KNOXVILLE, TN – Tennessee coach Rick Barnes reached a career milestone on the day that his senior point guard played his final college game.
Jordan Bowden scored 19 points and Yves Pons tied a school record with six blocks Saturday as the 21st-ranked Volunteers beat Jacksonville State 75-53 to give Barnes his 700th career victory.
He’s the 22nd head coach to earn 700 career Division I wins and is the seventh active coach to reach that mark. The others are Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, West Virginia’s Bob Huggins, Coastal Carolina’s Cliff Ellis and Kentucky’s John Calipari.
But the news wasn’t all good for Tennessee.
After the game, fifth-year senior guard Lamonte’ Turner announced that he has thoracic outlet syndrome and will undergo season-ending surgery. Turner has dealt with shoulder problems for much of his career.
“It is a tough decision for me to make, but I have to do it for my health,” said Turner, who had eight points and 11 assists in his final game. “If I don’t, it could get worse and stuff like that. It is the same injury that (Orlando Magic guard) Markelle Fultz dealt with. The only difference is mine is my left shoulder, not my shooting shoulder, so it is not as bad.”
Turner was scoring 12.3 points per game - his third straight season with a double-digit average - but the injury clearly was impacting his game. His shooting percentage dipped from 42.2% in 2018-19 to 31% this year.
“After he met with the media today, Lamonté and his family sat down with me and he informed me of his decision," Barnes said in a statement released by the university. “He gave everything he had for 4 1/2 years, he earned his degree and he played a key role in establishing the culture of our program. We all love Lamonté and are saddened that he is unable to continue playing at this time. We’ll continue to support him as he takes his next steps.”