Times have changed on Rocky Top. With a team that seems to be the best team in the SEC over the likes of Auburn and Kentucky, Tennessee basketball it setting itself up to become a staple. The only red mark being a second round exit last year in the NCAA tournament.
We arn't just winning, we are an athletic obstacle for most teams. Starting Yves Pons shows that we are building depth and building it early. He looked amazing in our win over EKU and Head Coach Rick Barnes is setting us up for a run in the tournament. It would seem this strong run comes just in time after another disappointing football season. We are an Overtime loss to Kansas from being an arguable number one ranked basketball team. This isn't the same kind of number one team we had when we were coached by Bruce Pearl. We feel strong. Quick. Unbreakable. We are a match up problem and outside of Duke that goes for just about any team in the nation.
It feels like we are overdue. The Tennessee curse of failure needs to be broken and it needs to be broken sooner than late. And it seems like this team might be the team to do it. We have never been a Final Four team, and this year that is going to change.
We have Grant Williams (Last Years SEC Player of the Year). We have Pons who can guard any position from top to bottom. We have Jordan Bone a strong ball handler as efficient as they come when it comes to Point Guards. Kyle Alexander who protects the rim like it's his best friend vs 5 guys in a street fight. Admiral Shofield a versatile SG who along with Grant Williams is a perfect 1, 2 punch who both could be playing the NBA soon.
We have close to the perfect team. Lead by a Rick Barnes who is as stand up as they come. We share the ball, play Grit and Grind, and seem to be building something beautiful at Tennessee. Tennessee against EKU had a season high 50 rebounds, and 18 of those being Offensive Rebounds. (Note also a season high).
EKU was clearly just outmatched. On a game that was Tennessee's 500th game playing at home in Thompson Bowling Arena. Grant Williams posted a Double-Double, and Admiral Shofield lead the team in scoring with 20 points.
Tennessee plays next on Sunday 12/2/18 at Noon at home against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. Which should prove as another easy win for the Vols.