11. Tennessee (6-1)
Back stateside after their Battle 4 Atlantis championship, Tennessee looks to maintain its early momentum. A dreadful loss to Colorado is now three weeks in the past and the Volunteers are asserting themselves, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This wasn’t really a week for Tennessee to prove anything, but they did get another win over a weak opponent, taking their winning streak up to five.
That latest win came on Wednesday night in a 76-40 victory against McNeese State. The Volunteers were glad to be back home and put on another defensive clinic, allowing 50 points or less for the fifth time already this season. Santiago Vescocvi led the battle with 16 points, though the Volunteers missed 15 free throws and will need to shore that up in the coming weeks.
The defense of the Volunteers has been dynamic; this is what’s led Tennessee this season. Their offense hasn’t been bad by any stretch, but this team doesn’t want to get into those shootout-type of games. Their long-range offense has had decent games, but it’s the defense that has led them to these wins. With home games with Alcorn State and Eastern Kentucky on the agenda next week, it’s hopefully not going to be a very dramatic week in Knoxville.