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What Rick Barnes said after Tennessee came back to beat Vanderbilt

Barnes still had some critiques for Grant Williams.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It was far from easy, but Tennessee got the win on the road in Memorial Gym last night. Vanderbilt shot the lights out in the first half, but Tennessee rallied behind the efforts of Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield to stage a comeback. They took control down the stretch, getting back to even (2-2) in SEC play.

Here’s what head coach Rick Barnes had to say after the game.


  • On halftime adjustments: “We were going to have to do a better job defensively. I thought James Daniel was better in the second half. Overall we were more aggressive, played harder. They’re a really good offensive team and you know they’re going to shoot the threes. We just did a better job of defending the three point line in the second half.”
  • On Grant Williams: “He’s good (laughing) — he’s really good down there. When he gets it deep he goes quick. We spent a lot of time expecting double teams, not just on Grant but on Admiral. He’s going to continue to get double teamed. Our guards understand that (Grant) will normally make the right play.”
  • Barnes still had some critiques for Grant, despite the 37 point night. “When he gets tired, he settles.” Barnes pointed out one possession where Williams didn’t go at the basket, settling for a fade away jumper. “I didn’t like that he took a three. I’d give him those all night. That’s not what we need from him.”
  • On teams focusing on Admiral and Grant: “The more they do this, the more people are going to gameplan, which we know that.” Barnes mentioned that the guards are going to have to step up when that happens.
  • “We have to know what we are going to get from John Fulkerson every night. We have no clue what he’s going to bring us.” Barnes mentioned Kyle Alexander in the same light, demanding consistency from both.

Tennessee returns to action on Saturday against the Texas A&M Aggies, who have fallen from grace after being a top five team just two weeks ago. They are currently 0-4 in league play. That game can be seen on SEC Network at 6 PM eastern.