3 pieces on our newcomers

#1

kamoshika

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#1
...I only posted this one video, but there are several more out there, and the most common theme I found was Springer’s ability to finish through contact at the rim. That’s an area where his size is absolutely an advantage. He’s quick enough to get his man on his hip and strong enough to absorb the blow and hit the shot. He’s also athletic enough to hang in the air, wait for the defender to clear and release. He’s right-handed, but looks comfortable changing direction and attacking left, especially once he gets near the free-throw line. You don’t see much of his jump shot in the videos, but it looks like he’s got good lift and balance on his jumper. I think scoring inside the arc will come naturally, but how well his 3-point shot develops will be critical to how consistently he can make an impact offensively at Tennessee.

...I think what impressed me most is how Johnson flies in the open floor. If he gets the rebound, he’s going to glide down court for a layup on the other end. While he looks a bit lanky, or spindly maybe, in highlights, he uses his looooong arms and good hands to his advantage on defense. Really — the potential for both these guys defensively is just through the roof.
What Tennessee is getting in five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer

...There’s not one specific skill I can pick out after watching Walker’s videos. The kid does everything. He handles the ball, he scores, he rebounds, he plays defense. He shoots from the outside, and he shoots from the inside. He scores off the dribble or off the catch. At the two-minute mark, he brings up the ball against the full-court pressure of a smaller, quicker opponent and finishes at the opposite end of the court with a layup. I usually don’t do player comparisons just because I don’t really like to pigeon-hole myself into it. But, I’m gonna make an exception in this case because when I first heard of Walker’s commitment many months ago, I came to the same conclusion I’m coming to now: he reminds me of former Vol Tyler Smith.

...EJ played his first three seasons at Sacred Heart and will have one season of eligibility left at Tennessee. Just a note — his minutes, scoring and rebounded increased incrementally in each of his first three seasons of college basketball. He’s also in the 6-foot-7 neighborhood, but at 245 you can watch his tape and see the advantage he’s got inside. He’s just a bully in the paint. He averaged nearly 16 points and 12 rebounds last year at Sacred Heart and looks like he’ll bring a dimension of toughness to the Vols that didn’t much exist last season beyond John Fulkerson. As impressive as Springer, Johnson, Walker (and Wideman) are, I think Anosike is poised to have the biggest impact next season for the Vols.
What Tennessee is getting in Corey Walker, Malachi Wideman and EJ Anosike

Given ample playing time, there’s enough statistical evidence to be excited for Bailey’s potential offensive contributions to next year’s team. He can score and hit open 3s, and Tennessee’s offense was lacking both of those traits last season. The Vols’ offense dipped to just 67 points per game in 2019, hit just 6 3s per game and ranked 271st in the country in 3-point field goal percentage. Plenty of room for improvement.

...I expect Springer, Johnson and Walker to all make impacts, but a proven 40 percent, volume 3-point shooter should be invaluable to this team. I don’t know how it will work out, but if Bailey is ready to play, on both ends of the court, he might just be the most important new face on the team outside of EJ Anosike.
What will Victor Bailey Jr. bring to Tennessee?
 
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#3
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#3
We are stacked up...crazy what one year difference in depth we'll have. Barnes has always been able to get people to accept and understand their roles on the team...if he can do that this year, we're going to be tough to handle.
We have UK type talent next year. Not necessarily peak UK but average-ish UK. So Barnes is basically going to be juggling these guys and getting them to come together the way Cal has to each year. Personally, I think he's a better coach than Cal so that bodes well.
 
#4

cncchris33

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#4
I usually don’t do player comparisons just because I don’t really like to pigeon-hole myself into it. But, I’m gonna make an exception in this case because when I first heard of Walker’s commitment many months ago, I came to the same conclusion I’m coming to now: he reminds me of former Vol Tyler Smith
Hmmm...sounds familiar.

I've said it before, but reminds me a lot of Tyler Smith in terms of his skill set.
 
#10

cncchris33

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#10
If he's anywhere near the player Tyler was would mean we're legit contenders this year.
I'm not sure the minutes and touches are there for him to have a Tyler Smith type impact, next season, necessarily, but I think they have similar abilities. Jack of all trades, master of none, sort of players, which isn't an insult.

I believe Walker is a 4-year player who could have a Smith-like impact as a JR and/or SR. Tall order to expect it right off the bat, though.
 
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#11

LeannaVol

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#11
I'm not sure the minutes and touches are there for him to have a Tyler Smith type impact, next season, necessarily, but I think they have similar abilities. Jack of all trades, master of none, sort of players, which isn't an insult.

