KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee basketball is on the rise, ranked No. 15 and riding a five-game win streak, but the Vols aren’t anywhere close to satisfied.
“We have a lot left to prove,” Tennessee junior forward Admiral Schofield said after the Volunteers beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night.
Tennessee (18-5, 8-3 SEC) returns to action at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday against Alabama (15-9, 6-5 SEC) in Coleman Coliseum. The Vols are making a run at what would be their first NCAA Tournament appearance in four years.
Schofield, however, said Tennessee is looking for more than just a pat on the back and participation ribbons.
“One of the biggest things we talked about, Kentucky was 17-6 and people were questioning their team — and we’re 17-5 and people are saying that’s the best they’ve seen here in a while,” Schofield said. “Why is that OK? We want more. We have to keep playing like men.”
The Vols are one game behind Auburn in the SEC standings after the Tigers were upset by Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Tennessee has the No. 10 RPI, and the Vols have most recently been projected as a No. 3 seed by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.
The win over Kentucky generated great interest in the Tennessee fan base, as it was the first time since 2006 that the Vols won in Rupp Arena.
“We made a big step here [Tuesday night], but it doesn’t stop here, and we can’t get complacent,” Schofield said. “We’re trying to move up and get respect in the country and get our respect in the league.
“We have to keep pushing.”