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Tennessee vs. Gonzaga: Instant takeaways from the Vols’ upset of the Zags

Huge moment for the program

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Tennessee Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee beat No. 1 Gonzaga without playing their best game

The Vols started hot with a ton of energy, but quickly derailed thanks to some quick foul trouble. Kyle Alexander and Yves Pons picked up two quick ones, forcing Barnes to go to his bench quickly. Tennessee never really found that offensive rhythm again, at least until Admiral Schofield started knocking down deep shots in the second half.

Tennessee got virtually nothing out of Jordan Bone and were playing without Lamonte Turner. That’s a pretty big deal and perhaps a sign of how good this team could be down the road.

Admiral Schofield’s dominance

On a day where Tennessee saw Grant Williams foul out once again, Admiral Schofield stepped up and delivered for the Vols. It was what Tennessee was missing against Kansas a couple of weeks ago. Today, Admiral decided that the Vols weren’t losing.

It was a return to the Admiral that we saw during tournament season in March. Schofield finished with 30 points, going 12-22 from the field and 6-10 from three point range. More importantly, the guy just didn’t miss in the final minutes. He was the entire offense after Grant Williams left the game. On a night where Jordan Bone didn’t have it, Admiral was the only consistent option.

Schofield has been fine to start the year, but he hadn’t shown that dominance just yet. That changed today.

Jordan Bone’s bad shooting day

If Tennessee had any shot of beating Gonzaga, I thought they were going to need a bunch of scoring help from Bone, who is known for his inconsistencies. They didn’t get that help.

Bone finished with five points on just 2-13 shooting. He did make up for that lack of shooting with nine assists, but he couldn’t buy a bucket in the second half. I still think Bone holds the keys to making Tennessee a truly great team. We just need to see him find some consistency.

But again — Tennessee beat the top ranked team in the nation with him scoring just five points. That’s a good sign.

The return of Jordan Bowden

Welcome to the 2018-19 season, Jordan Bowden. Tennessee’s sophomore guard showed a pulse from three point range today, knocking down a couple of big three pointers in the closing stages of the second half.

Tennessee was on the edge of letting this one get away when Bowden woke up, drilling back to back shots from deep to keep the Vols breathing. We’ve talked a lot about Tennessee needing these fourth and fifth offensive options to show up. Maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing Bowden wake up.

He’s now scored in the double digits in back to back games. That could be a large development for this team going forward.