I believe Walker is a 4-year player who could have a Smith-like impact as a JR and/or SR. Tall order to expect it right off the bat, though.
I agree with you the touches won’t be there this year but as a potentially 4 year player he may be the most important recruit to our program long term. The comparisons to Tyler smith sound great. As roust alluded too Tyler Smith looked like an NBA player as a freshman at Iowa as they ran their offense through him as a freshman. He was good at UT but seemed to lack some of the dominance he had at Iowa when everything flowed through him.
 
#12

PulaskiVolFan

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#12
I'm not sure the minutes and touches are there for him to have a Tyler Smith type impact, next season, necessarily, but I think they have similar abilities. Jack of all trades, master of none, sort of players, which isn't an insult.

I believe Walker is a 4-year player who could have a Smith-like impact as a JR and/or SR. Tall order to expect it right off the bat, though.
I've known and watched Tyler Smith ever since he was a young 8th grader, great all-around player. I'm encouraged that folks are comparing Walker to him as Smith has always been a 16/8/5 production type player.
 
#13

The Dog

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#13
...I only posted this one video, but there are several more out there, and the most common theme I found was Springer’s ability to finish through contact at the rim. That’s an area where his size is absolutely an advantage. He’s quick enough to get his man on his hip and strong enough to absorb the blow and hit the shot. He’s also athletic enough to hang in the air, wait for the defender to clear and release. He’s right-handed, but looks comfortable changing direction and attacking left, especially once he gets near the free-throw line. You don’t see much of his jump shot in the videos, but it looks like he’s got good lift and balance on his jumper. I think scoring inside the arc will come naturally, but how well his 3-point shot develops will be critical to how consistently he can make an impact offensively at Tennessee.

...I think what impressed me most is how Johnson flies in the open floor. If he gets the rebound, he’s going to glide down court for a layup on the other end. While he looks a bit lanky, or spindly maybe, in highlights, he uses his looooong arms and good hands to his advantage on defense. Really — the potential for both these guys defensively is just through the roof.
What Tennessee is getting in five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer

...There’s not one specific skill I can pick out after watching Walker’s videos. The kid does everything. He handles the ball, he scores, he rebounds, he plays defense. He shoots from the outside, and he shoots from the inside. He scores off the dribble or off the catch. At the two-minute mark, he brings up the ball against the full-court pressure of a smaller, quicker opponent and finishes at the opposite end of the court with a layup. I usually don’t do player comparisons just because I don’t really like to pigeon-hole myself into it. But, I’m gonna make an exception in this case because when I first heard of Walker’s commitment many months ago, I came to the same conclusion I’m coming to now: he reminds me of former Vol Tyler Smith.

...EJ played his first three seasons at Sacred Heart and will have one season of eligibility left at Tennessee. Just a note — his minutes, scoring and rebounded increased incrementally in each of his first three seasons of college basketball. He’s also in the 6-foot-7 neighborhood, but at 245 you can watch his tape and see the advantage he’s got inside. He’s just a bully in the paint. He averaged nearly 16 points and 12 rebounds last year at Sacred Heart and looks like he’ll bring a dimension of toughness to the Vols that didn’t much exist last season beyond John Fulkerson. As impressive as Springer, Johnson, Walker (and Wideman) are, I think Anosike is poised to have the biggest impact next season for the Vols.
What Tennessee is getting in Corey Walker, Malachi Wideman and EJ Anosike

Given ample playing time, there’s enough statistical evidence to be excited for Bailey’s potential offensive contributions to next year’s team. He can score and hit open 3s, and Tennessee’s offense was lacking both of those traits last season. The Vols’ offense dipped to just 67 points per game in 2019, hit just 6 3s per game and ranked 271st in the country in 3-point field goal percentage. Plenty of room for improvement.

...I expect Springer, Johnson and Walker to all make impacts, but a proven 40 percent, volume 3-point shooter should be invaluable to this team. I don’t know how it will work out, but if Bailey is ready to play, on both ends of the court, he might just be the most important new face on the team outside of EJ Anosike.
What will Victor Bailey Jr. bring to Tennessee?
Really curious what was written about Wideman ? Any chance u could post it ?
 
#14

OrangeJuicebox

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#14
I like that every player in this class seems to be well-rounded, but each seems to have their own unique strengths that they bring to the table. They compliment each other.

I also remember how big a miss Tyler Smith was for Buzz. We rarely ever got players of his caliber while he was the coach.
 
#15

kamoshika

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#15
Really curious what was written about Wideman ? Any chance u could post it ?
Sure thing; omitted that blurb originally as there was no real substance:

I’ll touch on Malachi Wideman here, because technically he’s part of the class and at the time of his commitment, playing both football and basketball was reportedly the plan. The amount of stress on “student-athletes,” is silly for people who play one sport. I literally can’t imagine what life is like for those who want to play two sports. Color me skeptical Wideman ends up playing for the hoops team, but let’s watch his basketball highlights anyway...Maybe it happens, and maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know — but if it does, it should be fun to watch.
 
