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Cajuns set to face off with no. 6 Tennessee Friday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Press Release) – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team hits the road for the first time during the 2018-19 season when it faces sixth-ranked Tennessee in a 6 p.m., CST contest at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The game will be available on SEC Network Plus with Roger Hoover (PxP) and Vincent Yarbrough (color) providing commentary. Fans in the Lafayette area can listen to the game on KHXT-FM 107.9 with Jay Walker (PxP) and Ross Cook (color) on the call.

Louisiana (1-0) opened its 2018-19 season on Tuesday with a 121-80 victory over the University of the Virgin Islands. JaKeenan Gant and Malik Marquetti scored 19 points each to lead Louisiana in its highest scoring season-opener since a 124-114 win over Oral Roberts to open the 1970-71 season.

The game against Tennessee (1-0) is the first of two straight contests against top-10 opponents for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who will travel to face top-ranked Kansas on Nov. 16. The road game against the Vols is the first of six straight games away from home for Louisiana, which will return to the Cajundome on Dec. 1 against Southern.

GAME INFORMATION
GAME 2: Louisiana (1-0) at No. 6 Tennessee (1-0)

Date / Time: November 9, 2018 / 6 p.m. CST

Site: Knoxville, Tenn.

Arena: Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)

TV/RADIO INFORMATION
Radio: KHXT 107.9 FM

Talent: Jay Walker (PxP); Ross Cook (color)

TV: SEC Network +

Talent: Roger Hoover (PxP), Vincent Yarbrough (color)

Live Stats: CajunStats.com

Social Updates: @RaginCajunsMBB | #GeauxCajuns

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: Tennessee leads, 8-1
In Lafayette: Tennessee leads, 1-0
In Knoxville: Tennessee leads, 5-0
Neutral: Tennessee leads, 2-1
Streak: Tennessee +5

THE COACHES
LOUISIANA
Head Coach: Bob Marlin (Mississippi State, 1981)

Record at Louisiana: 156-111 (ninth season), Career Record: 504-277 (26th season)

TENNESSEE
Head Coach: Rick Barnes (Lenoir-Rhyne, 1977)

Record at UT: 58-44 (fourth season), Career Record: 662-358 (32nd season)

STORY LINES
• Louisiana opens its 2018-19 road schedule with the first of back-to-back games against top-10 opponents. The Ragin’ Cajuns will travel to face top-ranked Kansas on Nov. 16.

• Louisiana returns three starters – JaKeenan Gant, Malik Marquetti, and Marcus Stroman – along with eight letterwinners from last season’s team.

• Louisiana comes off a record-setting year where it won 27 games and captured its first regular-season Sun Belt Conference title since 2000.

• The Ragin’ Cajuns return 54.2 percent of its scoring from 2017-18, along with 48.1 percent of its rebounds and 55.4 percent of their made field goals.

QUICK HITS
• Louisiana’s 121 points scored against the University of the Virgin Islands were the most scored in a season-opener by the Cajuns since a 124-114 win over Oral Roberts in the 1970-71 season.

• Louisiana’s 121 points, 29 assists and 67.1 percent effort from the floor against UVI were the second-best marks among NCAA Division I schools on Opening Night.

• Louisiana led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring offense (83.2) for the sixth consecutive season while leading the league in scoring margin (+12.4), free throw percentage (.761), field goal percentage (464), rebound margin (+6.6), assists (17.4), steals (7.5) and assist-turnover ratio (1.3).

• Louisiana’s 83.2 scoring average in 2017-18 was its best since the 1990-91 season (91.1) and was the highest by a Sun Belt Conference school since South Alabama (84.6) in 1994-95.

• JaKeenan Gant (second-team) and Marcus Stroman (third-team) were each named to the 2018-19 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference team.

• The Ragin’ Cajuns 297 3-pointers made in 2017-18 shattered the previous school record (251) set in 1989-90.

• Marcus Stroman became the 28th player in school history to reach the 200-assist mark. His 213 career assists in 2017-18 were the fourth most in a single-season in school history.

CAJUNS TO GET BATTLE-TESTED EARLY
• For only the second time in school history, Louisiana will face two teams ranked in the top 10 when it is scheduled to face No. 6 Tennessee on Friday and top-ranked Kansas on Nov. 16.

• The only other time Louisiana faced two top-10 teams in the same season was in 2004-05 when the Ragin’ Cajuns played then No. 2-ranked Kansas (L, 96-51) and No. 4 Louisville (L, 68-62).

• The Nov. 16 game at Kansas will be Louisiana’s first contest against a No. 1-ranked team in school history.

• Louisiana’s lone win against a top-5 team in seven games came in a 70-61 win over then-No. 5 Georgetown (with freshman Patrick Ewing) in the opening game of the 1981 Great Alaska Shootout.

SCOUTING TENNESSEE
• Tennessee, the defending SEC champions opened its season with an 86-41 win over Lenoir-Rhyne College on Tuesday behind 18 points from Jordan Bone with all five starters reaching double figures.

• Grant Williams, a Wooden Award candidate and one of two Vols named to the preseason All-SEC team, scored 13 points in his first game for the Volunteers. Admiral Schofield, also named to the preseason All-SEC team, added 13 points in his debut.

• Tennessee built a 20-point lead at halftime before scoring the first 19 points of the second half and holding the Bears to 4-for-32 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

• Current UT Director of Student-Athlete Development Aubin Goporo served in the same capacity at Louisiana during the 2016-17 season.

 

Andrew Clay

Andrew Clay

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