Vols Will Open Hoops Season Vs. VCU At Veterans Classic In Annapolis

Navy To Play Michigan In Second Game In Midshipmen's Alumni Hall

Monday, June 9, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com
New Tennessee basketball coach will make his regular-season debut on Nov.  14 against Virginia Commonwealth in the Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
New Tennessee basketball coach will make his regular-season debut on Nov. 14 against Virginia Commonwealth in the Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
- photo by Tennessee Athletics

NEW YORK -- The Tennessee basketball team's first regular-season opponent under new head coach Donnie Tyndall will be Virginia Commonwealth, as the Volunteers face the Rams Friday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. ET as part of a unique doubleheader event known as the Veterans Classic at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The inaugural Veterans Classic - which celebrates Veterans Day and will be played at Navy's Alumni Hall - also will feature a matchup between Navy and Michigan State (9 p.

m. ET).

As part of the event, the Vols will have the rare opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. From touring the `Yard,' to watching noon meal formation and eating lunch with the Brigade at King Hall, the team will be immersed in the culture and tradition of the Naval Academy. The Vols also will enjoy other unique experiences, including military demonstrations and receptions.

"First of all, I'm appreciative of Tennessee having the opportunity to be part of an event like this," Tyndall said. "This is something that I believe our fans can be excited about, and it's also going to be a great opportunity for our players - not only to provide a challenging test for our team early in the season, but also to give them a better appreciation of what life is like for the young men and women who attend our service academies."

The Veterans Classic will take place each year through 2017, with Navy hosting and participating, along with other top teams from across the country. The doubleheader officially tips off CBS Sports Network's 2014 college basketball schedule.

Under head coach Shaka Smart, VCU posted a 26-9 (12-4 A-10) record last season and made the program's fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Rams advanced to the Final Four in 2011 and reached the third round in both 2012 and 2013.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Smart and everything he's accomplished at this point in his career," Tyndall said. "I love the way his teams compete, and our ability to match their intensity level will be a big key for us when we face them."

Tennessee leads its all-time series with VCU 4-0, dating to 1981. The most recent meeting saw the Vols post a 77-72 victory in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden in New York City Nov. 24, 2010.

The Veterans Classic marks the Volunteers' second straight season-opener away from Knoxville. Tennessee opened last season at Xavier. Prior to that contest, the Big Orange had opened 13 straight seasons at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Each of UT's last nine head coaches, dating to the legendary Ray Mears, won their first-ever regular-season game with the Vols.

In addition to facing VCU on a neutral court next season, UT hosts Butler and Kansas State, plays NC State on the road and joins Georgia Tech, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Rider, Santa Clara and Xavier in the eight-team field at the Orlando Classic Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 27-30) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.

For the most up-to-date information about the Tennessee basketball program, visit UTsports.com/basketball and follow @Vol_Hoops on Twitter and Instagram.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)



PHOTOS: Boys' Tennis At Spring Fling

McCallie's Phillips, Baylor's Parker Win State Track Titles

MURFREESBORO -- McCallie had one individual state track champ on Friday here at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium and one relay win as the Blue Tornado finished in fourth place with 63.5 points. Trel Phillips had a best effort of 49 feet, 10.5 inches to take first place in the shot put while teammate Jay Roberts claimed fourth with a best of 47-10.75. The 400-meter ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)