Thank God it’s the bye week because we can talk about positive news like Tennessee basketball.
Currently the fanbase is striving for positive sports news and everyone should be really excited about this group Rick Barnes has in Knoxville. Basketball season will look really different this year with COVID-19 cases rising across the country. Football is one thing, but tackling inside sports will more than likely call for more restrictions.
Today, news broke that all the conference tournaments that were suppose to happen in Orlando are canceled. With non-conference tournaments in shambles, currently it’s only logical to follow the football route and go conference only.
Different COVID-19 Protocols
A major factor in a possible conference-only schedule is each conference has their own COVID-19 protocols. For example, once a player tests positive for COVID-19 in the SEC they don’t have to be retested for 90 days. On the other hand the BIG 12 conference, once a player tests positive for the virus, they don’t have to be retested for 180 days.
This is the main reason why the Orlando bubble fell apart. So, the SEC can keep a closer eye on each team prior to the NCAA Tournament because that’s the only thing that matters after last season’s Big Dance was cancelled. With basketball season a month away, a lot of changes are going have to be made to the protocols for player safety, plus possibly allowing fans.
Recently the University of Kentucky announced they’ll be allowing 15 percent capacity which could possibly be happening across the conference.
Out of all years for a conference-only schedule, this would be the year because the level of competition in the SEC is INSANE!
We’re all excited for the Vols to showcase their skills, considering this is one of Barnes most talented teams he’s ever had. After the way the conference played last season, it totally reloaded this season. Of course Kentucky and Auburn will be loaded but other teams are looking to fight for the top, like Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas A&M.
For example, Alabama added two top-60 players in the nation. It’s quite rare for a school like that to recruit at a top level. Tennessee will have so many chances to show their new 5-stars against the others of the conference. Bold prediction: the SEC will have the most teams make the NCAA Tournament.
Also, each team will play one another twice then possibly Kentucky and Florida three times, which means you’d get each team’s best every game. Plus it’s looking like SEC Tournament might not happen with COVID-19 cases rising.
John Fulkerson will prove he’s the best SEC Player
If last season didn’t tell you that Fulkerson was the best player in the conference then obviously you didn’t watch the game close enough.
Fulkerson averaged 13.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Also, Fulkerson led the league is in hustle plays. That’s not an actual stat but you could feel his presence missed when he wasn’t on the floor. With Tennessee adding 5-star talent, this only makes Fulkerson better because it takes all the attention off him. So, he’s able to move more freely and run the floor.
Write it down our very own Pal’s loving, Tennessee native: Fulky will be SEC Player of the Year. So, playing a conference-only schedule will showcase the league’s best player.