Tennessee basketball responded well to its first loss of the season just over a week ago. Following the loss to Alabama at home, the Vols defeated Arkansas inside of Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night before traveling to Texas A&M on Saturday and defeating the Aggies.
The Vols (9-1, 3-1 SEC) were led by 16 points from John Fulkerson in the win over the Razorbacks. He scored 12 of his points in the second half to help his team overcome a seven-point deficit and defeated the Hogs 79-74. As a team, Tennessee blocked nine shots. Reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Yves Pons accounted for four of the blocks.
Sophomore guard Santiago Vescovi led Tennessee in its 68-54 win over Texas A&M. Vescovi scored a career-high 23 points in College Station on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 from the three-point line. He also had five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Vols will face Vanderbilt (4-5, 0-3 SEC) twice this week. They were originally scheduled to play South Carolina on Tuesday night, but because of COVID issues within the Gamecocks’ program, as well as in the Missouri program, who the Commodores were scheduled to play, Tennessee will now travel to Nashville.
Tuesday night’s game will tipoff at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Both teams will then meet again on Saturday night in Knoxville at 6 p.m. ET on the SEC network.
Here’s a look at where Tennessee basketball is ranked amongst college basketball polls and media members heading into this week’s games against Vanderbilt.
AP Poll: No. 10 (-1)
Coaches Poll: No. 8 (-2)
NET Rankings: No. 3 (-)
KenPom: No. 9 (-)
CBS’ Jon Rothstein’s 45: No. 8
Rothstein’s “skinny” on UT: “Victor Bailey has quietly been one of the top transfers in the country.”
Gary Parrish’s Top 25 and one: No. 9 (+1)
Parrish on the Vols: “Tennessee’s resume features four wins over teams ranked in the top 80 of the NET. The Vols will take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at South Carolina.”
The Athletic’s Seth Davis: No. 9 (-)
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman: No. 8 (-)
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello’s Power Rankings: No. 7 (-)
Borzello on the Vols: “After Tennessee’s first loss of the season against Alabama last weekend, Rick Barnes tweaked his starting lineup. The four returning starters from last season — Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Yves Pons and John Fulkerson — remained the same for both games this past week, but Victor Bailey moved to the bench. In his place moved freshman Keon Johnson, who went for 14 points in the win over Arkansas on Wednesday. And then on Saturday, it was freshman Jaden Springer who earned the fifth starting spot — and he had 10 points and six assists. Bailey didn’t really miss a beat either, scoring 17 points off the bench against the Razorbacks. Barnes looks like he’s tightening his rotation to seven main pieces, but the Volunteers still have as much versatility as anyone in the SEC.”