Tennessee Vols morning report: Rick Barnes talks big win vs. Kentucky

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’s a great morning to be a Tennessee Vols fan. A huge win Tuesday night reset the course for the men’s basketball program’s season, and morale is as high as it was three years ago when the program was No. 1 in the nation for a period of three weeks.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with more coverage of that victory that took place. We’ve got postgame press conferences to bring you from it. Speaking of pressers, though, women’s basketball and baseball also have press conferences to touch on that involve previews for this week and this season respectively.

Baseball is also one of three sports involving individual recognition for us to cover, including a preseason watch list, a postseason award and a weekly award. Finally, we have a men’s golf recap and continuing coverage of a swimming and diving event, so this is a huge news day. Let’s start with the basketball program.

Rick Barnes, Jonas Aidoo, Kennedy Chandler talk Kentucky win – UTSports

In what was easily their biggest standout performance of the year, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team avenged a 107-79 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in Janaury to beat them at home 76-63. Rick Barnes, Jonas Aidoo and Kennedy Chandler spoke after the game. Barnes talked about the adjustments made vs. UK since their last meeting. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“We were much better defensively tonight, much more sound throughout possessions. We had some chances (at Kentucky) to have some good possessions, but we broke down at the very end. We did not have a lot of breakdowns tonight.”"

Aidoo, who had three blocks, talked about his recent emergence into the rotation. This is how he described it.

"“It’s just staying ready because you never know what can happen. With Olivier going down, I just had the next man ready mentality so I was just ready to step up.”"

Chandler, who was one of four players to score double figures, the others being Santiago Vescovi, John Fulkerson and Zakai Zeigler, talked about the team staying in control of the game after being up 14 at halftime. Here’s what he said about that.

"“They beat us the first four minutes, so we had to come out strong and win the next four minutes. We had to figure out things that we weren’t doing right, including moving without the ball and stopping them on the defensive end.”"

Kellie Harper talks AlabamaJack Foster and Riley Haltom, SI.com

On a two-game winning streak, the Tennessee Lady Vols have upcoming matchups against the Alabama Crimson Tide and South Carolina Gamecocks. Kellie Harper talked about the week ahead Wednesday. In the presser, she addressed comparisons to Pat Summitt after a video of her giving a halftime speech went viral. Here’s what she said on that.

"“I get it, and you know, I loved her too. We just miss her, and so you want to cling to anything that can remind you of her or that can bring back those memories. That’s why I’m ok with it, and I understand it.”"

Tony Vitello, Redmond Walsh, Drew Gilbert talk openerBen McKee, VolQuest

Friday marks the start of the Tennessee Vols baseball season, as they get set to face the Georgia Southern Eagles. On Wednesday, head coach Tony Vitello along with pitcher Redmond Walsh and outfielder/pitcher Drew Gilbert talked about the start of the season. Vitello talked about the rotation for this weekend’s series. Here’s what he said on that.

"“I think Saturday and Sunday will be, you know, interesting or unknown until it comes, maybe a little bit of indication on Saturday. I can tell you with 100 percent certainty Sunday will be a little bit more TBA with what we’ve got going on, two, three arms, you know, either not available or questionable.”"

Walsh talked about deciding to come back for his graduate senior year. This is his explanation for doing that.

"“After the feeling of Omaha and just sitting with them, it was the easiest decision I ever made. I would have regretted it not coming back.”"

Gilbert talked about how the opening series can help set the tone for the season. Here is some of what he said on that front.

"“It’s more than just one series. It’s a long season, and we kind of find our identity throughout the year, and we’re not going to try to rush to figure out who we are, but we’ll find some things out this weekend for sure.”"

Jordan Beck on Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list – USABaseball.com

Entering his junior year with the Tennessee Vols baseball team, outfielder Jordan Beck is one of 55 players on the Golden Spikes Award watch list. The award is given annually to the nation’s top amateur player.

"The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will maintain a rolling list of players, allowing athletes to play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the season.Headlining the 2022 watch list are six 2021 Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, including 2021 College World Series champion Landon Sims (Mississippi State)."

Favour Ashe recognized by SEC – SECSports.com

Due to his record-setting performance at the Tyson Invitational this past weekend, Tennessee Vols track and sprinter Favour Ashe earned SEC Freshman of the Week. Ashe ran the 60-meter dash in 6.52 seconds.

"His time broke the Tennessee freshman record previously held by Leonard Scott at 6.56, which he set in 1999. Ashe’s time is the fastest 60m in the SEC this season and ranks third-quickest in the NCAA."

Swimming and diving community service teams announcedUTSports

Juniors Brett Champlin and Kara Holt represented the Tennessee Vols men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs on this year’s SEC Community Service Teams for their respective sports. One player is selected from each team in the league.

"Champlin was a member of the 2020-21 VOLeaders Academy, which was developed to cultivate positive student-athlete leaders through sport to create positive social change.…A member of Tennessee’s VOLeaders Academy Class of 2021-22, Lady Vol diver Holt has been active in the community, accumulating 32 hours of community service since July."

Swimming and diving programs top 4 first day of SECs – SECSports

After the first day of the SEC Championships, the Tennessee Vols men’s swimming and diving program is in second place, and the women are in fourth. UT is hosting the event, which is set to last through Saturday. The Texas A&M Aggies are first on both sides.

"Day two of the 2022 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships begins on Wednesday, February 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET with the prelims for the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and men’s 1-meter. The finals of the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and men’s 1-meter will start at 5:30 p.m. ET. Both sessions can be viewed on SEC Network+."

Golf finishes third at Puerto Rico Classic – GolfStat.com

With a final score of 47-under, the Tennessee Vols men’s golf team finished only behind the Oklahoma Sooners and Georgia Bulldogs in the 13-team Puerto Rico Classic. Bryce Lewis tied for second among all individuals, shooting 16-under.