KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Coach Rick Barnes was just as disappointed as the thousands of Tennessee basketball fans that exited the arena Wednesday night.
“I didn’t enjoy watching our team play tonight,” Barnes said. “We just set basketball back about 20 years. You’ve got 44 turnovers between two teams.
“We had 10 turnovers between our point guards, and that’s disappointing.”
South Carolina beat Tennessee 70-60, sending the Vols to their third consecutive loss, an 8-8 overall mark and 1-3 record in SEC action.
“Coming in I knew it would be an ugly game because I knew both teams would get after each other,” Barnes said. “Offensively we were woeful. We didn’t do any of the things we worked on. I just thought we were really tentative.”
Barnes said he had to give the Gamecocks (13-3, 3-0) credit for some of his team’s struggles.
“South Carolina pressures better than anyone we’ve played,” Barnes said. “We didn’t move the ball. We got to where the ball was starting to stick too much. A lot of it had to do with South Carolina.”
Barnes said he still has faith in his team, which ranks as the youngest and smallest in the SEC.
“There’s a process you’re going through where you got to get better every day, and we will,” Barnes said. “I think we’ve got a good group of guys. If we listen, we’ll be OK. When you battle as hard as we’ve been battling, it’s going to happen for us.”