With star freshmen rolling, Vols could be quicker from here on out

Southeastern Conference photo / Tennessee freshman guard Keon Johnson dunks for two of his 27 points during Saturday night's 82-71 victory at Kentucky, which marked the third win for the Volunteers inside Rupp Arena in the last four seasons.

If Saturday night turns out to be the only occasion when Tennessee five-star talents Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer play inside Rupp Arena, they certainly made the most of it.

The freshman guards for the No. 11 Volunteers combined for a whopping 50 points in an 82-71 triumph over Kentucky that marked the program's third win in Lexington in the past four seasons. Johnson and Springer entered one of college basketball's cathedrals and shot a combined 18-of-33 from the floor and 13-of-15 on free throws.

"Coming into the game, we just wanted to win," Johnson said afterward on a Zoom call. "We had to get back to the way that we play, which is playing as hard as we can and playing to the last minute.