UT men’s basketball team regroups after disappointing loss

The then-No.11 Vols fall 78-66 to unranked Colorado
The basketvols warming up before they face off against the Colorado Buffaloes.
The basketvols warming up before they face off against the Colorado Buffaloes.(WVLT Sports)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 4:57 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Volunteers lost to the Colorado Buffaloes on Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with a final score of 78-66.

The upset was a shock to college basketball as the reigning SEC Champs were ranked No. 11.

UT plummeted to No. 22 in the AP Top 25 rankings after the weekend’s matchup.

Tennessee’s mindset heading into the game had a lot to do with the outcome; the Vols went into the contest thinking they were just good enough to go out there and play. Following the game, head coach Rick Barnes said, “That’s not enough to win games.”

Barnes added that the team lacked leadership from their guards which set a negative tone for the team. Guards Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Ziegler were a combined 6 of 25 from the field.

As a team, the Vols were 16 of 62 from the field, 10 of 36 from the three-point line and committed 15 turnovers.

It was not long after the game that Barnes announced that there would be changes made to the starting lineup. Barnes said of the team’s performance, “I’m looking out there like, ‘I don’t have a clue what we’re doing.’ And I thought our guard play set the tone in a negative way for us. Zakai was wild. I mean tonight, he was out of control, he was totally out of control. And to the point I’ve already told him, he’s not starting. Because him starting the game hasn’t worked very well in terms of the way we want to get started.”

While Barnes, players and fans alike were not happy with the loss, guard Josiah-Jordan James is looking at the positive side of the loss. James said following the game, “This is a good lesson for us, you know, this is a long season. Of course, I’m disappointed and upset that we lost, but I’m also excited, just to see how this team will respond because you know, there’s a lot of great things that has come before this team, but it’s not just gonna be handed to us. I’m excited to see how we respond throughout the rest of the season. I think this loss will be really good for us.”

Tennessee is looking to regain the sense of urgency that they established in the first contest of the season, as they gear up for this week’s slate of games.

UT is set to play on Wednesday night at home against Florida Gulf Coast University. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.