Will Shelton

  • Real Answers:

    1. Bible Bars, an item we could special order at the Christian bookstore I worked at in college. Contains all the foods mentioned in a single obscure verse from Deuteronomy (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, honey)!

    2. Robitussin, unless the commercial is just, “Hey, this is going to taste as bad as you feel,…[Read more]

  • A sweep this week to get to 17-5 (7-3) at least allows us to entertain the notion of something more than a four seed if the Vols do well the following week in Lexington and/or Tuscaloosa. This needs to be a “nothing to see here” week, though if they want to win like they did at Iowa State, fine by me.

  • And now, the turn toward home.

    The SEC didn’t disappoint over the weekend, taking the Big 12/SEC Challenge from the nation’s best conference with six wins. The Big 12 had 16 non-conference losses coming into […]

    • Nice work, Will. Can the Vols take care of business this week?

      Since LSU has 7 scholarship players available, wouldn’t it make sense for the Vols to relentlessly attack the basket on every single offensive possession and make the officials swallow their whistles or foul the guys out? Give Admiral some shoulder pads and step out of the way.

      As a Memphis guy, please handle Ole Miss. Beat them badly.

    • I said at the beginning of last week that I’d take 3-1 over this 4-game stretch (VU, @ISU, LSU, OM).

      I think that’s still the right target given this team’s youth and occasional inconsistency…but now that they’re 2-0, it kind of feels like they need to go 4-0?

      If LSU is going to be really thin and Ole Miss has yet to win on the road this year, these feel like games a solid tournament team should take care of on the home floor.

      • A sweep this week to get to 17-5 (7-3) at least allows us to entertain the notion of something more than a four seed if the Vols do well the following week in Lexington and/or Tuscaloosa. This needs to be a “nothing to see here” week, though if they want to win like they did at Iowa State, fine by me.

        • Right now, RPI Forecast has them going 21-9 (6-4 in the last 10) to finish with an RPI of 19.

          Going 2-0 this week changes the overall to 22-8 (so 7-3 in the last 10) with an RPI of 13…yes, please.

  • Kansas’ beatdown of A&M going final moved the Vols down one to 9th in KenPom. But still.

  • Tennessee was 14-5 entering today, but got there without any start-to-finish statements against major conference foes. The Vols ran away from Wake Forest in the final eight minutes, slowly pulled away from Texas […]

  • Opportunity knocks for the SEC tomorrow, and particularly hard for a handful of bubble teams. The Big 12 has five teams in Ken Pomeroy’s Top 20 and three more in the Top 40. They lead the nation in conference RPI […]

    • Great work as always, Will.

      It’d be great for NCAA seeding to have a win against the Big 12 to go along with our 3-1 record vs. the ACC.

  • And tonight, yep and yep: 53.8% from the arc, and a tidy 15 assists on 19 made baskets (78.9%)

  • Tennessee is capable of winning in so many different ways, it’s hard to create a formula for their success. Last year assists were the go-to stat: the only way the Vols were getting good offense was through good […]

    • And tonight, yep and yep: 53.8% from the arc, and a tidy 15 assists on 19 made baskets (78.9%)

  • I still think Dooley’s first team probably overachieved just to get to six wins, so I’d say that’s Butch by default

  • Yeah, once you’ve changed coaches I think it’s actually a great thing to be considered the most underachieving team of the year.

  • I agree – it’s like you get credit for closing out games only if you make a big shot to take the lead in the final seconds. There were so many chances for South Carolina to surge ahead, and we denied them all. That’s toughness and maturity from a team that’s had to be both to get to this point.

  • Here’s a point we would have made if the Vols lost today:  Tennessee’s next three SEC games are at home against the only three teams in the league with an RPI of 100+ (Vanderbilt, LSU, Ole Miss). Thrown in for […]

    • That 94 KenPom ranking for Iowa State is still misleading especially after they killed No. 8 TTU tonight. That’s going to be a tricky one.

    • Pete replied 1 month ago

      Boy, we really stink at closing out games…(are we finally done with that ridiculous mantra?)

      Barnes has been clear – he wants consistency and knows he doesn’t have it yet. We have generally been fortunate in that someone else unexpectedly steps up when the guys from whom we need consistent contributions don’t give it (Bone/Bowden, lately).

      This team can make it to the second weekend of the NCAAs as we currently stand. If we find more consistency, we can be better.

      • I agree – it’s like you get credit for closing out games only if you make a big shot to take the lead in the final seconds. There were so many chances for South Carolina to surge ahead, and we denied them all. That’s toughness and maturity from a team that’s had to be both to get to this point.

    • Drew replied 1 month ago

      Is this site going to start covering the Lady Vols soon? Big game today (and a big one on Friday, too 🙁 ). I’d love to read some articles about them!

