Quality meets quantity with Vols' schedule

Pearl pulls no punches

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl has made scheduling quality teams a priority since he took over the Vols' program four years ago, and this year's slate shows more of the same.

UT won't release its full schedule until the SEC portion is released over the next month - TV times are still being worked out - but the Vols' non-conference contests are taking shape.

The Vols' marquee game will be Jan. 9 when the Kansas Jayhawks make their first trip ever to Knoxville.

UT played in historic Allen Fieldhouse last season, falling to the Jayhawks, 92-85.

But the Kansas game is just the icing on the cake; the Vols also will play at rival Memphis and in Los Angeles against former Vols coach Kevin O'Neill, who now heads up the Southern Cal program.

The dates for the Memphis and Southern Cal games have not been set, which indicates they might be played after the SEC season starts as national television would dictate.

"I think it's a great game with two schools with the athletic tradition of USC and UT,'' O'Neill said in a recent interview on the Sports Page radio show. "Mike Hamilton has done a good job of taking their basketball up another level. It's a good job for Bruce, and I'm sure he'll stay there for a long time. He's really made an impact in the SEC.

"Did you tell Bruce we're not coming back to Knoxville next year? We're going to break the contract.''

O'Neill was joking, but the rest of UT's schedule is no laughing matter.

The Vols also play Middle Tennessee State in Nashville this season and will play host to Wyoming.

Tony Jones, the Vols' associate head coach, said the schedule has been drawn up with the RPI ratings in mind.

"We try to play top programs that are picked to finish at or near the top of their league,'' Jones said. "It's about the competition and the RPI.''

North Carolina A&T also is on the schedule.

It appears the Vols will open the season against Austin Peay at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 13, the first time the teams have met since 2000.

Pearl, who struggled to get games scheduled with powers Wisconsin and Marquette when he was at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has made it a point to try to play in-state teams and give them opportunities.

The Vols play UNC-Asheville in Knoxville on Nov. 17 before playing host to College of Charleston on Nov. 27 and East Tennessee State on Dec. 2. UNC-Charlotte visits Jan. 6.

Tennessee plays in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam tournament Nov. 20-23, opening against East Carolina.

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Comments » 42

10cvolnga writes:

Take 'em one at a time CBP, starting with "The Peay".

give_him_6 writes:

Sounds good!!!!

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stop masquerading as a Vols fan.

RJ_Vol writes:

The fact that Kansas is coming to Knoxville speaks volumes about where the program is and where it has come from. The fact that people are talking basketball during the summer is a compliment to the hard work of Bruce Pearl.

VOLKING writes:

Ahhh..... you can always count on Morristown-doll and his band of merry men to help us true Vol fans keep our positive attitude. What UT coach has played a tougher 4 year schedule and won more games over a 4 year period than Pearl? UT is relevant in basketball. Not a powerhouse or a team that expects to win national championships every year.....but relevant in the fact that we can play anyone in the country and have a good chance at beating them. Until Pearl we had never been to a sweet sixteen....now we have been to 2 of the last 4 and idiots like Morris-clown are wanting Pearl to leave. I swear this guy is Billy Donovan's 10 year old kid! Sheesh.

tennezz writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

Stop masquerading as a Vols fan.

Well said AVF, I`m tired of these negative post!

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are the epitome of what we call a Jackleg!

CoverOrange writes:

For RPI purposes Kansas is a no-brainer. But USC and Memphis should be on the downhill side of the mountain, just a question of how fast they will accelerate to the bottom. Otherwise, who is helping the RPI? NC A&T and UNC Asheville? Enlighten me please.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

pound wyoming by 60!

ETNTigerFan writes:

I have to give BP credit, he took a stand against weak OOC scheduling before Slive made it an issue a few months ago. It has come back to haunt a few SEC schools.

ETNTigerFan writes:

I don't think Mears ever made Sweet 16. If memory serves me right, I don't think he ever won a NCAA game. It was very different then though. Fewer teams.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Used to only be 16 teams. Mears made the Sweet 16 by virtue of making the tournament. DeVoe won one game in the era of 32. Green was the only coach before Pearl to make it there by winning two games.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

For RPI purposes Kansas is a no-brainer. But USC and Memphis should be on the downhill side of the mountain, just a question of how fast they will accelerate to the bottom. Otherwise, who is helping the RPI? NC A&T and UNC Asheville? Enlighten me please.

RPI is primarily based on a combination of your record, your opponents' record, and the record of ALL the opponents of your opponents. The thing about conference play is that records in the Sun Belt tend to look similar to records in the Big East. When Western Kentucky wins 25 games, they could potentially be a bigger boost to the RPI than a Kentucky team that won 22.

If you schedule a bunch of teams that are predicted to win their conference, you will have a chance at a pretty good RPI by virtue of the fact the will inflate their record against weak competition that also has a decent record due to poor strength of schedule.