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#16

The Dog

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#16
Sure thing; omitted that blurb originally as there was no real substance:

I’ll touch on Malachi Wideman here, because technically he’s part of the class and at the time of his commitment, playing both football and basketball was reportedly the plan. The amount of stress on “student-athletes,” is silly for people who play one sport. I literally can’t imagine what life is like for those who want to play two sports. Color me skeptical Wideman ends up playing for the hoops team, but let’s watch his basketball highlights anyway...Maybe it happens, and maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know — but if it does, it should be fun to watch.
Thank u, kinda what I thought, if he ever contributes, it will be a couple of years down the road, imo
 
#17

cncchris33

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#17
I like that every player in this class seems to be well-rounded, but each seems to have their own unique strengths that they bring to the table. They compliment each other.

I also remember how big a miss Tyler Smith was for Buzz. We rarely ever got players of his caliber while he was the coach.
Tyler Smith wasn't a miss for Buzz. He actually was committed to Buzz Peterson. It wasn't until Buzz was canned and Bruce refused to release Smith, did he and his dad sour on Tennessee. Buzz had Smith in the bag and was in the Hunt for Jamont Gordon, too.
 
#18
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#18
Tyler Smith wasn't a miss for Buzz. He actually was committed to Buzz Peterson. It wasn't until Buzz was canned and Bruce refused to release Smith, did he and his dad sour on Tennessee. Buzz had Smith in the bag and was in the Hunt for Jamont Gordon, too.
I was hoping that Buzz would have hired Devoe as an Xs and Os assistant that would have helped Buzz from screwing up with the in-game coaching. Devoe would have helped with discipline issues if they came up, too. Buzz was adding good players to the roster. He was just clueless when it came to how to use them.
 
#19

cncchris33

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#19
I was hoping that Buzz would have hired Devoe as an Xs and Os assistant that would have helped Buzz from screwing up with the in-game coaching. Devoe would have helped with discipline issues if they came up, too. Buzz was adding good players to the roster. He was just clueless when it came to how to use them.
Yeah, you think about what Buzz already had (Lofton, Watson, J. Smith, Wingate, Patterson) and then he was adding Tyler Smith and possibly Jamont Gordon...he had talent, he just didn't know how to motivate them and rein them in. Pearl knew how to motivate guys and had that ability in spades. He had a good deal of talent on hand when he arrived, but he knew how to drive them to their best, something Buzz lacked as a coach. Buzz also lacked in-game adjustment ability, and you saw it play out in several last-possession type games. He probably lost 3 out of every 4 games that were one possession games with a minute to play.
 
#20

OrangeJuicebox

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#20
Tyler Smith wasn't a miss for Buzz. He actually was committed to Buzz Peterson. It wasn't until Buzz was canned and Bruce refused to release Smith, did he and his dad sour on Tennessee. Buzz had Smith in the bag and was in the Hunt for Jamont Gordon, too.
You're right! Surprised I forgot about that. Buzz had his best class (on paper) lined up. You already touched on it but along with what we already had, that team might've been good enough to make the Sweet 16 or better, even with Buzz's bad coaching. Given one more year, he might have kept his job. Makes me cringe to think that we could've been stuck with Buzz ball for another few years instead of the excitement of the Bruce Pearl era.
 
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#21

cncchris33

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#21
You're right! Surprised I forgot about that. Buzz had his best class (on paper) lined up. You already touched on it but along with what we already had, that team might've been good enough to make the Sweet 16 or better, even with Buzz's bad coaching. Given one more year, he might have kept his job. Makes me cringe to think that we could've been stuck with Buzz ball for another few years instead of the excitement of the Bruce Pearl era.
Full confession, I believed he deserved another year, mostly because I knew what we had in terms of talent and committed talent. Smith opted out, Gordon eliminated Tennessee, and had their been a transfer portal in that day, Chris Lofton would have been in it, even if he may have eventually withdrawn and returned to UT. He publicly considered transferring, but Pearl convinced him to stay.

I felt like Buzz could have gotten it done in the short term with that talent intact, but in hindsight, he wouldn't have maximized that group's potential, and he would have possibly been Jerry Green, part deux.

In the end, it certainly worked out for Tennessee.
 
#22

PulaskiVolFan

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#22
Tyler Smith wasn't a miss for Buzz. He actually was committed to Buzz Peterson. It wasn't until Buzz was canned and Bruce refused to release Smith, did he and his dad sour on Tennessee. Buzz had Smith in the bag and was in the Hunt for Jamont Gordon, too.
Pearl lost Tyler when CBP showed up late on his 1st visit to Tyler and family after spending time trying to recruit Brandon Wright who was never going to a basketball school not endorsed by Nike.
 

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