Rick Barnes addressed the media today for the final time before the season tips off tomorrow night against UNC Ashville. He shared his opinion on the Uros Plavsic situation and also shed some light on a few other budding headlines surrounding the Vols basketball team.
Barnes was quick to point out that Tennessee is not finished appealing the NCAA’s decision to deny Plavsic’s eligibility waiver request.
“There is another avenue that we’re exploring and we have one more appeal left,” said Barnes. “I think (the NCAA) has to look at each case and do the right thing.”
Barnes was later asked about if he’d been told exactly why the waiver was denied. He was up front and said that no one has told him exactly the reasoning behind the NCAA’s decision. He did say that he eventually would like a reasoning though, if not for him, for Plavsic’s sake.
More Barnes on Plavšić: “We’re shocked by it to be quite frank.”
“Everything he’s gone through, he deserves to play… Uroš has done nothing wrong. He’s done everything that he was told to do, being a foreign student, coming into a foreign country.”
— Ben McKee (@benmckee14) November 4, 2019
The Uros Plavsic conversation led to more talk about how the Vols will handle missing their 7-foot center. Barnes said he isn’t afraid to run a five guard lineup with the personnel he has right now.
Junior guard/ forward plays a key role in Barne’s confidence in playing five guards on the floor at the same time.
“Yves can guard all five positions as well as anybody in the country,” said Barnes as he drove home the point that defense would not be a concern if he played a small lineup.
Barnes wrapped up his time by assuring that freshman guard, Davonte Gaines, isn’t bothered by his injured thumb and it won’t affect his play going forward.
Tennessee’s 2019-2020 campaign starts tomorrow night at home at 7:00 Eastern against UNC Ashville. You can catch the game on SEC Network +.
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