Even if Memphis loses to UAB and Southern Methodist and is completly unranked in every poll, so long as they do well as a whole in the Conference USA (how hard is that?), they will be an rpi boost.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to brownsvillevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

These clowns that worship Pearl have no idea about the history of Vol basketball. Pearl takes off his shirt and gets these guy's all excited. They're not fans of UT basketball, they worship Pearl and his tired act.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

These clowns that worship Pearl have no idea about the history of Vol basketball. Pearl takes off his shirt and gets these guy's all excited. They're not fans of UT basketball, they worship Pearl and his tired act.

The history of Vol basketball is pretty pathetic. Its sad when your claim to fame is that you beat Kentucky the most.

The magic of sports is that you get to celebrate the past (when there is something to celbrate), and you can be excited for the future.

Pearl has matched the best years this program has ever had. Would I like to make some elite eights? Yes.

But to say that fans like Pearl because they don't know the history of the program is plain silly. This clown worships Pearl precisely because I AM aware of the history of the program. That makes what he has accomplished all the more exciting.

Jerry Green won a lot of games, but he couldn't sustain it because of an apathetic fan base that he proceeded to further alienate. Other than that, there haven't been many bright spots.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

These clowns that worship Pearl have no idea about the history of Vol basketball. Pearl takes off his shirt and gets these guy's all excited. They're not fans of UT basketball, they worship Pearl and his tired act.

My A hole husband did this not me.

Bigger_Al writes:

Good schedule! Once again, Bruce and his staff give us a lot to look forward to this season.

cc623 writes:

Seems to me they have come along way...I still remember the days of giving away tickets to the men's games for free just trying to get people in the seats.Pearl and his crew have made Tennessee a relevant program in what little time they have been here and I hope it continues.

I'm not saying they are all perfect but,they are a stark contrast to the past.I mean they actually achieved a number one ranking for our program(our first in HISTORY).It might not have been a long stay at number one but,more will follow.

4IDVOL writes:

I think CBP is "da man." I remember when I was in Iraq in 2008 and UT played--and beat Memphis @Memphis. I got up at like 4AM to watch the game. It was great. For the first time ever, a UT Mens' team became #1 in the nation. CBP has done a lot of great things for the program. There have been other good coaches. That, I will not deny. I liked Jerry Greene and even Buzz Petersen. Obviously there have been better coaches than those two. But, Pearl has taken the program, as a whole, to a different level. Yes, UT is relevant in Mens' Basketball. They are not just a bump on someone's schedule. When a team plays UT, it is a game that matters. It's freaking awesome to see that.

murrayvol writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

My A hole husband did this not me.

This marriage is sailing in stormy seas.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to murrayvol:

This marriage is sailing in stormy seas.

lol! No, far from it. We both are die hard Vol fans and our family room proves it. He knows more about sports than I will ever know but we have fun disagreeing about the future of UT basketball. Obviously my husband is not a big Pearl fan. (I think a lot of it is to pi** me off) Then again none of his friends are either. I think we have to wait and see, but with Cal at UK I am worried. BP really needs to have a big year this upcoming season or I am afraid my husband will enjoy making my life miserable. lol!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

My A hole husband did this not me.

LOL
Your
A hole husband better
B good or he will
C you in
D vorce court
E ventually.

missrvrvol writes:

Memphis game will be on New Years Eve.

volboy81 writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

idiot.

Colliervol writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

These clowns that worship Pearl have no idea about the history of Vol basketball. Pearl takes off his shirt and gets these guy's all excited. They're not fans of UT basketball, they worship Pearl and his tired act.

So please enlighten us with which coach has done more for this basketball program in a four year period. I know the history of Vol basketball as I watched my first game during the Mears years in old Stokley and have lived through the misery since then. Mears comes the closet to what Pearl has done and I don't believe he went to as many Sweet 16's. Outside of Jerry Green milking O'Neill's talent to some decent records, this program had done very little in FORTY YEARS until Pearl got here. Don't know about anybody else but I don't call that "worshipping" anybody. I just call it simple fact. Of course, some folks don't like BP simply because of his personality. Too bad. I find him a lot more entertaining than Buzz, Wade, and Jerry. (Or should I have said Moe, Larry and Curly?)

I would say that some folks don't know much about basketball if you expect a team to go from the depths of Buzzball to a Final Four berth in four years.

Colliervol writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Expecting a Final Four in four years after Buzz Peterson? Another What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately "fan". And I use the term loosely.

I'm thinking we might give him another year or tow, ya think? Geez, why do I waste my time?

VOLKING writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Morris-clown Non-Vol, the more you speak, the dumber you sound. 99.9% of Vol fans can agree on that!

SmokyMTNVol writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Morristown, i know they have gotten commitments from the Barton brothers but as far as I know that is it. Is there anyone else?

SmokyMTNVol writes:

in response to VOLKING:

Morris-clown Non-Vol, the more you speak, the dumber you sound. 99.9% of Vol fans can agree on that!

