KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee men's basketball team will face Florida State in the third round of the Emerald Coast Classic on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in Niceville, Florida.
The other third-round matchup will pit Virginia Commonwealth and Purdue, with semifinal winners set to face off in the championship game a day later at 7. The consolation game is set for 4 that day.
Prior to the semifinals, the Volunteers will face Alabama State on Nov. 20 in Knoxville and UT-Chattanooga on Nov. 25, also at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The FSU Seminoles won 29 games in 2018-19 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 before falling to Gonzaga. They return a pair of experienced guards in Trent Forrest and M.J. Walker, who combined to average 16.8 points per game last season. The 6-foot-4 Forrest averaged 3.7 assists per game, while the 6-5 Walker made 44 3-pointers.
The Mocs — who beat the Vols 82-69 in Knoxville on Nov. 11, 2016, in the teams' last meeting — won 12 games last season. They lost three of their top five scorers, including Southern Conference freshman of the year Kevin Easley, but return seven players who averaged double-digit minutes and added former Vanderbilt forward Matt Ryan as a graduate transfer.
UTC also will face Florida State — on Nov. 20 in Tallahassee — before moving on to face Alabama State in the third round at 2:30 in the mainland event, also being held in Niceville. The other semifinal matches up Jacksonville State and Chicago State.
Alabama State won 12 games last season. It lost leading scorer Reginald Gee Jr., who transferred, but returns guards Jacoby Ross and Leon Daniels.
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.