-place votes.• Gonzaga returns three starters from last season, led by 2022 All-American Drew Timme. Timme was also a named a unanimous preseason AP first-team All-American earlier this week.• Timme is coming off a 2021-22 campaign in which he averaged 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. His scoring total led the team, while the rebound and assist totals ranked second behind eventual first-round NBA Draft picks Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard, respectively.• Along with Timme, returning starters Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther were also named preseason All-WCC.• Following last season, the Bulldogs also added two sought-after transfers to their roster—LSU transfer Efton Reid III, a former five-star recruit, and Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith, the 2022 SoCon Player of the Year.• Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is entering his 24th season at the helm of the Bulldogs' program in 2022-23. Few is the winningest active coach in college basketball by win percentage with a .836 mark (657-129).• After facing Tennessee, Gonzaga is set to face a strenuous non-conference schedule this season. The Bulldogs open the season by facing Michigan State and also have games against Texas, Kentucky, Baylor, Washington and Alabama all before the start of conference play—as well as the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland in November.was the SEC's premiere 3-point shooter last season, and we have the numbers to prove it. His proficiency from beyond the arc only elevated during SEC play.• No other "major conference" player in the nation with at least 100 attempts shot a better percentage during conference play last year.STAT All Games | Rank SEC Games | Rank3FG% .403 | 2nd .445 | 1st3FG Makes PG 2.91 | 2nd 3.17 | 1stTotal 3FG Makes 102 | 1st 57 | 1st• The final addition to last year's Tennessee's roster (signing on Aug. 27, 2021),made a major impact for the Vols as an unheralded true freshman—ranking second on the team in steals (1.7 spg), third in assists (2.7 apg) and fourth in scoring (8.8 ppg).• An eventual 2022 SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC All-Freshman Team selection, Zeigler averaged 10.1 points per game in conference play, while his .866 free-throw percentage during SEC play led the team.• Zeigler finished the regular season just one steal shy of the SEC lead in steals during conference play, averaging 2.2 takeaways per game with 40 steals in 18 SEC games. Additionally, the Long Island, New York, native ranked 11th among all Division I players in steal percentage, logging a steal on 4.54 percent of opponents' possessions when he was on the floor.• Growing into a spark plug role over the course of the season, Zeigler was the first player off the bench in a team-high 19 games.• In addition to Tennessee's highly-rated crop of freshmen, the Vols also welcome Indiana State graduate transfer and Tennessee native• Hailing from Celina, Tennessee—a two-hour drive northwest of Knoxville—Key ascended to sixth on Indiana State's all-time scoring list while averaging 14.5 points per game over four full seasons. Key departed Indiana State as the school's sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,650 career points.• A two-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, Key sat out last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in November 2021. He enters this season having already earned both a bachelor's and master's degree from Indiana State.• In 2017, Key led Clay County High School to the TSSAA Class A State title game, averaging 42.7 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists during three games at the state tournament.• During his senior season at Clay County, Key scored 1,380 points, breaking the 25-year-old TSSAA state record for most points in a single season that was held by former Kentucky star Tony Delk.• Four scholarship freshmen make up Tennessee's 2022 recruiting class, highlighted by five-star forward and McDonald's All-American• Guardsandand forwardround out the class. While Edwards signed with the Vols in November 2021, Jefferson and Phillips didn't sign until May, while Awaka officially joined the team in July.• Phillips, a consensus top-20 prospect in the nation from Blythewood, South Carolina, is the seventh five-star prospect to sign with the Vols during theera. Phillips graduated from Link Academy in Branson, Missouri—who he helped lead to the championship game at the GEICO National Championships and a No. 3 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25.• Edwards, a graduate of Knoxville Catholic High School, led the Fighting Irish to three state tournament appearances and the 2020 Division II-AA state championship.• Named 2021 TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball, Edwards scored 2,240 total points in four seasons as a starter at Catholic—averaging 19.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 52 percent from the field.• Jefferson hails from Richardson, Texas, but graduated from Minnesota Preparatory Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jefferson averaged 16.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a senior and initially signed with Tulsa in November of 2021 but was released and reopened his recruitment following a coaching change following the 2021-22 season.• He then saw his recruiting stock skyrocket after a standout showing at the Iverson Classic in Memphis in April of 2022.• Named the 2022 New York Gatorade Player of the Year, Awaka graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx. As a senior in 2021-22, he averaged 19.2 points and 13.9 rebounds per game.• Awaka also played AAU ball with the New York Lightning program in the EYBL—the same AAU program that current Volcompeted for.• A preseason poll of SEC and national media projected Tennessee to finish third in the SEC race this season, behind Kentucky and Arkansas.• The Vols went 14-4 in SEC play last season to finish second in the league standings before proceeding to earn the SEC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid by winning the SEC Tournament in Tampa.• Tennessee's men's hoops squad isn't the only team enjoying routine success on Rocky Top.• During the 2021-22 academic year, Tennessee won the SEC Men's All-Sports Trophy and finished second in the SEC Women's All-Sports standings. The Vols and Lady Vols captured five SEC team championships in 2021-22.• Tennessee teams currently ranked in their respective national top 25 polls include football (No. 3), women's basketball (No. 5), men's golf (No. 7), women's swimming & diving (No. 7), men's basketball (No. 11), men's swimming & diving (No. 13), men's cross country (No. 17) and women's soccer (No. 18).