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Game preview: Tennessee basketball hosts Saint Joseph's

The game is 6 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena. You can watch on the SEC Network.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee will put their undefeated streak on the line Monday night when they host the Saint Joseph's Hawks.

The game is 6 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena. You can watch Monday night's game on the SEC Network.

Like Tennessee's last opponent, Tennessee Tech, St. Joe's comes into this game winless on the season.

Make no mistake though. The team that we'll see Monday has some talent, but their schedule has been a tough one early on.

At 0-4, the Hawks have losses to two top 10 teams in Kansas and Villanova as well as losses to Auburn and Drexel.

A matchup against Tennessee, 4-0, will be their third game against a top 10 team in less than a month.


The Hawks have the ability to score with frequency.

From 3-point range they can be streaky. The stats say that St. Joe's isn't a great 3-point shooting team, but don't be surprised if the Hawks get trigger happy at times from beyond the arch.

The four men without the ball occasionally get caught standing around watching rather than cutting.

For most teams this is a bad thing, but for the Hawks it sometimes works in their favor. The players who are stagnant often remain near the 3-point line with the ability to catch and shoot if presented with the opportunity.

This team is filled with players who are ready and willing to shoot at any moment.

One of their ball handlers in particular is a very tough player. Redshirt senior Ryan Daly stands at 6 feet, 5 inches and 225 pounds and looks as much like a football player as he does a high-level basketball player.

His size provides some advantages, like his ability to initiate and finish through contact on his way to the rim.

Just as his size can be an advantage, it doesn't come without its drawbacks.

He's not the quickest player and Tennessee should be able to take advantage of that when the Vols have the ball.

Daly is shooting just 4-22 from beyond the arch this year but is more than capable as a scorer. He leads St. Joe's at 18.3 points per game after putting up a 30-point performance against Drexel on Thursday and an 11-point game against Villanova on Saturday.

Their second leading scorer is a post player. At 6 feet, 8 inches, 215-pound Taylor Funk is another nice scorer for the Hawks.

He's scoring over 16 points per game and can be disruptive on the defensive end, too. He's responsible for six of the Hawks' eight blocks on the year.

Funk runs the floor with intent and isn't scared to shoot 3-pointers. His 43.5 percent mark from beyond the 3-point line is the best on the entire roster. Tennessee won't want to leave him open in the corner as some teams have this season.


St. Joe's isn't afraid to take quick shots and push the pace offensively, but the downside of that is when you play that style, the opposing team gets a lot of shots as well.

Teams are averaging nearly 90 points per game against the Hawks, and with Tennessee coming off a 103-point performance on Friday, that could spell trouble for St. Joe's.

As mentioned earlier, one of their best offensive weapons -- Daly -- can be a bit of a liability on the defensive end. Tennessee could utilize ball screens to try and dictate beneficial matchups on Monday evening.

Fleet-footed guards like Keon Johnson, Victor Bailey Jr. and Jaden Springer could take advantage of those matchups to get easy looks from in the paint.