The Vols gave up the first two points of the game and then strangled the life out of the Blue Hose the rest of the way. When it was all said and done, Tennessee won with its backups on the floor and protecting a 35-point lead for an 88-53 win.
Admiral Schofield led the way with 22 points, but Jordan Bowden and Grant Williams also hit double figures with 15 and 14 respectively. Williams also pulled down seven rebounds.
But this was an all-around team effort with all but four of the 16 players on the roster getting on the scoreboard. For most of the first half, Tennessee was playing so well that you almost felt sorry for the Blue Hose, who seemed like they couldn’t do a single thing right. After scoring the first two points of the game, they didn’t score again until there was 8:41 left in the half, and the Vols had 28 points by then. Presbyterian took only 14 points with them into the locker room.
If you haven’t seen this Vols team play yet, you’re going to like them. It’s actually kind of amazing to watch the substitutions, as it seems like they just constantly roll in really good, really lanky, and really fresh players, wave after wave of guys you’ve never seen before. They have size, they hit threes, they defend well, and they move well as a unit. And tonight at least, they never lost focus even when the game was clearly out of hand. Oh, and Rick Barnes never seemed happy. Not even once.
When you get a chance, catch these guys in action. On a night when #5 Kentucky struggled to a ten-point win over Utah Valley, the Vols were taking care of business and doing it with little flash but plenty of style. It’s going to be really interesting to see what these guys can do against the meat of their schedule.
Tennessee plays again Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in Knoxville against High point. It’s on SEC Network+ again, so do yourself a favor and get a Chromecast so you can throw that thing to the big screen and enjoy watching these guys play.