Too much 'my turn'

Tennessee's offense must be balanced to be effective, and it wasn't very balanced in Saturday's 92-79 loss at Alabama.

Basically, there was too much "me" and too little "we." The Vols entered the game ranking second among the 12 Southeastern Conference programs in assists with an average of 17.95 assists per game. This unselfish distribution of the ball has enabled them to lead the league in scoring all season.

Against Bama, though, Tennessee failed to move the ball swiftly and efficiently. The Vols also failed to make the extra pass that often turns a good look into an even better look for someone else. That produced a season-low 10 assists, which contributed to their downfall in Tuscaloosa.

"When you only have 10 assists on 29 baskets, that's not Tennessee basketball," head coach Bruce Pearl noted on his post-game show. "That's not OUR basketball.

"Offensively, we weren't sharp executing and passing. And we had a little too much one-on-one, a little too much ‘my turn' out there."

As a result, the Vols shot a mediocre 41 percent from the field. In the two games previous to that they had shot 56.5 against Auburn and 53.1 at Georgia.

Another problem against the Tide was an inability to score in transition. This is the Vols' bread and butter, yet Tennessee rarely beat Bama down the floor for quick buckets.

"I didn't think we advance-passed the ball in our fast break very well," Pearl said. "I think C.J. (Watson) keeps the ball in his hands too long sometimes. That's been an issue for me all year with C.J. (He needs to) get the ball up the floor."

Pearl also thought his guys failed to set good screens and fly down the floor in transition as diligently as they could have.

"We rim-ran a couple of times and Major (Wingate) doesn't make the catch (to complete the play)," Pearl said. "I don't think those guys at 2 (shooting guard) and 3 (small forward) are sprinting down the floor and getting open for him."

Inside Tennessee Top Stories