Everything Rick Barnes said after No. 6 Vols lose to No. 19 Missouri

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    Vols head basketball coach Rick Barnes met with the media on Saturday night to discuss his team’s second loss in a row, a 73-64 loss to No. 19 Missouri.

    Barnes discussed why the offense is struggling right now, the health of Santiago Vescovi and John Fulkerson, the timetable for Jaden Springer’s injury, how concerned he is with the defense, how he would assess the help defense and meeting new Tennessee athletic director Danny White.

    Here’s everything Barnes had to say following the loss:

    On why the offense is currently struggling:

    “You go back the last two games, we’ve turned the ball over, what, 36 times. You can’t do that. You really can’t do it at home. But I think you have to give your opponent some credit for that. I think when people are pressuring you that hard, you have to be able to drive the ball to get them off of you. We don’t have enough guys right now that are willing to go make that play. I think we’ve got guys with the ability to do it, but they’re going to have to go and not predetermine, when they’re driving the ball, what they’re going to do. They have to go until they’re stopped. And Missouri does a good job of getting into the gaps. Maybe not full body all the time, but they do a good job with their gap strips. We’ve just got to get everybody confident.

    “Tonight I thought Yves (Pons) played with more confidence on the offensive end. We told Josiah (Jordan James) and (Yves) if they didn’t shoot the ball, we were taking them out, because we can’t play with three guys or two guys that aren’t looking (to score). It’s putting all the pressure on other guys to do some things. Obviously the scouting report on John Fulkerson is to be physical. Try to be very physical with him, try to stand him up. He had some looks at it tonight. He had five turnovers. I think they were all in the first half. That was tough. Then the free throws to start the game.

    “To create confidence, you don’t want to just keep digging yourself out of a hole. Two games in a row we’ve done that. I don’t think there is any question the scouting report is going to be pressure these guys, see if they’re willing to put it on the floor, see what they’re going to do with it. And even with that said, you look at the game tonight, the free throws hurt too. When you’re behind you cannot turn it over, you can’t turn it over at all. Then you can’t give up second shots at any point in time. Then there at the end of the game, they’re trying to manage the clock and we’re trying to create some chaos a little bit there and get some things going. We still had some chances but we couldn’t finish it. We had some good looks at it. We gave up a big offensive rebound, that one hurt. As hard as we fought to grind back in it. We just have to get everyone back healthy and strong. And we’ll be alright.”