As objectively good as the 2018 Tennessee basketball team is, I’ve really struggled with the way they’ve played against lesser competitors here in the early season. Sometimes, you gotta just put manners aside and devour a cupcake. Tennessee finally did just that against Eastern Kentucky, and brought a whole bunch of fun to TBA in the process. Here are the hot points.
PONS STAR: In his first career start, the French Freak continued putting on a show while putting the pieces of his game together. His 10 points came inside and out, and included a pair of 3’s. Yves is so strange to watch, with better shooting range than his frame would imply, and still (somehow) more powerful all the time around the rim. You can see the player he could be, and Rick Barnes has him on course and making clear strides.
EXTRA MAYO: Like so many awful sandwiches, EKU came with way too much Mayo…though, in this case, it was senior forward Nick Mayo. Despite the Vols having a monster night otherwise, they couldn’t even pretend to hold the Mayo, giving up 23 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists to the prolific shooter. Kid can flat-out ball. Unfortunately for the Colonels, the rest of their starters combined for only 19pts, so you MIGHT SAY that EK gravy train stops after Mayo. Here is where I’d like to make a few more food jokes, but who has the time? I do.
CLASSIC PB&J: Unlike the mayo-only sandwich EK served up, Tennessee came with a 90-burger and a classic PB&J performance from Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. The tandem, known occasionally as “PB&J,” absolutely put on a spectacle, combining for 41pts, 15 rebounds and 6 assists. If you don’t know, we’re witnessing one of the great duos in all of college basketball, and the greatest Tennessee has seen since Ernie and Bernie.