Tennessee Vols morning report: Rick Barnes, Kellie Harper recap top 25 wins

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

It was a huge weekend for the Tennessee Vols. While the Titans were busy letting everybody down a few hours west of Knoxville, Tenn., UT was busy scoring huge wins in men’s and women’s basketball along with a few other sports.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with continuing coverage of those basketball games, but there was also huge football news over the weekend with some players arriving on campus and a big recruiting event happening at the same time. We’ll touch on all of those.

Results from track and field, women’s tennis and men’s and women’s swimming and diving also earned coverage for today, so there is plenty to get to. Let’s start with all the big things that happened in basketball over the weekend.

Rick Barnes, Uros Plavsic, Santiago Vescovi talk LSU win – Ben McKee, VolQuest

On Saturday, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team, ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 25 in the Coaches Poll, beat the LSU Tigers, ranked No. 13 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. Rick Barnes and the two players tho scored double figures, Uros Plavsic and Santiago Vescovi, spoke after the game. Barnes talked about his team’s toughness. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“I was really proud of our guys. I really felt the last couple days that they have gotten really locked in. LSU plays much different than most teams. They switch one through five. They do a terrific job of mixing their defenses and trying to score a lot off of those defenses.”"

Plavsic, who started his second game, talked about the pregame scuffle between the teams. Here’s how he described it.

"“They wanted to win the fight, we wanted to win the basketball game. We did what we wanted to do… I think we did both actually.”"

Vescovi talked about the fast start, as UT, who improved to 13-5 and 4-3 in the SEC, began the game on a 14-0 run against LSU, who fell to 15-4 and 3-4 in the SEC. This is what he said.

"“We’re making a big emphasis on the defensive end, trying to help each other and I think that showed up tonight. In that start we were making shots and I think that helped us throughout the whole night, just by playing a little more loose.”"

Kellie Harper, Jordan Horston talk Georgia winMaria M. Cornelius, GoVols247

In their biggest win of the year, the Tennessee Lady Vols, ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the Coaches Poll, beat the Georgia Bulldogs, ranked No. 13 in both polls, on the road Sunday. Kellie Harper and Jordan Horston both spoke after the game. Harper talked about what the Lady Vols, who are 18-1 and 7-0 in the SEC, have fought through. Here’s a bit of what she said.

"“I’m really proud of our team for showing a lot of resilience and a lot of toughness and being able to play through a lot. We need to be really proud of this win. This was a really good one.”"

Harper didn’t have an update on Keyen Green, who hurt her knee in the third quarter. Horston, who led the team in scoring with 19 points, rebounding with 11 points and tied for the lead in blocks with five, was one of two players to score double figures, the other being Rae Burrell. Here’s what she said about her team turning it around before the end of the first half.

"“We were mad about some stuff, but, you know, we can’t play like that. We were frustrated, and I felt like we just, we started playing tough and playing through stuff and crashing the boards and playing how we usually play.”"

Football welcomes early enrollees – Matt Ray, SI.com

On the same weekend the Tennessee Vols football team held Junior Day, hosting lots of potential recruits still in their junior year of high school, they also welcomed early enrollees for their 2022 recruiting class.

"Tennessee signed 20 players in the 2022 class, with 13 of them set to enroll early."

Track and Field wraps up Hokie Invitational – Ken Lay, VolsWire.com

The Tennessee Vols track and field program had a strong Sunday in the Hokie Invitational, held in Blacskburg, Va. and hosted by the Virginia Tech Hokies. There were multiple personal bests.

"In the women’s shot put, Latavia Maines recorded a victory with a mark of 17.08 meters. Maines’ victory came on her fourth throw.Two other Lady Vols posted personal bests in the shot put as Chandler Hayden recorded a throw of 13.87 meters and Zoe Vlk had an effort of 13.21 meters."

Women’s tennis roars off to 2-0 start – UTSports

Ranked No. 22 in the preseason polls, the Tennessee Lady Vols tennis program scored a 4-0 win over the Charlotte 49ers Friday and a 4-3 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Sunday to open the year. Both victories were on the road.

"The road stretch continues as the Lady Vols head north to Columbus, Ohio for the ITA Kickoff weekend at Ohio State. Tennessee begins the regional action against No. 21 LSU on Saturday, Jan. 29th at 1 p.m."

Swimming and diving splits with Georgia – Michael Hamann, SwimSwam

While the No. 16 ranked Tennessee Vols men’s swimming and diving program fell to the No. 12 ranked Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Ga., over the weekend, the No. 6 ranked Lady Vols beat the No. 12 ranked UGA Dawgs. They will next host the Carson-Newman Eagles this Saturday.

"The Georgia men topped Tennessee for the third consecutive year, with their stout sophomore class leading the way.…The women’s meet was a tale of two halves, with the Bulldogs dominating to start the meet, but Tennessee storming back after the first break to win the meet."