June 15, 2024

With victories over No. 10 Kentucky and No. 11 Auburn, the Tennessee Volunteers finished 7-1 in February, playing like one of the top teams in the nation. The Vols’ 92-84 victory over Auburn on February 24th was a perfect representation of their play in February and the reasons they should be considered strong contenders for the national championship this year.

Following the game, two primary areas of attention were Dalton Knecht and physical play down low. Even though the game was fiercely physical and contested from the sidelines to under the hoop, Tennessee would not have prevailed if its big guys had not stepped up.

Knecht played a fantastic second half that would not have been possible without for Tennessee to defeat Auburn. With 25 points in the final 12 minutes of the game, Knecht finished with 39 points overall. Rick Barnes appeared to be as taken aback by Knecht’s second-half display as we were.

Knecht’s performance was undoubtedly legendary. It may have guaranteed him the SEC Player of the Year title over Mark Sears of Alabama and Antonio Reeves of Kentucky, and it solidified his status as a candidate for the National Player of the Year award.Barnes placed additional emphasis on rebounding prior to the contest. Tennessee needed Jonas Aidoo and Tobe Awaka to play their best because Johni Broome is a formidable player in the paint. Broome was limited by Aidoo’s low-key aggression on both ends of the court. Despite his 23 points and 9 rebounds in the end, Tennessee’s defence prevented Broome from do

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