Smith not missed: Tennessee tops Siena, 78-64

Tennessee guard J.P. Prince (30) puts up a shot in front of Siena guard Kyle Downey during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the Old Spice Classic tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008.

Photo by AP Photo / Phelan M. Ebenhack

Tennessee guard J.P. Prince (30) puts up a shot in front of Siena guard Kyle Downey during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game during the Old Spice Classic tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008.

LAKE BUENA VISTA. Fla. — Tennessee’s Tyler Smith wanted to give thanks following the Vols’ 78-64 win over Siena on Thursday afternoon.

“My teammates ... and the fans were amazing,’’ Smith said. “Today was just what we needed.’’

Tennessee, 4-0 and ranked 12th, plays Georgetown at 1 p.m. today (TV: ESPN) at The Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic.

The 21st-ranked Hoyas (3-0) defeated Wichita State 58-50 in the second game Thursday.

Smith said the throng of orange-clad fans who made up roughly half of the 3,000 in attendance inspired the Vols to play with greater effort against the Saints (2-1).

The UT fans had plenty of opportunities to cheer for junior Wayne Chism, who was named the Old Spice player of the game with a team-high 15 points while sharing team honors for rebounds (six) and assists (three).

Smith scored UT’s first six points before leaving the game for the rest of the first half with his second foul at the 13:27 mark and the Vols up 13-11.

“Tyler came out and kind of had his head down,’’ Chism said, “And I said, ‘Tyler, I got your back.’ He had my back plenty of times last year when I got into foul trouble.’’

Tennessee didn’t miss a beat without Smith, the preseason SEC player of the year.

Freshman Scotty Hopson hit a 3-pointer at the 10:01 mark to spark an 18-0 run that Cameron Tatum capped with a reverse layup off J.P. Prince’s steal to make the score 35-15 at the 6:19 mark.

Freshman Renaldo Woolridge hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run en route to his 14 point, six-rebound performance.

The Vols took a 47-27 lead into intermission, but the experienced Saints weren’t finished.

Siena opened the second half on a 10-0 run, and cut the lead to nine points at 50-41 on Edwin Ubiles’ free throw with 13:29 left to play.

“I think we lost our focus,’’ Chism said. “On offense, we were rushing ourselves.’’

After a Tatum free throw, Chism helped his teammates re-focus by hitting his first 3-pointer of the season — after going 0-for-8 the first three games — to give the Vols a 54-41 lead.

“It was kind of like a dagger shot,” said Kenny Hasbrouck, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason player of the year. “They are a very athletic team and they bring a lot of defensive intensity.”

Hasbrouck found out first hand. UT held him to six points on 1-of-10 shooting, and forced him into five turnovers.

Siena’s Alex Franklin, who scored a game-high 17 points, hit a free throw to cut the lead to 54-42, but that was as close as they would get.

UT’s final run, a 9-0 burst, took any doubt out of the outcome. Prince hit two free throws and scored on a three-point play, and Chism hit both ends of a 1-and-1 free throw situation and scored in close to give the Vols their largest lead at 63-42 with 8:45 left.

Siena, the preseason MAAC favorites, drew no closer than 14 the rest of the game.

“Offensively, we did the things we needed to do in the paint, as Wayne was big and Brian (Williams) was big,” UT coach Bruce Pearl said. “Defensively, building a wall and rotating was a key. We wanted to make them beat us from the outside.”

The Saints hit 1-of-15 3-pointers while the Vols made 6-of-14.

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Comments » 32

BoatmanVolfan writes:

Great Win! Bring on G-Town!

Volzo writes:

Points in the paint will be hard to come by when they face the Georgetown Hoyas tomorrow.

dopedawg writes:

Work on Georgetown next guys!!!!!! Go Vols!!!! Look sharp!!

txvolsfan writes:

Hopson needs to be more agressive!!! Once these guys get some more time together, they could be pretty special!!!

cltvol writes:

This team has the horses,,,the key will be the jockey (i.e. point guard play). It will be either sweet 16 exit or final four, depending on ball handling, passing, penetration, ball decisioning, and turnover ratio out front.

volcycle writes:

Great game for this team. They are young and still need to grow up. I love what I'm seeing though.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Volzo:

Points in the paint will be hard to come by when they face the Georgetown Hoyas tomorrow.

I'm an old EE. I like the way current flows. The path of least Resistance. Bring on W. State

utvolz#637682 writes:

Vols played well today and I hope will open a HUGE can of WA against Georgetown tomorrow (assuming they can get past WSU)!

Frank (broadcasting live from Manchester,TN!)

