On where Tennessee’s depth is with SEC play approaching:

“That’s certainly a positive, but I don’t think there’s any question about that. I thought the minutes this afternoon that Olivier (Nkamhoua) got were really big for us. I think it really helped him being out there a lot more at critical times to do what he was doing. I think that Uros (Plavsic) is a guy that we have confidence in. Both of those guys. EJ (Anosike) has shown that he’s a guy that can be a factor for us. I would like to see more consistency out of John and Yves to be quite honest with you. I don’t think those guys have played up to the standard that we expect from them right now. The younger guys struggled tonight. I think they struggled from a preparation standpoint. I don’t think they’ve had to go through at any point in their young careers where they’ve had to grind like this both mentally and physically. They just didn’t have the sting they normally have. I will say this too, I thought Upstate had a terrific game plan. They were going to shorten the game. This was probably as good of a game as we could have to get ready going into conference play because it’s different from what we have played. It shows that as much as we wanted to play at a faster pace or do this or do that, the other team has something to do with that. I thought they were really well coached tonight. They’ve had eight days off. I do think at times we played like a tired team. I don’t think our guys weren’t trying to play well. I don’t think mentally they didn’t want to play well. The grind that we’ve been through is something that we needed. Hopefully, it’s going to help us going forward.

“Just so you know, this sweater I have on is a birthday gift that Tom asked me to give him. Plus, he wants a little Christmas bonus, but he’s asked if I could wear this tonight for him. I want you to know I’m doing this for Tom Satkowiak.”