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Author Topic: Good Read: Rick Barnes and Tennessee's basketball uprising  (Read 137 times)
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« on: February 11, 2019, 06:29:29 EST »



After Tennessee lost to Georgia in the first round of the SEC tournament that year to finish 16-16 in Barnes' second season, the coach couldn't get settled. On the trip home, Barnes asked his players to name the toughest team in the league.

Every player picked South Carolina, which reached the Final Four that year.

Barnes wondered why they hadn't named themselves. Plus, their demeanor was carefree 20 minutes after they'd hopped onto the bus. At the time, the Vols didn't hate losing the way he has for more than four decades. Too many players seemed more interested in their spring break plans than the season-ending loss in a .500 season.

A frustrated Barnes pulled the team off the bus once Tennessee got back to Knoxville and delivered the bad news.

"We don't have it," Barnes told his team. "We don't have what we need to do. We're getting ready the next three months. We're gonna find out who really wants to buy in."

After that meeting, Barnes instructed Garrett Medenwald, Tennessee's strength coach, to take the players to a treacherous ramp in a nearby parking garage -- known ominously to all as "G10" -- and find out who deserved to keep their scholarships. When the Vols returned from spring break that season, they ran the G10 hill every day. They didn't dribble a basketball for weeks.

"We knew we had to create an environment where we were going to find out who wanted to be on the ship," Medenwald said.
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