Feb 7, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers forward Jonas Aidoo (0) and guard Jordan Gainey (2) and forward J.P. Estrella (13) during the first half against the LSU Tigers at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Knecht, No.8 Tennessee look to bounce back against Arkansas

After a 16-point blowout loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, No. 8 Tennessee hopes to put up a much better performance in Bud Walton Arena Wednesday night.

The loss caused Tennessee (17-6, 7-3 SEC) to drop two spots in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings with Arizona and Marquette jumping ahead of them.

The Volunteers opponent Wednesday is Arkansas (12-11, 3-7 SEC), a Razorbacks team that has struggled this season but comes off a win Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Tennessee – One Man Show

The Volunteers look to turn around from the loss behind leading scorer Dalton Knecht, the 25th leading scorer in the nation at 20.3 ppg.

Knecht also leads the nation in scoring average in conference play with his mark of 26.4 ppg in SEC matchups.

His 22 points did not give Tennessee the win over Texas A&M but he will prove a serious threat to Arkansas on Wednesday.

Knecht and junior guard Zakai Zeigler, who averages 11 points and 5.6 assists per game, hope to lead the Vols through a friendly stretch of games against the bottom three teams in the SEC – Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Missouri.

Razorback Struggles

Although Arkansas has won two of their last three games, a 3-7 record in SEC play is more than underwhelming for a team that has recently brought in very strong recruiting classes.

With games against No. 22 Kentucky and No. 15 Alabama still to come, the Razorbacks hope to get their first taste of a win over a ranked opponent Wednesday.

A bright spot for Arkansas is junior guard Tramon Mark, one of the most improved players in the SEC from last season.

Mark shot up from 10.1 ppg to now averaging 17.6, good for the fifth-best points average in the conference.

Up Next

After Wednesday’s game, Tennessee heads back to Knoxville for a home matchup against in-state rival Vanderbilt (6-17, 1-9 SEC) on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Arkansas will also play on Saturday, traveling to face Mississippi State (16-8, 5-6 SEC).

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