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    (Photo via @VeilleuxQB11 on Twitter)

    Tennessee has hosted a number of recruits on campus this weekend, and they’re still set to have a few more on campus today and tomorrow, most notably four-star 2020 athlete Dee Beckwith. But Friday and Saturday was spent hosting a lot of 2021 and 2022 prospects, and one of the Vols’ top quarterback targets in the 2021 class was back on campus.

    Four-star pro-style quarterback Christian Veilleux out of Potomac, Maryland took another visit to UT’s campus this weekend, and he posted on social media that he “can’t wait to be back” after this weekend’s trip.

    The 6-foot-3, 201-pound quarterback plays for The Bullis School and is rated as the No. 280 overall prospect and No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He holds offers from Michigan, Penn State, South Carolina, Kentucky, and others.

    In an interview with VR2, our recruiting partners here at RTI, Veilleux said that Tennessee’s hospitality really stood out to him, and UT’s coaches really made him feel important.

    “What stood out was the hospitality and the love I felt throughout the day,” Veilleux told Matt Ray of VR2. “The coaches demonstrated my importance to them.”

    Tennessee offered Veilleux back in late February of last year, and Saturday marked at least the fourth time the talented quarterback has been to UT’s campus. Tennessee’s Director of Programming for Football, Joe Osovet, visited Veilleux earlier in the week once the dead period lifted.

    Veilleux has a cannon of an arm, and he can throw some pretty deep balls. He puts the appropriate amount of touch on his passes, and he can make a variety of throws. He also has good mobility and can extend plays with his legs. Veilleux isn’t the most dynamic runner at the quarterback position, but he has enough speed and elusiveness to keep plays alive and also pick up chunks of yards if a play breaks down.

    As a junior for The Bullis School, Veilleux threw for 2,006 yards, 29 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while also running for 147 yards and five scores.

    Tennessee already has four prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, but none of those commits are quarterbacks. The Vols have offered over a dozen quarterbacks in the 2021 cycle, and Veilleux is one of their top targets along with five-star Brock Vandagriff and four-star Alabama commit Drake Maye.



      (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

      Not only did Tennessee’s team get a win on Saturday, but one of the Vols’ players got a big win, too.

      After Tennessee’s 66-45 victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes announced that walk-on redshirt junior guard Jacob Fleschman had been awarded a scholarship. The official Tennessee basketball Twitter account posted a video of Barnes telling Fleschman and his teammates in the visiting locker room after the game.

      The 6-foot-3, 176-pound guard from Austin, Texas has appeared in three games for the Vols this season and has played in 10 games in his UT career. He sank a three-pointer in Tennessee’s 76-41 victory over Alabama State back on November 20th and also appeared for two minutes in Tennessee’s wins over Florida A&M and Jacksonville State.

      Fleschman made a three-pointer last season as well, appearing in five games during the Vols’ 2018-19 campaign. In his career, Fleschman has played 23 minutes and has scored six points on 2-of-7 shooting, totaling two assists and a rebound in his 23 minutes of action.

      The redshirt junior guard graduated from Westlake High School in Austin, TX and was a First-Team All-District 14-6A selection by the Austin American-Statesman in his senior year. He averaged 11 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game while shooting 45 percent from three. He helped the Chaparrals to a 30-4 overall record.

      With Fleschman earning a scholarship, the Vols now have 11 active players on scholarship for the current 2019-20 season. Jordan Bowden is UT’s only senior on scholarship, and Fleschman joins John Fulkerson and Jalen Johnson as redshirt juniors on scholarship. Yves Pons, a junior, and Uros Plavsic, a redshirt freshman, are the only other active scholarship players on UT’s roster who are not true freshmen.

      Redshirt senior Lamonte Turner is also on scholarship, but he is out the rest of the season after having season-ending shoulder surgery. Oregon transfer guard Victor Bailey Jr. is also on scholarship, but he is not active for this season.

      Tennessee now has two players as walk-ons on their roster rather than three. Sophomore forward Brock Jancek and junior guard Kofi Maze are UT’s only walk-ons now.



        (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

        Vanderbilt had made a three-point field goal in every game they had played since the inception of the three-point line in college basketball. That is, until Saturday’s game against the Vols.

        The Commodores had made a three-pointer in 1,080-straight games heading into Saturday’s match-up with Tennessee, but that streak came crashing to the court in Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt attempted 25 three-pointers against their in-state foes, but not a single one fell.

