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Disappointing defeat leaves Rick Barnes in disarray as coaching staff faces scrutiny’..

On March 31, 2015, Rick Barnes was hired as Tennessee’s head men’s basketball coach.

Barnes came to Tennessee after being the head coach at Texas from 1998 to 2015. With the Longhorns, he went 402-180 and reached the Final Four in 2003.

Barnes was also the head coach at Clemson (1994-98), Providence (1988-94), and George Mason (1987-1988).

He was an assistant at Ohio State (1986-87), Alabama (1985-86), George Mason (1980-85), Davidson (1978-80), and North State Academy (1977-78) while attending Lenior-Rhyne.

Barnes’ photographs from various years are seen here.

Vols basketball head coach Rick Barnes and Lady Vols basketball head coach Kellie Harper returned to Vol Calls at Calhoun’s On The River to discuss preparations for the coming week as well as their recent victories.

The No. 5 Vols’ 103-92 defeat of the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday redeemed the team after their second SEC loss of the season to No. 25 South Carolina at home last Tuesday.

The Tennessee win in Kentucky’s Rupp Arena is the fourth win under head coach Rick Barnes in his five games played at the stadium. He discussed the Vols’ memorable triple-digit performance that brought the team to its 16-5 overall record and 6-2 record in the SEC.

“Both teams shot the ball well,” Barnes said. “They made some unbelievable shots. Our guys had to really try to defend hard.”

Dalton Knecht, the leading scorer for the Vols this season, averages 32 points per game in his last three games on the road. However, Knecht only scored 16 points in Lexington this week, freeing up some possibilities for other players.

“He might’ve played his best game he’s ever played,” Barnes said of Josiah-Jordan James. He went on to discuss several players’ performances including freshman Cameron Carr. “The pass he made to Josiah … I couldn’t teach that. I mean nobody can. That was a big time play. Defensively he did a great job.”

Looking ahead to another SEC game this week, Barnes discussed LSU’s strengths.

“They can really make difficult shots,” Barnes said. “They’ve got a good front line. They’ve done a good job with the portal. Matchup-wise, it’s a big one-on-one matchup game.”

Going into a game against unranked LSU this week, Barnes emphasized the importance of respecting each team and how no outcome can be considered an upset.

“If you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat,” said Barnes. “It’s a matter of going out and knowing that the other team wants to win just as badly as you do, mental preparation and always respecting who you’re playing.”

In practice, they are working on rebounding, overall consistency with better ball screen coverage and individually guarding the ball prior to facing the Tigers this Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET in Knoxville

Lady Vols enjoy undefeated week

Lady Vols Head Coach Kellie Harper discussed their matchup against Georgia this past Thursday.

“I thought we were more physical against Georgia, I did. I was proud of that,” Harper said. “The game against Missouri was a different style of game so we didn’t get to see the physicality as much, but I thought we did what we needed to do against Georgia.”

Harper also shared about her coaching strategy that encourages the team’s success.

“One of the things we try to do as a staff is we try to keep things consistent,” Harper said. “I think the consistency, the continuity of our schedule and what we’re trying to do helps keep them in the moment.”

That consistent schedule is about to change, however, with a Thursday game in Tuscaloosa against Alabama this week followed by a Monday night game against Arkansas back in Knoxville.

To combat the inconsistent scheduling, Harper mentioned the importance of meeting each player’s specific needs. Remembering that her approach as an athlete was very different from her teammates’ helps her understand there are different routes to success.

“We work very hard on how to treat each player the way they need to be treated in terms of their development,” Harper said. “How you communicate with them and how you motivate them, what their strengths are.”

The Lady Vols coach takes her approach to motivate the team as they head to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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