Vols laid an egg? Pearl disagrees

Subpar execution in UT's first-round loss

Bruce Pearl had a long drive down Interstate 75 back to Knoxville on Saturday afternoon to reflect on the Tennessee basketball season that ended Friday in Dayton, Ohio.

The rest of the ongoing NCAA tournament was the farthest thing from the Tennessee's coach's mind.

"I can not watch it; it's too difficult, it's too painful,'' Pearl said. "I haven't lost a first-round NCAA tournament game since (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) lost to Notre Dame on a last-second shot (70-69, 2003).

"I wasn't ready for it to be over, and our guys felt that way, too.''

The Vols finished 21-13, winning the SEC East Division for the third time in four years, and reached the SEC tournament championship game for the first time since 1990.

Pearl said he was proud of the Vols' effort Friday in a 77-75 loss to Oklahoma State (23-11) in the East Region, but he quickly picked apart facets of subpar execution.

"When you play a team that's 19th in the RPI and fifth in schedule strength, you have to play great to advance,'' said Pearl, who has guided the Vols to the NCAA tournament each of his four years as UT's coach. "I thought we played good. We by no means laid an egg; we showed up to play, and we played hard.''

The Vols were 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) shooting against Oklahoma State, making 11 of 33 of their attempts beyond the arc and 13 of 24 within it.

"We needed to play better defensively,'' Pearl said, "and we needed to get more two-point baskets; guys driving to the basket and the rim out of spacing.''

Cowboys senior point guard Byron Eaton accounted for 20 points, including the game-winning three-point play with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Pearl said he knew Eaton and the Oklahoma State perimeter shooters would be a tough cover - they shot 38 percent from 3-point range during the season - but he was disappointed with the Vols' inability to defend effectively in the lane.

"What Eaton did didn't surprise me, but what Marshall Moses did, that did surprise me,'' Pearl said, referring to the Cowboys' 6-foot-6, 235-pound sophomore post. "That was disappointing. We did a good job defensively on all of them except him.''

Moses was 8-of-10 shooting for 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as Oklahoma State shot 56.5 percent - the second highest UT yielded this season.

"The experience we gained this year will really help us,'' Pearl said. "We'll start again in a week.''

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Links

Comments » 266

zigvol writes:

thanks for another great year bruce

markw20012002 writes:

I'm frustrated but still proud how far our program has come in the last 4 years. We will build on this loss and come back stronger next year!

orangebass writes:

The experience we gained this year will really help us,'' Pearl said. "We'll start again in a week.''

hope the "we" means no one goes pro, I want an SEC championship next year. anything less will be huge let down.

govols22231 writes:

i hope tyler stays

ALock4UT writes:

"We'll start again in a week"

Excellent way to end the article. Let's look ahead now and use what is behind to get us ready.

GerryOP writes:

Under that guy who moved to Conway, SC a few years ago, we were happy to play anywhere after the regular season ended. Not a great year, but hopefully everyone learned something.

budd#207344 writes:

Before you start in with more Pearl and team bashing remember that Bobby Maze, who was recruited heavily by a lot of schools, was supposed to be the point guard with back up from West. Maze not as good as advertised and West can't make the grade. Did Pearl miss it on Maze? Yup but the recruiting services are only right half the time as they will tell you.
No point guard makes for poor performance. This is the second year with no true point (ala Ramar Smith) and yet we are in the dance both years. And a #1 ranking and most wins ever for UT last year. What does that say? It says CBP can coach very well. And anyone who thinks not does not understand the sport.
There are 16 teams who went home after the first round. We were the lower of the two seeds and lost by 2 points. This team needs a good point guard and for CBP and his staff to get this far without one is a great piece of coaching work. Not only did he get us in the dance again this year (Florida, Kentuky, South Carolina??)but he did it running a style he really doesn't like or use that much. In other words he adapted to what he had. Did Gillespie, or Donavon? No. Think they want to fire Donavon in Florida?
Some of the players did not do as well as expected (Woolridge) some were late bloomers (Tatum, Hopson) but Tyler, Wayne and JP played their hearts out trying to make up for a lack of point and new frosh who had to learn. Should Wayne be a three point guy? No but who can take his place? His threes in the Alabama and Auburn tourney games were daggers that slowed both teams. JP tried to be a Dane but he needs more work at it. It is not what he knows. And Tyler tried to lead best he could. Hope he comes back cause I think he can have a better ending next year. This tream will get better because CBP knows how to coach and recruit.
Of course I am sure we could get the buzzer or jerry or I know, lets get Wade back

teampenny#658108 writes:

