BTO’s Missouri Postgame Report

#1

bleedingTNorange

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#1
1. It’s time to take this team seriously...Colorado was solid, Cincinnati had some name notoriety, but tonight was a Top 15 matchup and our Vols first road game, we whooped ass, on both sides of the court. Fair to say that this team is playing really well, which is a little surprising given the time missed, if that means they’ve got room to improve....watch out.

2. This defense is ELITE, Missouri is not an offensive juggernaut, but they came into the game possessing a pretty quality offense, Tennessee held them to their worst offensive efficiency outing of the season at 0.779ppp, this is a team that has played Illinois and Oregon, and that is with Missouri matching a season high in FTA. That’s 7 opponents in a row held below 1ppp, that is a streak only matched by the 2019 Texas Tech team that made the national championship.

3. As much talk as there is about our defense, and rightfully so, our offense is starting to click...we turned it over a little more than normal and shot horribly from the line (yet still won by 20), however we once again were over 1+ppp, which marks 5th game in a row, never matched that streak last season. We only took 7 three pointers, made 5 of them, this team gets quality shots and lives in that 4-10 foot range, a weakness in Missouri’s defense, we are then alive all night long in the mid range.

4. I thought PG play in general struggled, Vescovi did some but so did everyone else given a chance, that’s kind of CCM’s style though...he pushes teams out and plays physical, makes it hard to run your stuff, we won’t run into a ton of that. Even though that was the case Vescovi still threw up a team high 15pts, James and Springer also had really nice games...Springer’s ability to play inside 10’ with such strength continues to impress me.

5. That game showed why Yves Pons will make money, I’m not sure where his offense ends up, but he’s an absolute menace defensively and he might be better this year than last year. He looks a step quicker to me against guards and he draws charges, against bigger guys or trailing he blocks shots, he’s also hitting the boards a little harder too and pulled down 6 rebounds tonight. He seemingly found his mid range game tonight and even if that’s all he gives it’s more than enough.

6. With Wisconsin and Houston losing and Villanova on postponement, a win Saturday and you very well could see these Vols climb up to #4, worst case it seems like #5...obviously have to take care of Bama who will bomb away from 3, so you hope they aren’t on, but with the win tonight on the road Tennessee has really put themselves out in front of the SEC and into the national spotlight.



GBO!!!
 
#3

ndubvols

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#3
Biggest positive by far was Pons’ play, had to be a nice confidence boost for him. Really loved seeing him drive 4-5 times, would add a whole new element to his offensive game.

Another big positive is that as well as we played, there’s still a lot of untapped potential on the court. Take care of the ball a bit better, hit free throws, keep letting the freshmen grow, and the team/lineups gel and this team could be really special.
 
#4

TNHopeful505

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#4
This team is the most fun I've had watching basketball since Chris Lofton/JP Prince/Wayne Chism/Tyler Smith/Brian Williams. Sure the team with Grant and Admiral was great, but this is just a different kind of ball. These guys are excellent passers, and are just playing out of their minds on defense. Pons is a menace defensively.
 
#5

VolsSince78

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#5
I don’t remember a better Vol team on the defensive end! Ever. You’ve got 8 or 9 guys who are versatile, and can all move their puppies. I’m including certainly Gaines, and probably Nkamhoua among the 9 high level defenders.

On offense, being picky, just a few minor deficiencies. Bailey, and to an extent Fulky, have scorer’s mentality. But, IMO more guys need to develop that mentality over the year. It might be that Springer just hasn’t been needed to carry the offense yet. Loved him and also Keon backing their defenders into the lane, and then hitting short jumpers.

Keon needs to continue to improve protecting the ball. JJJ needs to improve consistency on 10-15 ft jumper. Latter thing WILL happen.. just a matter of time.

Fast break opportunities have been limited, but looks like an opp. to improve. Sure, Vescovi isn’t Bone, who could go 94 ft in a blink. But with guys like Keon, Springer, Bailey, and JJJ, I think we can be more productive in open floor. And Pons and Fulk can run well for big guys.
 
