These lovely UK Fans of the Day want to know what Tennessee has been up to since we beat them 75-65 in Rupp Arena. Due to a new personal initiative to give the people what they want, we’re going to take a look at that now as we ask “So, Tennessee, What Have You Been Doing?”
When I attempt to write about a team I don’t follow closely, I always like to involve their fans. Nobody has stronger feelings about a team than their fans. I like to check in with them to get a feel for the pulse of the program. Earlier, I did exactly that.
UT fans, summarize your thoughts/feelings about UT’s basketball season in 140 characters or less. Longer answers to [email protected]
– Aaron Flener (@AFlenerKSR) February 15, 2013
These are some of the responses:
@HarrisCHaworth1: grueling, Aaron. Grueling.
@TheRileyFactor1: It was just a little white lie.. Didn’t hurt no one. #WeMissPearl
@GiveHimSix1987: JP Prince taught McBee how to shoot three’s in the off season.
@allisonmholt: Short answer: depressing to the point of unwatchable and I watch EVERYTHING.
@ClayLehning: We got a new football coach.
So… not the best season in Knoxville, eh? Tennessee is 264th nationally in scoring at 63.7 points per game and 319th in assists at 10.3 per game. No wonder their fans are frustrated.
If you thought the fans above were frustrated, it gets worse. When the twitter buzz died down, I checked my email to see if any Tennessee fans had responded there. One certainly had. My friend Wes had written a long email, all of which I cannot share due to some of the vocabulary words he used, but I’ll hit the highlights.
“I saw your tweet, so I thought I’d opine on this:
*Losing Maymon hurt us….BAD.
*Not having a “true” PG is killing us. All teams should press us, because we turn the ball over a lot.
*Kenny Hall does nothing but take up space and drive with a suspended license.
*UT is TERRIBLE from beyond the arc.
*Is Cuonzo our guy? I think he’s a good motivator and gets them to play their asses off on D. However, I’m very skeptical of his offensive coaching.
P.S. I’ve got to hate on Skylar McBee for second. When you are short and bring very little to the table athletically, I believe that I have the right to expect at least 40% from three point range. In 4 years he has not averaged over 40% in one season. Every single offseason I hear all the sunshine pumpers say, “Man, Skylar is lighting it up in the gym this summer.” So, every year I expect him to turn the corner. Does it happen. NO. NO. NO.”
I love the term “sunshine pumpers”, and I love how instead of going back up and adding another bullet point about McBee that he settled for using a P.S. to voice his displeasure. Skylar McBee: Not even worth a bullet point in an email of frustration.
Despite the frustration of the Vol fan base and starting the SEC season 0-3, Tennessee has fought back to win 5 out of 8 since then to bring their SEC record to 5-6. Since we last Knew Our Enemy, let’s take a look at what Tennessee has been doing.
*Mississippi State (home)– WIN. Tennessee took care of business at home against one of the worst teams in college basketball by a score of 72-57.
*Ole Miss (away)- LOSS. This was a game Tennessee actually had a chance to win late. However, they did not win it late. They lost it 62-56.
*Alabama (home)- WIN. A bit of a controversial finish in this game as Trevor Lacey appeared to be fouled on a last second shot only there was no whistle. Without a whistle there is no foul, and Tennessee escaped 54-53.
*Vandy (home)- WIN. Tennessee escapes Thompson Boling for the second game in a row in a one point 58-57 win. Kentucky beat Vandy by 2, so we’re obviously better.
*Arkansas (away)– LOSS. Bud Walton Arena is proving to be a formidable place to play during the SEC season. Arkansas remains undefeated at home in SEC play, so there’s not much shame in this 73-60 defeat.
*Georgia (home)- LOSS. When you are a so and so team in a bad league, you have to beat other so and so teams at home. The Vols failed to do that in this game as they lost 68-62 to the Bulldogs.
*South Carolina (away)- WIN. When you are a so and so team in a bad league, you have to beat horrible teams anywhere you play them. Tennessee did that in blowing out the Gamecocks 66-61.
*Vandy (away)– WIN. Remember what I said earlier about us being better than Tennessee because we beat Vandy by 2. Disregard that. The Vols beat Vandy 58-46 in Memorial Gym Wednesday night.
This is a huge game for the Cats. I know it, you know it, the players know it. Kentucky is a 1.5 point favorite in Knoxville but I feel like this game is a complete toss up. Without Noel, our defense will be extremely vulnerable as our guards get beat repeatedly off the dribble only to be bailed out by a Nerlens block or shot change. Hopefully Nerlens’ injury was a wake up call and the Cats pull together and make the most of the rest of this up and down season. Go Big Blue.