Ok so I've missed a few games in here. But I'm going to post the ESPN recap for every game that I list as a game to see. And then I'll post some of my thoughts here if I have any on that particular game.
Here's what I saw in the first half.
- I was pretty impressed with Tennessee early. Especially defensively. They played hard and were forcing some Missouri State turnovers and the Bears weren't getting many good looks. As a result, the Vols opened up a double digit first half lead.
- Missouri State used a 2-3 zone later in the first half to cut an 11-point lead to the 3 at one point. UT goes into the locker room with a 31-27 advantage.
- Tobias Harris is pretty darned good. I liked what I saw from the Volunteer freshman. He's big and he can put the ball on the floor. But you'd think they'd get more out of him then they got in the first half. 5 points, 3 rebounds isn't all that much.
- The second half and the game will be won by Tennessee if they find a way to force the tempo. The Volunteers did much better when the tempo was turned up then when Missouri State controlled it with the zone and better offense in the second part of the first half.
- Two things changed for the Bears that got them back into the game offensively. They stopped turning the ball over. And they got to the offensive glass, recording 10 first half rebounds.
- Kyle Weems can do a little bit of everything for the Bears and leads them with 12 points. But the play of Jermaine Mallett was equally important. Mallett grabbed 7 first half rebounds including 4 on the offensive glass and had 9 points.
Thoughts from the second half
- Tobias Harris is definitely a talent, but when UT did try to get him more involved he turned the ball over several times. He needs some growth at this level.
- Missouri State was resilient and would never go away. They did take a lead early in the second half and had their chances down the stretch. They will do well in the MVC.
- Tennessee could have panicked when they got behind. Instead they turned to the press which turned the tempo back up. And it rejuvenated the Volunteers.
- I do think there are some definite deficiencies with the Volunteers and they may really struggle in the SEC this year. And those troubles may become apparent when the Volunteers face VCU in Madison Square Garden next week.