"Champions at life." is what Butch Jones called the 2016 Tennessee Volunteers earlier this week. He was wrong. The only thing the 2016 Tennessee Volunteers are "Champions" at is losing. Another embarrassing effort by a Tennessee football team that looked like they would get beat by a JV High School team tonight.
The Vols defense gave up 45-points to Vanderbilt. The Commodores season high in points is 47 against Middle Tennessee State. Middle Tennessee State's defense was 2-points worse than the "All-mighty" Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee had no heart, no backbone, no effort, and looked flat-out lost tonight against a bad Vanderbilt team. A lack of talent, coaching, and heart resulted in this awful 8-4 season. One with so much hope-and-potential never got off the ground. The Vols failed to look like a competent football team all year. The Tennessee Volunteers gave up 608-yards of offense to Vanderbilt. 27-first downs, 192-yards on the ground, 416-yards through the air. Vandy held the ball for 31-minutes and took it to a Tennessee team who looked like a bunch of 2nd graders learning what football is for the first time. The Vols turned the ball over twice and folded on offense when it mattered most. The Vanderbilt Commodores at 6-6 had a better season than the Tennessee Volunteers who sit at 8-4.
Who ever would have thought in a season that saw Tennessee beat Florida and Georgia would feel like more of a disappointment than a 5-7 Derek Dooley lead team. Butch Jones fines ways to ruin the University of Tennessee football program. The players look like they quit....again, and in whatever meaningless bowl game the Vols play in they will get utterly embarrassed. Butch Jones let the SEC East title slip right through their hands, and now, watch a Sugar Bowl fall through the cracks. Butch Jones better hop on any job he can this offseason, because come 2017 with a new Athletic Director Butch Jones will be fired. Butch Jones can not even fall on the "We get better every year." card. I am truly embarrassed, disgusted, and sickened for the players, their families, fans, and everyone involved in this debacle of a season. Better luck in 2018. With Butch Jones still at the helm in 2017, that will be another lost season.
After two loss in as many days to two top-25 teams in Wisconsin and Oregon the Vols find themselves having one last shot at getting a win before leaving Hawaii and the Maui Invitational. In a last place game between Tennessee and Chaminade, the Vols got back on track with a nice win.
Tennessee played a very good game coming away with a 95-81 victory. Lead by Senior Robert Hubbs who scored 28-points, grabbing 5-rebouds, and finding his teammates for 3-assists. Hubbs also came away with 4-steals, and a block. Finally, the effort and game Vols fans have been longing for since the 5-star stepped on campus. Jordan Bowden also had a nice game topped-off with an impressive drive to the basket where he wouldn't be denied late in the game, and one. That was just apart of Bowden's 11-points 6-rebound performance. True Freshman John Fulkerson coming off a double-double almost did it again. This afternoon the Vols forward scored 8-points while grabbing the same number of rebounds. With a pair of steals and two blocks the diaper dandy had himself a day and a start to his college career. Tennessee as a team shot 52% from the field, and 41% from beyond the arch. Tennessee turned the ball over as a team just 12-times.
The Vols defense again forced plenty of turnovers turning over the silverswords 18-times. Chaminade shot just 45% from the field as a team, while dropping to 36% from three-point land. Tennessee for the second straight day won the rebounding battle this time by one (36-35)
This win improves the Vols record to 2-3, while they only won one game in Maui the Vols showed their fans and themselves they can play with almost anyone in the country. The Vols will have a tough go at in as they finish up their non-con with Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, and @ UNC. However, the silver-lining being outside of Kentucky, Tennessee might be the best team in the SEC.
Day two of the maui invitational started with a match up between the Tennessee Volunteers and the 13th-ranked Oregon Ducks. The Ducks find themselves in the losers bracket after being upset by the GeorgeTown Hoyas, While the Vols found themselves hanging in with the 16th-ranked Badgers before falling by ten yesterday afternoon to wind up on the losers side of the bracket. Tennessee has shown a lot of promise in every game after the clunker vs Chattanooga to start the year.
Lead by Detrick Mostella again, after an impressive game yesterday when he lead Tennessee in points scored he did it again today dropping 22-points, getting 9-boards. The Vols played a sloppy offensive game committing 25-turnovers, and still managed to take the Ducks to overtime. In overtime they were lead by Freshman John Fulkerson who had a double-double scoring 12-points, while grabbing 10-boards. The Vols offense has to get better at their spacing, at times, in fact, most the time the floor is too crowded to run an offense. Without a true shooter from beyond the arch it will be hard to win games like this, and that is what costed Tennessee this game.
On the defensive side of the ball, aside from again creating plenty of turnovers and the Ducks turned it over 21-times, The Vols had many defensive miscues all throughout the basketball game giving Oregon plenty of open looks. The Vols are still a young basketball team, who makes young mistakes. However, in their two losses in Maui they have shown a lot of promise. Their non-conference schedule does not get any easier as Tennessee still has to play Gonzaga and travel to play the University of North Carolina. But, in SEC play this team has the potential to finish top-3. For the first time since Bruce Pearl left their is hope on Rocky Top.
Tennessee shot just 37% from the field while going 22% from three-point land. Tennessee finally won a rebounding battle out rebounding the Ducks 42-37. Tennessee has to clean up the fouls as they committed 29-fouls this afternoon.