NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee star Dane Bradshaw (2004-07) said it appears the BasketVols are further along this season than they were at this point last year based on what Coach Rick Barnes has shared.
“Coach Barnes will tell it like it is, no coach speak,” Bradshaw said outside of Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at SEC Media Day. “On offense and defense, he thinks they are ahead from where they were a year ago.”
Bradshaw, at the arena working as an analyst for the SEC Network, said he applauds Tennessee’s challenging schedule, which he believes gives them a chance to be special.
“To have a good, successful season, and somewhat overachieve, you have to win the games you’re supposed to win, and win a couple you’re not supposed to win,” said Bradshaw, who help lead Tennessee to the first of two consecutive NCAA tournaments when Bruce Pearl was head coach. “You never know what will happen. There’s nothing like being thrown in the fire.”
The 6-foot-3 Bradshaw — who matched up with 6-11 NBA star Joakim Noah as the Vols went 3-1 against the 2006 and 2007 national champion Florida teams — is in his third season as a basketball analyst with the SEC Network.
The 2003 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year and a three-time state champion at Memphis’ White Station High School, Bradshaw was selected to the Vols’ All-Century team in 2009 and continues to work in the land development industry for noted Tennessee supporter John Thornton.