The Tennessee Volunteers were coming off their most disappointing loss of the season after being held to just 41 points by the No. 3 Florida Gators. However, the Volunteers rebounded from that loss with a huge win over fellow NCAA Tournament bubble team the Ole Miss Rebels in which they scored 41 points in the first half alone.
Once again, the best rebounding duo in the country, Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes, dominated down low as they led the Vols to a 45-27 rebounding margin. Stokes once again had a double-double, and Tennessee was finally able to get back to scoring form again as Jordan McRae had 26 points, Maymon had 16 points, and Josh Richardson had 16 points. A 26 point performance from Marshall Henderson, who in my opinion is the best three point shooter in the country, wasn’t enough as Tennessee held back Ole Miss 86-70.
Tennessee just cannot find an identity offensively. The Volunteers may be one of the undefeated teams in college basketball if they could have found the bottom of the net in several games. As possibly the best offensive rebounding team in the country, when the Volunteers can score, they have the talent and potential to beat any team in college basketball on any given night. However, when they can’t score, they wouldn’t be able to defeat a mid-range team in a much weaker conference.
If the Vols can continue to play like they did against Ole Miss, don’t expect them to miss out on the 2014 NCAA Tournament. However, until Tennessee can prove that they are a consistent scoring offense, don’t put them down as a tournament lock just yet.