Who: Tennessee Volunteers
What: Men’s basketball
Where: Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville TN)
When: 7:00pm on Friday November 9th
Radio: Click Here
TV: FOX Sports South (Randy Smith and Bill Justus). “Taped-Delayed in Georgia (and the Carolinas) at (1 a.m. (ET)
Live on DirectTV (CH 648-1 (HD), 648 (SD) and DishNet (CH 9516 (HD), 446 (SD)” In other words, if you have Comcast it will air at 1:00am on delay in Georgia/NC/SC.
Internet Feed: None
Head Coach: Lewis Preston
Years at Kennesaw State: 1 (3-28)
Overall head coaching record: 3-28 (one year)
2011-12 Record: 3-28
Post-season play: None
Conference: Atlantic Sun Conference (A-SUN)
Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Years at Tennessee: 1 (19-15)
Overall head coaching record: 80-56 (five years)
2011-12 Record: 19-15
Post-season play: Lost in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament to Florida.
Conference: Southeastern Conference (SEC)
Star PlayersFollow @KSUOwlHowl
Markeith Cummings has been the Owls top scorer for the past three seasons and is a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. Cummings is easily the best athlete to ever play for Kennesaw State basketball, and might be the most talented player to suit up for the black and gold to this point in the school’s young Division I history. He was named one of the team’s three captains during his junior season.
Aaron Anderson is entering his third and final season at KSU. Anderson will receive heavy minutes again this year for the size needy Owls. He has been working on his jumper, so expect him to step out and knock down more 15 footers this year. Anderson is a gliding high-flyer who excels at doing the dirty work around the rim. He was repeatedly singled out with praise by Coach Preston following games last year. Although undersized, Anderson plays with a lot of heart and will log minutes at center. He was named a team captain as a junior.
Delbert Love was Coach Lewis Preston’s first and only recruit last season, and he paid dividends right off the bat. He was named Atlantic-Sun Newcomer of the Week on February 7th and made the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team for being one of the top five freshmen in the conference. He is good off the dribble and a solid shooter from deep. Delbert has tight form on his jumper with limited movement. He sees the floor and displays good court vision on both ends. Defensively he applies pesky ball pressure. He was named a team captain as a freshman.
Trae Golden is a hometown kid, hailing from Cobb County. He attended McEachern High School and played AAU ball for the Atlanta Celtics. Recruiting website Rivals.com ranked Golden as the 63rd best player in the country in the class of 2010. After a sub-par freshman season, he turned himself into a star in year two.
Jarnell Stokes was ranked by Rivals.com as the 11th best player in the country. Now coming into his second season at Tennessee, he is in much better shape and could become one of the best players in the nation.
Yonel Brown is going to get the start at point guard in his first regular season game. He handled himself extremely well vs. Piedmont in the exhibition, when he ran the offense like a vet and knocked down 4 of 6 three pointers. The big question is how will Brown react to ball pressure from Tennessee that Piedmont was simply not capable of. He will need to limit his turnovers for KSU to win.
Brandon Dawson is beginning his third season at KSU, which is also his make or break year. He will be the first man off of the bench and the Owls will need him to step up, play confidently and play tough inside even if it means going out of position versus bigger players. He shined in the exhibition vs. Piedmont and shot the ball well but played limited minutes due to sore knees. The games count now, and Dawson will need to use his frame and athleticism more effectively against a team the caliber of Tennessee. He can’t be afraid to commit a hard foul and must play under control on offense.
Like Trae Golden, Kenny Hall is a local product from the Atlanta area, so we know he’s going to give 110% on Friday. He attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain and was the 74th ranked player in the Class of 2009. Hall’s junior year was easily his best; he averaged a block per game. His length alone should give the Owls a tough time.
Injury ReportFollow @KSUOwlHowl
Impact: Is one of the Owl’s top two freshman. He will play a major role in the guard rotation.
Impact: One of Tennessee’s top players. Averaged 8 rebounds and 13 points last season.
Impact: Unknown. Likely negligible.
This is 6’9″ 270 matched up against 6’8″ 270. Osemhen won’t be able to stop Stokes but if he can limit him, use his fouls and play physical for 10-15 minutes then he will have done his job. Kennesaw will likely have to pack the paint and use a zone defense for much of the game and employ double teams in man. The Owls must rotate better than they did against Piedmont in the exhibition or the Volunteers will have open shots all night.
Brown will have a chance for revenge against Golden on Friday. The two Atlanta area products faced each other in the first round of the 2010 Class AAAAA state playoffs but fell short by seven points. Undersized at 5’9″, Brown is an aggressive defender with quick hands. It will be interesting to see how this match-up plays out. The Owls could also switch things up and put Delbert Love on Golden if the size advantage is too much.
On the other end of the floor, Tennessee will have to find a way to stay in front of Brown and keep him out of the paint.
Kennesaw State enters the season with a few more pieces overall than last year, but the parts don’t fit into place just yet. The Owls lack a true defensive presence inside and must play good team defense to compensate. The team has to avoid slow starts like last year and give Tennessee a ballgame for the first 10-15 minutes to help build confidence.
This game is going to be a difficult one for Kennesaw State, as would any against a power conference like the SEC. In a game where everything needs to go right, Kennesaw State might come into Knoxville shorthanded right off the bat, without the highly touted Myles Hamilton.
KSU will likely employ a seven man rotation if the game remains close. In no particular order: Delbert Love, Yonel Brown, Markeith Cummings, Aaron Anderson, Brandon Dawson, Andrew Osemhen and Jordan Montgomery. Cole Hobbs might see spot minutes if outside shooting is needed.
Tennessee is down four men (one being a walk-on), so younger players will have a chance to prove themselves. They have five proven D1 players on the roster who should see a full slate of action: Golden, Stokes, Hall, Skylar McBee and Jordan McRae.
This game will be excellent experience for the Owls and we will find out who is ready to ball this year.Follow @KSUOwlHowl