Vols Sweet 16 Berth as Sweet as Skittles and Playing Superman

The Vols Rick Barnes was named the Henry IBA national coach of the year Monday.
The honor is voted on by the U.S basketball writer’s association.
But the biggest honor for Barnes was surviving that huge comeback from Iowa Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16.

When Tennessee built a 25-point lead, Rick Barnes never felt comfortable.
Said Barnes:”It’s a tough position to be in as a head coach. It really is to be up 25. You’re wondering what your players are thinking. You’re wondering where’s there mind set. If they think the game is over, they should know by now it’s never over until it’s over.”
Iowa out-scored Tennessee 30-12 to open the second half.
Said Barnes:”The same way we got that lead is exactly the way we lost it. Turning the ball over. Letting them get out and get easy baskets. Early in the game I felt like our defense was great in the first half where we were breaking it loose. We had just some uncharacteristic plays where we just gave them the ball.”
The Hawkeyes of course forced overtime before Tennessee finally prevailed.
Said center Kyle Alexander:”When you have a lead, and you’re playing a game. Sometimes you are trying to play to preserve the lead, but we had to play to win. And finally when they actually ended up tying the game, and it went to overtime. Now it’s back to zero-zero. We have to play to win, so I think that’s why our mind sets changed.”
Said guard Jordan Bowden:”Nah. we weren’t panicking.”
Reporter:”Well fans were I’m sure.”
Said Bowden:”Nah. I know the fans were having a heart attack out there. I just texted on my phone. My mom said she had a heart attack almost, but we got the win, and I’m happy.”
The Vols are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014.
Reporter:”How do you describe this feeling? Going to the Sweet 16.”
Said forward Grant Williams:”Ah. I feel like a fifth grader who just ate some Skittles and is running around the room saying he’s Superman with the cape on his back. That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m just ready to go.”
Said guard Jordan Bone:”I know this team has made history with the Tennessee basketball program. We have to continue to do that. We have to continue to have fun because you never know when the last game is going to be. We understand what our common goal is, and we are going to continue to strive for that.”

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols

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