In one of the shocking upsets of Rick Barnes’ profession with Tennessee basketball, the Vols fell to the Colorado Buffaloes 78-66 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Sunday. UT, ranked No. 11 in each polls, was coming off a 75-43 win over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles in its opener.
Colorado, though, was coming off a shocking upset loss to the Grambling Tigers. Tad Boyle’s team had lost to the Vols in Boulder, Colo., last yr and Knoxville, Tenn., the yr before. It was a backwards and forwards game for some time, but Colorado pulled away within the second half. Up 57-52, they went on a 9-0 run with seven and a half minutes to go to take control.
Rocky Top now falls to 1-1 and can host the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Wednesday. Colorado improves to 2-1 and can face the UMASS Minutemen Thursday in South Carolina to open the three-day Myrtle Beach Invitational. Listed below are three things we learned from Tennessee basketball’s first lack of the season.
1. Offense was horrible within the paint.
It’s typical to point to a foul three-point shooting day when a team just like the Vols loses, and indeed, they were 10-of-37, or 27 percent, from outside. Nevertheless, Colorado was only 8-of-26, or 30.8 percent, so it shouldn’t have made an excessive amount of of a difference. What modified was the Vols’ offense contained in the arc. UT was 6-of-26 on two-pointers in the sport.
At one point, the guards were 2-of-11 across the rim. Despite 12 points, Zakai Zeigler missed quite a few shots within the paint. Santiago Vescovi didn’t help going 2-of-11 from three despite 11 points. The identical was true of Tyreke Key, who had 15 points but was 0-of-4 from two. Josiah-Jordan James had 15 points as well but was 1-of-3 contained in the arc.
2. Colorado was more physical.
Constructing off the previous post, a part of the rationale Tennessee basketball struggled a lot inside was since the post game was awful. Uros Plavsic left with an ankle injury three minutes in, and the Vols were one way or the other unable to offset what he delivered to the table. Colorado just outhustled the Vols, evidenced by their 47-38 rebounding advantage.
To be fair, Olivier Nkamhoua had 10 rebounds, but he was 1-of-8 from the sphere and settled for 4 threes. Julian Phillips was 1-of-6 and settled for 3 threes. UT did get to the free throw line and hit 24 of 30 from there, however the physical play of Colorado in causing that’s what made them so erratic inside.
3. Second-half defense was a disaster.
Despite Plavsic’s injury and all of the offensive issues, a staple of the Vols under Barnes is that their defense can carry them after they are struggling like that. Well, the defense didn’t carry them within the second half. Colorado had 46 points that half and just went off after a comparatively quiet first half.
For the sport, Tennessee basketball did force 19 turnovers. Vescovi had five steals, James had three, and Key had two. James also had two blocks. He was the just one playing physical. Nevertheless, James is just getting healthy and has been banged up, so playing 27 minutes slowed him late. No person else stepped up, and that allowed Colorado to go off.