Vols Expect Tough Test Against Florida Atlantic in Sweet 16
The Sweet 16 has to be even sweeter for Tennessee since they’re playing in one of the most famous sports venues in the world.
New York’s Madison Square Garden.
It’s the big stage to say the least, and the Vols don’t want to blow it against the up-start Owls of Florida Atlantic.
Said guard Josiah Jordan James:”Being at Madison Square Garden. Forget the basketball. I know they’re a lot of great basketball players that have come here, but there are a lot of talented people who get to perform here night in and night out. It’s just an honor to be here.”
It’s really an honor when you play well.
Said head coach Rick Barnes:”I hope we can make a basket.”
Who really thought Tennessee would make the Sweet 16 after the season ending injury to Zakai Zeigler.
Said James:”We didn’t expect the season to go how it did with the injuries and the guys in and out of the lineup, especially with Zakai being out for the rest of the season. But we just preach resiliency. It’s one of our core foundations that we have as our culture.”
Vols face a Cinderella team in Florida Atlantic, even though the Owls are playing like a blue blood.
Said Barnes:”Well they certainly catch your attention early in the year when they went to Florida and won at Florida. Something that we didn’t do. Any program or team that wins 33 games. I don’t care what league you are in. It’s hard.”
Added James:”They’ve only lost three games. It’s going to be a really, really tough fight. We’re definitely not overlooking any of their players.
Coach Barnes will try to get his team to the elite eight for only the second time in school history.
Reporter:”What’s it like playing for a guy that’s almost 70?”
Said James:”You would never know it. Just by the energy he brings each and every day. There are sometimes when he gets to screaming and yelling and coaching us hard like he does where I’m just worried about him. You know he keeps coming. He keeps coming.”