Before this one even started, Tennessee let us in on some bad news. Josiah-Jordan James, easily the most consistent offensive threat for the Volunteers to this point in the year, was ruled out late due to knee soreness.
Facing a tough Butler team in the Bahamas, that seemed like a problem. Rick Barnes rolled with Tyreke Key, Santiago Vescovi, Julian Phillips, Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic to start — and that start did not go well. It was a sight we’ve seen too many times with this group, stagnant offense and poor shooting.
Butler built a 17-11 lead midway through the first half, powered by the three-point shooting of Jayden Taylor.