#8

VolArmy74

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#8
I don’t remember a better Vol team on the defensive end! Ever. You’ve got 8 or 9 guys who are versatile, and can all move their puppies. I’m including certainly Gaines, and probably Nkamhoua among the 9 high level defenders.

On offense, being picky, just a few minor deficiencies. Bailey, and to an extent Fulky, have scorer’s mentality. But, IMO more guys need to develop that mentality over the year. It might be that Springer just hasn’t been needed to carry the offense yet. Loved him and also Keon backing their defenders into the lane, and then hitting short jumpers.

Keon needs to continue to improve protecting the ball. JJJ needs to improve consistency on 10-15 ft jumper. Latter thing WILL happen.. just a matter of time.

Fast break opportunities have been limited, but looks like an opp. to improve. Sure, Vescovi isn’t Bone, who could go 94 ft in a blink. But with guys like Keon, Springer, Bailey, and JJJ, I think we can be more productive in open floor. And Pons and Fulk can run well for big guys.
I feel like Springer came in and went straight to work on offense. So I think he and Keon both have a scorers mentality but both are surprisingly mature on offense and don't force bad shots.

To me the only small bump tonight was a stretch in the first half where we tried like crazy to get shots out of Fulky in the post and the offense bogged. Missouri is a big team and it wasn't going to be easy to work down there for him. However when he pulled his man out, Springer was making the net sing from 4-8 feet out.
 
#9

Godfatha

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#9
It’s commendable what Barnes and staff have done to put this team together. There’s the right mixture of veterans who’ve been there and young guys who will only get better as the season goes on. This team is hungry.

I’m not going to make any crazy predictions because any team can have an off night but I could easily see this team with only 3 losses or better in the regular season and a #1 seed. They also play a style of ball that should translate well in the tourney.
 
#10

Volle

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#10
Hey guys, we got two super frosh. I see Springer as a top-5 scorer in the SEC if they turn him loose. Best 1:1 moves and jumper I’ve seen since Ernie/Bernie.

I think Johnson can grow into the main PG. He uses both hands equally well, is explosive, can penetrate, and is tall enough to pass over zones.

Both these guys elevate the team level when they come in, just a matter of time till they start. I think best five are Johnson, Vesc, JJJ, Pons, and Fulk, with Bailey first in.
 
#11
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#11
Pons will be special
I like how active he is on the defensive end
If he works on his post game he’ll be even better
I like how the team takes on the team mentality
A lot of unselfish ball in Knoxville
Once the game slows down a step for those freshmen guards Tennessee will go to new heights
I thought they were erratic at times but again they’re young
Gotta learn to protect the baseline
I felt like if Missouri wanted it they had easy buckets at times
If Tennessee gets a consistent 3 going I don’t think anyone would say yea let’s play those guys.
I love the defense. Man on man. Fighting through those ball screens. Making it tough for Missouri
Barnes called a great game. His attention to detail really showed. Pressing when he needed to and subbing when he should. A lot of coaches let teams play through and never recover.

Great game Vols. I hope they have a hell of a year and Barnes gets a championship
 
#12

WBO

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#12
I've been following Vols BB since the Ron Widby/ Tom Boerwinkle days when the only time they would be on TV was the Kentucky game and when only 25 teams would go to the tournament (yeah, I know, I'm old). This is our best defensive team in my time.

They've got all these guys who are 6'5" and 6'6", long arms and ripped. That takes some of the pressure off the Fulk on the boards and compensates for not having a bruising dedicated 6' 10" rebounder and shot blocker. (Before someone points out Fulk's height, it's true he's 6'9", but he isn't 245 lbs so that people bounce off him plus he plays all over the court on the offensive end, even taking 3's, so he's not a pure low post guy. And before someone thinks I am denigrating the Fulk, that's not my intention. I love his work ethic and desire. He may be the best job in player development in Barnes's time at UT.)

I'm particularly impressed by not just their help defense, but how quickly they rebalance the court when they do step out on screens or cut off drives. Then you have Pons who clearly got into Missou's heads with his shot-blocking not to mention he looks like he was carved out of a piece of rock. (Who the hell is Barnes's strength and conditioning coach and can the football team borrow him?)

