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  • Coming out of the spring, the 2018 Tennessee football team looks like it certainly has some talent on the roster, but depth at most positions and overall attitude (expecting to win, being willing to compete on […]

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    Tennessee just released its official fan shirt for the 2018 season, and you can get it right here, right now. Wearing one of these is guaranteed to keep you off Jeremy Pruitt’s naughty list.

  • Our Tennessee Vols are not a good football team.

    That doesn’t mean they won’t be or they can’t be. But they were awful in 2017, as we all know. And they didn’t look a whole lot better on Saturday.

    They may […]

    • “But he’s proved before that he can identify talent, recruit it, and develop it.”

      Just because I’m in full-on editing mode, I have to say I was really glad to see your Oxford comma there. 🙂

    • The cupboard is fairly empty. We were 0-8 in the SEC because we had an intern coaching and developing players.

      For those expecting a bowl with a 6-6 record, I’d make a straight up bet against it. Doesn’t mean we can’t get to 500 – it just looks pretty dadgum unlikely.

      So, about basketball…

    • Well, from my perspective it was about as boring as most of the games last year. Nothing really exciting happened. Just some ho-hum football that left me wanting more (which don’t get me wrong – I will take for now – because I love football).

      As for Pruitt, hard to get a read on him but he was intense on the field!! Doesn’t seem to be one that excepts mediocrity or taking plays off. I saw him and other coaches light-a-fire under a couple of players and I trust this will serve us well in the future. Have to say, he seems to speak his mind – which I like.

      Looking forward to next season!!

    • I seem to recall a handful of stories about Kirby Smart being surprised at some cultural things in Athens in year one because he was used to Alabama/Saban.

    • Nebraska hired the coach that their entire fanbase unanimously wanted. Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Regardless, we had the third-highest (announced) spring game attendance in the SEC, behind only the two teams that played in the National Championship Game. Ours was the fifth-highest in the country, ahead of programs like FSU, Clemson, and Ohio State. Complaining about the fans at this point is just silly.

      • It is bigger even than that. Nebraska hired their national championship winning hero who has ridden in to save the program. One of Frost’s strengths is selling himself. He is good at it and selling his program.

        Jeremy is simply not great with the media. He didn’t have to do interviews under Saban and he doesn’t like doing it so far as a head coach. Frankly Pruitt and the athletic department did a poor job advertising and trying to fill the stadium. As a first time head coach it is only natural he would have to grow into the role. Hopefully he improves in this area or wins so much much that no one cares.

        Frankly I didn’t get up in arms over Butch’s Butchisms so I am not going to worry too much over Pruitt’s shortcomings conveying his message with the media. Just give us a football team we can be proud of CJP, do it the right way. I don’t care about the rest.

  • Coming out of the spring, the 2018 Tennessee football team looks like it certainly has some talent on the roster, but depth at most positions and overall attitude (expecting to win, being willing to compete on […]

  • If tomorrow’s game actually is a 1’s vs 1’s, 2’s vs 2’s situation, the release of the rosters today may tell us more about how Jeremy Pruitt’s first team will look than the actual Orange & White Game itself:
    🍊 OR […]

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    With temperatures expected to be beautiful under sunny skies and a lot of top-notch recruits heading to Knoxville to enjoy the festivities, the biggest focus needs to be on Shields-Watkins Field.

    The top […]

  • Going into the 2018 Orange and White Game the Tennessee Volunteers currently sit with four commitments for the class of 2019 and one commitment for the class of 2020.  And while the commitments have certainly […]

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    It’s kind of hard to have a full-tilt quarterback competition when only half of your quarterback arsenal is on campus.

    So, it isn’t [only] that Jeremy Pruitt has been stubborn with information so far this […]

  • Setting a reasonable expectation is never easy in college football, especially in a new coach’s first year. For Jeremy Pruitt, five wins would be a literal improvement; six and a bowl berth would probably earn a […]

    • Competitiveness without feeling like we let wins escape us. That’s a difference from the last regime I want as well. The teams were often competitive but absolutely collapsed late losing games they should have won (I’m looking at you OU and UF especially).

      If we’re competitive in most games and make a bowl game, I think that’s a successful season. No matter the result of the bowl game beyond competitive again.

      I’d be pretty happy if a 7-5 regular season mark was achieved. I don’t think that mark is impossible, but I recognize it won’t necessarily be easy

      • Some betting site just put out their SEC O/Us and had the Vols at 5.5, which feels…about right?

        We already know they’re sizable underdogs to WVU. Taking a loss there would require 3 SEC wins to get to a bowl game, and after going 0-8 in conference last year, it’s hard to look at any one game and say, “Oh, yeah, the Vols should absolutely win that.”

        I’d settle for a) seeing development from individual players who were around last year, b) feeling like there is a cohesive strategy on both sides of the ball, and c) not getting run off the field by teams with objectively less talent (Mizzou, Vandy).

