No Hall. Think Small.
That was Tennessee's mantra in a 58-46 win at Vanderbilt on Wednesday night.
It might or might not be the game plan when 25th-ranked Kentucky (17-7, 8-3 SEC) visits Thompson-Boling Arena to face the Vols (13-10, 5-6) on Saturday.
Tipoff is 1:05 p.m. (TV: WVLT).
Responding to Vandy's four-guard look, UT coach Cuonzo Martin not only did not start 6-foot-9 senior Kenny Hall, he didn't even play Hall against the Commodores.
Hall had started all 21 games he has played, averaging 22.1 minutes, 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.
He was coming off one of his least memorable outings, scoring only two points in 11 minutes at South Carolina on Sunday. In that game, he also was ineffective on defense before sitting down.
Martin said Hall's absence was more a reaction to Vanderbilt's lineup, but he was pleased with the results, especially Jarnell Stokes' results.
"I felt like our best lineup is four guards,'' Martin said Wednesday night, "because now you have space and Jarnell can do the things he needs to do and be aggressive.
"Now we can play defense the way we need to play it.''
Stokes played 37 minutes as UT's lone "big" flanked by four guards and recorded his sixth consecutive double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
According to UT, only O.D. Anosike of Siena has a longer streak (seven) of double-double efforts this season. He's the younger brother of former Lady Vol Nicky Anosike.
Kentucky will be short a big man Saturday since losing Nerlens Noel to a season-ending knee injury Tuesday night at Florida.
The Wildcats can still go big, with 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein and 6-10 Kyle Wiltjer. If that's the case, Hall should see plenty of action.
McRae's First: Jordan McRae is playing an SEC-high 36.1 minutes in league games, but had the energy Wednesday to notch his first career double-double.
Scoring double figures was old hat, but the 11 rebounds to go with his 14 points were the surprise.
3 for Q: Quinton Chievous was 1-for-10 on the season from behind the 3-point line when he entered the Vandy game in the first half.
That didn't discourage him from letting one rip — and it went in to give UT a 28-20 lead.
"(Martin) always tells the whole team to shoot an open shot if you've got it,'' said Chievous. "I felt I had an open shot so I just let it go.''
After being anchored to the bench for nine games Chievous is 4-of-4 shooting the past two road wins.