Ok, so while I understand it is kind of weird to break down the negatives of a team with only one loss and ranked in the top 10, but I do feel like these are valid concerns that could come to bite us later on down the road. Scoring wise, the Vols are 7th in the SEC with 76.8 points per game (for comparison Arkansas is first with 87.2) and they are 3rd when it comes to shooting percentage at 46.5% from the field. Now, yes, the scoring isn’t that bad when you consider that the Vols only give up an average of 55.6 pts per game, which means they are beating their opponents by an average of 21.2 points per game, but the scoring still is a worry. Not to say that the Vols can’t meet their goals, the last two NCAA champions have averaged 71.6, and 73.7 points per game, but that doesn’t mean the Vols should bank on that in my opinion. One of my main critiques of the current Tennessee offense is the lack of attacking the basket/paint, now that does change with Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer in the game, so maybe the Vols should try and get those two more minutes. Right now Springer gets 19 minutes and Johnson gets 20, I would maybe like to get that up to around 23-22 for each of them. I went back and watched our offensive half court possessions from the last two games and I found multiple instances of useless passes around the perimeter without attacking the defense. There was one possession against A&M that made me cringe, we had 7 passes without one dribble towards the defense… You can’t do that, you have to make the defense work, especially when you have such strong drives like Springer and Johnson. This next critique kind of plays off the last one as well. So many times in our offense, we are wanting the sets to help us score, instead of looking for opportunities to score, if that makes any sense. We might actually be too unselfish on offense, Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer are dynamic scorers, they need to look to score more often. Lastly I have a problem with our end of half sets, John Fulkerson is a fan favorite, but expecting him to take the ball from the three point line to the paint in 7-6 seconds is unfair to him, I would much rather have seen us get the ball in the hands of a guard and then feed him down low. Yes, the defense sometimes takes away and makes you settle, but you have to have an option in those out of bounds sets that bail out Fulkerson, rather that be a catch and hand off with Fulkerson slipping to the basket, or a back screen for Fulkerson to show off his above average vision and passing. Anyway, I know I can be hard to please, but these are just my opinions. Not saying I know better than Coach Barnes. He has come to earn my trust, but these are just some
frustrations I find myself having during the games.
Written by: Dallas Bowlin