Donnie Tyndall walked down the court clapping his hands shouting praises at Braxton Bonds after a good defensive possession. Tyndall slapped high fives with the walk-on freshman before signaling for his team to the run the next play. This time Tyndall shook his head and walked over to the middle of the paint. His booming voice caught the attention of every photographer, reporter and certainly the players.
The first year head coach from Southern Miss was not happy and he let a few guys in the post know about it.
When Tyndall had finished his lecture, those in the Pratt Pavilion saw no player cop an attitude or even shrug off what their coach had told them. Tyndall demands the respect from his players and he gets it.
Even though each player is aware at some point it will be them who get the talking to, it's Tyndall's non-stop. high energy, style of coaching that has his players excited to play for him.
“It’ so much fun because I'm kind of like that as a player,” Braxton Bonds said. "I have a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of passion. Knowing that you have someone behind you with that same kind of passion makes you want to go harder for him.”
Another freshman that has all good things to say about his new head coach is the 6-3 guard from Decatur, Alabama, with a whole lot of bounce, Detrick Mostella.
“You gotta love Coach Tyndall,” Mostella said.. “As a coach you need to do that to pump up your players. To make your players do everything right."
Jabari McGhee is another freshman who describes his first few months under coach Tyndall different but enjoyable. Like anyone else that has seen a practice, it’s the head coach's enthusiasm that the 6-8 forward has caught on to quickly.
“I mean he has a passion,” McGhee said. "To play for him, you have to have passion. “I love playing for him.”
McGhee, as well as many other Vols, take the constructive criticism their coach gives them and uses it as motivation to improve everyday.
“I like how he talks to us in practice,” Mostello said."It’s just that motivation thing that keeps us going everyday.
McGhee was one of the top forwards coming out of the 2014 class. Already, the Albany, Georgia, native has bought into the system and how things will go under coach Tyndall.
“When he coaches I’m just like, ‘I got to play hard for this dude.’ McGhee said. "You can tell that he loves his job.”
Donnie Tyndall doesn’t give off that vibe that he is going to sugar coat a lot of things. He’s going to tell the players, the media and the fans what he thinks. He was very straight forward when he said…”We try to get better every day. This may sound like coach speak but it’s the truth. If you get better everyday the wins will take care of themselves on the backend."
Tyndall told the media in 2011 that he dreamed his point guard at Morehead State would hit a game winning shot to win an NCAA Tournament game. So when De’Monte Parker pulled from the top of the key with the Eagles down two, it was destined to go in. The three pointer gave Morehead State the win over the fourth seeded Louisville Cardinals. So, the next thing to ask Tyndall is, what kind of premonitions has he had involving the Volunteers?