The Vols returned to Pratt Pavilion on Monday afternoon to prep for Thursday’s matchup with Texas Southern. Here are a few notes from the open portions of Tennessee’s practice and media availability.
No Update on Braxton Bonds: Donnie Tyndall said they still haven’t heard anything on Braxton Bonds’ appeal for eligibility. Tyndall added that he’s “hopeful” on Bonds and that “he’d help us.” Two weeks ago, Tyndall said Bonds would play 8-12 minutes per game if he’s eligible. “He’s a true point guard,” Tyndall said on November 6th. “He has a very good feel. He can make his teammates better. He’s not a great scorer by any stretch but he’s got good feet to be a good defender.”
Baulkman Back?: Tennessee’s junior guard missed Friday’s game with VCU with a left shoulder injury. He participated in the majority of Sunday’s practice but was “pretty sore” this morning according to Tyndall. Baulkman practiced with his left shoulder wrapped. “We hope and anticipate that he’ll be back Thursday,” Tyndall said.
Injury Updates: Dominic Woodson didn’t practice with the team due to suffering a hand injury in Sunday’s practice. He watched film with the team before participating in a separate conditioning session while the Vols practiced. His availability for Thursday’s game is in question. Ian Chiles, who played just one minute against VCU, is out for Thursday’s game due to a nagging toe injury on his right foot. He didn’t practice but did ride the exercise bike. Chiles played eight minutes against Lenoir-Rhyne but didn’t play in UT’s matchup with Pikeville.
No Comment: When asked if the NCAA would be in town to speak with him, Tyndall said, “I can’t comment on that.” The NCAA is reportedly set to speak with Tyndall tomorrow about violations allegedly committed by Southern Miss basketball during his time there.
Rebounding an Issue: Tennessee gave up 23 offensive rebounds to VCU Friday night, a number that didn’t sit well with Tyndall or his team. Kevin Punter and Jabari McGhee each mentioned rebounding as a big reason the Vols lost the game Friday. “My biggest concern right now is blocking out,” Tyndall said. “We don’t have a team that likes contact.” He added that their message to the team is simple, “go hit a guy.”
Full Court Press: The Vols bested last season’s single-game high by two when they forced 18 VCU turnovers. Tennessee worked on their full court press for about 10-15 minutes during today’s walkthrough.
New Lineup?: Kevin Punter, Josh Richardson, Armani Moore, Jabari McGhee and Willie Carmichael practiced with the first team yesterday. Derek Reese, Robert Hubbs and Dominic Woodson have all started games for the Vols this year (if you include exhibition games) but were noticeably absent from that lineup. Punter, Richardson, Hubbs, Moore and Reese started Friday’s game with VCU.
Tyndall said some of those guys “were practicing harder than Woodson” and that Woodson didn’t respond well after a day off on Saturday. Woodson played 20 minutes against VCU, recording four points and five rebounds before fouling out.
Monday’s practice lineup reflected Sunday’s changes with Punter, Richardson, Moore, McGhee and Carmichael working with the first team.