On Monday Tennessee men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes held a press conference to address player injury status, the Vols game against LSU, loss to South Carolina and goals for the rest of the basketball season.
Starting off the press conference Barnes said that at this point in the season they should be very familiar with their opponents. Barnes briefly touched on this weekends game with LSU.
“We’re about to play a team that we have never seen and has never seen us… But we just have to keep them focused,” said Barnes.
Focus seemed to be Barnes main focus for this upcoming game. The point of having such a small team also plays a factor into how the teams season is going thus far. There is still a lot of learning that needs to be done between all of the players.
“understanding and focus and not just any focus, I mean laser focus. All this talk about being an NCAA team and a bubble team, all of that is still there and as much as you try to deflect it, there is a lot that goes on in the game of basketball this time of year,” said Barnes.
Barnes sees potential in his team and believes that contrary to what the talk is about the team and all the questions that have risen questioning whether or not the Vols can make it this season. He also points out that there are a lot of other things going on in the minds of the teams except for winning.
“Some players are thinking about going into the league … People and Families are in their ears saying ‘ you need to do this and you need to do that’,” said Barnes.
Looking forward to this upcoming Game against LSU and the rest of the season, Barnes believes that the Vols can end the regular season 9-9. In order to win these next two games Barnes believes that the key to success is focus and consistency. Sounds super familiar from previous press conferences with UT Head football coach Butch Jones, Consistency.
Barnes also gave a brief injury update on Jordan Bone and Jordan Bowden.
Bone has been reported to have meet with a Doctor Monday to look into his Shoulder injury, Barnes said he will soon know more. As far as Bowden his return is still uncertain, again Barnes won’t know until later if Bowden is cleared to play this weekend Against LSU.
In terms of looking into the future Barnes says that there is a lot more basketball to be played. There is still a lot more understanding the players need to acquire, as well as getting and maintaining their focus which is to win. Distractions are everywhere. The Vols need to stay focused and stay consistent.
“I believe we have a good team and I do believe we can finish 9-9 in the league and go to the SEC Tournament,” said Barnes.
Adding, “We need to get our minds right. We can go in and put together the kind of defensive effort and offensive effort we need to win, we just need to win one more game and that’s how it needs to be approached.”