  • The Vols dropped a tough one at Missouri, where holding the Tigers without a field goal for the last 6:47 wasn’t quite enough to overcome 24% from the arc and 62% from the free throw line. Tennessee goes to 12-5 […]

  • Like I said, he’s a Rorschach; I’ve spilled plenty of words over the years on how I perceive his time here. I do think there was plenty remarkable about his second season – beat Kentucky by 30, beat A&M in four OT – and I’d disagree about Final Four dreams in the preseason for any UT team outside 2008. I wanted us to pay to keep him after 2014,…[Read more]

  • Somewhere in dreams, Bruce Pearl still wears an orange blazer and the Vols never missed an NCAA Tournament. Perhaps a little further west in dreams, Rick Barnes still wears that other shade of orange and his teams […]

    • Pete replied 1 month ago

      I wanted to embrace Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee. I love his story. His tremendous work ethic when he transformed his own game at Purdue as a player from taking virtually zero 3FG as a FR/SO to becoming a 45+% 3 point shooter and 16-18 PPG as one of the better players in the Big 10. His personal story as a cancer survivor is inspirational. He made it out of East St Louis to achieve remarkable success. He is an effective leader and shaper of young men. He remains a great role model. We don’t like to talk about it but he overcame the challenges of being an African American man coaching in the SEC. For all those reasons, I wanted him to succeed at UT.

      His on the court performance as our coach in 2011, 2012 and 2013 didn’t earn the right for him to remain at UT.

      As Jimmy Hyams noted, the 2011 team finished 2nd in the SEC. What Jimmy failed to point out is that same team started out 10-12 and had losses to Memphis 2x, Oakland, Austin Peay and the College of Charleston. The team got hot in SEC play to finish 18-13. In those 8 wins, we only had to beat 1 ranked team but it was a nice run. We lost in the first round of the SECT and in the second round of the NIT to MTSU. That team had 3 future NBA players on it (young Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes and Josh Richardson).

      The 2012 team finished 19-11 and 5th in the SEC. The Vols won 1 SECT game and then lost in the opening round of the NIT to Mercer. There wasn’t much remarkable about that season.

      His final 2013 team was his most successful, with a 24-13 record and a Sweet 16 appearance. That team was his most talented with the same 3 NBA players in their SR/JR seasons. Expectations were high for the group. Preseason dreams of a Final Four were dashed with a disappointing 4th place finish in the SEC. That team (with that talent) lost to UTEP and a bad Texas A&M team twice. The Vols scraped into the NCAA play-in game as an 11 seed – got hot and realized some of their potential with a four game run.

      But, by that time, Martin’s fate was already sealed.

      Ranking aren’t everything but none of Martin’s teams were ranked in the AP Poll at any point in the season.

      Cuonzo is a great man. He had great talent at UT (and replicated the recruiting at Cal and Mizzou) but he under-performed with similar talent at Tennessee.

      • Like I said, he’s a Rorschach; I’ve spilled plenty of words over the years on how I perceive his time here. I do think there was plenty remarkable about his second season – beat Kentucky by 30, beat A&M in four OT – and I’d disagree about Final Four dreams in the preseason for any UT team outside 2008. I wanted us to pay to keep him after 2014, and I’m glad things appear to have worked out for both him and us.

    • It’s great for any team in this league with postseason aspirations that the entire profile of the SEC has been raised.

      The flip side of that is it creates legitimately tricky stretches like the one the Vols have this week with two roadies against KenPom top 70 teams (#42 Mizzou, #66 USCe who just beat Kentucky last night).

      I feel like we generally associate Cuonzo with defense, but he’s had an effective offense in limited opportunities this year (18th in AdjO, 333rd in tempo). We haven’t really seen this team in a grind it out kind of game (Furman?), but tonight could be that.

      • Well…it was a slog, and the guys didn’t handle it great. Puts some more pressure on the game on Saturday.

  • An important question for Pruitt, Helton, etc.: is the starting QB two years from now currently on the roster? Is JG or Strout (or McBride!) the long-term answer, or just the best of the options currently available?

  • Two weeks ago Texas A&M was the best team in the best SEC of at least the last decade. The Aggies were ranked fifth in the Christmas Day AP poll, 11-1 with a three-point loss to Arizona the only blemish. They beat […]

  • Tennessee took Vanderbilt’s best punch in the first half, and the Commodores continued to throw blows deep into the second. A Vandy team that loved to shoot threes but had struggled to make them erased that […]

  • How’s the Kevin Stallings/Vanderbilt break-up going in year two? The ‘Dores lost in Dayton in Stallings’ last year, then became the first team to earn an at-large bid with 15 losses (as a 9 seed!) under Bryce Drew […]

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