Adams: Prince's return just a slam dunk

J.P. Prince gave Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl just what he wanted Monday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. But he didn't give the fans what he thought they wanted.

So he was quick to apologize after UT's 89-62 rout of Louisiana.

He apologized for his dunks. All of them.

Don't get the wrong idea. He didn't miss a dunk. He just eliminated the theatrics.

"I apologize to the fans," Prince said with a smile. "I couldn't give them any highlight dunks."

His ankles wouldn't allow it.

UT's 6-foot-7 guard missed the last three games with an ankle injury. And although he wasn't at full speed against the Ragin' Cajuns, his return to action was an encouraging sign for the 14th-ranked Vols.

In 14 minutes, Prince had eight points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field. He also added a steal and blocked shot.

Since he was dunking with discretion, the steal might have been his most impressive highlight.

La'Ryan Gary appeared to be on his way to a second-half basket when he noticed something missing. With a well-timed flick of the hand, Prince had deprived Gary of the basketball while setting up a UT fast break.

"I understand the game," Prince said. "Even at 75 percent, I can outsmart some opponents."

Prince also gives a young UT team another experienced player. And no one appreciates that more than Pearl.

"He was 75 percent ready, but it was good to have him back," Pearl said.

This isn't Prince's first comeback. He had off-season shoulder surgery, then injured his other shoulder in preseason practice. He also has injured both ankles.

"He has fought back courageously from injuries," Pearl said.

Although Prince played well, he played with caution against Louisiana.

"I didn't want to put any stress on my ankles," he said.

Despite his handicap, Prince wasn't kind in his self-evaluation.

"I was pretty rusty," he said. "I give it about a D-plus. My explosion wasn't there."

And he didn't get any extra points for style points. But he was tempted.

He figured he owed it to the crowd.

Never mind the holiday season. Or an inferior opponent. A crowd of 21,863 showed up at the arena.

"They caught me off guard," Prince said. "They showed up a little late. They did the Lakers stuff.

"Fans don't realize that when they show up at games like this where we are expected to win, they bring an energy. They don't realize how much they help us in the game."

Prince wanted to pay them back. But he didn't yield to the temptation.

On each of his dunk opportunities, Prince had something more spectacular planned. Each time, he restrained himself, scoring on a couple of conventional dunks and a reverse layup.

"On the first one, I would have done a left-handed windmill," he said. "On the second one, I would have done a two-hander, but I would have jumped higher. On the third one, I probably would have tried a reverse windmill."

A fan apparently read Prince's mind on his third dunk opportunity. As Prince was going to the basket, he heard a fan yelling, "Reverse it."

He smiled at the thought of a reverse windmill dunk and the impact it would have had on the crowd.

"Maybe I can do it against Kansas (on Saturday)," he said with a smile.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 29

MemphisVol writes:

Do it Saturday JP!!!

MrBamSeydu writes:

hey tenn smoothie: From the looks of your comment at 11:49pm, it is probably past your bedtime old man. Let me guess, your name is Kevin O'Neil?

Coach_K writes:

I will take a quiet layup over an amazing missed dunk anyday. J.P., I hate to have to be the one to break it to you....but M.J. you are not! If you have mad skills with the ball it's one thing, but if you are a "D" minded ball player on a fast break... take the duece. I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol.

VOLS85 writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I will take a quiet layup over an amazing missed dunk anyday. J.P., I hate to have to be the one to break it to you....but M.J. you are not! If you have mad skills with the ball it's one thing, but if you are a "D" minded ball player on a fast break... take the duece. I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol.

While I agree that he needs to relax with the showboating, there's no way parker could be him in a dunk contest.

Parker can dunk the ball, yes...but she does not have a quarter of the dunking capability of prince

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I will take a quiet layup over an amazing missed dunk anyday. J.P., I hate to have to be the one to break it to you....but M.J. you are not! If you have mad skills with the ball it's one thing, but if you are a "D" minded ball player on a fast break... take the duece. I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol.

I hate to be the one to break it to you...but realistic your not but a moron you are and Im willing to bet a $100.00 on that.

THE_VOL writes:

Somebody please tell him they all count the same so leave the "look at me" phooey at home.

volroadwarrior writes:

Get the points. Winning is more important to the team than Sports Center highlights. I have seen us miss too many shots around the basket and against good teams this could be the difference in winning and losing. There are times to dunk and times to shoot a layup. Just do what it takes to win!!!!

suPEARLman writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I will take a quiet layup over an amazing missed dunk anyday. J.P., I hate to have to be the one to break it to you....but M.J. you are not! If you have mad skills with the ball it's one thing, but if you are a "D" minded ball player on a fast break... take the duece. I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol.

