After a nail-biter of a game in which the lead changed a whopping 17 times, Lamonte Turner sealed the deal for the Volunteers with a three-pointer that gave Tennessee the 59-58 advantage. As if the clutch three wasn’t enough, a poorly-timed turnover by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gave the ball back to Tennessee, who quickly reponsded with a gut-wrenching dunk by Admiral Schofield. Gilgeous-Alexander went to the line, where he hit one and missed one before the Cats gave up the rebound, and the final score was set: 61, 59, Tennessee.
And while Quade Green had a solid game, finishing with 15 points and just two turnovers, he made one crucial error: he wasn’t ready for Turner to take that three-pointer.
#VolNation stand up!
Tennessee’s Lamonte Turner hits the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0:25 remaining, and Admiral Schofield’s ensuing dunk secured the Volunteers’ 61-59 victory. pic.twitter.com/J4BhywIDpX
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 7, 2018
“I was very surprised,” Green said of Turner’s decision to launch up the deep-three. “He was 1-5 from the three-point line, so I was thinking in my head, oh, he ain’t shoot all game – he’s gonna drive. But then he just shot the ball.”
But that’s where Green was mistaken. You see, Turner wasn’t 1-5 from the three-point line. With 26 seconds remaining, he was actually 3-6. And just a second later, he sank his fourth.
Perhaps Green confused Turner with UT’s Jordan Bowen, who actually was 1-5 from behind-the-arc. And perhaps Green simply misspoke during his media opportunity after the game – a rush of emotions following a tough loss, a dozen cameras with bright lights thrust in your face… you get the point. And it is entirely possible he just said the wrong statistic in the post-game presser. But regardless, Turner quite literally caught Green with his hands down.
“Quade was really good today, did some good stuff,” Coach John Calipari said after the game. “The last play, he gave that kid that three with his hands down. But again, he made baskets, he got to the rim. He made, he got guys involved. He was good.”
Clearly, Calipari’s forgiven Green for his defensive mistake at the end of the game. After all, Coach Cal did hold himself accountable for the loss, saying he should have called a timeout in the final seconds of the game. But Green doesn’t think Calipari should be the one taking the heat for tonight’s defeat.
“We all took the blame for the loss. A few possessions, we could have had a rebound, we could have gotten a stop, and we didn’t do it as players. Cal’s just the coach – we take the blame too. I take the blame too.”
And what about that final shot?
“A lot of people in America won’t take that shot,” Green said. “I’ll give it to him – that was a good shot.”