KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It was closer than it probably should have been, but Tennessee ultimately survived a 70-67 scare from South Carolina on Tuesday night.
The biggest news probably wasn’t even that it was the 19th win of the season, though. It was the praise South Carolina coach Frank Martin gave to the Vols after the game.
“Rick [Barnes] said at media days, and this was as big a compliment as anyone has ever paid me in this business,” Martin said. “He said he wanted his team to play like South Carolina. That’s what he said back before the season.
“You know what? I’m not trying to say how we used to play, but his team reminds me a lot of my team last year.”
The Gamecocks were the darlings of the NCAA Tournament last season. They were the plucky team that made it all the way to the Final Four.
Tennessee does play in a similar way to South Carolina a season ago. And Barnes wants his team to play that way on a regular basis. He wants his team to be a defensive-minded squad who can knock other teams out of their sets.
WMNL’s Josh Ward discusses the comments on Rocky Talk on Wednesday. He also dives into the surprising Robert Gillespie departure from the football staff.
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