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WATCH: Rick Barnes Talks To Open Tennessee Media Day

Rick Barnes
Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes met with the local media Tuesday afternoon to begin the Vols’ in house media day.

Barnes discussed the Vols’ first week of practice and where he would like to see his team grow from where they are now.

“Excited about our guys,” Barnes said. “I think they’ve worked hard. They’re certainly working hard together. We know that we still have work to do. There’s not an area we don’t have to improve in but certainly some ones we’re really concentrating on are our ball screen defense has to be better and we have to do a better job or really guarding the basketball.”

The Vols are playing a challenging preseason slate with a closed door scrimmage against Michigan State and an exhibition game against Gonzaga in Texas.

Barnes discussed why he decided to venture out his preseason slate after Davidson coach Bob McKillop retired and the McClendon Foundation who will receive the proceeds from the exhibition against Gonzaga.

“It’s a foundation set up for minorities to get into athletic administration,” Barnes said. “To get the game the way we got it right now, again Mark (Few) called me about it and the proceeds will go that way.”

Barnes also discussed the versatility of this year’s team, freshman Julian Phillips and and the significance of the veteran leadership on this season’s team.

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