Tennessee Rick Barnes Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes during the NCAA college basketball game between the Tennessee Vols and the Alcorn State Braves in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, December 4, 2022. Kns Uthoops Alcorn State

Sixth-ranked Tennessee has excelled on the hardwood so far this season. The Volunteers are 9-1 and have reeled off eight consecutive victories after a slip-up against Colorado on November 13.

On Saturday, Tennessee travels to Tucson for a premier Top 10 matchup with Arizona. The Wildcats are 9-1 as well and were hit with just one loss on the road against Pac-12 foe Utah. UofA recorded wins over Cincinnati, San Diego State, Creighton, and Indiana thus far this season, making for one of the best early resumes in the nation.

So Vols head coach Rick Barnes knows what Tommy Lloyd and the Wildcats will bring to the table. Barnes forecasted a challenge for his team ahead of the Top 10 showdown at McKale Memorial Center.

At media availability on Thursday, Barnes said, via on3, “I think it’s gonna be hard because they do a really great job of putting the ball inside. There is no doubt when you watch them play that they’re a heavy inside-out team. They certainly have shooters that surround that. But they do as good a job as anybody (at), from the time they get that ball? They’re looking at that basket.”

Barnes threw praise at Lloyd, who has led the Wildcats to a 42-5 record over the last two seasons so far. “Tommy’s done a terrific job in a short time there. They play hard, are always competitive, and he’s got them doing exactly what he wants them to do,” Barnes said via On3.

No fireworks between both sides before the game, but expect plenty during what will be one of the top college basketball games of the season.

[On3 Sports]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022