KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Former Vols assistant coach Desmond Oliver returned to the arena he coached alongside Rick Barnes for six years, this time coaching from the visitor’s bench.
Oliver took the head coaching position during the offseason and got a taste Sunday afternoon of what it is like coaching against the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Vols came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, shooting 48.57% from the field and 50% from three-point range to score 46 points in the first half.
Junior forward Olivier Nkamhoua continues to elevate his game scoring a career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, knocking down both of his shots from beyond the arc to lead the team offensively.
Freshman point guard Kennedy Chandler did not hold back, scoring 16 points while adding six assists, five boards, and three steals after 26 minutes of work.
Six-year super-senior John Fulkerson returned to Tennessee’s starting lineup following a thumb injury. Fulkerson scored six points but really helped Tennessee crashing the boards with 10 rebounds.
Sixteen Volunteers played in the second half, including Knoxville Catholic alum Brock Jancek recording his first career points by knocking down two shots from the charity stripe.
Defensively, Tennessee recorded 14 steals–the most takeaways in a game since Feb. 7, 2015. The team also ended with 51 total rebounds, 32 defensive boards.
Next Up: Tennessee hits the road for the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Vols will take on No. 4 Villanova on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 P.M. on ESPN News.