A season to be proud of for sure. Like the way you schedule tough teams to play. If they do not play the way they should next year make them wash their uniforms and take away their plush locker room. Just a thought! Go Vols

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OHhhhhhhhh stop it already with the coaches personal life BS---

utvolz#637682 writes:

in response to yabadabadoo1026:

OHhhhhhhhh stop it already with the coaches personal life BS---

Having been a season ticket holder in San Antonio, I'm not sure Tyler has the game (now) that's ready for the NBA. He's not a consistent 3 pt shooter and tends to take plays off on the defensive end. Having said that, I'd love for him to return next year and improve his stock/draft status....

RJ_Vol writes:

Proud of the Vols this year. They didn't give up when given the opportunity after UK. Teams that learn resiliency get better over time. Eventually the late game shots will fall. UT finally, finally has the expectation that making the tournament is not enough. It used to be just having a winning season and a half-filled arena. Now, the expectation is that we can play w/ top tier programs. Big change! Thanks Bruce and the b-ball Vols for a good season. Let's go dancing again next year. I believe that would be a record...

markw20012002 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We lost to a team seeded higher than us by 2 points. Remember 63 of the 64 teams will also go home losers.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's what HGH will do for ya'. Just one step away from a T-Rex.

vol98champ writes:

Certainly not what I expected this year, but I thought we had a good point guard, a shooting guard that would penetrate, and a team that would be quick and defend well. When was the last time we created many turnovers on inbounds plays? I think it was when J. Smith was prowling the court. Ty Lawson would have made us a great team.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your new handle shouldn't draw any attention...

GerryOP writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whimper, whimper, whimper -- you seem to enjoy playing the role of wounded victim.

MrBamSeydu writes:

Tyler Smith is not ready for the NBA. If he doesn't realize that, someone needs to make him realize it by having him watch himself on film. You can't shoot 3's at a 29% clip. You also can't drive into the lane and pivot 4 or 5 times and shoot a funky jump shot in the NBA. He'll get owned doing that stuff. He needs to play like he did last year and stop trying to become a guard. Just play basketball and use what you're good at (for him, attacking the basket and being a point-forward in the POST!! the POST!!!)

GerryOP writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whimper, whimper, whimper...

TommyJack writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe he banned you because he just doesn't like you. Works for me.

orangevolz writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GerryOP writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're just a whimpering, self-rightous, pompous.....troll.

Hmmm, you have email addresses? Is that a threat? Read the agreement....

Sounds like you have been out practicing your ... tada ... Commanding_Presence.

stroker writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Before you start in with more Pearl and team bashing remember that Bobby Maze, who was recruited heavily by a lot of schools, was supposed to be the point guard with back up from West. Maze not as good as advertised and West can't make the grade. Did Pearl miss it on Maze? Yup but the recruiting services are only right half the time as they will tell you.
No point guard makes for poor performance. This is the second year with no true point (ala Ramar Smith) and yet we are in the dance both years. And a #1 ranking and most wins ever for UT last year. What does that say? It says CBP can coach very well. And anyone who thinks not does not understand the sport.
There are 16 teams who went home after the first round. We were the lower of the two seeds and lost by 2 points. This team needs a good point guard and for CBP and his staff to get this far without one is a great piece of coaching work. Not only did he get us in the dance again this year (Florida, Kentuky, South Carolina??)but he did it running a style he really doesn't like or use that much. In other words he adapted to what he had. Did Gillespie, or Donavon? No. Think they want to fire Donavon in Florida?
Some of the players did not do as well as expected (Woolridge) some were late bloomers (Tatum, Hopson) but Tyler, Wayne and JP played their hearts out trying to make up for a lack of point and new frosh who had to learn. Should Wayne be a three point guy? No but who can take his place? His threes in the Alabama and Auburn tourney games were daggers that slowed both teams. JP tried to be a Dane but he needs more work at it. It is not what he knows. And Tyler tried to lead best he could. Hope he comes back cause I think he can have a better ending next year. This tream will get better because CBP knows how to coach and recruit.
Of course I am sure we could get the buzzer or jerry or I know, lets get Wade back

