2014 NCAA Tournament: Five Tennessee Players Who Must Deliver During the Sweet 16

Five Tennessee Players Who Must Deliver During the Sweet 16

Tennessee, Sweet 16
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The Tennessee Volunteers beat Iowa in overtime in one of the “First Four” games, and they’ve carried that momentum forward by winning their last two games by a combined 39 points to earn a spot in the Sweet 16.

As the No. 11 seed Volunteers look to continue their NCAA Tournament run, here are five players that have to come up big if they are to beat No. 2 seed Michigan on Friday night.

5. Jeronne Maymon

Jeronne Maymon Sweet 16
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5. Jeronne Maymon

Jeronne Maymon Tennessee Volunteers
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Maymon has not been a prolific scorer thus far in the NCAA Tournament, but he is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game and Tennessee needs to win the rebounding battle to have a chance to upset Michigan.

4. Antonio Barton

Antonio Barton, NCAA Tournament, Tennessee Volunteers
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4. Antonio Barton

Antonio Barton, NCAA Tournament, Tennessee Volunteers
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After failing to score against UMass in the Round of 64, Barton had 18 points while going 4-for-9 from beyond the arc against Mercer on Sunday and he’s scored in double figures in both NCAA Tournament games in which he’s played more than 30 minutes (10 points vs. Iowa). Barton will not be the focus of Michigan’s defensive efforts, and if he can take advantage of his opportunities Tennessee could hang around long enough to have a chance to win.

3. Jordan McRae

Jordan McRae Sweet 16
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3. Jordan McRae

Jordan McRae Sweet 16
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McRae had his worst game of the NCAA Tournament Sunday against Mercer, with 14 points while going 4-for-12 from the floor and 0-for-6 from three-point range. He had 41 points in the first two tournament games against Iowa and UMass after going through a bit of a slump prior to that, so McRae will need to get back on track with the stakes higher on Friday night.

2. Jarnell Stokes

Jarnell Stokes
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2. Jarnell Stokes

Jarnell Stokes Tennessee Volunteers
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Stokes is averaging 20.3 points and 15 rebounds per game through three tournament games, and his matchup with Michigan’s Jordan Morgan will be one to watch Friday night.

1. Josh Richardson

Josh Richardson Tennessee Volunteers
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1. Josh Richardson

Josh Richardson Tennessee Volunteers
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Richardson had a career-high 26 points in the Round of 32 against Mercer, and he’s averaging 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in three NCAA Tournament games. His defense against Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas will be critical for Tennessee on Friday night, and if Richardson can continue to produce offensively their chances for an upset will increase dramatically.

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