If for some idiotic reason the 2 ever end up in a battle of the dunks, I'll take you up on that bet. And are you also implying that JP wouldn't beat CP in a one on one? HAHA! As skinny as JP is, he still has nearly 4 inches on CP and 30lbs. He is also much more stronger and quicker than CP. So explain to me how she is going to post him up or even try to shake him from the outside.

Laughs....

knoxlawvol writes:

Wow, several idiots have come out of the woodwork on this one! While a dunk may be worth the same as a layup, it has other anicillary benefits such as 1) demoralizing the opposition 2) getting the crowd into the game providing added energy and momentum 3) providing entertaining basketball that will keep fringe fans returning, benefiting attendance and the athletic department coffers and 4) demonstrating to potential recruits that UT plays an exciting up and down brand of basketball where they can showcase their athleticism. Now, blast away grumpy old Fulmerites and Summiteers! Conservative, workin like heck, old school, two points, layups are great, blah blah blah...

cjraney writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and a vandy fan. you're pathetic.

suPEARLman writes:

in response to knoxlawvol:

Wow, several idiots have come out of the woodwork on this one! While a dunk may be worth the same as a layup, it has other anicillary benefits such as 1) demoralizing the opposition 2) getting the crowd into the game providing added energy and momentum 3) providing entertaining basketball that will keep fringe fans returning, benefiting attendance and the athletic department coffers and 4) demonstrating to potential recruits that UT plays an exciting up and down brand of basketball where they can showcase their athleticism. Now, blast away grumpy old Fulmerites and Summiteers! Conservative, workin like heck, old school, two points, layups are great, blah blah blah...

Took the thought right out of my head...

Agree 100%

beef4davols writes:

WOW, a kid apologizes for not putting a better show in a BLOW OUT victory and the "old school" crowd goes nuts. I didn't realize Mickey Dearstone knew how to use the internet.

ncvol writes:

in response to knoxlawvol:

Wow, several idiots have come out of the woodwork on this one! While a dunk may be worth the same as a layup, it has other anicillary benefits such as 1) demoralizing the opposition 2) getting the crowd into the game providing added energy and momentum 3) providing entertaining basketball that will keep fringe fans returning, benefiting attendance and the athletic department coffers and 4) demonstrating to potential recruits that UT plays an exciting up and down brand of basketball where they can showcase their athleticism. Now, blast away grumpy old Fulmerites and Summiteers! Conservative, workin like heck, old school, two points, layups are great, blah blah blah...

I agree with everything up to your Fulmerites and Summiteers reference. Goodness- what in the world are you down on them for?
If you are a fan of all UT sports- you wouldn't critize our own coaches. They get enough of this from non-vol fans.Fulmer is no longer here and this is not a football article. Summitt is one of the coaches that we can be proud of and don't understand why she was brought into the picture.I don't think Candice can take Prince one on one, either. But, she would give it her best shot. It would be fun to watch and fire up a crowd as you pointed out. Is it just a man thing that made you comment in the manner you did? Women have game, also. Just something to think about and I don't mean any harm..Go Vols!

Laydbakvol writes:

Fulmerites and Summiteers! I like that. So do we have any Pearlians or Hamiltonians or Kiffinites?

KCHS63 writes:

in response to knoxlawvol:

Wow, several idiots have come out of the woodwork on this one! While a dunk may be worth the same as a layup, it has other anicillary benefits such as 1) demoralizing the opposition 2) getting the crowd into the game providing added energy and momentum 3) providing entertaining basketball that will keep fringe fans returning, benefiting attendance and the athletic department coffers and 4) demonstrating to potential recruits that UT plays an exciting up and down brand of basketball where they can showcase their athleticism. Now, blast away grumpy old Fulmerites and Summiteers! Conservative, workin like heck, old school, two points, layups are great, blah blah blah...

Summiteers had nothing to say in this "discussion," Dilbert. It was all the trolls who first posted and then the suckers who fell for it and answered them. My guess is that the first poster isn't even a UT fan. Think.

