Tennessee basketball head coach Rick Barnes joined “The Drive” on Thursday afternoon to discuss this past season, how they are approaching this offseason and much more, including the HBO documentary “The Scheme.”
Barnes, who said he watched the film, didn’t hold back when talking about the case that was brought upon assistant coaches and others. When talking about the FBI, Barnes said “Their approach when they said they had the playbook, they didn’t have the playbook.”
When discussing the NCAA and what they’ve potentially known, in regards to the allegations outlined in the documentary: “What has been going on in college basketball, I could go back and talk about, it’s been something every decade since 1940, some way and somehow. I don’t think there is any question the NCAA knows what has gone on in our sport, forever. I really believe that.”
Barnes continued, when talking about the NCAA and the conversations that were caught on wiretaps between Christian Dawkins and coaches: “They would say things like we cant wiretap, we can’t do this and that. But, I don’t think you have to wiretap, I think some of those things said the other night are pretty tough. I think anybody that listened to that would understand that conversation.”
“I think they will do everything they can with the information they have.”
We also discussed, among many topics, how big the Kentucky game meant for his young team.
“I’ll tell you this, three and half minutes to go in the game, Jordan Bowden came over to me, they had called timeout and he was walking straight to me, he said ‘coach, we’re gonna win this game.'”
“He just said it to me and me only. He just walked right up to me and patted me on the chest and said ‘coach, we’re going to win this game.’ They had that confidence.”
It was very interesting to hear Barnes discuss the Florida game and how much they learned from being up big, to letting the Gators get back in it, which he said was a lesson the team learned, which helped them in Lexington.
We discussed many more topics during our twenty minute interview with coach Barnes, including how they are trying to help the student athletes get through these difficult and confusing times.
For the full interview, click below:
This will be a wild offseason with so many unknowns, but Barnes is just trying to do his part to help his players navigate through it all, while keeping his guys on track for success.