"I do think Andre's got it in him," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "That's the exciting part. I'm hoping he's in a mini-slump and that he can play his way out of it. It's a good sign when we can win without him contributing as much as he's capable of because he's capable of more."
Senior Stanley Asumnu, a 6-5 small forward, contributed even less than Patterson against Carolina. He made just 1 of 4 floor shots and 0 of 2 free throws. He had 2 points, 2 rebounds and a turnover to show for 18 unproductive minutes of action. He also had a poor outing in Game 10 against South Alabama, finishing with 6 points and 0 rebounds in 14 fruitless minutes. So, after averaging 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in the first nine games, Asumnu has averaged just 4 points, 1 rebound and half an assist the past two games.
"Stanley looks a little fatigued," Pearl said.
Although Tennessee beat South Alabama 87-69 and South Carolina 76-69 with virtually no assistance from Asumnu and Patterson, a continued lack of production from them could prove costly in the weeks ahead.
"Again, it's a good sign when Stanley and Andre, two of your seniors, don't play up to par and we still can win," Pearl noted. "But it would be a terrific concern if it continued."