We warned you about this winning phenomenon that was about to sweep over SECJams on Mondays. There are a lot of factors we consider before giving out this award each week. They include the following; magnitude of the story, the impact on the community, the impact to the university, and most importantly did the program, university, or person WIN.
This week’s WINNING will go to the University of Tennessee Men’s Basketball Team. Coach Martin and the Vols have one this award once before with an upset win over the Gators in Knoxville, and now they do it with a win in Gainesville. Last time the win had the whole campus rocking and it was led by an amazing rap from former point guard Bobby Maze; that rap makes Bobby Maze go down in our book as one of the greatest Vols of all time. This time the win came in Gainesville, and for Tennessee fans it ended just as sweet with Florida fans running to the exits before the game was over. It was something that Gator fans are not accustomed to seeing at home as the Gators had won 19 straight at home.
It took Counzo Martin to come in and hold the truth of the Lane Kiffin promise in 2009 that Tennessee will beat the Gators. Coach Martin and his physical play is something that Billy Donovan and his Gators cannot deal with. Martin is 2-0 against the Gators and all at the expense of Billy D who cannot crack the code of beating the Vols.
Coach Martin told his team in shoot around that it was time to get a win on the road, and they heard the message loud and clear on Saturday. The game ended in a 75-70 win for the Vols, who let the Gators close the gap late with missed free throws and late threes by the Gators. The game was never as close as the final score shows. The Vols got off to a hot start and took an early lead with a 15-2 run that put the Vols up 24-12. It was Vols guard Skylar McBee and his mustache’s hot shooting for the second straight game that led the Vols to a 41-30 half time lead. McBee had 9 first half points and finished the game with 13 points.
The Vols had four players who scored in double figures including McBee. Point Guard Trae Golden and his 17 points and 7 assists made for the young point guard’s best game to date. Starter Jeronne Maymon also played one of his biggest games in his career with 15 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. It was Jordan McRae for the second straight game off the bench to give the Vols a spark scoring 12 points and 6 rebounds on the night.
For the Vols it is their first road win of the season, and the third straight. It seems that the Vols have bought in to what Coach Martin is selling. They should continue their winning ways as the toughest game left on the Vols schedule is Vanderbilt at home to finish off the season. You never know what will happen in the SEC, but the Vols could win out and make a run in the SEC tournament. That is a lot of what if’s at this point but with three straight wins, and playing like their hard nose coach, this team is dangerous and WINNING for right now.