Volunteers take on Panthers
The Tennessee Volunteer basketball team plays the Pittsburgh Panthers in the 2010 Direct TV SEC/Big East Invitational this Saturday at 3:15pm EST. Both teams enter the game with undefeated records. Tennessee sports a 6-0 record while Pittsburgh has started out with ten consecutive victories. This battle of highly ranked teams should be a great game to watch.
The Volunteers have beaten a Big East opponent already this season when the defeated the Villanova Wildcats by ten points on November 26th. Their average margin of victory so far this season is just over eleven points. Winning over Villanova has been the only quality opponent they have played. The trio of Tobias Harris, Scotty Hopson and Cameron Tatum lead the way for the Volunteers. Harris is a freshman and Hopson and Tatum are juniors. Harris is dropping in 16.7 points and bringing down 5.8 rebounds per game. Hopson contributes 16.3 points per game and Tatum adds 11.3. Scoring points is not where the Volunteers stand out. They rank 50th among schools that compete on the division one level. Rebounding has been the way they set themselves apart. They are the 14th best team in that category with 42.3 per game.
Pittsburgh has been just as impressive as Tennessee when it comes to rebounding. They rank fourth overall in the country with 45.1 per game. The two players leading the way for the Panthers this year are Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker. Gibbs scores 17.4 per game while Wanamaker adds 12.8. The panthers play ten different guys consistently with all ten playing a minimum of ten minutes per night. Pittsburgh is looking to finish their non conference schedule impressively with this and two more games.
The young talented Volunteer team looks to show the Panthers they are for real. The Panthers look to show the Volunteers that they are stronger and physically better. I think this battle will be a close one for ninety percent of the game. The Panthers veteran leadership will help them pull away late and win by double digits.