We should all enjoy this. This special kind of team is rarely seen in Big Orange Country.
 
#13

USAFgolferVol

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#13
I've been following Vols BB since the Ron Widby/ Tom Boerwinkle days when the only time they would be on TV was the Kentucky game and when only 25 teams would go to the tournament (yeah, I know, I'm old). This is our best defensive team in my time.

They've got all these guys who are 6'5" and 6'6", long arms and ripped. That takes some of the pressure off the Fulk on the boards and compensates for not having a bruising dedicated 6' 10" rebounder and shot blocker. (Before someone points out Fulk's height, it's true he's 6'9", but he isn't 245 lbs so that people bounce off him plus he plays all over the court on the offensive end, even taking 3's, so he's not a pure low post guy. And before someone thinks I am denigrating the Fulk, that's not my intention. I love his work ethic and desire. He may be the best job in player development in Barnes's time at UT.)

I'm particularly impressed by not just their help defense, but how quickly they rebalance the court when they do step out on screens or cut off drives. Then you have Pons who clearly got into Missou's heads with his shot-blocking not to mention he looks like he was carved out of a piece of rock. (Who the hell is Barnes's strength and conditioning coach and can the football team borrow him?)

We should all enjoy this. This special kind of team is rarely seen in Big Orange Country.
Been watching the same amount of time
 
#15

cardvolfan

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#15
1. It’s time to take this team seriously...Colorado was solid, Cincinnati had some name notoriety, but tonight was a Top 15 matchup and our Vols first road game, we whooped ass, on both sides of the court. Fair to say that this team is playing really well, which is a little surprising given the time missed, if that means they’ve got room to improve....watch out.

2. This defense is ELITE, Missouri is not an offensive juggernaut, but they came into the game possessing a pretty quality offense, Tennessee held them to their worst offensive efficiency outing of the season at 0.779ppp, this is a team that has played Illinois and Oregon, and that is with Missouri matching a season high in FTA. That’s 7 opponents in a row held below 1ppp, that is a streak only matched by the 2019 Texas Tech team that made the national championship.

3. As much talk as there is about our defense, and rightfully so, our offense is starting to click...we turned it over a little more than normal and shot horribly from the line (yet still won by 20), however we once again were over 1+ppp, which marks 5th game in a row, never matched that streak last season. We only took 7 three pointers, made 5 of them, this team gets quality shots and lives in that 4-10 foot range, a weakness in Missouri’s defense, we are then alive all night long in the mid range.

4. I thought PG play in general struggled, Vescovi did some but so did everyone else given a chance, that’s kind of CCM’s style though...he pushes teams out and plays physical, makes it hard to run your stuff, we won’t run into a ton of that. Even though that was the case Vescovi still threw up a team high 15pts, James and Springer also had really nice games...Springer’s ability to play inside 10’ with such strength continues to impress me.

5. That game showed why Yves Pons will make money, I’m not sure where his offense ends up, but he’s an absolute menace defensively and he might be better this year than last year. He looks a step quicker to me against guards and he draws charges, against bigger guys or trailing he blocks shots, he’s also hitting the boards a little harder too and pulled down 6 rebounds tonight. He seemingly found his mid range game tonight and even if that’s all he gives it’s more than enough.

6. With Wisconsin and Houston losing and Villanova on postponement, a win Saturday and you very well could see these Vols climb up to #4, worst case it seems like #5...obviously have to take care of Bama who will bomb away from 3, so you hope they aren’t on, but with the win tonight on the road Tennessee has really put themselves out in front of the SEC and into the national spotlight.



GBO!!!
All really good points. My takeaways, which you mentioned, are that we hammered Mizzou after they got 30 FTA's and we only shot seven 3's, and led by 28 late in the game.

My concerns are that the physical play bothers Vescovi and makes it tougher to get into the offensive flow. He's a step slow and the Mizzou guards bounced Vescovi and Bailey around causing too many turnovers. The flip side is that a number of times, we were absolutely molested and no fouls were called in those instances.

