Tennessee, Kentucky, Fitz Simons Dale discussed on ESPN Radio
Road versus Vanderbilt down by six with less than ninety seconds to play. Vanderbilt had not won an SEC game. Ben grant Williams had enough of that Tennessee where the ball in front court thirty seven seconds to go pass, aloe. Grant Williams baseline goes to the bathroom. Foul. Waves. Over pay puts Tennessee in front on the baseline with a spin move. Eighty three eighty two and grant Williams with a chance for a three point play. Grant Williams has forty points in this game vowed network. I am with the call. He wanted with forty three points, including twenty three or twenty three for the free throw line as Tennessee called it a comeback. Even though they have not been here for years. They went overtime over Vanderbilt. Eight hundred eighty three let's bring in our man played in college basketball. He now does a great job on ESPN. College basketball analyst joining us on Freddie and Fitz Simons Dale in for a lot of people. This may be the first time they've seen Tennessee and Vanderbilt gave all they could handle for those who don't know their number one. But how good are they? To be back with he was always in their championship level team. No doubt number one reason. And they have and people maybe they tuned in. It's all great Williams. Wait, you didn't realize that? He was the FCC player of the year last year. And he he was outstanding in this game. Now, I will have to say though, it was seventy six seventy Vanderbilt was up. They missed the shot. And there was a new rule this year called the hook and hold and people. Remember last year is a cough. The big guy for Purdue in the tournament. A guy put him on a rebound now becomes an automatic flagrant one. He'd be hooked up last year. He got thrown to the ground Haas broke his elbow was out for the rest of the tournament. Totally effected Purdue NCA reacted by instituting this rule the hook and hold is now flagrant one. If you see it. They went to the monitor and they gave them a flavor. One Williams makes both free throws. They score up an inbound dunk an OB under dunk, which Vanderbilt's complicit their own demise in certain regards, but grant dunk there puts them down to four point play. When it looked like that game was about to be so bad that was the most pivotal part of this game. But grant Williams was absolutely excellent forty three points, and as you mentioned twenty three or twenty two from the line. My pops who played at Duquesne drafted by the Knicks always talk about. Talking and sayings was one of his favorite things always gave sayings, but bow shots win ballgames was just a constant thing. He said and twenty nine to thirty to ninety one percent for Tennessee. Sixty one percent thirteen to twenty one for Vanderbilt. Best game one loss to the free throw line amongst a few other places describe just an empty, Jim. To hit twenty three straight from the free throw line. Forget against a rival on the road, and you go twenty three of twenty three from the stripe. Just explain to fans how impressive that is. Well, let's be honest. I one thing I could do shoot free throws. So. Made about forty straight the other night just just just shooting the ball. That I can do. I can't really move. I wasn't that great of an athlete. I know I can flick it so that wasn't really hard. But to your point though on the road when you have to make them in a bear mind Bandra played Matt odd. Jim, you know, it's a performance center. It doesn't look like anything you've seen. So I when athletes are creatures of habit, and we become obsessed with seeing things in a certain way when things are put in a different context. It could mess with you mess with grant. Because of the game will line to go twenty three of twenty three and make every single one when your team needed every single one is an amazingly impressive and those flagrant. I talked about when they clear that lane out for you. That is weird that feels weird again anytime there's a change of setting or scenery for an athlete it's different than than normal habit. It can throw you guys will save time. It feels different. Nobody's gonna line. Didn't matter to him. He stepped up in stroke them, both his performance in this game was outstanding. There were times late in the game where he didn't touch the ball which is an egregious error by Tennessee. If anybody shot with touching the ball in the last five minutes of the game or in overtime. I'm sure Barnes will remind them of where they. Where they sit. This team is five guys at average double digits. They have guys that can score make plays. But in this game he had to touch the ball on every single possession. They played through him. And when they didn't that was that was a mistake grace of ESPN college basketball analyst joining us on Freddie and Fitz on ESPN radio staying in the SEC. We know the SEC is vastly improved. We saw last night South Carolina getting upset win over Auburn. They've lost two in a row, but Kentucky is coming on strong. How dangerous can this team? Be. When it seems like they're finding this dried. I think they're heading into being a final four level team, and it's happening faster than I thought it was going to happen. Just in terms of where they were not not the shellacking. They took against Duke in in November that wasn't they weren't that bad. But they still had some serious deficiencies, and they were having issues really they had a little addition by subtraction situation quality green who was one of their point guards decided to transfer right around the new year right around Christmas, and that that actually helped them because then I moved ashen Higgins into the lineup. Who was the guy that reclassified this past year was one of the top recruits in the nation comes into Kentucky young kid, obviously, like many others there. But he's keys come into his own. And he he defensively leap defender, and he puts pressure on from the point of attack. And that helps their defense cascades down allows them to get out in transition where this Kentucky team is a great other freshmen have played really well Tyler hero. They run him off a ton of screens off the ball a lot of pin down screens in the block. He's the guy that can shoot it from three. But also when he curls into that lane can can facilitate for others and be real dangerous. Kelvin Johnson will be a lottery pick next year. I think this kid I mean cal- does it run a single play for Kelvin Johnson guy? Get seventeen points a game. He he can shoot it. He's got an amazing motor great length. Great athlete. He he's got that MBA tie bodies. He develops his three outside the