The SEC Tournament is finally here and the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Florida Gators in the Quarterfinals.
Vols will take on the Gators 25 minutes after the end of the Mississippi State-Alabama game.
Tennessee is coming off a 65-54 win over the Florida Gators.
Tennessee’s win over Florida last Sunday gave the Vols a double-round bye and the 4 seed.
While this season is not what we all expected, it is huge for the Vols to have that double-round bye.
Florida is coming off a 69-63 win over Vanderbilt in the 2nd Round of the SEC Tournament.
The Vols ended the regular season with a win and are hoping to continue that trend.
In order for Tennessee to make the Semifinals for a 3rd consecutive season, here is what Tennessee needs to do to beat Florida:
Stop Tre Mann:
Tennessee had luck on their side last Sunday when Guard Tre Mann was out with a migraine.
Well, the Vols is not going to have that luck again since Tre Mann is back and playing.
Mann is coming off a 22 point performance and is easily the Gators’ best player.
Mann leads the Gators in points and assists with 15.3 points per game and 3.5 assists per game.
Mann has scored over 20 points in the last three games.
The Vols will need to contain Mann.
Tennessee was able to hold him to just 12 points when he played against the Vols back in February but that didn’t matter as the Vols were blown out 75-49.
But if Tennessee’s guards can stop Mann and hold him to 10 or fewer points, Tennessee will have a great chance to come out with a win.
Better Job With The 3 Ball:
Tennessee has to do a better job with the 3 point ball if they want to have any shot at winning against Florida.
Vols went just 3-21 from the 3-point land in their win over Florida last Sunday.
That means only 14.3% of Tennessee’s 3 point shots went in.
Now while it is remarkable that we managed to beat Florida by 11 despite shooting 14.3% from the 3, this isn’t going to happen again.
Tennessee is going to have to make some 3 balls if they want to win and make a run in the SEC Tournament.
Victor Bailey Jr made two 3 point balls and Josiah Jordan-James was the only other player that made a 3 point ball last Sunday.
Yves Pons, Santiago Vescovi, and Jaden Springer combined for 0-9 from behind the arc.
Bailey Jr will guarantee you at least 2-3 three-pointers even on a bad day, but Tennessee can not rely on him.
Pons, Vescovi, Springer, and Jordan-James need to step it up and make those 3 balls if they want to make a run in the SEC Tournament.
More From John Fulkerson:
John Fulkerson played his last game in Thompson-Boling Arena last Sunday and he certainly gave his all for Tennessee.
Fulkerson looked like his old self again, with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal in the Vols win over Florida.
John Fulkerson took over that game and dominated Florida’s defenders, shooting 6-10 from the field.
Tennessee needs this John Fulkerson to show up again.
Fulkerson has struggled this season.
Prior to this performance, Fulkerson averaged just 4 points a game in his last 3 performances.
It’s now or never for John Fulkerson.
If John Fulkerson can put out another performance like last Sunday, There is no doubt that the Vols will advance to the semifinals.
But if John Fulkerson has a slow start, it will be extremely difficult for Tennessee to come out with a win over Florida.