My other concern is that Anosike was way overmatched by the Missouri bigs. It's still early, but I'm beginning to wonder if Anosike will be able to contribute like we hoped. He seemed offensively helpless tonight.
 
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#17

sechamp2012

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#17
With the clinical atmosphere being about the same in every arena this season , the road holds no advantage to the opponent which our guys verified last evening.
Big things ahead for this team.

Can't wait to see them play Kansas.
On some of the teams with older players I think this is totally true. Some Freshmen do not travel well and play. BUT I think Keon & Springer did so much travel ball that they are used to it. What I'm saying is without the crowd I still think there is a toll on the younger guys not used to travel/play and quick turn around.
 
#19

VOLED

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#19
When we are on offensively, I like our chances against anyone in the country.

I keep waiting on our lack of depth inside to hurt us, but it hasn't yet. It will at some point.
 
#20

VOLED

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#20
1. It’s time to take this team seriously...Colorado was solid, Cincinnati had some name notoriety, but tonight was a Top 15 matchup and our Vols first road game, we whooped ass, on both sides of the court. Fair to say that this team is playing really well, which is a little surprising given the time missed, if that means they’ve got room to improve....watch out.

2. This defense is ELITE, Missouri is not an offensive juggernaut, but they came into the game possessing a pretty quality offense, Tennessee held them to their worst offensive efficiency outing of the season at 0.779ppp, this is a team that has played Illinois and Oregon, and that is with Missouri matching a season high in FTA. That’s 7 opponents in a row held below 1ppp, that is a streak only matched by the 2019 Texas Tech team that made the national championship.

3. As much talk as there is about our defense, and rightfully so, our offense is starting to click...we turned it over a little more than normal and shot horribly from the line (yet still won by 20), however we once again were over 1+ppp, which marks 5th game in a row, never matched that streak last season. We only took 7 three pointers, made 5 of them, this team gets quality shots and lives in that 4-10 foot range, a weakness in Missouri’s defense, we are then alive all night long in the mid range.

4. I thought PG play in general struggled, Vescovi did some but so did everyone else given a chance, that’s kind of CCM’s style though...he pushes teams out and plays physical, makes it hard to run your stuff, we won’t run into a ton of that. Even though that was the case Vescovi still threw up a team high 15pts, James and Springer also had really nice games...Springer’s ability to play inside 10’ with such strength continues to impress me.

5. That game showed why Yves Pons will make money, I’m not sure where his offense ends up, but he’s an absolute menace defensively and he might be better this year than last year. He looks a step quicker to me against guards and he draws charges, against bigger guys or trailing he blocks shots, he’s also hitting the boards a little harder too and pulled down 6 rebounds tonight. He seemingly found his mid range game tonight and even if that’s all he gives it’s more than enough.

6. With Wisconsin and Houston losing and Villanova on postponement, a win Saturday and you very well could see these Vols climb up to #4, worst case it seems like #5...obviously have to take care of Bama who will bomb away from 3, so you hope they aren’t on, but with the win tonight on the road Tennessee has really put themselves out in front of the SEC and into the national spotlight.







Vescovi and Bailey struggled taking care of the ball last night. Vescovi is hesitant with the ball for some reason, and might be too unselfish with taking shots. I am starting to think Springer might be our most secure ball handler.

GBO!!!
 
Last edited:
#21
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#21
When we are on offensively, I like our chances against anyone in the country.

I keep waiting on our lack of depth inside to hurt us, but it hasn't yet. It will at some point.
Definitely seems like our guard play more than makes up for any front court deficiencies - and these deficiencies are debateable to begin with.
 
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#25

white65

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#25
Anosike looks to score too often. Yeah, he only had three shot attempts and two free throws, but he missed all of them.
His role should be to defensively rough up and frustrate the opponent's bigs for a few possessions and that's it. Offensively, his game is offensive.
Even at the level he came from hes not a large big but he probably had a Pons like level of athleticism for that level. In the power 5 everyone is taller, longer and more athletic. Hopefully he will start to adjust faster.
 

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