Projected starters

Tennessee (9-11, 1-4 SEC)

G Trae Golden        13.2

G Josh Richardson        3.1

G Cameron Tatum        9.1

F Jeronne Maymon    11.6

F Jarnell Stokes    10.5


Auburn (12-8, 2-4 SEC)

G Frankie Sullivan  12.4

G Josh Wallace   3.4

G Josh Langford   9.1

F Kenny Gabriel    11.6

C Rob Chubb    9.2


How they match up:


UT                AUBURN

69.8        Scoring O    64.4

66.8        Scoring D    63.9

45.0        FG %        42.7

36.1        3-Pt. %    31.6

67.7        FT %        64.8

+2.8        Reb. Mar.    +1.3

4.7          BPG        5.5

13.3        APG        13.5

6.0          SPG        6.7


Last five games

UT

1/24 at Vanderbilt (L 65-47)

1/21 vs Connecticut (W 60-57)

1/18 at Georgia (L 57-53 OT)

1/14 vs Kentucky (L 65-62)

1/12 at Mississippi State (L 62-58)


AUBURN

1/25 at Arkansas (L 56-53)

1/21 vs South Carolina (W 63-52)

1/17 at LSU (L 65-58 OT)

1/14 vs Mississippi (W 69-68 OT)

1/11 vs Kentucky (L 68-53)


Last year

Feb. 3 in Auburn, Ala.

Tennessee 69-56


Why the Vols will win: Tennessee has lost five of its past seven, including a huge letdown at Vanderbilt on Tuesday just three days after upsetting No. 13 UConn. It seems that in that stretch the Vols really showed up against the ranked opponents (responsible for three losses in that stretch), but had a harder time with the lesser teams. The Auburn game’s at Thompson-Boling Arena, where Tennessee has won six of seven. Freshman phenom Jarnell Stokes has already earned a spot in the starting lineup after joining the team this semester. He is nearly averaging a double-double (10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds). If Tennessee gets points from him and Jeronne Maymon inside the paint, as well as improves on its 10-percent 3-point shooting from the Vandy game, they have a good chance to earn another road win.

Why the Tigers will win: The Tigers are lingering around the lower portion of the SEC standings just like Tennessee, and a road win would look good for their resume with only three more chances to play ranked teams, according to the most recent polls. Auburn has a senior and three juniors and a freshman in the starting lineup, so experience is on its side. However, the Tigers haven’t won in Knoxville since 1997. Guard Frankie Sullivan will need to hit some 3s (he’s shooting 37 percent this year from beyond the arc), and Kenny Gabriel will need to be a force inside against the Vols’ Maymon/Stokes duo. Gabriel will have his hands full, but he’ll have to snag some rebounds (he averages eight a game), draw fouls and get to the free-throw line in order to make the biggest impact.