Skylar McBee played 38 minutes at Florida on Saturday. When Tennessee played the Gators a month ago, he played four.
Find the rhyme to this sequence:
Jordan McRae played eight minutes against Vanderbilt then 25 against Auburn then six against Kentucky then 24 against Georgia.
Renaldo Woolridge didn't play at all against Auburn, then surprised Kentucky with 25 minutes and 17 points. Since Rupp, he's played seven combined minutes in three games.
The above disparities are not the symptoms of a schizophrenic coach. They're the symptoms of a new coach and a new team trying to get on the same page.
That coach, Cuonzo Martin, is 25 games into his first season at Tennessee. The Vols are down to six regular-season games remaining, starting with Arkansas on Wednesday night.
"You look at a new coach and a new team, this is probably what happens,'' Martin said Monday. "You're trying to find your rotations and you don't know them.
"It's not a case where I had three returning starters where I know what these three guys can do. Everybody is trying to find their way.''
Martin inherited only one returning starter, Cameron Tatum, Everybody else is trying to find their way not only with a new coach but in a new role.
The process has been smoother for Trae Golden and Jeronne Maymon than for the rest of the roster. As the minutes come and go, frustration is inevitable.
"I think there's that point in the season for everybody,'' McRae, a sophomore, said. "Everybody has their ups and downs.''
Even the coaches.
As Martin evaluated his players in both practice and game situations, there had to be times when
he was tempted to rush to judgment.
Fans do it. The media does it. The trick for the coach is to not give in to that temptation.
"Even though,'' Martin said, "sometimes you say, 'Can this guy help us? Is this guy working hard? Does this guy want to be a part of it?' You never write 'em off.''
McRae and McBee are examples of guys that have persevered through their frustrations and are thriving as the Vols move closer to the postseason.
"I think it helps being a coach's son,'' said McBee, a junior, "just to know that you have to trust in his system. You have to trust that he's doing the best thing for our team.
"You've got to stay even throughout the season. Sometimes your number is gonna be called and sometimes it ain't.
"That's the way the game works.''
McRae is one of the more gifted offensive talents on the team. It's taken a while, but he has learned the secret to success.
"Playing defense is the way to Coach's heart,'' he said. "You'll always get an opportunity if you play defense.''
There were nights — or days in the practice gym — when McRae didn't play defense. But Martin didn't write him off and McRae's growth is apparent.
"It's a long season,'' Martin said, "and as frustrated as you may be over one guy, if he's willing to grow and learn, then you're willing to work with him.''