The Tennessee men’s basketball team will step into the spotlight Thursday as the team looks to punch their ticket to the Elite Eight for the second time in school history.
The matchup between Tennessee’s feisty, fearless defender Lamonte Turner against Purdue triggerman Carsen Edwards will be one to watch as the two teams duke it out Thursday night in Louisville.
“I’m looking forward to competing against him,” Turner said. “Competing against another great competitor, another great guard that I know loves to win, loves to score, just take over for his team, being a guy that loves to do the same things, loves the big moments and love pressure and loves just having fun out there, so being able to play against a guy like that who has a lot of similarities, I’m looking forward to it.
“You always want to go in with confidence that you’re playing well, but we know what we’re getting ourselves into, they’re one of the best teams in the tournament,” Purdue guard Carsen Edwards said.
At an average of 19 shots per game, Edwards has never met one he doesn’t like. Turner, once known just for his offense, will be tasked with being a lockdown defender again.
Turner’s teammates have discussed their anticipation of the matchup.
“His effort on the ball, he’s a tough competitor, he competes his butt off, and I can’t wait to see the matchup,” the Vols’ Jordan Bowden said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Carsen Edwards go against us,” said Admiral Schofield. I’ve seen him on the highlights scoring 40, and I’m interested to see what he does against our guards and our guards do against him.“
“I like to pick up full court anyway, so he’s not gonna walk into any threes, at least with me guarding him,” Turner said, “I’m gonna be locked in guarding him 94 feet.“
It won’t be just turner, it’s never about just one player when you’ve got a scorer as explosive as Edwards, but Tennessee’s ability to contain the tournament’s leading scorer will go a long way toward determining if they’re able to double up their all-time elite eight appearances tonight.
Tennessee will face off with the Purdue Boilermakers at 7:29 on TBS.