Tennessee basketball: Three takeaways from Vols’ 60-57 loss to Florida State

Mistakes cost Tennessee basketball in their first loss of the season. Here are three takeaways from the Volunteers falling to the Florida State Seminoles.

After falling behind by 13 points in the second half and by nine with less than two minutes to go, Tennessee basketball was unable to complete a furious comeback. As a result, the Vols lost their first game of the season.

UT  came up short against the Florida State Seminoles 60-57 in the Emerald Coast Classic in a game that saw Lamonte Turner go to the bench twice in the game due to injury. Ranked No. 17 in the nation, the Vols fell to 5-1 on the season while FSU moved to 6-1.

On Saturday, Rocky Top will play for the third place spot in the Emerald Coast Classic to complete the tournament. However, this loss was a blow since the ‘Noles were unranked. Here are three things we learned from Tennessee basketball’s close loss.

1. Point guard play was struggled.

Lamonte Turner’s inconsistency and Josiah-Jordan James’s youth finally showed. Turner had 20 points, but he only hit four-of-14 field goals and  had eight turnovers to only two assists. He is clearly banged up, and it continues to show. Meanwhile, James added five turnovers. The two together are a big reason UT had 21 turnovers as a whole.

2. Bench provided no help.

Here’s one stat for you: 0 points. That’s the total amount scored by Tennessee basketball’s bench until the final minute of the game. Their only points were two from Davonte Gaines, who filled in on two free throws for Turner after he went to the bench on a hard foul. Outside of that, there was no help, and that was a big reason for the loss.

3. Defense and hustle plays remain a problem.

In typical Rick Barnes coaching, the Vols almost overcame horrible ball movement and bench play because they hustled. They outrebounded FSU and held them to 35.2 percent shooting. Meanwhile, hustle players like Yves Pons was still solid with 13 points and 10 rebounds. This is the good news for UT. When they struggle, they stay in games because of these things.