KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- There are all types of phrases associated with basketball, dribble-drive, the elbow, the and one and of course, the dreaded one-three-one zone.
but in the end what matters most is putting the ball in the basket, scoring points, something this team's been used to doing, but struggling to accomplish of late, posting a season low 58 against Vanderbilt.
Player of the year candidate Grant Williams says, "I think once we get our minds back under us and our bodies i think for one our shots will start falling and two, we'll continue the trend of playing defense and rebounding."
Coach Barnes adds, "You never know how you're gonna shoot the ball, but as long as you stay with the scouting report and we weren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but overall we defended well."
Despite the recent struggles, standing behind this team as it has been all seas is the Tennessee fan base, which thinks the world of coach Rick Barne and the feeling is mutual. The top vol told his team early on,
"We've got to create a love affair with our fans, where they know we're going to play as hard as we can play every single night, and we need them to help us do that."
Well that's something the guys have have been able to experience first hand. Grant Williams says, "we're thankful for them and we don't normally do that stuff where we get our crowd going and throw our hands in the air i thought about it tonight and one of our coaches recommended it to us and said get these guys going, they're there for you guys so let's feed off of them and the energy we were lacking they gave to us."
As far as improvement goes, UT assistant coach Michael Schwartz says,"We've got 19 and 20 year old kids. Kentucky pushed us around, mopped the floor with us. In the Vandy game, we shored up things. We rebounded and responded Wednesday night."
The coach added, "teams are banged up right now, it's the end of February. Guys are banged up and trying to find different ways. Practice time is decreased, but it's still physical. It's been a long time since we shot 40%, back to back 40% . We’ll get out of that."