KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee squandered a 13-point lead on the road Tuesday at Ole Miss, falling to the Rebels 80-69.
“We got out-toughed,” senior power forward Lew Evans said, bluntly.
The Vols (9-9, 2-4 SEC) have spent the rest of the week reviewing film and making sure complacency doesn’t set in again when they host Mississippi State (12-5, 3-2) today at 6:01 p.m. on SEC Network.
According to Evans, Tennessee’s toughness — or lack there of — isn’t an issue of physicality. Instead, it’s mental problem and hurdle the team most overcome if they’re going to turn their season around.
“It’s just the mindset,” Evans continued.
“It’s the energy plays. ‘Are we going to guard our man 1-on-1? Are we going to get stops on the defensive end? Are we going to dive for loose balls?’
“It’s totally a mindset. It’s not that we’re not physical enough. Our coaches do a great job with us making sure we’re in shape. It’s a mentality. A competitive mentality to go out there and compete.”
Tennessee basketball vs. Mississippi State game time, details
Date: Jan. 21, 2017
Time: 6:01 p.m.
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena.
Vegas Line: Tennessee -8
What TV Channel is Tennessee basketball vs. Mississippi State on?
The game is being televised by the SEC Network.
How can I watch Tennessee basketball vs. Mississippi State online?
The game will be available on WatchESPN.com
Who is calling the Tennessee basketball game vs. Mississippi State
Mike Morgan will handle the play-by-play duties and Pat Bradley will provide the color analysis.
How can I listen to Tennessee basketball vs. Mississippi State
The game will be on Sirius channel 145 and XM 191. The game will also be on all Vol Network affiliates.
• The Vols have played the nation’s third most-difficult schedule, according to the most recent Sagarin Ratings. They’ve squared off against five ranked teams. Comparatively, Mississippi State has played the nation’s No. 176 schedule, per Sagarin. Tuesday’s loss against No. 5 Kentucky was the Bulldogs only game against a Top 25 team all season.
• Youth is served. Both teams are projected to start a trio of freshman Saturday. The Vols will likely give the nod to guards Jordan Bone and Jordan Bowden, as well as forward Grant Williams. The Bulldogs will start guards Lamar Peters and Mario Kegler and forward Herald Schnider.
* With Derek Mostella no longer with the team, redshirt freshman guard Lamonte Turner has assumed Tennessee’s sixth-man responsibilities. The IMG Academy product has averaged 13 points and 3.7 assists over the last three games.
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