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Football Attrition and Hope for Hoops

In today's Talking Points, the Vols football team is doing what it can to stave off the effects of another wave of attrition, and the basketball team hopes it found something on Saturday it can use the rest of the season.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Attrition U. It's what we do.

Honestly, I wonder if there's any way to compare the attrition rates of football programs over five year spans. Who would have a greater current challenge than Tennessee, who has had to weather the departure of multiple players that naturally follows coaching changes? Penn State, maybe? I don't know.

But here we are again, with seven players from the Class of 2012 having already moved on. Butch Jones does appear to be doing everything he can, though, including saying all of the right things to parents of players, giving 5-star safety Vonn Bell the full court press, and focusing on mental toughness. I especially like that he's going to bring in some Navy Seals to lecture the players. First unit on the team to earn the nickname Seal Team Six wins.


I had to miss the Mississippi State game on Saturday, so for anyone else in that boat, here's a little something to help get you caught up:

Jordan McRae and Josh Richardson apparently resolved to stop thinking and start playing, and the rest of the team followed suit. The result was a really efficient team performance, the reemergence of Jarnell Stokes and Trae Golden, and some key contributions by freshmen Derek Reese and Armani Moore. So if you're looking for hope for the future, you can find some there. And you can find more here from VolQuest.

Interestingly, in this poll from GVX, Stokes and Golden combine for the bulk of the votes on the question of who is most vital to the success of the team the rest of the season. They both had good games Saturday, which leads me to the question of the day: What is the performance relationship between the two? Does Golden have to have a good game for Stokes to play well? Does Stokes have to have a good game for Golden to play well? Do they either both or neither play well? There's your assignment for the day, RTT commentariat.