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No. 8 Tennessee vs. Tarleton State: How To Watch, Betting Odds, Complete Preview

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball hosts Tarleton State on Thursday night before a 12 day hiatus around Christmas and New Years.

The Vols enter their penultimate non conference matchup on a four-game winning streak and coming off a neutral site win over North Carolina State on Saturday night.

Here’s everything to know about the matchup.

More From RTI: Tennessee Basketball Moves Back Into Top 10 In AP Poll

How to Watch – No. 8 Tennessee (8-3) vs. Tarleton State (8-2)

  • Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT
  • Location: Thompson-Boling Area at Food City Center
  • TV: SEC Network+. PxP: Andy Brock. CC: Steve Hamer. Sideline: Sarah Detwiler
  • Online Streaming: Watch ESPN
  • Radio (Knoxville): The Vol Network/The Vol Network App

Betting Lines

Draft Kings

Tennessee -22.5 Tarleton State

Over/Under: 139.5


Tennessee -21 Tarleton State

Over/Under: 141

What Rick Barnes Said About The Texans

On the characteristics of a Billy Gillespie coached team

“Very aggressive, you know, going to fight you, going to fight every pass, going to work hard to get through passing lanes. They do a lot out floppy where they can get into a high-low game and do some different things. But hard-nosed. Again, they’re very scrappy, different ball-screen coverages, but we’ll really try to deny them. Now, they will be a, I think, a heavy gap team against us, I think. And they’ll be in a gap, not so much to slow you down, but more there to really try to take the ball away from you. So our perimeter movement’s going to be important.”

On if he has any good Billy Gillespie stories from their Texas and Texas A&M days

“No, just, you know, I’ve got a lot of respect for Billy. You know, he did a great job at A&M. When he went to A&M they really, first time probably, they made a real commitment to basketball and he did a great job there building it. And obviously moving on to Kentucky, from meeting Billy when he was on Bill Self’s staff and through the years, he’s a terrific basketball coach. Every time I think of him is kind of what I said, you know you’re in for a fight. I don’t care where he is, what he does. That’s his personality, that’s who he is, and he has a great way of getting that across to his players.”

Probable Starters

Tennessee (via UT Game Notes)

Tarleton State (via TSU Game Notes)

Team Statistics (via Sports Reference)


Tarleton State:

Stat Leaders


Points: Dalton Knecht — 16.5 PPG, 46.3 FG%, 38.0 3PT%

Rebounds: Jonas Aidoo — 7.2 RPG, 5.0 DRPG, 2.2 ORPG

Assists: Zakai Zeigler — 4.5 APG, 2.3 TOPG, 24.8 MPG

Tarleton State:

Points: Jakorie Smith — 15.0 PPG, 41.5 FG%, 30.4 3PT%

Rebounds: KiAndre Gaddy — 7.5 RPG, 3.1 DRPG, 4.4 ORPG

Assists: Devon Barnes — 2.0 APG, 0.8 TOPG, 22.8 MPG

Last Five Games


  • 79-70 win over North Carolina State (San Antonio)
  • 74-56 win versus Georgia Southern
  • 86-79 win versus Illinois
  • 87-66 win versus George Mason
  • 100-92 loss at North Carolina

Tarleton State:

  • 65-62 loss versus Jacksonville State
  • 85-47 win versus Sterling College
  • 92-56 win versus Hardin Simmons
  • 77-75 win versus UT Rio Grande Valley
  • 68-66 loss at Stephen F. Austin


Tennessee basketball faces a surprisingly strong Tarleton State team on Thursday night. It’s just the Texans fourth year as a division one program.

That makes this a potentially dangerous game for the Vols. The week before Christmas is privy to upsets across college basketball as big six school look ahead to time off and aren’t locked in against smaller schools. That’s the situations Tennessee is looking to avoid as they have five straight days off after the matchup.

I’m looking for Tennessee to have a sharp 40-minute performance and for Dalton Knecht and Jonas Aidoo to bounce back from poor performances against North Carolina State.

Tennessee 80, Tarleton State 63

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