Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The SEC Tournament happens this week in Music City and the Tennessee Volunteers are feeling right at home. The team knows their fans will show up in big numbers for Thursday’s game against Alabama, but the Vols want to make sure they show up for the fans.
Vols head coach Rick Barnes added, “I think all of our guys look forward to this time of year and the conference tournament and there is no doubt a little more bounce with it.”
Tennessee has been through its fair share of ups and downs this season, but having a new environment to play in is always refreshing and his players would agree.
“Maybe just a change of scenery, and a change of environment especially being in Nashville. I know there are a lot of Vol fans here and so that will work to our advantage,” said Vols forward John Fulkerson.
The Volunteers are coming off of a disappointing end to the season, falling to Auburn at home, and while getting in to the NCAA tournament likely means winning the SEC tournament, the Vols are happy to get a fresh start.
Fulkerson added, “Everybody has a clean slate here and you have to play every game like it’s your last because it is.”
“New season. It’s the mental part of the game and we just need to get everyone focused, keep our bodies right and execute our game plan against Alabama and we’ll be fine,” said Vols guard Jordan Bowden.
Building momentum is something the Vols want to do from the jump. They know it’s all about focusing on the task at hand, and right now that is Alabama.
“That’s a great team and there are a lot of shooters on that team. We need to keep them out of the paint and play good defense throughout the game,” said Vols forward Yves Pons.
The Volunteers will take on the Alabama Crimson tide on Thursday at Noon. The winner moves on to the Quarterfinals against Kentucky.