        • 5 seems to be a reasonable number to me too. I look at the schedule and three frankly gimme games plus hopefully a couple of games from Vandy, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina are about all I can reasonably hope for. It saddens me that I am honestly “hopeful” that we win 5 games but that is the state of the program.

          The good news for Pruitt is my expectations are the lowest they have ever been. They have all the room in the world to pleasantly surprise me. I am still looking forward to football season no matter what.

          • I think that’s an interesting question, and one that probably breaks down somewhat along generational lines…have you ever had less hope/fewer expectations for UT football than you do right now?

            I was born in 1986 and came of age during the crazy run in the 90s, so I’ve almost always had hope. 2013 is possibly the only other season where I had equally low expectations.

            • It helps that my overall expectations are higher than they could have been in the midst of the Schiano/Currie situation. I think the low points from both mid-2011 and the middle of last year, when it was just blatantly apparent that we weren’t very good (in part due to injury) were lower than preseason expectations are right now. But it might also become blatantly apparent that we’re not very good even earlier this fall.

              • You do bring up a good point. Taken in the context of how “the search” went it could have been worse. *shudders*

            • For me it is the low point. I was born in ’72 so I remember much of Majors and was really becoming a die hard fan when Fulmer was hired.

              I think what makes this the low point for me is the historic lows we hit last year. Not only did we lose to every SEC team on our schedule last year but we also have less returning production (combined offensive and defensive ) than every SEC team on our schedule.

              I think we will be better this year because of better coaching and hopefully less injuries. The question in my mind is how much. In light of the recent bad taste from the Kiffin/Dooley/Jones trifecta one more win than the worst season in UT history is all I am willing to hope for next year.

  • You’re a Tennessee fan, and you’re skeptical. The two things may as well be synonymous after what we’ve been through for the past decade-plus, especially after what our dysfunctional administration put us through […]

  • From Thursday to Sunday there were some relatively significant developments for the Tennessee Basketball program, all of which were positive: 1) News broke that end of the rotation guard Chris Darrington would be […]

  • This past week might be more indicative of what we should expect from the Jeremy Pruitt regime, as the relationships he’s taken time to build manifested itself in a flurry of commitments.

    One common theme […]

    • Good article Brad. Very relevant too as far as the size of the team. NBA is moving to smaller, faster players and everybody wanted Oregon East with the change, but it would look the same as far as smaller, faster guys. The thing that makes the SEC stand out is size AND speed. I always tweaked the Big10 fans “you guys are just like us, just without the speed or talent”. “We’re smarter” was all they could come back with. 🙂

  • 2017-18 saw the deepest SEC of all-time, with eight NCAA Tournament teams breaking the old conference record of six. The championship banner Tennessee and Auburn will hang is the greatest testament to the quality […]

  • Earlier this week Dylan took a look at how Tennessee might adapt its offensive philosophy next season. It’s a great question: should the Vols continue to rely on their physicality and inside presence, or look to […]

    • As with most things in life, I think the answer is…it depends 😛

      The question is ultimately one of efficiency and usage, and we’re trying to determine where the inflection point is at which the Vols should eschew some tough 2s for additional 3s.

      The dirty secret of the Vols’ offense this year is that they weren’t very good inside the arc: their 47.3% was 293rd in the country. That’s not good, and it’s actually been something of an issue under Barnes (16-17: 46.4%, 295th; 15-16: 47.4%, 242nd). I would imagine that’s a product of a couple of things.

      One, at least anecdotally (and a shot chart would help confirm or deny), the offense involves quite a bit of mid-range game. Think about Moore/Punter/Hubbs in 15-16 (43% on 9.2 2PA, 52% on 8.8 2PA, and 49% on 7.9 2PA), Hubbs in 16-17 (49% on 10.6 2PA), or Williams this year (50% on 10.3 2PA). Those shots just aren’t very efficient.

      Two, as players get asked to do more, their efficiency generally drops. Grant took 3 more shots per game this year, and his shooting percentage fell both inside and outside the arc (precipitously). Admiral was actually a bit of an exception as he kept his percentages flat while taking 5 more shots per game. And then the real flip side is Alexander, who took ~1 more shot per game, but bumped his 2P% from 49% to 68%.

      And Alexander’s example is key…if you’re going to run a true Daryl Morey-style NBA offense, you’re trying to shoot 3s (preferably from the corner) and layups/dunks. Again, without seeing a breakdown, I’m going to assume Alexander got more layups and dunks this year than last. So the question is, can you turn more 49% elbow jumpers into 70% layups? Can you turn more 45% turnarounds into 35% 3s?

      I think the Vols CAN do that, but it would require something of a philosophical shift or a leap from some players. The Vols don’t run a ton of pick-and-roll, but would they if Bone and/or Turner become a real threat to get to the basket, throw lobs to a diving big, or hit Bowden/Schofield for a corner 3 when the defense collapses? Can Bowden develop a drive/slash game that enables the same thing (he, Bone, and Turner were all 39%-40% on 2s and that’s just not good enough)?

