Second-placed Tennessee (18-3, 7-1) will sortie again on Wednesday night following back-to-back home games against Florida (12-9, 5-3) in Gainesville. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:01 PM ET on ESPN2.
GoVols247’s Basketball Beats Writer Ben McKee and Staff Writer Wes Rucker cover and update you all on tonight’s Game Over in The Checkerboard. You can follow their coverage by clicking the link below.
***Live Game Update: No. 2 Tennessee Basketball in Florida***
Here’s everything Barnes said about the Gators on Monday.
Playing aggressively against Texas while hitting only six 3-pointers:
“It’s true that we want to be able to score on nights when we don’t shoot three very well. , was to try and take away the boundaries and push us inside. Sure it was really heartening to see Olivier play the way he did the other day, but I think the guards did a great job of getting them involved. but probably because we had a bit of foul trouble and were looking for ways to get the ball inside against our perimeter against the zone and different defenses. “It’s always encouraging to be able to do it. I think we have players in this team who can score at different levels and we need to be consistent.”
What he liked about watching the tape of the win against Texas:
“The first is that it was a really intense game on both counts. I thought Santi (Bescobi) was a little more tired than I was. Marcus Kerr We didn’t play much in the first half, but it was certainly refreshing to come back in the second half. I rarely gave up on cutting my back, which I usually don’t give up. We usually don’t give up that much. they had a couple. You have to give them credit, they were cutting and moving. But on some Switches, I’ve played against it all year long. Defensively, it wasn’t as clean as it should have been. You have to get better there. And certainly we have to improve again. That is communication. And you can fix it. Our peers will surely work to do just that. But overall, the effort to reach the glass, try to block, and actually play along is what really popped out. We’ve been talking about connecting, not only on the defensive side, but also on the offensive side. we can get better there. we have to get better. All in all, it was a really intense basketball game. ”
when he started to see Zacai Ziegler This kind of point guard would be:
“It’s been talking to him since last year, and I really started to understand what point guards do. Sakai is very unselfish, he’s a tough, nosey competitor who just wants to win But he’s really embraced the fact that he wants to play a different game, he can shoot the ball, he can win the ball, but he’s really playing against his teammates. I think that’s something he’s really been working on, not just this month, but from the time we started this team, knowing he needed to do it. starts clicking for him, and I think so, but I think he sees the coat in a completely different way than he does. I think that slowed it down for him. I looked at all nine people on the floor to see what was going on.”
How this team has played in the last two weeks:
“I don’t know if it’s that lucrative. I think January is probably the hardest month of the year. You have the entire fall season, so come the Christmas holidays and things will be different.” Things are different on campus, schedules change, I think bodies change, the fact that they move from one routine to the next, and then school starts back up, and really, really, January is for college basketball. It’s a tough month for everyone.Just the fact that we played a lot and practiced a lot is enough to get us into February.February is an important month for everyone.There’s a lot of basketball left to play for everyone.But I think our players have been busy playing a lot of time here and they know what it is and they know we have to keep improving. We are always talking about what we have to do to keep the ceilings up by the standards we want to play with, the standards we want to hold. It has to come, and I think we have groups that have accepted it and will continue to accept it.”
Here’s what defined February’s success for this team:
“Defense. I always start on the defensive end. You have to be good at ball screen coverage. You have to be able to win those individual battles. The fact that you’re asking for.I think role definitions are probably going to be more important.It’s always important, but it’s a little bit more clear.But with that being said, I know there’s still a lot of basketball left to play. And then on the attacking side, you really know that you have to be consistent, you have to put certain players in certain areas of the court to be effective. But one thing is certain, we need to improve our transition defense, we absolutely need it, we have to improve there, and we teams need to understand when the game is played, when the crosses switch, when the match starts, they can’t do a baddie run, they need to turn around quickly and pick up the ball. I just gave up a few wide-open shots and I can’t do that because it’s going on in February.”
Some of Florida’s highlights:
“Certainly a new coach who has done a good job with his roster. Castleton post player and more effective than any guy in the country. playing guard and shooting a high percentage of 3-point shots, back to what I just said, it’s a transition defense, they’re launching it quickly, kicking it out early, busting it out, transitioning it. Obviously it’s going to be very important because we’re aiming to shoot 3 people in . We’re going to do a zone press, but as we’ve seen a lot from a lot of different teams this year, they’re probably going to switch from one to four.Compete.Very well coached.The one who wins is It’s hard, man, I know it’s hard to win a basketball game, and I know it’s going to be hard to go to Gainesville, Florida and win it. I have to get better and play.”
About BJ Edwards Growing Up:
“I think he’s getting better. Obviously, I think he’s playing with an older group that he had to come in and deal with. He’s still an important part of this program. I think he’s definitely a big part of our future He’s got a great attitude People love him He’s not afraid to compete But you know As such, it’s a difficult situation to surpass the current position in the numbers rotation.What we love about him is that he’s really trying to get better every day.”
On the shift in preparation from guard-heavy teams like Texas to teams with star forwards like Florida:
“That hasn’t changed. We’ve already seen some this year. He (Colin Castleton) is indeed a force and can do many different things. There is. I think it can be done.I have said many times that each game has its own personality. Let’s see what kind of personality this guy has. ”
On his frustration with Zakay’s play earlier this season and how those games helped him:
“Early in the season, I don’t know if I would use the word frustration. What we wished he was doing before is exactly what he is doing now. A player who can put pressure on defense, which means he has always impacted the game defensively and has never failed to impact a win, he and Santi, whether they score or not. It impacted the win, it impacted the game, what they’re doing on the defensive end and, speaking of Zakay, what he’s doing now, probably more than he should be right now. It’s a great testament to him that he’s willing to change what we ask him to do, which is what he has to do. I think it’s going to help him a lot to have a good player and I think he can even get Joe[Shea]back.Neither of them are selfish and they don’t really need to score. They don’t have to, they just keep fighting and do what they need to do to make an impact on the win, what they’re doing, what the Z’s are doing as point guards, taking care of the ball and giving assists. I don’t know if there’s a better tandem in college basketball right now in terms of gaining.