Tennessee basketball has been on fire lately and proved it to the College Basketball world on Saturday night at home.
The Tennessee basketball offense was led by Olivier Nkamhoua. The 6’9 senior from Finland, went on an absolute tear last night against the Longhorns and dropped a season-high of 27 points. Along with the points, he also snagged 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Nkamhoua went 12-15 from the field and lead the Volunteers to a huge top-10 victory.
Here’s what head coach Rick Barnes said about the play from Nkamhoua:
"“He was terrific. He was absolutely terrific. And it started yesterday in practice. I think without question yesterday was the best practice he’s had since he’s been here, with what he brought. His energy, the fact that he carried it over. Really happy for him because I know how much he cares and how much he wants to do the right thing. To see him come out and play the way he did today, it was really special. Really happy for him.”"
Alongside Nkamhoua was the dominant Sophomore point guard Zakai Zeigler. He put together yet again, another amazing game. Zeigler played for almost the entire game and scored 22 points, 10 assists, and 2 rebounds. Zeigler is destroying teams and has been the best player for the Vols over the past several games.
Here’s what head coach Rick Barnes had to say about the play from Zeigler:
"“What can you say about him? I mean, he’s got to be right there with the very best point guards in the country when you think about what he does night in and night out, consistently doing it. Learning the position as he goes through with it. Defensively, he does it. How many minutes did he play tonight? 37. Always asking him how you feeling, he says I’m fine coach. The fact is, he’s distributing the ball. He got a little excited when he had a chance to — give them credit, we could’ve really stretched it out, but they’re an older, experienced team. They stayed in it. They maintained their poise. Z got a little excited, turned it over, I think they scored six straight points off turnovers the we were trying to force too much. What he’s learning how to do is make his teammates better, which is the sign of a point guard — Zakai becoming a point guard — understanding that’s his job. Find a way to make his teammates better on the offensive end. I think as he continues to do that, he’s going to make everybody better. And by doing that, we get better.”"
All in all, this Volunteers team is undoubtedly the best team in the nation. They have one of the deepest rosters and can play anyone in any game. It’s starting to feel like no matter whom the Vols are playing, a player is bound to step up and win the game. Sometimes it’s Zeigler, other times Vescovi, but when players like Nkamhoua and not the big-name stars are putting up 27 points, it’s a nightmare for any opposing team.
Tennessee basketball will look to continue this win streak as they head down to Gainesville to take on the Gators.