5 players Tennessee doesn’t want to see in the SEC Tournament

On Wednesday night, Tennessee knocked off Auburn and will likely be the top seed in the SEC Tournament, but these players could still put a scare into Rick Barnes when the Volunteers finally get to Nashville.
Tennessee forward Tobe Awaka (11) guards Auburn Johni Broome (4)
Tennessee forward Tobe Awaka (11) guards Auburn Johni Broome (4) / Angelina Alcantar/News Sentinel / USA
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Josh Hubbard. 530. . G. Freshman. Josh Hubbard. player. . Josh Hubbard. 4

Hubbard started the year primarily coming off the bench for Mississippi State, but now the 5-foot-10 freshman is the team’s starting two-guard and went toe-to-toe with Kentucky freshman Reed Sheppard on Tuesday night. He scored 34 points and before Sheppard hit his game-winning buzzer-beater, Hubbard knocked down a ridiculous three-pointer to tie the game up in the first place. 

That was Hubbard’s second consecutive 30-point game and while he’s only averaging 15.9 points a game, he has eight games of 20+ points including against Tennessee. Mississippi State was the first SEC opponent to knock off the Vols, beating them 77-72 in Starkville and Hubbard had 25 points in 28 minutes on 8-15 from the field and 5-10 from three. 

Hubbard is leading the SEC in three-point attempts at 8.1 per game and shooting 36.4%.

Zakai Zeigler is an excellent point-of-attack defender and Santiago Vescovi can chase any off-ball guard around screens all night, and yet, Tennessee has had issues with heat-check three-point shooters like Hubbard. If a player like that gets red hot for one game in the SEC Tournament, he could send the Vols packing, so they do not want to run into Mississippi State.