Rick Barnes is “really tired” of Uros Plavsic’s antics for Tennessee basketball

Uros Plavsic got off to a good start in Tennessee basketball on Saturday.

De Vols senior scored twice in the opening minutes, then he made a fool. Plavsic stuck with Arizona’s Oumar Ballo after his second field goal. He drew a technical foul and the wrath of Rick Barnes.

“I’m not happy with Uros,” said Barnes. “I’m not happy with his antics. Frankly, I’m really tired of it because I think it hurts our team. We want him to be tough and physical, but we don’t need those antics.”

Plavsic finished with six points, six rebounds, two steals and a costly early blunder as No. 7 Tennessee (9-2) fell 75-70 to No. 9 Arizona (10-1) at the McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Plavsic had four runs in the first 2:39 against the Wildcats to give UT a 10-7 lead.

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“He has to be more mature than that,” Barnes said. “He gets a technical foul and people look at him and they see it.”

The 7-foot-1, 265-pound Plavsic plays a key role for Tennessee as an enforcer and physical presence. He played a key role in turning the UT season up a year ago after Kentucky’s 28-point loss, bringing more toughness and attitude to the team. But he is also a known trash on the field. He gestures to opposing benches to call timeouts and routinely antagonizes opponents.

Barnes had enough on Saturday, ripping Plavsic off immediately after the technical foul and keeping him on the bench for the next seven minutes.

Plavsic ended up with three errors as Tennessee encountered foul problems during the loss. Barnes also expressed his displeasure with the officiating after Arizona took 17 more free throws than the Vols.

“I have a lot of respect for these three officials,” Barnes said. “I’ve known them for a long time, but not really happy because I didn’t see it that way. … I’ve been around them, but there was definitely a big difference in free throws tonight.

Tennessee was called for 24 fouls to Arizona’s 15. The Wildcats went 24-for-27 at the free throw line, while UT went 8-for-10. UT averaged 25.3 free throw attempts per game that started Saturday.

Mike Wilson reports on the University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @By Mike Wilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that gives you access to everything.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Rick Barnes was tired of Uros Plavsic’s antics for Tennessee basketball

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