NBA range. But I mean, the he he's been great and that game against Auburn as you mentioned both those guys had twenty and carried them in the second half you couple that with some guys like PJ Washington the sophomore who's a very versatile guy that had a bit of a roller coaster year. But he can show up at times re Travis a former Pac twelve former Pac twelve all Pac twelve player for Stanford. He grad transfer over. He's a grown, man. He's a grown man in the post at twenty three years old. They can bang and be physical. So this team has improved offensively Hagans has helped ignite that the freshman have come out faster next off they would and they are moving their way into being a final four level team. They do play Tennessee twice this year, which doesn't always work out like that in the SEC. But obviously, I think I think we being ESPN if some saying that when they're when they're both teams you're gonna play twice. They play they played twice here. Coming up in the February sixteenth. I think their first game at tennis at at Kentucky. I believe but that'll be great. We have another one early March Zion. Williamson has has developed a cult following and let you declare myself president of this cultish type. He's a remarkable athlete and when hell of a basketball player when you watch him play what stands out to you. What impresses you the most for a freshman? His his his movement and his feet for his size. Other things have impressed me p before this. Like, let me just say that I didn't think he was going to be this good before the season. I'd seen the dunks. And hadn't seen him live. I seen some film. And I just thought you can't just drive and dunk on everybody, especially the competition is playing with some of these things these this isn't going to be like that in college at the highest level but from day one when he played Kentucky. I was so impressed with his skill set is ability to Nick knock-down jump shots facilitate off-balance his vision. I mean, he the kids got it all in his athleticism is remarkable. But I think his feet and his balanced for size are really unique. He's got. It reminds me of like Jerome Bettis running back for the Steelers. I'm back in the mid two thousand hall of Famer a fantastic running back, but he called the bus three hundred pounds. But he had these twinkle toes and even dance through the line, accelerating decelerating change direction and do all this stuff that you just didn't see a dude that's is do, and that's what Diane does when he gets in the lane and traffic is ability to move his feet and his body and glide it's so effortless while hailing the ball at a high level is really remarkable. I it is impressive. Lastly, his motor guys that are that physically gifted a lotta times have the work that hard to to get it done. He works hard. And he's amazingly efficient it just everything about his game has impressed me. But really speed ability to move at that size of the most unique thing about VSBN college basketball analyst with the infant Simmons. And Freddie, Coleman ESPN radio's Freddie and Fitz. Simons realistically how many teams realistically can make a run and win the title this year. I think we have more than we've had in years past. I think they're six thirty absolute lock. And I'll give you those. It's virginia. Let's let's Rican. Forget about the one sixteen game last year. What's going to happen again? This team's a different team, but Virginia Duke, Michigan state, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Michigan to those are my six that are that are that are there already, and they will be there in the end. I will add in North Carolina. I think keeps teasing us we keep seeing flashes. But also see if they don't make shots. They can really struggle. We started Louisville. I think it was two weekends ago. Just got boat raced. When things get tough you have to win some tough games in some ugly games. Like Tennessee did tonight. I question I with North Carolina. But they have the talent they had the shot makers. They had the experience with Luke maye, and Kenny Williams and guys that have been there before Cameron Johnson. I talk about Kentucky, I think he can work their way into that conversation too. Kansas without you is a bouquet. Yeah. I don't think they're gonna get there. There's no I don't think they they don't have the offensive firepower any experienced guard spots in particular. I mean when they were when they play four guards last couple of years, which is outside of Bill self normal desire to play they've had guy. They've had pros. They player of the year. Frank most Mason, they had Demonte Graham all American he had seen Mikhail Luke NBA player you had guys that could play at a high level of guard, no knocking devan Dotson or Clinton Grimes, but they're freshman. They're figuring out doctrines lightning fast. But he can be up and down Grimes went through brutal shooting slump in the middle of the year. Marcus Garrett has come on as of late, but he's not an elite offensive player. It's it's just everything's a little bit harder Dietrich loss enough and all American all American for Kansas. And he's been excellent. They played through him. They have to play through him. But without as a bouquet everything becomes harder. And I don't think they're going to get there. So I think we have eight teams that can win a championship. If Auburn gets completely healthy could be nine. We'll see. But that's more than I've said and any of the recent years, I've always thought there were three or. Or four. So this is I think going to be one of the most fun and interesting NCAA tournaments because there's got to be just a lot of different teams that can that can go from cuts down real quick before. We let you go when you're gonna play pick up with us on campus. I told you this last time, I am retired. Now, if you wanna play some horse, you wanna just shoot. No, thank you. I'm not losing that battle. If you think I'm gonna get a defensive stance, Freddie. You must have lost your mind. All right. I will Chuck up some jumpers with the anytime thousand good, Dale and other pleasure, my friend. We'll talk to you soon. A really appreciate it. I felt. Go on ESPN college basketball analyst, by the way is a great follow on Twitter at and cub that is the A L E N C U F F. If you missed what he had to say about how good Tennessee is Kentucky coming on strong and Hausen Williamson is better than you think. Subscribed to the frightening Fitzsimmons podcast. You can do that. In the listen to have the SPN app and wherever you get your podcasts. Do you recruit your games ABC, man? You will always be Shannon..