Coach_K writes:

in response to General_Watermelon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok, so surely you missed the point in all this. My main point was to show that J.P. has a long way to go before he wins any dunk contest. HE IS NOT ON THE SQUAD FOR HIS OFFENSIVE PROWESS! He and Tabb both are here for one main reason....DEFENSE. As to all you idots who keep crumbing C.P., you're right....She has never done anything that J.P. hasn't done. She didn't bring us back to back national championships, or go to the W.N.B.A. and win the rookie of the year and M.V.P. awards. She is twice the player J.P. is. Yes there is a gap in size, strength, and speed. There is also a gap in skill and heart, it just happens to lean HER way. However with that being said, Chris Lofton was at all those disadvantages as well. I doubt you would say J.P. is a better palyer than Chris Lofton. C.P. would shoot the brakes off of J.P. Not to mention she has shown more heart in her left shoulder than I have ever seen J.P. exude. Take the duece and move on. Dunks do have a place in the game. I love a sweet dunk as much as anyone. However, I like to win more.

Slystone writes:

in response to Laydbakvol:

Fulmerites and Summiteers! I like that. So do we have any Pearlians or Hamiltonians or Kiffinites?

And the Mearians begat the Devoians who begat the Houstonians who begat the O'Neilians who begat the Petersonians who gave way to the Pearlians... It's the Holiday what else can one do when off work for two weeks. Good post LAYDBAK!

suPEARLman writes:

in response to Coach_K:

Ok, so surely you missed the point in all this. My main point was to show that J.P. has a long way to go before he wins any dunk contest. HE IS NOT ON THE SQUAD FOR HIS OFFENSIVE PROWESS! He and Tabb both are here for one main reason....DEFENSE. As to all you idots who keep crumbing C.P., you're right....She has never done anything that J.P. hasn't done. She didn't bring us back to back national championships, or go to the W.N.B.A. and win the rookie of the year and M.V.P. awards. She is twice the player J.P. is. Yes there is a gap in size, strength, and speed. There is also a gap in skill and heart, it just happens to lean HER way. However with that being said, Chris Lofton was at all those disadvantages as well. I doubt you would say J.P. is a better palyer than Chris Lofton. C.P. would shoot the brakes off of J.P. Not to mention she has shown more heart in her left shoulder than I have ever seen J.P. exude. Take the duece and move on. Dunks do have a place in the game. I love a sweet dunk as much as anyone. However, I like to win more.

Your rebutal is irrelevant to everything you 1st posted.

In your original statement you said, and i quote "I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol." Ok....

So then in your second post you ramble on about her prevailing accomplishments in the "powerhouse" known as women's basketball. And this is your arguement??? You said it best yourself, "Yes there is a gap in size, strength, and speed." Help me find the logic that winning MVPs and National Championships in women's basketball automatically assures dominance over a top teir male college athlete. And how in the hell are you measuring either's "skill and heart"? Are you drunk already? Because I'm failing to see how JP looks like an emotionless, skilless zombie everytime he plays.

Also, where the hell does Chris Lofton come into all of this?

Wish they filtered your middle school's internet a little better to spare my eyes of reading this incoherent rambling.

Coach_K writes:

in response to suPEARLman:

Your rebutal is irrelevant to everything you 1st posted.

In your original statement you said, and i quote "I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol." Ok....

So then in your second post you ramble on about her prevailing accomplishments in the "powerhouse" known as women's basketball. And this is your arguement??? You said it best yourself, "Yes there is a gap in size, strength, and speed." Help me find the logic that winning MVPs and National Championships in women's basketball automatically assures dominance over a top teir male college athlete. And how in the hell are you measuring either's "skill and heart"? Are you drunk already? Because I'm failing to see how JP looks like an emotionless, skilless zombie everytime he plays.

Also, where the hell does Chris Lofton come into all of this?

Wish they filtered your middle school's internet a little better to spare my eyes of reading this incoherent rambling.

Prehaps your eyes should quit rambling across the post. Did you not see the irony and laughter and the end of the post? Yes, the point is valid. C.P. is THE BEST WOMENS PLAYER IN THE WORLD right now. J.P. is at best a mediocre player on a young team. I'm trying to convey to you the point that J.P. has alot more to conetrate on than his dunks. As for the Lofton mention, it was to illustrate that size, speed, and strength do not translate into skill. Let me finish this post with something you amy be able to understand.... I LOVE THE UNIVESITY of TENNESSEE!!! J.P. is good for us and I'm glad he is back. With that being said...I want them (us) to win!

Coach_K writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

I hate to be the one to break it to you...but realistic your not but a moron you are and Im willing to bet a $100.00 on that.

I'm a morron? Can you even read? I know you can't write. Do you speak like that? Try and get your thoughts straight before you call someone a morron.

