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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528. Rob Dillingham. player. Rob Dillingham. SG. Freshman. . . Rob Dillingham. 2

Apologies to Josh Hubbard, and even Reed Sheppard who had 32 points the other night, but Rob Dillingham is the ultimate freshman heat check. He has no conscience on the floor and is eternally confident. Dillingham has never seen a shot he didn’t like and like a therapist, I’m here to validate that feeling. 

Dillingham is shooting 48.3% from the field and 44.5% from three on 4.4 attempts per game. He isn’t quite at the volume of Hubbard, but that’s the reality of coming off the bench on a loaded roster. That doesn’t mean that Dillingham can’t take over a game, he did it against Tennessee. 

When Tennessee and Kentucky met in Lexington, Dillingham played 27 minutes and went for a game-high 35 points on 14-20 from the field and 6-8 from three. He also fouled out in a 103-92 Tennessee win, but the message was sent, Dillingham can hit tough shots, which is one of the only ways to hang with the Vols. 

Tennessee is third in the country in adjusted defensive shot quality per Shotquality.com, only trailing Houston and Iowa State. Dillingham’s 6-8 from three is not reliable, or translatable game-to-game, but that’s how good Tennessee is, there’s no surefire, reliable, or consistent way to beat this team.