Tennessee 76 Kennesaw State 67Follow @KSUOwlHowl
Overall, there was a lot of good and a lot of bad but that’s going to be the case vs. a talented team like Tennessee especially in the first game of the year with six new players. These aren’t the three win Owls of last year, and you can take that to the bank. This team has players who are self motivated and love the game of basketball which means they will be a lot more fun to watch.
Unfortunately I planned to re-watch the game but Comcast cut it short due to the previous game running 40 minutes over. Here is what I can remember from watching at a bar with no sound.
- The team had much better chemistry than last year. Addition by subtraction was HUGE.
- Being down 27 and coming back to lose by nine showed heart and determination.
- The Owls brought it back to single digits even though their leading scorer (Cummings) was inefficient for 95% of the game.
- The defensive switching was solid.
- Andrew Osemhen was truly an asset for the Owls. He played tough and was aggressive for the most part, especially fighting for rebounds. He didn’t always win the battles but he was there.
- Aaron Anderson had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
- The Owls out-rebounded Tennessee 31-29.
- On Twitter, Tennessee media member were complimenting the Owls for being chippy and not backing down and I agree. Cummings got into it with Jarnell Stokes at one point.
- Nigel Pruitt didn’t back down at all. His length caused some problems and even played the passing lane for a steal and a dunk. He also had a beautiful block.
- Myles Hamilton, who we didn’t expect to play, played 16 minutes and scored 7 points, coming off of his groin injury. He hounded Tennessee on defense and didn’t turn the ball over on offense. I also liked how he challenged a much taller Tennessee player who was going up for a dunk, and even though he got called for a foul I loved the never back down attitude.
- Four of the five freshmen showed me something positive.
- Yonel Brown was solid in his first regular season game. His three point shot was off, but they looked good coming out of his hand. He still finished with double digit points and more assists than turnovers.
- Delbert Love turned a rough shooting night into a solid game by hitting some big second half shots to put the Owls back in it. He played a team high 39 minutes.
- The Owls turned it over 12 times, which was one less than Tennessee.
- Freshman Cole Hobbs played about 30 seconds.
- Walk-on Kris Drees played one minute.
- I would love to see how this game would have turned out if there were five more minutes tacked onto the end of the second half.
Did not like
- The Owls had more turnovers than assists (12/9)
- Kennesaw State shot 5-16 from three point range.
- The stretches at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half. These two “dead zones” are where Tennessee took advantage and put the game out of question.
- The interior defense was horrific at times. Props to Jarnell Stoke who is one of the top interior players in the nation, but there were still too many easy baskets. Willy Kouassi and Nate Rucker will add some length and muscle next year to fix this problem.
- Tennessee shot over 60% from the field and 58% from three. You’re not going to win many games when teams put up those numbers. To be fair though, many of their threes were contested and were just excellent shots. Skylar McBee was excellent for the Volunteers.
- Markeith Cummings was horrific. 2-8 field goals, 2-4 free throws, TWO rebounds, one assist and three turnovers in 30 minutes. At least two of the turnovers were on wild passes that weren’t even close.
- Jordan Montgomery had four fouls in eight minutes.
- Brandon Dawson, who we listed as an X-Factor in our game preview was anything but that.