When Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield showed up to Tennessee they both knew they needed to change their bodies and strength and conditioning coach Garrett Medenwald went to work creating a program for each player.
Grant weighed about 265 & 18% body fat when arrived on campus and Medenwald said he had actually lost weight before arriving and thought that he was in very good shape! Grant jokes that he was a chunky Rollie Pollie but He is now down 30 pounds and is 10% body fat.
Admiral weighed 263lbs and was 15% body fat. He too has lost around 30 pounds and is about 6% body fat.
Both players did 3 to 4 a days which included training before practice with Medenwald. They spent so much time on the treadmill that Admiral named it Jasmine. They were constantly doing movement training to condition while keeping the patterns of basketball, so lounges, shuffles, and leaps. Both players took pictures of every meal and sent it to Medenwald so that they could have instant feedback on nutrition. This extensive training didn’t end until both players reached 10% body fat which is a target percentage that most NBA teams what their players to stay under.
Rick Barnes/Coach Cal
They have known each other since 1978 when Cal was a student and Barnes was working his first job in basketball at Davidson. When Barnes was coaching at Providence and Cal at UMASS, John would come and watch Rick’s practices. Rick Barnes said that before he even knew that he was going to be out at Texas Calipari called him and said And he said if Tennessee wants you, you should take that job." He said it can be a really really good job. And he said, because I want you to stay in the business I think it'd be great for all of us. So in a weird way Cal had a hand in creating his biggest conference challenge.
Rick Barnes was working part time at UPS when he was invited to come and watch an ACC tournament in Greensboro. And he always wanted to be a PE teacher and high school basketball coach but when he left the tournament he asked his wife I wonder what it takes to coach on this level. She looked right back at him and said let’s just make it happen. Candy Barnes wrote countless letters on Rick’s behalf to college basketball programs asking if there were any openings. And he received countless rejection letters which he still keeps of reminders of his journey. One of those rejection letters is from Tennessee!
Grant Williams from Under recruited to SEC POY
Grant Williams is a self proclaimed 3 star. He said coming out of high school he was not getting many major D1 looks and before signing with Tennessee he was pretty sure he was headed to Yale to play basketball. But he remembers getting the call from Desmond Oliver who was once an assistant at UNC-Charlotte but was taking a job at Tennessee. Oliver said he wanted to recruit Williams to Tennessee too. Grant ultimately had to make his decision fairly quickly but since Coach Oliver recruited him since he was in the 8th grade he felt comfortable and Grant said as soon as he met Rick Barnes he knew that he was suppose to be at Tennessee.
Grant Williams says that as a team they embrace being under-recruited and doubted. He said last year even though they won the league no one was really paying any attention to this team. He said even though we are the number one team in the nation we still feel like there is always something to prove. Williams says that people always say that Tennessee works hard but what they don’t say is that we are talented and that is where the chip comes from. The Volunteers want everyone to know that they are not a fluke that they have talent and they will also out work you on both ends. This team embraces the underdog role and they also have their mind set on being a part of building a national power with staying power.
Jordan Bowdan Playing for Hometown Team
Jordan grew up in Knoxville and says that he always went to games and loves supporting the Vols. His favorite player was Chris Lofton growing up and over the summer he got to spend time with him talking about the workouts he does and he works at his shooting. Jordan says it is a dream come true to be not only playing on his hometown team but to also be a part of the team that brought Tennessee back to #1. He also said that as far as coming off the bench is concerned he just wants to bring a different energy everytime he comes into the game. Coach Barnes never came to him and had a conversation with him about not starting anymore Coach just put Yves in with the starters during a shoot around and that was that. Bowdan said he didn’t pout or ask questions he just wanted to work towards being a solution for his team every game.