        Vanderbilt did have one three-point shot ring true. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t get the shot off in time before the shot clock buzzer sounded.

        Thanks to that historically-bad shooting performance from three and an inspired offensive showing from the Vols in the second half, Tennessee (11-6, 3-2 SEC) left Nashville with a 66-45 victory over the Commodores (8-9, 0-4).

        The first half was an ugly affair, with the two teams combining for 41 points. In the second half, the Vols scored 45 points, while Vanderbilt managed just 25.

        Three different Vols scored in double figures, with Jordan Bowden leading the way with 21 points. Josiah-Jordan James flirted with a triple-double, totaling six points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

        Vanderbilt totaled 24 points from made field goals. Almost half of their points (21) came from the free throw line.

        Here are our five biggest takeaways from the Vols’ 21-point win over the Commodores.

        Second Half, Different Story

        The first half was one of the ugliest halves of play the Vols have played in a long time. Tennessee led Vanderbilt by a score of 21-20, and UT committed 10 turnovers in the half.

        In the second half, it was a completely different story for both teams.

        Tennessee came out on fire after halftime, and they never let off the gas pedal in the final 20 minutes of play. The Vols opened up the second half on a 10-0 run, and they continued to add to their lead as the minutes passed. The Vols dropped 45 points on the Commodores in the second half, shooting 66.7 percent from the floor as a team. Tennessee still had some turnover troubles, giving the ball away eight times, but they forced 11 Vanderbilt turnovers on the other end.

        Speaking of Vanderbilt, their offense stayed as ice cold in the second half as it was in the first half.

        The Commodores managed just 25 points in the second half and shot an abysmal 25 percent from the floor in the final half of play. Vanderbilt had one assist compared to their 11 turnovers in the second half. And, of course, they finished 0-of-25 from three.

        What was a close game at halftime turned into a blowout in the second half, and the Vols looked like a totally different team after halftime.

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        Finally, Some Paint Presence 

        Tennessee had been outscored in the paint in four of their last five games heading into Saturday’s contest. But the Vols finally found a way to get points down in the post, and they completely controlled the paint on both sides of the court.

        The Vols outscored Vanderbilt 42-20 in the paint on Saturday. John Fulkerson scored 12 points, and Yves Pons also scored 12 and had two monster dunks. Fulkerson himself had a highlight-worthy jam. Jordan Bowden scored on some layups and shots in the paint as well.

        Tennessee also out-rebounded Vanderbilt, holding a 35-29 edge on the boards. Fulkerson nearly had a double-double with eight rebounds to go along with his 12 points, and Josiah-Jordan James added nine rebounds to go along with six points and five assists.

        Dominant Defense 

        Yes, Vanderbilt missed a lot of shots themselves that had little to do with Tennessee’s defense. But the Vols’ defense also really affected what the Commodores did on offense.

        Tennessee blocked eight shots as a team, with both Yves Pons and Josiah-Jordan James finishing with three blocks apiece. Tennessee totaled six steals and scored 20 points off 17 Vanderbilt turnovers. The Commodores shot a paltry 23.5 percent from the floor, and as stated above, missed all 25 of their three-pointers. Vanderbilt only made 12 field goals as a team, meaning the Vols almost blocked as many shots as the Commodores made.

        Vanderbilt’s 45 points are a season-low for the Commodores, and it’s the lowest total an SEC team has scored against the Vols since UT defeated Auburn 71-45 back on February 9, 2016.

        Bowden Bounces Back

        Jordan Bowden entered Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt mired in a slump. The Vols’ only scholarship senior had made just 21.2 percent of his field goals over his last five games, averaging 8.2 points a game in the process.

        Against the Commodores, Bowden finally appeared to break out of his funk.

        The senior guard put up a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting in Nashville. He still missed both the three-pointers he attempted, but he was 7-of-8 from the free throw line and added two assists and two rebounds to go with his 21 points.

        Saturday’s game marked the first time since the Vols’ second game of the season, a win over Murray State on November 12th, that Bowden had eclipsed the 20-point mark in a game.

        Home Sweet Nashville 

        Tennessee has essentially made Nashville a second home in men’s basketball.

        The Vols have now beaten the Commodores in four-straight games in Memorial Gym, and counting games in the SEC Tournament, Tennessee has beaten Vanderbilt five-straight times in Nashville.

