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Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee Q&A with Rocky Top Talk

After an embarrassing loss to Grambling State, Georgia Tech hosts Tennessee in a pivotal non-conference game.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Purdue vs Tennessee Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FTRS: Tennessee was picked to finish 13th in the SEC, but has begun the season 5-1 with the only loss by single-digits to Villanova. What has been the biggest difference between preseason expectations and what this team appears to be?

RTT: Returning talent and added depth. Forward Grant Williams remains the engine that makes this team go, but added production from wing Admiral Schofield and a handful of guards has really made the difference. Tennessee can go 10-11 deep now and win in a number of different ways. To be honest, the media picking this team to finish 13th in the SEC was pretty lazy. Barnes didn't lose much of this squad from last year and was able to add a few big contributors.

Tennessee goes about 10 guys deep in a game. Who is the most important player coming off the bench?

That's a really tough question to answer because Barnes hasn't really settled into a starting lineup. We've seen Lamonte Turner and James Daniel rotate at guard to this point with Jordan Bone and Chris Darrington in that mix too. Each of those four play huge roles for Tennessee regardless of who starts the game.

What do you think is the identity of this Tennessee team so far this season?

Multiple. It was really fun to watch different guys step up to the plate at the Battle 4 Atlantis. There were times where Jordan Bone took over. There were times where Lamonte Turner took over. There were times where Jordan Bowden took over. Tennessee has shown that they can win in a shootout or in an ugly, scrappy half-court game. Their defense has stayed consistent throughout all of this, currently ranking top 50 in points allowed per game to this point. As long as they keep that defense up, the Vols will figure it out offensively -- at least that's been the formula so far.

Who is the player Georgia Tech should be most concerned with?

Without a doubt, Grant Williams. He's undersized for what he does, but he finds a way to get the job down down low. When Tennessee needs a bucket, the ball goes to No. 2. Williams is Tennessee's leading scorer and rebounder to this point. Maybe a less obvious guy to watch is Admiral Schofield. He's one of those "glue" guys that does a little bit of everything. Schofield had made the hustle plays when the Vols have needed it to this point.

Thanks to Terry Lambert from RTT for answering our questions!