It was an ugly slog through the mud but Tennessee bested the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 66-53 inside Thompson Boling Arena on Tuesday night.
Here’s a few quick takeaways from the victory…
Clean it up
Tennessee played extremely sloppy basketball tonight. They turned the ball over 13 times and they weren’t crisp moving the ball in a general sense. Georgia Tech certainly had something to do with the sloppiness, as Josh Pastner’s squad played extremely physical and made the Vols uncomfortable at every turn. It made the game virtually unwatchable but as far as basketball strategy goes, it was a sound decision on Pastner’s part. But even with the physicality, UT could have put forth a much better effort.
MAKE. YOUR. FREE. THROWS.
Georgia Tech purposefully bodied Tennessee’s players throughout the game and as result, they fouled and they fouled a lot. UT put up 38 free throws on the night and only made 24. That’s a 63% clip for the stats nerds out there. And that’s not going to cut it. The Vols left 14 points on the table at the stripe and with a matchup with Louisville on the horizon, that can’t happen again. Something tells me the team is going to be practicing their free throws A LOT this week.
A win is a win
Sure, this game was ugly as sin. But any way you slice it, Tennessee still won by double digits and held a lead from beginning to end. Perhaps it’s a good sign that this squad can have such an off night and still clock in a 13-point victory. Obviously, there’s plenty to fix, but a win is a win. Style points don’t show up in the win/loss column and rest assured, Rick Barnes is not going to be okay with this effort and he’ll make sure his team knows every facet where they need to improve.