        Tennessee has now won seven of the last eight games they’ve played against Vanderbilt in Nashville.



          The state of Tennessee is in disarray on the basketball court. At least, east of Memphis.

          Tennessee (10-6, 2-2 SEC) and Vanderbilt (8-8, 0-3) face-off in Nashville on Saturday night, and both teams desperately need a win to try and turn around their seasons early in conference play. The Vols lost by 17 points to Georgia on the road on Wednesday, and UT has lost six of their last 11 contests after starting the season 5-0. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, has lost four-straight games and has yet to get a victory in SEC play.

          The Commodores will be playing without the SEC’s leading scorer, Aaron Nesmith. The star forward was averaging 23 points a game but suffered a season-ending injury a week ago. Vanderbilt has lost by 19 to Texas A&M and by 20 to Arkansas in the two games they’ve played without Nesmith.

          Tennessee, meanwhile, welcomed in another new addition to their active roster earlier this week when the NCAA finally officially cleared seven-foot Arizona State transfer Uros Plavsic. He played 17 minutes and added five points and three rebounds in the Vols’ loss to Georgia, his debut game for UT.

          The Vols enter Saturday’s contest having won four-straight games against Vanderbilt, and they’ve beaten the Commodores in six of the last seven meetings between the two teams.

          Take a look at everything you need to know for tonight’s match-up. If you couldn’t make the trip over to Nashville, here’s how you can watch or listen to tonight’s Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt game.

          Tip-Off: 6:00 Eastern, January 18th, Memorial Gym (Nashville, TN)

          TV: SEC Network (Kevin Fitzgerald and Dane Bradshaw)

          Streaming Online: ESPN.com/watch or ESPN app

          Radio: Vol Network

          Line: Tennessee (-5)



            One of the top wide receivers in the state of Florida in the 2021 class is currently on Tennessee’s campus for a Junior Day visit.

            Romello Brinson, a four-star wide receiver who plays for Northwestern High School in Miami, tweeted out on Saturday that he is in Knoxville, making his first trip to UT’s campus.

            The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wideout is the No. 148 overall prospect and No. 30 receiver in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. Earlier this week, Brinson tweeted out that he would be visiting Auburn, South Carolina, and Tennessee this week. The talented receiver was on Auburn’s campus on Friday, and now he’s on Tennessee’s campus.

            Brinson picked up an offer from the Vols back on May 1st of 2019. At the time, Brinson was committed to Miami, pledging himself to the Hurricanes on February 10th. But on November 24th, he reopened his recruitment and decommitted from Miami.

            Now, the speedy and dynamic receiver is just taking things slow. He holds offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, and many others. Tennessee made his new top 10 a week ago, and they were included along with Miami, Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Penn State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida, and Nebraska.

            Brinson is one of several 2021 prospects who are on UT’s campus this weekend, and Tennessee’s coaches are set to host a plethora of 2021 recruits in the month of January before the dead period begins in February.

            As a junior last season for Northwestern, Brinson caught 43 passes for 834 yards and eight touchdowns according to MaxPreps.

            Tennessee currently has four players committed to the in their 2021 class. Four-star wide receiver Jordan Mosley, three-star cornerback Jay Jones, three-star athlete Nate Evans, and three-star athlete Elijah Howard are UT’s early junior commits. Wide receiver figures to be a big position of need for the Vols in the 2021 cycle.

              Tennessee and Vanderbilt will square off tonight for their first of two regular season meetings, and both teams are not playing their best basketball right now.

              The Vols (10-6, 2-2 SEC) are coming off a 17-point loss to Georgia on the road on Wednesday and have lost six of their last 11 games overall. The Commodores (8-8, 0-3 SEC) have lost their first three SEC games and have lost four-straight games overall.

              Needless to say, both programs could use a win to help turn things around.

              Tennessee heads into Saturday’s contest having won four-straight games against Vanderbilt, and they’ve beaten the Commodores in six of their last seven match-ups. The Vols are led by fifth-year head coach Rick Barnes, who is 6-3 vs. Vanderbilt while at Tennessee. The Commodores are led by first-year head coach and former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse.

              Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Saturday’s contest between Tennessee and Vanderbilt that tips off at 6:00 PM Eastern on the SEC Network.

