The basketball Vols are undefeated under Rick Barnes when they are able to reach one milestone within a game: Tennessee is undefeated when scoring 90 points.
Tennessee is a perfect 8-0 over Rick Barnes’ 61 games as head coach of the Vols when they eclipse the 90-point threshold. The Vols were 2-0 last season when they did so and are 6-0 this season when scoring that many points. In fact, this season has seen the Vols score 90 or more points more times than any other season since the Bruce Pearl-led 2007-08 squad did it eight times in a season.
And the common thread in all of those games? The Vols hit their three-point shots.
Tennessee has made 43 percent of their three-pointers in those eight games. The Vols have hit 71 of their 165 threes in the eight games they’ve put up 90 or more points and have made seven or more threes in seven of those eight games.
As a team this season, the Vols have made a mere 33.7 percent of their threes. Tennessee isn’t the best three-point shooting team around, but good things tend to happen whenever they actually do make their threes.
The Vols have also never scored 90 or more points in a true road game under Barnes. Five of the eight instances have been at home, and the other three have been in tournaments (SEC, Barclay’s Center Classic, and Maui Invitational).
If Tennessee can score 90 points, they’ve shown they’re unbeatable under Barnes. And the Vols have been able to reach that milestone more this season than they have in almost a decade. Tennessee may not be the most consistent offensive team, but they are averaging their most points per game since the 2008-09 season this year. And that team shot even worse from behind the three-point line, connecting on just 31.5 percent of their threes.
The Vols likely have at least one more shot at eclipsing the 90-point mark this season. Tennessee still has LSU on their schedule on March 1st, and the Tigers have allowed 90 or more points nine times this season.
Tennessee’s season has been fairly up and down all year, but this is one consistent stat that shows the Vols can win if they reach that 90-point threshold.