The Vols dropped 102 on a feisty Saint Joesph’s bunch on Monday night.
Tennessee moved to 5-0 on the season, and it was yet another dominant performance from start to finish.
There are many positives to unfold but let’s start with the Vols scoring 100 plus points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2009.
100 Burgers > 50 Burgers
In the 2009-10 season, the Vols scored 124 on UNC Asheville and 105 on East Carolina. Remember, that was the team that went on to play in the Elite 8.
USC Upstate comes to Knoxville on Wednesday night with one of the worst defenses in college hoops. Of course, using data from KenPom, the Spartans are allowing teams to shoot 58.3 percent from inside the 3-point line.
In four of their seven games this season, USC Upstate has given up 90 or more points to Winthrop twice, Eastern Kentucky, and Furman. And, if you take a look at their roster, the biggest guy they play is 6-foot-9.
Tennessee should have their way. I attempted to search for the last time the Vols scored 100+ points in back-to-back-to-back games and couldn’t find the answers. I went back to the late 1940s, so if it’s happened, it happened nearly 100 years ago.
The Whole Team Is Impressive
On Twitter, I asked the question, “which Vol are you most impressed with this season,” and I don’t think there is a wrong answer. I could make a case for so many guys.
Freshman Jaden Springer has been incredible on the offensive end. He’s shooting a scorching 85.7 percent from deep. 85.7 PERCENT.
Josiah-Jordan James isn’t far behind, shooting 50 percent on 7-for-14 from deep. During SEC play last season, JJJ shot 42.6 percent from 3-point range, fourth-best in the conference.
Fellow five-star Keon Johnson is doing it big on the defensive end with four blocks and nine steals in five games.
I could go on and on about this team and how impressive they’ve been so far. Victor Bailey, Jr. already has two games over 15 points. John Fulkerson has scored in double-digits all five games and Santiago Vescovi, who you know I love, has nearly a 4:1 assist-to-turnover rate in the past four games.
This might be the best defense the Vols have ever had. It’s undoubtedly the best I’ve ever seen. Through five games, the Vols have the third-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the nation at 86.4. That means Tennessee is only giving up 86.4 points on 100 possessions.
The only two better teams are Clemson at 86.3, basically a tie, and Texas Tech at 85.3.
If you’re wondering what that means, in 2019, the National Championship Game included Texas Tech, who finished first in AdjDE, and Virginia, who finished fifth.
In 2018, Michigan and Villanova faced off in the NCG with the third and 11th best AdjDE rankings.
The Vols are back in action Wednesday night against USC Upstate before traveling to Missouri on Dec. 30 to open SEC play.