              Another Lost Star

              Last year, Vanderbilt lost five-star guard Darius Garland to a season-ending injury just five games into the season, and it derailed the Commodores’ entire year. Vanderbilt struggled without their star point guard and leading scorer, failing to win a single SEC game all season. That historically bad performance cost head coach Bryce Drew his job.

              Now, first-year head coach Jerry Stackhouse is dealing with the exact same problem Drew had to go through last season.

              Vanderbilt lost their leading scorer Aaron Nesmith to a season-ending injury a week ago. Nesmith was the leading scorer in the entire SEC, averaging 23 points a game to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game.

              Without Nesmith, Vanderbilt has struggled. Mightily.

              The Commodores have lost both SEC games they’ve played without Nesmith, and neither contest has been close. Vanderbilt lost 69-50 to Texas A&M and fell 75-55 on the road to Arkansas on Wednesday. Vanderbilt has shot just 34.7 percent from the field and 20 percent from three in Nesmith’s absence, averaging only 52.5 points a game.

              Vanderbilt is also playing without 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward Clevon Brown. The senior has missed the Commodores’ last seven games, and he was averaging nine points, six rebounds, and two blocks a game before being held out with an undisclosed knee injury. He was leading the team in rebounding before sitting out.

              Paint Problems

              Tennessee has had a plethora of issues down in the post on both offense and defense over the last couple weeks. Even with Uros Plavsic adding his seven-foot presence to the roster earlier this week against Georgia, the Bulldogs still outscored the Vols in the paint, continuing a troubling trend.

              The Vols have been outscored in the paint in four of their last five games. Over their last five games, Tennessee has been outscored 132-94 down in the post.

              Aside from John Fulkerson getting a double-double in Tennessee’s 56-55 win over South Carolina — scoring 15 points and bringing down 10 rebounds — the Vols’ post presence has been virtually non-existent over the last three weeks, which is, ironically enough, the same timeframe since the Vols lost point guard Lamonte Turner for the season.

              Over the Vols’ last five games, Fulkerson has averaged 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds on 64 percent shooting. Yves Pons, acting as an undersized four and in some cases a center, has averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in that same span while shooting 40 percent overall and 25 percent from three. Freshman Olivier Nkamhoua has come off the bench in all five games as essentially Tennessee’s only post support on the bench until Uros Plavsic was cleared, and he’s contributed 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds a game over the last five games. Speaking of Plavsic, he scored five points and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes in his debut against Georgia.

              Luckily for Tennessee, Vanderbilt hasn’t been great in the post either. The Commodores’ 86 total rebounds as a team is dead last in the SEC, and they’re last in both total offensive boards and defensive rebounds as well. Only one active Vanderbilt player averages over five rebounds a game, and that’s freshman forward Dylan Disu, who averages 5.7 rebounds to go along with 5.7 points and 1.0 blocks a game.

              Home Away from Home

              Lately, Tennessee has made Nashville a second home in basketball.

              The Commodores and Vols are only separated by about three hours of driving, and Vol fans usually show up in a big way when UT plays in Memorial Gym in Nashville. Tennessee has rewarded those fans a lot in recent play, winning three-straight games against Vanderbilt on the Commodores’ home court.

              All-time, Vanderbilt owns a 54-42 record against the Vols in Nashville, but the Vols have made it a habit of winning in Nashville against the Commodores recently, and Tennessee has dominated the in-state series over the last few years period. The Vols have won four-straight games against Vanderbilt and have won six of the last seven times the two teams have met.

              Counting the SEC Tournament, Tennessee has won six of their last seven games against Vanderbilt in Nashville.

              Battle of Bad Offenses 

              Are you ready for a rock fight? Because that’s likely what you’ll be getting in this game.

              Neither Tennessee nor Vanderbilt have had much luck on offense lately. The Commodores have been downright putrid without Aaron Nesmith in the lineup, and their 61.3 points per game in conference play ranks 13th out of 14 SEC teams. Vanderbilt is dead last in the SEC in field goal attempts and rebounds, and they’re 10th in both overall field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage.

              The Vols, however, haven’t been much better.

              In SEC play, UT is averaging just 63 points a game, which ranks one spot higher than Vanderbilt. The Vols have committed the most turnovers of any team in conference play, and their overall field goal percentage ranks 12th in the conference.

              Tennessee’s defense at least has been pretty good, with their 68 points allowed in SEC play ranking third in the conference. Vanderbilt has given up 75.7 points per game to SEC opponents, which ranks 12th among the 14 SEC teams.