Gotta take my medicine. Immediately after the guns and marijuana fall-out about a month ago, I projected that our beloved Vols would enter the SEC tourney 19-9 (8-8 in SEC play) and that the personnel losses would cost us as much as 35 places in the kenpom ratings (poll proxy).
Boy, was I wrong. Mea culpa on the games I thought we'd lose.
- We beat Kansas. That's looking more and more impressive as the season unfolds.
- The Donovan Domination continued thanks to a last second fadeaway jump shot by Hops.
- And, the Rebs pushed us to OT but we pulled it out.
- We also held serve and beat the teams we should have. Props for no let downs.
- Kenpom has us at #29 - down 15 spots - despite losing 40% of the offense for multiple games and a late NBA first rounder for the season.
The only negative? We dogged it against Georgia. But even the highflying Commodores proved that isn't a unique experience.
I thought we'd be 5-3 in the SEC, so 6-2 isn't that far off. But, I can't spin it - we are playing better than I thought possible. Even if we fade back to "my level", we'd still be 21-9 and 9-7 heading into the SEC tourney. That's enough to get us in.
The old prediction had us:
- Going 3-5 down the stretch (beating SC, GA and Ark)
Even under adverse circumstances, Bruuuce can flat out coach and most of our guys have heart.
BP for Coach of the Year!