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Rick Barnes on Lamonte Turner: “He gave everything he had”

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Tough situation.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee announced a curveball after their 75-53 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday. Senior point guard Lamonte Turner told reporters that his season and Tennessee career was over after this afternoon’s game, thanks to a lingering shoulder issue.

Turner plans to undergo surgery for the issue, which has plagued him over the last two seasons.

After the decision was made pubic, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes released the following statement.

“After he met with the media today, Lamonte and his family sat down with me and he informed me of his decision. He gave everything he had for four and a half years, he earned his degree and he played a key role in establishing the culture of our program. We all love Lamonte and are saddened that he is unable to continue playing at this time. We’ll continue to support him as he takes his next steps.”

Turner struggled this season, seeing his field goal and three-point percentage drop significantly in his senior season. Unable to help his team, Turner and his family chose to shut things down.

How this team will respond is going to be interesting, considering that they were already struggling. It’s going to take five-star guard Josiah-Jordan James growing up rather quickly, with SEC play about to begin. Tennessee will also need more from Jordan Bowden, Yves Pons and John Fulkerson if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.

Rick Barnes got paid during the offseason — and man oh man is he ever going to have to earn that money to close out this season.