Posts Tagged ‘Mike Griffith’

Tell Mike Griffith that I take it all back…

No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21

Earlier this year, I was somewhat miffed at the Knoxville News-Sentinel’s Mike Griffith over his early-season criticisms of the BasketVols.  I felt that those criticisms—which were as candid as they were brutal—were misplaced.  At the time I felt that Griffith was premature in his biting critique of the Vols’ play.  I felt that the, then, 6-1 and No 10 ranked BasketVols were still just beginning to warm up.  I felt that he was putting the cart before the horse.

I take that back…

As was seen in the Vols’ utterly disappointing 81-65 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, if anything, Griffith might have actually been a little too kind to the Vols when he assessed their performance back in December.  Lately, it has seemed that the Vols have been sliding further and further as the season progresses, raising concerns about where (or whether) this team will land in the NCAA Tournament.

After all, with their game against the Rebels presenting a chance to take control of the SEC East, there was plenty to play for…

Either way, the Tennessee Volunteers now find themselves sitting at 16-9 / 7-4 with games at Kentucky, at Florida, and at South Carolina in the next two weeks.  This after losing two of their last four games (Auburn being the other recent loss).  In terms of the Vols hopes of winning the SEC East, those are not exactly great odds.

What’s more, Mississippi didn’t just get lucky down the stretch, they beat the Vols in all of the four key areas of the game:

But enough of the doom and gloom.  The good news is that, miraculously, Tennessee is still tied for first place in the SEC East—again with Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina.  Thus, the importance of each win in the last five games of the season is amplified.  So there is a real chance for Tennessee to stretch its legs quickly and pull away from the pack.  Of course, each loss is equally as devastating in terms of conference standing. The peculiar thing is that, despite Tennessee having been mightily swatted by Kentucky—and in particular Jodie Meeks—in January, the Vols and the Wildcats actually matchup fairly evenly from a statistical perspective. As the chart below shows, Tennessee has been on a slight decline in the four key factors, but have—all things considered—held reasonably steady throughout conference play.

Of course, given the Vols’ inconsistencies over the last month, it remains to be seen whether they can manage to hold the line and man-up against Kentucky this Saturday.

I am sure Mike Griffith will be watching…

– So it goes…About Lawvol


Charts / Stats Courtesy of: StatSheet.com
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