Six. That’s how many scholarship players coach Bruce Pearl and Tennessee could dress against Kansas this afternoon. Following suspensions of four Vols—including leading scorer Tyler Smith, who was kicked off the team—this weekend’s game against Kansas was supposed to be a symbol for the downfall of Tennessee hoops.â†µ
A date with the number one Kansas Jayhawks, with a shorthanded team, and the Vols were all but assured of a blowout loss at home. Except, that’s not how it played out. Senior Bobby Maze played the game of his life, and had 16 points to help pick up the slack, and the Vols competed from start to finish with the Jayhawks. They led for most of the second half, while KU scrambled to stay within striking distance.
Then, with Kansas down just three and the shot clock running down as Vols tried to hold on, walk-on freshman guard Skylar Mcbee hit this shot to seal the deal:
That shot sums up everything. The Vols weren’t supposed to compete today, but with a little luck and some unlikely contributors, everything fell just right, and David beat Goliath. Skylar McBee and the Vols may not win the SEC or even make the tournament without the players they lost.â†µ
But today, at least, they were perfect.â†µ
(HT: Chris Littmann for the video)