When Drew Pember watches the Vols, he's not just cheering as a fan, but as a future teammate.
"It hasn't even really settled in for me yet, like winning state hasn't settled in yet," the 6'9", Bearden High School player said.
He knows the Vol Nation is watching too.
"The fan base of Tennessee is ridiculous," he said.
Watching die-hard fans cheer and boo during the squeaker of a game, ridiculous may be the right word.
"Tennessee seems to make everything, they make every game a heart attack game," David Keith, a fan, said.
Their faces said it all in the second half, and there were some tears.
"I cried in the parking lot, I got it all out and I came back in for overtime and I was good to go," Caitlin Ault said.
But when Rocky Top played signaling a Tennessee win, a sense of relief marred by some lasting impacts.
"I had brown hair before I came in here, now it's grey," Tony Zikovich said.
But watching in his basement, Pember is staying focused on every play.
"There's things that I picked up from guys, if Grant gets it in the paint it's either going to be a bucket or a foul," he said.
He says each round they advance and each game they win, helps recruit more stars to Big Orange.
"What'd they just say, they were under .500 two years ago," he said, pointing to the TV. "It's just going to keep getting better and we're going to keep getting more guys."
The coaching plays a role, he said.
"One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Tennessee so much is because they player development in that program is insane," he said.
And he said the evidence that good players can become great helps bring in more top recruits.
"You've got great guys leaving, its just now there's an opportunity for other guys to step into roles and do their part to help Tennessee win," Pember said.