Tennessee dominated LSU last night, 84-61, and we have gathered up everything you need to know about it. Here are the highlights:
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) February 1, 2018
And a video game recap from the SEC Network with both highlights and commentary:
Here’s what Rick Barnes had to say in a short post-game segment on the SEC Network despite not being able to hear the questions at all (Flashback to: “I can’t hear you! Rocky Top is playing!”):
And here’s a playlist of Barnes’ longer post-game presser, along with a few player interviews (Grant Williams, JD3, and Kyle Alexander, whose golden tones rival Barry White’s):
Grant Williams, by the way, is fine despite having left the game early with an injury.
And OH NOES! Rick Barnes committed an NCAA violation. What is the egregious sin of which he is guilty? Paying one of his assistants out of his own pocket because he thought he deserved as much as another assistant. Barnes brought it to the attention of the purse string folks, and they said it wasn’t in the budget, so Barnes fixed that for them by paying it out of his own salary. Hang him high!
Brad has an excellent status update of where we are in recruiting with under a week to go, along with a handful of awesome things we’ve already learned about Jeremy Pruitt.
In the process, I think we’ve also learned something important about Phillip Fulmer. Do you remember how a certain former coach used to get roasted for touting his own (sometimes questionable) accomplishments? And have you noticed that Pruitt’s not been doing that? Fulmer’s doing it for him. Accolades are always more credible and thus better received when it’s someone other than you giving them. Maybe that will change once Pruitt’s not playing catch up with recruits, but if that’s the model going forward, it’s an important public relations improvement.
Fulmer’s latest public praise for Pruitt is that he tripled the number of prospects considering Tennessee and did so immediately:
“He showed he can turn recruiting around in a hurry. We tripled our recruiting board in like two days, with that staff — and not people that we were looking at, but people that were looking at us. That made a big difference. Unfortunately we had the early signing period. I’d like to have had another couple weeks with that, or it could have been really good.“But we got recruiting turned, and turned quickly, and hopefully we can finish strong here. That’s the foundation of winning, is having the good players here.”
And here’s something else The Papa understands well: Recruiting isn’t about what Tennessee wants, but what the prospect wants. Understanding that is key to crafting a good pitch.
But Pruitt still has to do the work himself, and he and his staff visited 4-star wide receiver Jacob Copeland last night. Good move, but the 247 crystal ball still points to Florida or Alabama at this point. Bummer.
Tennessee does still appear to be in great shape with Quay Walker, though.
Excited yet? USA Today isn’t. Pfffffftttt.
Other fun stuff
If you missed our Three Products Not Even Peyton Manning Could Sell post from yesterday, go check it out and add your own list. Right now, Will leads the field with his first answer, which was “Greg Schiano.”
And finally, Tennessee has sent more players to the Super Bowl than any other SEC team. Woo.