While some teams have tried to stop Devan Downey with zone defense, Tennessee tried it with man on Saturday: Lots of men.
There was always one man on Downey, but when he moved to the top of the key another man joined. The Vols also usually kept a player in the post, ready to stop the drive.
"One guy cannot guard Downey. You have to guard him with a team," Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl said. "We cupped him. You just try to build a wall."
Bobby Maze doesn't normally come up in a discussion of the SEC's best point guards. But the Tennessee senior outdueled Downey for 25 minutes.
"I think he played solid," Downey said. "He did a better job of leading his team than I did. I'd say I was outplayed tonight."
Bad time off?
South Carolina was playing for the first time in a week, while Tennessee was playing its third game in six days.
But the Volunteers didn't seem jet-lagged, and Downey didn't use the time off as an excuse.
"I felt good," Downey said. "I think the team had their legs and things like that. We just got outplayed."
- Seth Emerson