Transcript: Rick Barnes & Victor Bailey preview ETSU game

Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes

On John Fulkerson’s current status…
“I did talk with John earlier today and he did tell me he was planning on practicing tomorrow. Starting with how much he can do and get done we do not know what it will be but definitely day-to-day.”
 
On former Tennessee assistant and current ETSU head coach Desmond Oliver…
“I’m excited for Des. From the time I got to know him, his goal was to be a Division I head basketball coach and he had the opportunity to interview for a number of different positions and ended up with a terrific job in East Tennessee. I think he would tell you he is really excited about his team. They have players coming back that had great success and there are certainly some things he will do that we do here, but he has also added some things he likes himself. From a personal standpoint, I am really excited for Des and his family that he has finally gotten the opportunity he has worked long and hard for for a long time.”
 
On how he felt about the freshmen played against UT Martin…
“There is no doubt our guys wanted to play hard and I think they were jumpy early in the game. I thought we were taking ourselves way out of position defensively and giving up straight-line drives to the basket. We are concerned with our own men as far as not helping. Is it expected a little bit? It is, because of the fact that guys want to do well and be aggressive but overall the shots we took—especially the 40 threes, I would tell you that five or six of them were not what we were looking for behind the arc. I think the biggest takeaway is we know we have to get better in every facet of the game and we need everyone to have the mindset that we need to improve daily.”
 
On if Tennessee’s 23 offensive rebounds Tuesday were a product of Tennessee’s 40 3-point attempts or if the team is geared more towards offensive rebounds…
“I think it’s a little bit of both. It think that when you shoot threes, there are long shots and long rebounds. Also, if we’re going to shoot it, we have to be able to run it down some. There are nights when you get some great looks. The other night, we had some good looks. Josiah (James) didn’t have a great shooting night but VJ (Bailey) and those guys are more than capable. There are nights when players will tell you it feels like it’s going in but it doesn’t. We’ve talked a lot about how important rebounding is on both ends with this group. You don’t want to be a one-and-done team on offense, but on the defensive end, you really do want to try and limit people to one shot as much as you can. I think as time goes on, people probably will work harder at defending the 3-point line because it’s obvious that we have guys that can shoot it and we’re going to allow them to shoot it when it’s in the framework of what we’ve talked about. People will game plan more for that as we move forward. Can we adjust to continue to shot fake, maybe get a shot for yourself, sidestep or maybe throw it on the floor and get them in rotation where we can get an even better look. Those six shots or so that we shouldn’t have taken, that’s what should have happened. The rebounding part of it, I’d like to think it’s a combination of both of them.”
 
On if Brandon Huntley-Hatfield can develop into the team’s main rim protector…
“We hope so. We’ve all got to improve. If we’re not going to consistently have a rim protector, we have to get into position on help side to get our bodies between drivers and the rim, whether it’s taking a charge or playing with verticality, we’ve got to get over there. That’s really important. I think with his hands and really good anticipation skills, he can be a guy that could block some shots. He could do it in a different way. A lot has been thrown at him and he’s improved certainly from day one. Right now, the whole key to—not just him—but any of the younger guys and some of the older guys to be quite frank, is reliability and what we can count on and understand that they’re going to do every time we’re out there.”
 
On where he wants to see the most improvement from game one to game two…
“We have to be better defensively. There’s no doubt about that. When you talk about guarding the ball, that’s where it starts. We did not do a good job there the other night. Again, with that said, we’re normally pretty good in that area. We weren’t very good the other night. I also know, after watching the tape, that it wasn’t because of a lack of effort. It was just being overly anxious. Even when we got driven by on the perimeter a number of times, we just took ourselves out of position by swiping at the ball as if we wanted to make something happen really quickly, as opposed to being in a mindset that you’ve got to grind it out and knowing you’ve got help from your teammates. That area has to be cleaned up, obviously. Then from there, offensively, spacing still wasn’t what we need it to be. We still have some guys that don’t understand the real subtleties of when the ball is on a certain area on the floor, they need to rise up from the corners of move to wherever it may be. Again, I’d like to think that some of that came from it being the first game. Going forward, you’d like to think that we’ll be able to carry over more and more what we do in practice.”
 
On how Zakai Zeigler and Kennedy Chandler were running the offense and what the next step is for them…
“I tried to explain it to them this way—it’s like a quarterback in football. When he is up there, he knows who his primary receiver is and when he steps back, he is looking down the field. He has to see who is defending that guy. He also must have an eye on what the safety might be doing and instead of trying to ram it in there, which I think they are still trying to do too much. They are going to have to look to check down and it’s there in the offense for them to do it. But right now, they are still trying to squeeze that thing into a tight box. It is one thing if its one-on-one and another thing when there is a guy lurking right there. Even if the guy should get it, he is not going to have much do with it. They are both young and pretty much have done a good job of getting the ball where we want them to get it. Now they are going to have to learn, as they get themselves deeper in the jungle with all those arms hanging around there, they are going to have to figure out how to get out of it. Right now, they are not. They are throwing up some shots and making some plays that they can’t make, but overall, the tempo that we want them to push, they are pushing that. It’s going to get down to continue to make better decisions.”