Coach_K writes:

in response to knoxlawvol:

Wow, several idiots have come out of the woodwork on this one! While a dunk may be worth the same as a layup, it has other anicillary benefits such as 1) demoralizing the opposition 2) getting the crowd into the game providing added energy and momentum 3) providing entertaining basketball that will keep fringe fans returning, benefiting attendance and the athletic department coffers and 4) demonstrating to potential recruits that UT plays an exciting up and down brand of basketball where they can showcase their athleticism. Now, blast away grumpy old Fulmerites and Summiteers! Conservative, workin like heck, old school, two points, layups are great, blah blah blah...

I agree with you. Dunks are a good show. The exposure that a highlight reel played over and over on Sports Center provide alot buzz. With that being said how much exposure would a national title create? All I'm saying is, I would rather hear him say..."We put together a good effort tonight. We still have a long way to go to get to where we wanna be. It felt good to be back out there, but we have a big game next week, and this was a good step."

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I will take a quiet layup over an amazing missed dunk anyday. J.P., I hate to have to be the one to break it to you....but M.J. you are not! If you have mad skills with the ball it's one thing, but if you are a "D" minded ball player on a fast break... take the duece. I am willing to bet at least $100.00 bucks that Candance Parker could beat you in a dunk contest. Beat her one on one and CBP will let you "reverse it" on a break...lol.

What an Idiot.

Stop posting on here.

Candace Parker couldnt hold Any of our mens Jock, or any other man thay plays college basketball.

Please do not ever post about basketball again

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I'm a morron? Can you even read? I know you can't write. Do you speak like that? Try and get your thoughts straight before you call someone a morron.

Sorry, Kob, but I couldn't resist this one.

You're slamming chrisw2967 about his perceived lack of writing ability, yet in your previous post addressing suPEARLman, may I refer you to some of your own nuggets?

1. "Prehaps your eyes should quit rambling..."

2. "...J.P. has a lot more to conetrate on..."

3. "Let me finish this post with something you amy be able to understand..."

4. "...I LOVE THE UNIVESITY OF TENNESSEE..."

Pay close attention and maybe you can pick up on what's wrong with those excerpts. And as you told chrisw, PERHAPS you should get your thoughts together before you criticize how someone else writes.

Oh, and by the way, I certainly hope YOU don't speak the way you write!

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

BillVol writes:

John, didn't know where to respond to your video, but Chattanooga has not used their old 10,000-seat place for ten years. They now play in a newer place that seats around 23,000.

Coach_K writes:

in response to VOLFORLIFE:

Sorry, Kob, but I couldn't resist this one.

You're slamming chrisw2967 about his perceived lack of writing ability, yet in your previous post addressing suPEARLman, may I refer you to some of your own nuggets?

1. "Prehaps your eyes should quit rambling..."

2. "...J.P. has a lot more to conetrate on..."

3. "Let me finish this post with something you amy be able to understand..."

4. "...I LOVE THE UNIVESITY OF TENNESSEE..."

Pay close attention and maybe you can pick up on what's wrong with those excerpts. And as you told chrisw, PERHAPS you should get your thoughts together before you criticize how someone else writes.

Oh, and by the way, I certainly hope YOU don't speak the way you write!

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

Touche...lol. So my spelling is horrible. You got me. I was in a hurry. I can take my knock. Thank you sir, may I have another...lol.

Coach_K writes:

in response to SMoKEY_Has_RABiES:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not really. J.P. is a mediocre player with lots of potenial. If he concentrates on learning from CBP and betters his understanding of the game, he could be special. He needs to work on more than his dunks. Piss on any1 who thinks C.P. couldn't school him. She learned well from one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, CPS, men's or women's. I will give you that the women's game doesn't hold a flame to their counterpart on the whole. It's the two of them at the center of my point. C.P. dominated AFTER she learned. That is all I want from J.P.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to Coach_K:

I'm a morron? Can you even read? I know you can't write. Do you speak like that? Try and get your thoughts straight before you call someone a morron.

hey moron those were your own words you dumb arse. I just took MJ out of your post and added your name , you idiot.

samjrr writes:

in response to tenn_smoothie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

True. I agree

alfrizzle097 writes:

When did all the negativity to one another start? Drop the namecalling, guys. Let the site be an enjoyable forum where people post their ideas without fear of getting bashed. Ultimately I think the conversation would be more informative.

At least we know that everyone else knows how bad our grammar is now....

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