Vols Confident Heading Into SEC Tournament
Tennessee heads into the SEC tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league. They've won eight of their last nine games. Said head coach Cuonzo Martin,"Our bench is getting stronger. Our starters are playing at a level that they're expected to play at. We are distributing the ball. We are passing the ball better. We're not turning the ball over like we did earlier in the season. Just playing good basketball as a team. We're excited for the opportunity." Added guard Trae Golden,"Like Coach Martin said, we're playing really well together. I just think we are playing for one another right now. So our confidence level is pretty high."
The only thing the Vols are not confident about are their NCAA tournament chances. U-T is 19-11 overall, and firmly on the Big Dance Bubble. But Coach Martin believes his team should be invited, regardless of what happens in Nashville. "I think the SEC doesn't get the credit it deserves. I think going into last week, we had nine teams in the top 100 RPI. The only other league with more was the Big East. Sometimes people may want to take shots at the SEC for whatever reason. When you talk about a league of this caliber only three, possibly four teams in it. That's ridiculous."
Martin just hopes his team can play ridiculous defense in the SEC tournament. "I've said it all season long. You have to be able to defend at a high level. When shots aren't falling, you've still got to be able to get stops."