How the Volunteers can make a run
We are in the tournament. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we have zero momentum going in. Even despite the thrashing we received from Kentucky last year, we had been playing very well before that. This team has not played well since November. However, with good matchups (like last year) you can make a deep tourney run, no matter what. However, if Tennessee can do these five things, they can make some sort of run and not make this season a total lost cause.
1. Mix it up and run- This year, we have slowed the game down and try to limit possessions. Right now, it’s not working. Teams have adjusted by relaxing in the shot clock when Tennessee is on offense until the last ten seconds, and playing clamp down defense. Obviously, you can’t change your offensive philosophy this late in the year. However, you can make some subtle changes. Speed the game up. It would surprise teams and catch them off guard. It might give the team somewhat of a jolt.
2. Limit the rotation- We don’t need ten guys. We can go with eight or nine. To be honest, Fields is only getting ten minutes a game. Might as well give those to Hall, or give Fields the rest of the center minutes. We don’t need three centers getting playing time unless there is foul trouble. Cam has been very ineffective. But Skylar has been worst. Cam plays good defense most of the time. Give Bone the minutes that Skylar has. Get your best players on the floor. Now is not the time to get players minutes just to give them minutes.
3. Play with energy/Don’t start slow- Come out guns drawn. You have nothing to lose, and most likely will be the underdog in every game in the tourney. We have had slow starts this year and that has hurt us. Be the aggressor and take it to your opponent. Take the ball to the hole to start the game. Show your opponent you are not going down lightly.
4. Get other players involved- This one is risky. We all know that Cam is in a bad funk. Call his number early and try to get him in the flow. You are going to have him play well in the NCAA’s to make a run. Tell Melvin to be aggressive and take the ball to the hole. Let Golden push the ball in transition (where he is at his best). Run some post plays for Kenny Hall and Brian Williams. Scotty and Tobias will get theirs. They are too good of scorers not too. However, you need to get the role players in the flow.
5. Have the mindset the season isn’t over- For the last couple of weeks, the team has tried hard. I don’t think that has been the problem. But there just seems to be a gloom about the team. The season isn’t over. They can still accomplish their goals. They beat Pittsburgh at Pitt, who will probably get a number one seed. Tennessee can beat anybody in the tournament. The tourney this year is as open as outer space itself. The potential is there. Don’t go in the tourney thinking “We can’t accomplish anything significant” because if you think that, then you will be right and won’t even win a game. All you need is six good games.
Now, my best bet is UT won’t do a lot in the tourney. But I’m just a volnation poster. This team can accomplish a lot this year. I know the regular season was bad, but the season isn’t over. All you need is a good forty minutes at a time. Tennessee can still do some damage. They still have talented players, and a coach who has had success. They have players with experience in the tournament. They need to come out like they did in November and early December. A nothing to lose attitude, a bulldog defense, and a mindset that says “we can win any game, against any opponent, anywhere.” If Tennessee does that, we might not have a complete loss of a season.