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Rick Barnes discusses winning 2024 SEC title

No. 4 Tennessee (24-6, 14-3 SEC) won the 2024 Southeastern Conference championship outright on Wednesday.

The Vols defeated No. 16 South Carolina (24-6, 12-5 SEC), 66-59, on Wednesday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes discussed winning the SEC regular-season championship.

“My first thoughts are, I thank the good Lord for giving me the opportunity to be around a group of guys like this,” Barnes said. “I truly have enjoyed being with them every day. On days when I was probably a little bit upset with them, I realized there is something special about them. Because I felt they had my same feeling, they were disappointed when I was disappointed, they knew that we needed to get better.

“When you have a group of guys, especially Santi (Vescovi) and Josiah (James), who were with us trying to get this thing back on track five years ago, going through the Covid, going through everything, just so much respect for them. Then, Z (Zakai Zeigler) coming in, Jahmai (Mashack) and Jonas (Aidoo), all that group. It’s not easy to win a championship, it’s not. For them to do it, and it was something they set their sights on. For them to come and do it the way we had to do it, on the road with this finishing schedule, I think it speaks volumes about them.”

PHOTOS: Tennessee basketball wins 2024 SEC championship

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Story originally appeared on Vols Wire