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

why is that, this is team basketball and not the scotty hobson show--as long as we win the points can come from anywhere and everywhere and that makes us a better team thats harder to defend and plan for

debaser11 writes:

Great game. Glad to see they didn't let up on D.
Please, don't become a Memphis at the free throw line though. I really hate seeing a close game lost at the line.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not disrepecting your opinion or trying to be argumentative but my thoughts are we have lots of young players who all need developing and no reason 1 should be more developed at the expense of others---quite honestly if he could go pro this year he'd opt to so all things equal I'd be more inclinded to see developement of those who will likely be around a while---I know SH is your man and I'm hopin for great things out of him too but I'd rather have multiple threats rather than just 1 main guy opponents need to focus on

blitzshoot writes:

I was happy to see so many UT fans on Thanksgiving morning at Disney. It was good to see UT in person. The offensive
rebounding has to get better or tomorrow will be a long day. Go Vols! Beat Georgetown!

blhvols#536551 writes:

in response to cltvol:

This team has the horses,,,the key will be the jockey (i.e. point guard play). It will be either sweet 16 exit or final four, depending on ball handling, passing, penetration, ball decisioning, and turnover ratio out front.

You forgot free throw shooting. Ha-Ha

smokyredbone writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your still struggling with the cerebral part of it Mac !! lmaof, he's a player as all of Pearl's boys are, but Mr. Smith is the Key to this team.I'm thinking their a little ahead of schedule too, should be fun to watch!

p.s. There are some good self help programs on the net ,maybe you can boost your Q some. Go Vols!!!

smokyredbone writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

nice!!!!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Good win.

blitzshoot writes:

Me and the boy back tomorrow. Throats are shot.

FatherTime writes:

Transition defense a little scary, as are turnovers.

Tyler is on, JP is getting his groove , and Woolridge is fillin' it up. Brian is getting stronger every game and Chism is spot on. Maze needs to create some more opportunities. Hopson, keep throwing it up there. Improvement is obvious, bring on Georgetown.

TopTenn writes:

We have to many options on offense for Georgetown to stop. And our defense will keep causing TOs. Who will step up tomorrow? Hopson, Chism, Woolridge, Tyler or Tatum.

CleverUserNameVol writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Williams can be a beast if the refs will let him breathe. It seemed like they were blowing that whistle just because they liked the way it sounded. More graduates of the Ted Valentine School of Officiating. Are they gunning for us every year or am I just biased?

elbtenn#502977 writes:

I love roundball!!!

xvolx writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

who is msu. there is no msu in next round.

Beast writes:

I 2nd that--- WHO GIVES A SH$# ABOUT ANY OF THE 10 MSU'S out there--GO BIG ORANGE!

westtnvolfan51 writes:

HOYAS HAVE NO OFFENSE OTHER THAN THERE BIG MAN I THINK WILLIAMS WILL PLAY HIM WELL TOMORROW.

BrucePearlismyHomeboy0156 writes:

maryland beat MSU

ncvol writes:

Great win..Hope we have another win tomorrow against Georgetown.
Go Vols !

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Great win tonight. Siena is a good team. We played pretty good team "D", especially in the 1st half. I hope they stay focused because they just get tougher from here. Go Big Orange!!

alfrizzle097 writes:

UT is getting better. The defense still has some wholes in it. People are getting beat on the perimeter, which will burn them against higher quality competition.

That said, Siena is a solid team with all 5 starters from a team that thumped Vanderbilt and made it to the sweet 16 last year. What is that? 3-0 against projected tournament teams?

The guys on ESPN keep saying that who(m?)ever jumps out to a lead at the beginning will win. WRONG PG play will decide it. Can Georgetown avoid turning the ball over? They didn't tonight. Can Maize distribute the ball against a defense built around forcing the other team to be more patient than they are used to?

alfrizzle097 writes:

Just one more thought...

Everyone keeps complaining about Chism's threes. Chism is a good enough three point shooter (I am aware that he was 0-8 going into tonight) that if he shoots them, it forces the other team to have their big follow him out. That creates the opportunity for the smaller quick guys to drive and not have to change their thoughts.

As long as he is open and has his feet set, I don't mind it.

Trust Pearl.... He hung the Big Orange Sun.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Did I read where mega-untouchable Memphus Tiggers tripped up?

Naw, couldn't be.

jasonn1970 writes:

I think we'll learn just how far along this young talented team is this weekend. This is a good tournament for the Vols to be in to get some experience against quality competition.

threehundredbowler writes:

in response to Scotty_Hopson32:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I sure am glad you guys know so much.Give pearl a call.He needs to learn from the experts what it takes to make this team a contender rather than a pretender.He may become a good coach someday if he will only learn to listen to the fans.

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