Vols ready to take on NC State in San Antonio

Published 2:57 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

The 12th-ranked Tennessee travels to the Lone Star State for a neutral site matchup with North Carolina State on Saturday as part of the Hall of Fame Series in San Antonio. Tipoff from Frost Bank Center is set for 10 p.m.

Fans can catch Saturday’s game between the Vols (7-3) and Wolfpack (7-2) on ESPN2. Kevin Fitzgerald, (play-by-play) and Carolyn Peck (analyst) will have the call.

Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp describing the action.

Tennessee defeated Georgia Southern, 74-56, Tuesday night at Food City Center. Junior forward Jonas Aidoo turned in his finest performance as a collegian, shattering his career high with a game-best 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting in a wire-to-wire triumph for the Vols.

 

THE MATCHUP

• In the first 10 meetings between the border rivals, Tennessee went 0-3 at home and 4-4 in all other venues, including 4-2 in the past six such games.

• The Volunteers have defeated the Wolfpack in four locations: the Bahamas (11/24/17), Raleigh (1/27/92), Greensboro (3/1/67) and Memphis (1/26/65).

• NC State has won four of the past five overall meetings following a 3-3 start in the series.

• The sides met every season from 1990-91 to 1993-94, but have played just thrice since then.

• Coming off a 23-11 (12-8) campaign that included an NCAA Tournament berth, NC State was picked seventh in the ACC preseason poll.

• Junior guard Jayden Taylor, with 14.7 ppg, leads a quartet of NC State players averaging at least 13.0 ppg.

• The Vols are 115-101 all-time against current ACC schools and Rick Barnes is 76-76 versus such foes. Tennessee, under Barnes, is 3-1 in its last four games against the ACC, including 1-1 this season.

 

TIES BETWEEN TEAMS

• Tennessee associate head coach Justin Gainey played at NC State from 1996-2000 under former Herb Sendek—a Rick Barnes assistant at Providence in 1988- 89—and averaged 6.9 ppg, 2.7 apg and 1.5 spg over 128 outings.

• NC State graduate student forward DJ Burns Jr., began his career at Tennessee, redshirting in 2018-19 during his lone year with the Volunteers before transferring to Winthrop, where he spent three seasons, and then NC State.

• Craig Hammel, NC State’s director of communications, is a graduate of Tennessee, where he worked as a sports information assistant.

• Rick Barnes hails from Hickory, N.C., approximately 170 miles west of NC State, and was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in April 2023.

• Two Volunteer players—Jonas Aidoo (Durham) and Freddie Dilione V (Fayetteville)—are Tar Heel State natives, as are both associate head coach Justin Gainey (High Point) and class of 2024 high school signee Bishop Boswell (Charlotte).