The Vols are off to a strong start this season. We knew this team was going to be good, but the first three games have been impressive. Rick Barnes has the boys 3-0 for the fourth straight season with wins over Colorado, Cincinnati, and Appalachian State.
In the previous game, the defense was relentless. App State scored just 38 points on 7-for-22 from two-point range and 5-for-21 from deep.
Give Me All The D
After 3 games, the Vols have held each of their opponents to 56 points or less. It’s early, but according to KenPom, this is the best defensive team Tennessee has had since 1997 when he started collecting data.
The Vols rank third in adjusted defense efficiency, only allowing 86.2 points per 100 possessions. They rank seventh in defensive effective field goal percentage.
All the guys are bought in on creating havoc on that end of the court, and if it continues, teams like Tennessee Tech don’t stand a chance.
Offense, What Say You?
Can the offense continue to grow?
Through three games, the offense has struggled. The Vols are only shooting 30.6 percent from deep. That should improve because guys like Santiago Vescovi and Victor Bailey can knock down the outside jumper. However, Tennessee needs others to step up.
One encouraging sign is the Vols are getting open looks. You have to think those shots are going to fall sooner rather than later. Tennessee is scoring over 50 percent of their points as 2-pointers, but all that isn’t coming from feeding the paint. We need to do that more often.
Tennessee Tech is 0-7, and they’ve only had one close game this season against Western Carolina. They are a pretty young squad still searching to find their identity.
Keishawn Davidson is Tech’s go-to guy. He is a real threat from outside, shooting 7-for-19 on the season from deep. The Golden Eagles are thin in the post and will have difficulty defending the athleticism of Tennessee. As a team, they average 59.6 points per game, which isn’t going to cut it against Tennessee.
This shouldn’t be much of a game for the Vols. But, it will help Tennessee get ready for the Missouri Tigers on December 30. I want to see the Vols dominate from start to finish, obviously hit some shots, and play a deep bench. This should be easy for Tennessee and make the fans happy on a Friday night.
Tennessee 86 Tennessee Tech 37