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This is the time of the year when I really start watching, when the games really count. I played this game for so long, and I know that when you get to this point, guys take their games to another level. This is when you see who can play and who can't. This is when players step it up.
The SEC Tournament just took place right around the corner from me in Atlanta, and it was great to see my alma mater University of Tennessee compete in my backyard! It's funny, but I still get nervous when I was walk into a basketball arena. I think most players feel that way, but once the ball is tossed in the air, that's all gone. You just play.
I had a chance to see two games. In the first game, they beat South Carolina, and I was really impressed with Jarnell Stokes. But, as you would think, in the second game, Florida keyed in on him and took away his inside scoring ability (which they were successful at). So Tennessee couldn't make their shots and lost that game. I hadn't had a chance to see Florida play yet this year, but they play great basketball. There's a lot of talent on that team.
Tennessee really finished the season strong, winning the last three of their regular-season games, and I think they are playing very good basketball. In the Tournament, anything can happen, and I believe they understand that. If they gel right now, anything is possible. A player who didn't get an opportunity to do anything all year can shine now. Anything really is possible in this Tournament. This team has the ability to get it done. They have a taste victory coming out of the season and are confident going into their next games.
(Marietta Daily Journal)
It was even more special to see Tennessee play because the university retired my jersey a few weeks ago, and I was just there to be a part of it all. The whole weekend was just awesome! And now my number is hanging in the rafters alongside the greats for the rest of time. Having my jersey retired was the best thing that ever happened to me next to the births of my children. It was an incredible experience to be in Tennessee for that, and I'm so excited about it!
Tennessee is playing Iowa this Friday and I will be watching!