Five notes from Tennessee’s 64-58 win over Florida Tuesday night:
1. Tennessee is the hottest team in the SEC and one of the hottest teams in the country. Once 3-6 in the league, the Vols have won six straight and are now 9-6. The Vols have won three on the road and three at home during the streak. They’ve beaten Kentucky by 30 and the league-leading Gators.
Plus, Tennessee was coming off a game in which it went four overtimes to win at Texas A&M on Saturday. In little more than 72 hours, they came back to hold off the Gators.
2. Jordan McRae has to be in the discussion for SEC Player of the Year honors. The 6-foot-6 swingman led the Vols with 27 points Tuesday night. He made seven of 12 shots in the first half and scored 10 more points in the second. He scored a career-high 34 points in Tennessee’s win over LSU, then he came back with 23 points in the win at College Station.
3. Florida was beaten badly on the boards, 41-31. Jarnell Stokes grabbed 14 rebounds for Tennessee while playing just 24 minutes because of foul trouble. Meanwhile, Patric Young had just five rebounds for the Gators.
Obviously, Billy Donovan’s club use Will Yeguete, the 6-foot-7 forward who hasn’t played since undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right knee on Feb. 8. Yeguete has participated in warm-ups but has not been cleared to play. And Casey Prather, who has replaced Yeguete in the rotation, left late in last night’s game after a collision under the basket. Donovan said Prather might have a concussion, which would be his third.
4. Florida is still prone to die by the three-pointer. The Gators made their first four three-point attempts last night, then missed 12 of their next 13. Kenny Boynton, averaging nearly 13 points a game, was held to two points.
5. Billy Donovan hasn’t had much luck at Thompson-Boling. The Gators have now lost on seven of their last eight trips to Knoxville, and Donovan is 5-12 at T-B. Florida has lost three straight to Tennessee overall.