After a rocky start for the Vols, Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams got the Volunteers rolling in the second half, never letting up en route to a 76-65 win at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday night.
Admiral Schofield is a Man on a Mission
Admiral Schofield put up ridiculous numbers against the Wildcats in a game that looked to be pretty well in hand for John Calipari’s team at halftime. Schofield ended with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists while backing it up on the defensive end with four steals and a block.
The Admiral didn’t do it all on his own, though, with Grant Williams contributing 18 points and Lamonte Turner chipping in 11 points of his own. With a win over one of the Vols’ biggest rivals under the belt, Tennessee needs more Schofield in order to keep rolling against more SEC foes.
The Vols Struggle Against Size Down Low
Tennessee ran across a lot of problems against the NBA-caliber size the Wildcats featured. Kentucky has three players that are 6 feet 9 inches tall, two that are 6 feet 10 inches tall and one that stands at 6 feet 11 inches tall. The Vols struggled to defend Kentucky’s taller players down low, but the defense against its guards was on point.
On offense, Tennessee had a lot of trouble trying to pass the ball into the paint against players with wingspans of over seven feet, but the Vols made up for the early miscues by catching fire from 3-point land in the second half. The Vols need a specific game plan the next time they play a vertically inclined group.
Tennessee Keeps Winning at Home
Besides losses to North Carolina and Auburn at home, the Volunteers have played well at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols put up their best offensive numbers on their own home court and boast one of the loudest arenas in all of basketball.
With Tennessee having to face a majority of their tougher matches on the road to close out the season, home games like the one against No. 11 Texas A&M on January 13 become that much more important. Rick Barnes has to make sure his troops are ready to go out and battle as the Vols head into the thick of their SEC contests.
With only a few conference games down, the Tennessee Basket-Vols are going to have to prove they can win on the road and close out games like Saturday’s finish if they want to make a run in the SEC Tournament and make it to the tournament in March.