Barnes ‘Tired’ Of Uros Plavsic ‘Antics’

Barnes 'Tired' Of Uros Plavsic 'Antics'

Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee center Uros Plavsic scored back-to-back baskets on nice post moves to give the Vols an early lead over No. 9 Arizona in Tucson.

Plavsic quickly earned a technical foul after mouthing off to Arizona center Oumar Ballo following the basket. Despite the nice start to the game, Plavisc didn’t check back in until seven minutes later— a mark that would have almost certainly would have been longer if not for Tennessee foul trouble.

Rick Barnes has had enough of Plavsic’s behavior and was happy to share his displeasure with the media following Tennessee’s, 75-70, loss in Tucson Saturday night.

“I’m not happy with Uros,” Barnes said. “I’m not happy with his antics. Honestly, I’m really tired of it because I think it hurts our team. We want him to be hard nosed, physical but we don’t need the antics. He’s got to be more mature than that.”

Plavsic went on to have a strong game, totaling six points, six rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes of actions against the Wildcats.

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Plavsic toes a fine line for Tennessee basketball. The 7-foot-1, 265 pound Serbia native is the Vols’ enforcer, talking trash, playing with an edge and often agitating opponents into petty and dumb fouls.

Tennessee wants the senior’s edge and aggression which is valuable for the defensive minded Vols. Barnes — who runs a buttoned up program — can always go without the extra trash talk and gamesmanship that’s become synonymous with Plavsic’s play at Tennessee.

Earning an early, and fair, technical foul in a tight top 10 matchup that saw Arizona shoot vastly more free throws than Tennessee is a costly mistake and played at least a small part in the Vols’ inability to earn a second marquee win in non conference play.

While the big men’s “antics” were costly for Tennessee in Tucson, the Vols got strong interior play despite battling foul trouble. Tennessee’s front court combined for 28 points including 16 from senior Olivier Nkamhoua.

“Olivier is a good player,” Barnes said postgame. “If he would just settle in and get consistent with what we need him to do, he’ll do that. He wants to win. He’s strong, he’s physical. Nobody is going to play perfect. But he took the challenge.

Plavsic and the Vols return to the court Wednesday against Austin Peay. Tip-off from Thompson-Boling Arena is at 6 p.m. ET.

Author: Ethan Moore