Good post! I'm not a BB junkle just like to watch the Vols. But all you said seems right on.

markw20012002 writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Appropriate thing to tell kids born in a Gator household!

FLVol writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This team could have easily won 7 or 8 more games than they did. They just didn't have the shooters they need in clutch situations and weren't able to get defensive stops when they needed them. There were about 4 games this year that they seemed to lack intensity and during a long basketball season that is bound to happen. The great teams overcome some of that and win a lot of close games..(see UT Baskeball 2007, 2006) This team is very close to being final four caliber. Pearl will admit struggling a bit this year coaching them because he had to adapt to the teams inability to cause turnovers, hit 3's consistently, and effectively work against a packed in zone defense. With all that being said, this team is on the verge of something great next you wait and see. You (areyoukiffenme) are dilusional and need to find another team to support. It's people like you that will be to blame when Bruce Pearl leaves UT!

CLKVOL writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

it was in Gainesville

GerryOP writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Quit making excuses. If you have been on here for a year, list the screen names you have hid behind. Your basic problem is that you believe your own lies and expect everyone else to also believe them.

You contribute nothing, your only interest is in instigating anger and hatered, and you refuse to rationally respond to any legitimate challenge. And now you're again delightfully playing the role of wounded victim.

You seem like a pretty intelligent guy. Why don't you put it to good use rather than simply trying to spread hatred and discontent?

Pompous, self-righteous troll.

bluetick writes:

Tennessee beat themselves. That is all there is to it. Tyler and Wayne SHOULD return to make amends. The class of '10 does have a 5* PG on the way. Josh Selby, 6-1 180 Hyattsville, MD.

Those two turnovers IN A ROW when were were 4points ahead really hurt. At least they did better on their free throw shooting. Like I said before, they should have to shoot 100 free throws every day voluntary or mandatory, and they would go up. If someone WANTS TO BE GOOD they can be good with practice and desire. They have to WANT IT!

CLKVOL writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ill give you credit, you do your homework on your fact checking..but you antagonize and belittle..and if someone challenges you with an educated argument, you tend to run away or post a link to a silly picture or biased editorial.

CLKVOL writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yes.

CLKVOL writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

why call him? he isnt trying to make friends.
he apologized publicly..plus, do you think urban meyer really cares?

GerryOP writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Common dudes, drop the Constitutional rights hypocrisy. If you guys are so small that you have to play the Constitution card to protext your right to spread hate and discontent, I'm sorry that GVX is the most important thing in your live.

And drop the crapnonsensejunk about Kiffin challenging Meyers masculinity. Meyer handled it, I guess he is a bigger man than you guys.

CLKVOL writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

why are you worried about it?

and all the claims made about kiffin can be made about meyer.
the jevon snead recruitment, the girl gymnast ordeal, arrests of gator football players, etc etc etc

kinda like the pot calling the kettle black..

bluetick writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey dill weed. Thought this was a basketball article but anyways since you mention it, it was done in front of boosters and faculty and some players. If he had thought that it would have so much media attention maybe he would have refrained from saying it... but ANYWAYS...it's over with. Are you still crying from when you got beat up when you were a child too? Get over it. Ever heard of MOVING ON?

markw20012002 writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Urban Meyer just called. He said please remove your nose from his crack.

CLKVOL writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

as a memphis fan, do you really wanna talk about choking or losing leads?

