I SAID, IT’S GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL!
The Vols pulled off a gritty, rough win against the talented Buffs of Colorado. The Buffs were everything we thought they were, a very talented team. But they weren’t talented enough to take down the Vols on Tuesday night. Here are a few key points of importance:
DEFENSE- The Vols did what we said they had to do, and that's to play defense. The Vols held the Buffs to a season low 56 points and stole the ball 12 times. The Buffs shot a season low 33.3% from the field. Keeping up with season lows, the Vols held the talented 22 point a game scorer Mckinley Wright Jr. to only 8 points on 3-8 from the field.
RUSTY: Though the Vols did start out hot, they took an early 12-2 lead, but the rust of not playing lately came to bite them as the Buffs drew the game pretty close and kept it close for much of the game. Yves Pons was a big victim of rust, going 1-9 for only 2 points. Ej Anosike was also a little rusty, going 1-6 for four points. Thankfully, Ej and Yves were able to contribute in other ways.
NEWCOMERS ARE THE REAL DEAL: Keon Johnson was as good as advertised. His 4 points on 2-3 shooting may not jump off the screen at you, but he did what the stats wont show. He led by example, by getting on the ground after every loose ball, getting down in a stance and locking his guy up, and just by showing energy. Jaden Springer, though he didn't play as much as I expected, he also really impressed me with his defense. He is also a much better shooter (given a small sample size ) than I thought, finishing with six points on 2-3 shooting and 2-2 from the three. Victor Bailey started off hot as well, though he did slow down towards the end, he ended with 8 points on 3-7 shooting and 2-6 from three. As mentioned earlier, Ej Anosike had a rough night shooting the ball, but proved he is more than able to hold his own physically. He finished the game with 4 points and 4 rebounds.