Frank Martin Steals the Microphone to Praise Rick Barnes

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    Auburn Gets Impressive Road Win Over Alabama

    Tennessee hosted South Carolina in SEC play on Tuesday night, with the Vols taking the victory, 66-46. With the win, Tennessee now moves to 2-2 in SEC play and 11-4 overall. The Vols will need to soak in the win and shift their focus quickly, though, as the next Tennessee game is against Kentucky in Lexington.

    However, after the game on Tuesday night, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin made a kind gesture towards Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes.

    During Barnes’ post-game radio interview on the Thompson-Boling Arena court, Martin grabbed the T.B.A. arena microphone to speak with the fans in Knoxville.

    “You guys better love him,” Martin said to the T.B.A. crowd while pointing down to Barnes. “He’s the best and they don’t make ’em like him anymore.”

    Barnes and Martin have been in the SEC East together since 2015 when Barnes arrived at Tennessee. Martin, however, has been at South Carolina since 2012 and is now pushing a decade with the Gamecocks.

    After Barnes’ post-game press conference on Tuesday night, it was easy to see the mutual respect between both head coaches. Barnes even used South Carolina as an example of a benchmark that Barnes’ early teams would use.

    “I think South Carolina and Tennessee mirror each other more than any two teams in the league,” Barnes said after the win on Tuesday. “When I got here, I was trying to show the example of what it takes to play high-level defense. The first couple of years we were here, we watched South Carolina tape with our players. We said, This is what it takes to win. I’ve known Frank Martin forever. I knew what it was like playing against him when he was at Kansas State. To get the standard that we wanted, that was a team that we emulated, and we said, This is the standard in this league. And the group, those guys would tell you that they learned a lot from watching those teams when we first got here. Now we have the standard, and we have to continue to play defense.”

    The No. 22 Tennessee Volunteers will take on No. 18 Kentucky this Saturday afternoon in Lexington at 1:00 p.m. ET.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.