On what he has seen from John Fulkerson and if he can get back to his previous form from two seasons ago…
“He has been doing that. He and Santi (Vescovi) got to where they play really well together, especially on the open side of the court. Now, how long does it take him to get back to where he was before he left? I don’t know. But to answer your question, point blank, yes. We saw him return to where he was—the John Fulkerson before last year—and he was starting to play into it towards the end of last year. Now again, it is based on how quickly he can get back into it.” 

On if it is defensively feasible to play Kennedy Chandler and Zakai Zeigler on the court with one another …
“No, right now it is not. Because both of them are learning how to play off-the-ball defense. Going back to what I was eluding too earlier, our off-the-ball defense has got to get better and especially has got to get better from the younger guys. It is really important that they do that, but right now, I don’t see them being able to do that at a long period of time until they understand how important off-the-ball defense is.”

Vols HC Rick Barnes / Credit: UT Athletics

Tennessee Senior Guard Victor Bailey Jr.

On his memories of former UT assistant and current ETSU head coach Desmond Oliver…
“Just a great coach. He always used to say I looked like Blade and he texted me the other day saying he was watching the movie thought about me. He was a great coach and I’m excited to see him again.”
 
On what a good 3-point shot looks like…
“We have a lot of talented shooters. So open looks, we obviously don’t like the contested ones, so if we can swing it one more or pump fake and slide to get open shots, that’s what we like. We have shooters and I think the coaches trust us to make good decisions, so just taking open looks.”
 
On his reaction when he learned Tennessee’s offense would feature more 3-point shooting this season…
“As someone who does shoot the long ball, it’s always good to hear that you’ll be able to get them up, but having guys around you that can shoot, having guys around you that can make shots from out there just makes it easier for the offense and just flow. We’re all excited and were able to make some shots (against UT Martin) and hopefully can continue to do that.”
 
On how he would describe playing with Kennedy Chandler
“As you can see, he’s a very talented freshman. He’s going to continue to make big plays for us. He’s quick, he’s strong, he can finish at the rim, he went 4-for-4 from three (on Tuesday), so he can also shoot the ball. He just does it all. He makes it easier on us and we’re going to try to do a good job of spacing the floor and making it easier on him and taking pressure off of him.”
 
On his biggest takeaway from the season-opener against UT Martin…
“Just watching the film, we’ll probably have to talk a bit about off-ball defense—just being in the right spot and being in the gaps. It’s things that we can fix really easily, and we will. Coach will get on us about it, we’ll see it and we’ll fix it.”
 
On getting all of the new players on the roster on the same page…
“It’s been great. Just from the first game, I feel like we’re all clicking. We’re all good friends, we have a lot of opportunities to be with each other and mesh with each other throughout the summer up until now. Just having a good group of guys around each other has been special.”
 
On how Tennessee’s team changes when John Fulkerson returns from injury…
“I think it changes just because John is so dynamic. He’s been a marquee guy for the University of Tennessee for many years and whenever you bring a guy like that back, he’s going to impact us in a positive manner. We’re just excited to have him back.”

-UT Athletics

Country News

Thomas Rhett is Set To Bring The Bar To Fans in 2022

Thomas Rhett is Set To Bring The Bar To Fans in 2022

Thomas Rhett is ready to hit the road and Bring The Bar To You in 2022! Starting in June, Thomas will kick-off his Bring The Bar To You tour with back to back shows in Gilford, New Hampshire with openers Parker McCollum and Conner Smith. Thomas says “Man it feels good to share this tour…

Crash My Playa 2022 – Luke Bryan & Friends Wrap Up 4 Nights of Music & Fun

Crash My Playa 2022 – Luke Bryan & Friends Wrap Up 4 Nights of Music & Fun

Luke Bryan probably needed this year’s Crash My Playa just as much as the fans did – …and the 2022 trip to Riviera Cancun lived up to everyone’s expectations! Havin’ one helluva time down in Cancún 🌺 #CrashMyPlaya pic.twitter.com/ROZ4wRFzNg — Crash My Playa (@crashmyplaya) January 21, 2022 Wednesday and Thursday night set the stage for…

Kip Moore Next Project Started in a “Crazy” Way 10 Years Ago

Kip Moore Next Project Started in a “Crazy” Way 10 Years Ago

2022 will see a new project from Kip Moore that was inspired by a song from his 2012 debut album, Up All Night. “Crazy One More Time” is a track on Kip Moore’s first album, and while it was never a single it did become a fan favorite that has always been at the top…

Weather

  • Forecast
  • Currents
  • Planner