      We don’t have to be Villanova (59% on 2PA, 40% on 3PA), but an offense that took out some blah 2s and replaced them with blah 3s would be a bit more explosive and give the Vols a higher ceiling.

      • Good stuff, Gavin.

      • Good stuff. I think a big component of this is lineups/minutes.

        Tennessee’s two most frequent combos, in-game and in closing time, were Bone/Turner/Bowden/Admiral/Williams, or against better post teams, Bowden/Admiral/Williams/Alexander and one of the point guards. Without James Daniel to provide some relief next year (nearly 20 minutes per game this year), will they go to Bowden and Turner as more of a Bobby Maze/Melvin Goins situation where the two aren’t on the floor much together?

        Derrick Walker played 8.8 minutes per game. I think that’s easily going up. But Alexander still only played 20.3 minutes per game. Will we make an intentional effort to get him involved more? If so, you’re almost automatically taking better outside shooting minutes off the floor. And who’s going to win the Yves Pons/Jalen Johnson struggle for minutes behind Bowden/Schofield at the 3? Teeny tiny sample size, but those two were 5-of-9 from the arc combined this year.

        Lots of ways to slice it, and Barnes is right when he said good chemistry one year doesn’t automatically lead to good chemistry the next year. But I still think the clearest room to grow is a more productive inside game from Alexander/Walker, which might mean even fewer threes but even better looks.

  • The Ringer has a really interesting piece about how while there are very few future NBA players in the Final Four, all four teams are running NBA systems (i.e., spreading the floor with virtually all five players […]

    • The Vols didn’t lose to Loyola because we relied too much on 2-pointers while Loyola beat us from 3. Look at the stats. We only had 4 games all season with a higher number of 3PT attempts than the Loyola game. We hit a decent percentage of them (36% or eFG 54%). We were 16 of 30 on 2PT attempts for 53.3%. We were indifferent whether we pursued 2 pointers or 3 pointers.

      So how did we do compared to Loyola? On 2 pt FG, we made 16 vs. Loyola’s 14. We had 1 more made 3 than they did (9-8).

      We lost the Loyola game because we turned the ball over more (17-9) and because Loyola had more 8 more made FTs due to the extra possessions (11-16 vs. 3-6).

      Barnes’ end-of-season comments are dead on. We need guards who have a better feel for the game. We need fewer turnovers at critical points in the game (killing our rallies or giving them extra possessions). We need consistency.

      I’d also argue we need guards who have the courage and maturity to take and make the big shots. Too often, we looked scared to take the shot at the end of the shot clock this season.

      We missed the game winner at Loyola and they made it. Ironically, Loyola’s game winner was a 2-pointer; the Vols miss was a 3-pointer….

      • Without having read this, I wrote a rebuttal to most of these arguments on Will’s article 😛

        The issue is less the proportion of 2s versus 3s and more the type of 2s and the type of 3s. The Vols only having 6 FTA on 30 2PA tells me they were largely settling for mid-range jump shots (or that Grant can never get a call, or both). Contrast that with Loyola having 16 FTA on 20 2PA, and it’s clear they likely spent more time driving/cutting to the basket.

        Admiral’s late season effectiveness notwithstanding, the 15-18 foot jumper is, objectively, not a great shot. If there’s a way to replace those with shots at the basket or decent looks at 3s, that’s likely to improve offensive efficiency.

        Also, I’ve got TOs being not a huge issue against Loyola with only 6 or 7, depending on your source. In a low tempo game, the slightly more efficient team just barely won out.

  • The end of a couple of long seasons is a fine time to catch your breath and maybe focus on a few things you’ve been neglecting for a bit too long. There will be no condemnation here because that’s exactly what […]

  • Looking at Tennessee’s projected roster for the 2018-2019 basketball season, it is truly striking how young the team is and therefore how much improvement can be expected. Further illustrating that fact is that a […]

  • After observing a personal 24-hour rule and mourning not only the actual season-ending loss to Loyola but the missed opportunity it represented, it’s time to look at next season’s roster and forecast how the tea […]

    • Pete replied 1 month ago

      You can add box out and consistent rebounding to the list for everyone. They all CAN rebound well for their size but do they exhibit the consistent WANT TO rebound. When we moved the ball, had intensity about us on defense, finished the possessions with the aforementioned rebound, did the little things (50/50 balls) and had some intelligence about shot selection/fundamentals in passing, we won. Please text this link to each of the players involved and the coaching staff. I’m pretty sure Barnes and crew have a list at least this long for the guys, but hearing it from a knowledgeable UT fan site couldn’t hurt.

  • The Jeremy Pruitt era officially began Tuesday as the Tennessee Volunteers took to the practice field for the first of 15 spring practices. Coming off the program’s worst year in history and a winless slate in the […]

  • Yesterday was Pro Day on Rocky Top, and several former Vols football players were in action hoping to improve their NFL Draft stock.

    Shining on #ProDay 🍊🏈
    More » https://t.co/wnZgOeuyKS pic.tw […]

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