Tennessee Basketball is looking for new opponents after they had to put a pause on starting the season when Rick Barnes tested positive for COVID-19.
Tennessee basketball had to put an unfortunate pause on program activities earlier this week. They announced that they wouldn’t be participating in the Volunteer Classic, and they won’t be heading to Indianapolis to take on Gonzaga.
Personally, I was excited for the Gonzaga game because, win or lose, we would have a pretty good idea where we stand compared to the No. 1 team in the country at the start of the season.
Now, the Vols are expected to open the season against Cincinnati when they come to Knoxville on December 12. Tennessee isn’t alone in this, though. Other top programs like Baylor, Duke, and Oregon have had early-season issues with COVID-19 as well.
We did receive some clarity on Wednesday night as Tennessee associate head coach Michael Shwartz provided more information on the matter.
"“We have basically the whole month of December to try to add some of these games back,” said Shwartz on Vol Calls. “Again, we’re aggressively working on doing that.“We’re in conversations and we will (add games), we just don’t have specific dates or opponents yet. But it’s absolutely the goal to get us to the maximum number of games. Hopefully, sooner than later we’ll have those dates filled.”"
Tennessee definitely could’ve used these three games to start the season, as well as the likely matchup against Notre Dame that was not announced before the program had to pause things.
The Vols currently have Appalachian State, Tennessee Tech, and USC Upstate on the schedule in December as non-conference matchups, but expect a couple more games to pop on the schedule before Tennessee makes its SEC debut against Missouri on December 30th.