Coming off a disappointing conference loss to Georgia, 78-68, the Tennessee Volunteers (17-11, 9-7 SEC) are trying to get back on track as they wrap up regular season play against Auburn and Missouri.
But the Vols aren't dwelling on Saturday's result, even if it did end a six-game winning streak.
"It was one of (those) things where the ball didn't go in the hole. It went in more for them than it did for us," senior Skylar McBee said. "That's part of streaks, I mean streaks are made to end. We played consistent, we played really well for six games and it was kind of like one of those things where you're due."
The loss to Georgia was a setback in the Vols' hopes at making a run for a bid to the NCAA tournament. That said, the Vols are focused on their upcoming game against Auburn (9-20, 3-13 SEC).
"I think as a team we do a really good job of really not looking ahead," McBee said. "As long as we're winning, the rest will take care of itself on down the road. That's something we can't control (getting selected to the NCAA tournament), we just control one game at a time. Like right now, we're focused on Auburn. That's it, there's no NCAA tournament, no SEC tournament, we're focused on winning at Auburn."
Even though Auburn sits tied for last place in the SEC with Mississippi State, Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin isn't taking that match-up lightly.
"We're more about trying to beat Auburn, a team that's a hungry team on a senior night. For us, it's going to win a basketball game, and being locked in from start to finish of a game, cause anything can happen in league play," Martin said.
Win or lose, Tennessee has been carried through SEC play by junior Jordan McRae. McRae is averaging 19.2 points per game in SEC play. Even more impressive is McRae scoring 26.8 points per game and 6 rebounds per game over their last five games. Last week, McRae scored 27 in the Vols' upset victory over No. 8 ranked Florida and 35 in Saturday's loss to Georgia.
"When a guy (McRae) is a mentality scorer, there's certain shots that he'll take that other guys won't take," Martin said. "There's a level of confidence, a rhythm, a flow. When a guy's a scorer, he's a scorer, and there's certain things that he sees and he does that other guys don't."
Even with his success though, McRae would rather focus on the team's success rather than his own.
"As long as you're winning games, at the end of the day that's all that matters," said McRae.
McRae was 8-11 from 3-point range against Georgia, but he views his offense as more than his 3-point shooting.
"Lately I've been shooting the three pretty well, but I'm a scorer, I think I can score in a variety of ways," McRae said.