Volking, I realize you are a Vol fan and it upsets you when someone says something derogatory about our coach. But as far as I know we are allowed to disagree with one another on here. You may want to head over to the elite girls club.
It's my understanding that they send coach Pearl a dozen roses every morning. It sounds like a great place for you.

SmokyMTNVol writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is what I thought. Thanks!

SmokyMTNVol writes:

in response to brownsvillevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OK thanks! In all fairness to the kid, most kids his age think they are good enough to play in the NBA and do not take scholastics serious.

murrayvol writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

lol! No, far from it. We both are die hard Vol fans and our family room proves it. He knows more about sports than I will ever know but we have fun disagreeing about the future of UT basketball. Obviously my husband is not a big Pearl fan. (I think a lot of it is to pi** me off) Then again none of his friends are either. I think we have to wait and see, but with Cal at UK I am worried. BP really needs to have a big year this upcoming season or I am afraid my husband will enjoy making my life miserable. lol!

Glad to hear your marriage is solid.

My message to your better half is UT basketball may not be perfect but it's a helluva lot better than it was for much of my adult life. We'll know more by March 2010.

VolFan_stuck_in_FL writes:

in response to cc623:

Seems to me they have come along way...I still remember the days of giving away tickets to the men's games for free just trying to get people in the seats.Pearl and his crew have made Tennessee a relevant program in what little time they have been here and I hope it continues.

I'm not saying they are all perfect but,they are a stark contrast to the past.I mean they actually achieved a number one ranking for our program(our first in HISTORY).It might not have been a long stay at number one but,more will follow.

yeah i remember that too. i went to Farragut High School, and they used to make an announcement if anyone wanted tickets to the game stop by the office and pick up as many as you would like. so yes we have come a long way.

BasketVols writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VOLDoll writes:

in response to BasketVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is absolutely assinine. Why do the mods keep letting this very immature kid keep spewing his nonsense on here?
I don't agree with a lot of the posters, even Morristown, but I do not attack them personally. I sure hope the mods are serious about cleaning up this forum and remove this child from being on an adult forum. Thanks!

stevefrommemphis writes:

Let the basketball team play Western Kentucky and the football team play Southern California. Both schedules would improve.

Slystone writes:

Right now Pastner is at the the Peach Jam in North Augusta,SC watching several prospects along with some other elite coaches like Roy Williams, Bill Self, Tom Izzo and Calipari. Where is Pearl?

Also Brownvillevol to call Latavious Willaims stupid was very unkind. I'm sure if Latavious had signed with UT you'd be singing praises upon him and Pearl. Bottom line Memphis recruits better in Basketball than UT, just as UT out recruits them in Football. Someone asked who has Memphis gotten outside of the Barton Bros. No one has committed yet; however they are in on Joe Jackson, Tarik Black, Casey Prathers just to name a few. The below link gives some insight into who Memphis is after. Can anyone advise of a link or list of who Pearl is after?

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/...

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

you can pull up the rivals.com website and see that UT is on several top 100 players list, especially at Center and Forward positions. Don't know that we'll get any of them.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

on the rivals top 15o, of the top 25 players there are about 15 or so unsigned. Of these top 15, Tenn. is on the list of 7 of them. That's not a bad ratio, considering several of these are centers and big power forwards.

VOLKING writes:

in response to SmokyMTNVol:

Volking, I realize you are a Vol fan and it upsets you when someone says something derogatory about our coach. But as far as I know we are allowed to disagree with one another on here. You may want to head over to the elite girls club.
It's my understanding that they send coach Pearl a dozen roses every morning. It sounds like a great place for you.

Thanks for the warning Smoky. I'll give it all the attention it deserves. If you'll carefully go back and look at 99% of Morristown's posts.....he is always negative with nothing but insults to add to the picture. Maybe he's your little brother or something, but defending a guy/girl who can only make derrogatory statements about our coach will only put you in his class. Maybe you agree with him or not, but he is always first with the 'nothing but negativity' statements. Get your facts straight or leave him to fight his own battles. But thanks for the 'classy' elite girls comment. It fits your style.

Colliervol writes:

I give up. No use getting into a battle of wits with a bunch of unarmed people. Regardless of whose players he's using, he's taken this team to a level it has NEVER been to. And there is no debating that. Again, no "worship", just fact. He will have to continue to get good players to keep it at this level and that is up to him. That's why he makes the big bucks.

As far as I can tell though, Bruce Pearl is the coach and probably will be for as long as he wants to be in Knoxville. Some of you dim bulbs can sit back and be miserable about it but, personally, I plan to enjoy the ride. (I sort of enjoy multiple 25 win seasons and Sweet 16 trips versus what we were subjected to since Ray Mears. I guess some folks don't. Too bad for them.) End of discussion.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to MorristownVOL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Damn MTV you have to hang out with my husband and his friends. I sure hope we stick in your a**. lol!
Just kidding MTV I respect your opinion. I will admit a lot of my friends are wondering why he is not out hitting the recruiting trail thenselves. Is this a concern for any other VOL fans?
Just curious.

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