1. Here is how the team performed, taking aside Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris:
6-24 FG (13 points)
16 rebounds (Tobias and Scotty had 10)
You can’t win with that kind of performance. I’m all in favor for going to your best
players. That is what good teams do. However, when eight other players score 13
points, and only combine for 16 boards, you are in trouble. This was a terrible
performance by the Vol supporting cast, and thank the Lord that Scotty Hopson had an
2. Speaking of Scotty Hopson, that was a lottery pick performance. While Travis
Leslie isn’t a superstar by any means, he still lit him up. When UGA went to a zone,
Scotty knew what he had to do: attack the middle of the zone. Scotty is playing suburb
basketball on both sides of the ball, and his game is on a different level.
3. Kenny Hall deserves more minutes. He came in, played Thompkins well, showed
tons of hustle, and held his own on the boards. What happens? He doesn’t play in the
second until foul trouble kicks in with two minutes to go. The fact that Steven Pearl and John
Fields kept playing was mind boggling.
4. Skylar McBee isn’t a point guard, and he has done anything to warrant being the
backup. His minutes have dwindled (only eight minutes), but I’d rather give those Bone
and keep in the good defense. Bone played 15 minutes today, what’s an extra eight?
Might as well shorten the rotation a little more.
5. Melvin Goins’ offensive inadequacy is pure frustration. He missed three easy buckets,
and made dumb decision after dumb decision. His defense is not the same as it was
earlier in the year, and he is not a leader by any stretch of the imagination. The problem
is no one else is worthy significant minutes, so Pearl has to play him. What else can he do?
6. I know people ripped Tobias’ defense, and I understand that. However, Jeremy Price
is 6’9, 270 lbs. Tobias Harris is 220 lbs. It’s unfair to believe that Harris can contain him.
Sure, Price isn’t a very good offensive player, but there were four or five times when
Price just bulldozed his way to the rim. The problem was Tennessee didn’t double to help
Harris. It was a clear advantage, and credit to Mark Fox for the game plan.
7. A problem with our offense is the lack of spacing. At one point in the second half
there were three Volunteer players outside the perimeter, five feet apart. Even when
Hopson drove to the basket, he was usually in traffic because the wings didn’t clear to
the perimeter and the big man continuously messed up cuts. You can’t run a good offense when that happens.
8. While the first 10 minutes were just awful, the team competed very well and the
energy was evident. I didn’t feel as if the team quit or didn’t want to be there.
Fox had a solid game plan, and UGA ran their offense very well. Rebounding was a huge factor and UGA had us beat handily by eight boards. For a team like the Volunteers, you can’t have that when you play a slow down game.
9. If the season over? No, but the team is hanging by the thread. If they lose two of the
last four games, they will not make the NCAA Tournament unless they win the SEC
in Atlanta. This is not the same team from earlier this year. They are not coming back.
Those games were aberrations. This team won’t get back to that same defensive intensity,
and teams know how to attack when Tennessee has the ball. It’s going to be a tough road
to get into the tourney.
10. Wanted to give a shout out to the Volunteer baseball team. Congrats on your win, and
I must say it was a beautiful day for baseball. I had a great time at the game, and it was a
good outing by the squad, despite the close scare at the end. Hopefully the team continues
to get better, because I plan on going to a few more games this year. I had not been to a
baseball game in a couple years, and I forgot how great it is to be at a game. I strongly
encourage you to go see a couple games.