The No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers faced off against the Colorado Buffaloes for their first true road game of the season and left the rockies with a 69-54 win.
In the win, five-star freshman point guard Kennedy Chandler had his best game as a college player, logging 27 points in 36 minutes while shooting 13 of 20 from the field.
Junior forward Josiah-Jordan James made his return to the court against Colorado after missing a few games prior with an illness and/or injury. James' return made a big impact for Tennessee, as the Vol veteran had nine rebounds, five points, four blocks and two points.
After Tennessee secured a win in Boulder, the Vols' head coach Rick Barnes addressed the media, discussing his thoughts on James and Chandler's play, takeaways for the team and more.
Barnes' entire post-game press conference transcript is below.
On Josiah-Jordan James
“I thought was a difference in the game. I thought what he did on both ends of the court was huge for us. He didn't have a particularly great day shooting the ball, but when we needed to respond, we did. I think [for what] is really our first true road game, I say we're going to find out today, the diversity in reacting and responding. I thought for the most part, we responded well, when they were trying to make a push to get back in.”
On Josiah-Jordan James' Hand Injury
“He's practiced two days prior to today, but he's been around, he understands our system as well as the coaches too. He works as hard as any player that we've ever coached; he's as loyal as any player that we've ever coached. Even when he was out, you could feel his presence with our team because of the kind of person he is. What he did was really pretty special.”
On Josiah-Jordan James Game
“[He played] both ends defensively, came up with some huge rebounds inside, and blocked some shots. If you look at plus minus, I think he's got the highest out there - plus 22. You could just tell when he was out there.”
On Kennedy Chandler's Game
“When he's stoppable most times [it's because of] himself. He's getting better each game, but with the ball screen defense he's very good. He's going to continue to get better with it. He's starting to learn more than ever [ how] to run a team and that's because Santiago's coaching him on floors for plays where Santiago is not out there early. Kennedy, Zakai, and those other guys, we have to really hope to eventually learn leadership skills, learn how to run our team, when a guy like Santi is not out there.”
On What the Team Learned
“Well, we're still a relatively young team. When you look at it, we've got John Fulkerson, Victor Bailey, and Olivier Nkamhoua, but the guys that have played big minutes for us over the past couple years really have been John and Santi. We knew it was gonna be a hard game, and we knew it was gonna be our first true road game in two years, so we just kept talking about 'we'll see today', 'we'll learn to listen the way we react or the way we respond'. I think we responded for the most part pretty well.”
On how The Game Has Helped the Team
“I like to think that each game we go out, these young guys are going to learn some things. I think what they're learning is that every game will take on its own personality; every game is going to be a little bit different. We've played against really well coached teams and we'll continue to do that. We keep talking about letting our habits work for us. We got a little bit sloppy with the ball. We don't like to turn the ball over, but we started the half just not playing very good basketball, and those are the areas we've got to get better with.”
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