CLKVOL writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i'll answer the question again.
yes.

Vol43 writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know you've been 86'd a couple of times, but I'm wondering how you seem to know everyone's name. That's kind of weirding me out.

ect1983 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can always make chicken shite out of chicken salad...If the sun were shining, you'd find the rain somewhere. I 'll bet you are so much fun at parties...you nattering nabob of negativism. Why dont you just become a Vandy fan....and , if possible, make yourself more miserable, and the rest of us happy

markw20012002 writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But nobody can beat your all-time National Championship choke job!!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor, gotta disagree. I'm not at all pleased with the direction I've seen this year. I still believe Pearl is the right guy, but this year was a step back.

Vol43 writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There you go. You change your name but you're still an ashwhole. Go figure, and I thought you'd changed. Silly me.

GerryOP writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Put my money where my mouth is? Sounds like playground BS to me! You're immaturiity is showing!

Appropriate? That is up to Meyer. Did Meyer "call" Kiffin on his challenge? Nope, he let Daddy handle it! C'mon dude, these are high paid professionals and they know exactly what they are doing. Meyer chose to ignore it! Sorry you do not understand that.

You'll get your chance 9/19. Why don't you just shut up and see what happens?

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to yabadabadoo1026:

OHhhhhhhhh stop it already with the coaches personal life BS---

Just ignore that negative idiot. I think his wife is cheating on him or something. Areyoukiffinme is a troll and is probably unhappy that his daddy got his mama pregnant.

TopTenn writes:

Better days ahead coach. Stay motivated, our day will come.

GerryOP writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Our UTAD leadership has decided we can be successful with Kiffin and bet his future on that. What's your point? You're just POed because Kiffin challenged Meyer. Get over it, Meyer has.

ect1983 writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see....our "football" school leads Tiger High School in basketball wins head to head...and what is the football record ? Oh,that's right...there is no college football in Memphis.I bet Memphis State (it will always be Memphis State)does play the best high school football within 3 miles of its commuter campus. With a crime rate higher than all of east Tennessee..... If Memphis could just break off from the New Madrid fault and float on down to the Gulf,our state tax rate would plummet. It WILL happen one day.

allntl1#565211 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Before you start in with more Pearl and team bashing remember that Bobby Maze, who was recruited heavily by a lot of schools, was supposed to be the point guard with back up from West. Maze not as good as advertised and West can't make the grade. Did Pearl miss it on Maze? Yup but the recruiting services are only right half the time as they will tell you.
No point guard makes for poor performance. This is the second year with no true point (ala Ramar Smith) and yet we are in the dance both years. And a #1 ranking and most wins ever for UT last year. What does that say? It says CBP can coach very well. And anyone who thinks not does not understand the sport.
There are 16 teams who went home after the first round. We were the lower of the two seeds and lost by 2 points. This team needs a good point guard and for CBP and his staff to get this far without one is a great piece of coaching work. Not only did he get us in the dance again this year (Florida, Kentuky, South Carolina??)but he did it running a style he really doesn't like or use that much. In other words he adapted to what he had. Did Gillespie, or Donavon? No. Think they want to fire Donavon in Florida?
Some of the players did not do as well as expected (Woolridge) some were late bloomers (Tatum, Hopson) but Tyler, Wayne and JP played their hearts out trying to make up for a lack of point and new frosh who had to learn. Should Wayne be a three point guy? No but who can take his place? His threes in the Alabama and Auburn tourney games were daggers that slowed both teams. JP tried to be a Dane but he needs more work at it. It is not what he knows. And Tyler tried to lead best he could. Hope he comes back cause I think he can have a better ending next year. This tream will get better because CBP knows how to coach and recruit.
Of course I am sure we could get the buzzer or jerry or I know, lets get Wade back

Good comments.
Better than most of the staff writers.
Next year.

ect1983 writes:

in response to 19SEP2009:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get a life

CLKVOL writes:

in response to kaplanz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i see your trend of not responding to educated arguments continues as well..

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features