Halftime talk from 'irritated' coach helps six-point lead burgeon into blowout

Pearl's words powerful

There was no fire and brimstone speech from Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl at halftime of the Vols' season opener, only mild irritation.

Tennessee scored an 83-54 victory over Austin Peay on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena, but a stretch at the end of the first half left Pearl disappointed.

The Governors (0-1) closed the opening period on a 13-2 run to draw to 31-25 after the Vols missed nine of their final 10 shots heading into intermission.

"We could tell Coach was irritated,'' said UT sophomore Scotty Hopson, who led the Vols with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including making four of six shots beyond the 3-point arc. "He said we had succumbed to fatigue, and one of the things he has stressed is to fight through it.

"Tyler (Smith) got us together at half and told us to come out hard.''

And Smith led the way, scoring the first three baskets of the second half as the Vols opened on a 9-0 run to keep Austin Peay down by double digits the remainder of the night.

Smith scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds and tied for team honors with four assists and two steals.

"We got great leadership from Tyler Smith, and he played outstanding tonight,'' Pearl said. "I think the crowd inspired him.''

The attendance was announced at 17,963, but it appeared closer to 15,000 with a tipoff of 9 p.m. and many of the UT faithful headed to Oxford, Miss., for today's football game with Ole Miss.

Sophomore Cameron Tatum complemented Hopson on the wing, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Wayne Chism was a force underneath with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

"They obviously wore us down with their size and athletic ability,'' Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. "I was pleased with the little run we had there at the end of the first half. I think we showed some good things tonight.''

Anthony Campbell led the Governors with 17 points and Wes Channels had 13.

Pearl said he was pleased with the Vols' defensive efforts, as they limited Austin Peay to 34.5 percent shooting from the floor while out-rebounding the Govs 46-33.

UT also forced 19 turnovers while committing 14.

"Point guard play was not good tonight; it will get better,'' Pearl said. "Bobby (Maze) just had an off night. He was so excited about playing before the game, and so energized. Melvin (Goins) had a nice stretch in there defensively and ran the club effectively.''

Maze scored only two points on 1-of-5 shooting and had three assists and a team-high five turnovers. Goins scored five points and had four assists and three turnovers.

UT sophomore Renaldo Woolridge did not dress for the game. Pearl said Woolridge had an injection into his injured right wrist last week, but he re-injured it earlier this week.

Vols' freshman Skylar McBee, who had been red-hot shooting in the exhibition games, was 0-for-4 shooting, while fellow freshman Kenny Hall failed to score until the final minutes.

Walk-on Michael Hubert rewarded the few who stayed for the game's remainder by drilling both 3-pointers he attempted in the final 1 1/2 minutes.

UT returns to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Thompson-Boling Arena against UNC-Asheville.

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Comments » 42

ddbirdvol writes:

Whatever game was close at half. 1st half sloppy.

newtonrail writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First half wasn't pretty, but second half we whipped them pretty good. That's why they keep score.

SouthALVol writes:

Here's some numbers to chew on from tonight: FG-49.3%...awesome;3pt FG-43.5%...fantastic;FT-45.5%...WHOOPS! That free throw percentage will get us beat against real competition. It was a problem two years ago as I recall but was fixed last year. I hope tonight was an aberration. In addition, only 11 free throws attempted is not good.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

Solid start to a great season. GO VOLS!!

richvol writes:

Very disapointed in Brian Williams...he is not in shape. He looks to be heavier than last year and could not make it up and down the floor tonight. He also is weak around the basket. He missed at least 3 point blank shots. A 6'10" 300 pound junior should never be stopped on a dunk right under the basket. If someone tries to block his shot then he should cram them through the net along with the ball. Man up...

xvolx writes:

I wasn't impressed that this team is the 10th best team in the country. They wouldn't have been the 10th best team in the conference last night. Didn't improve much in off season.

hillsborovol writes:

in response to xvolx:

I wasn't impressed that this team is the 10th best team in the country. They wouldn't have been the 10th best team in the conference last night. Didn't improve much in off season.

Gross exaggeration.

If we wouldn't be in the top 10 of the SEC, that would mean that we would be 11th or 12th. Since the #5 team in the country (Kentucky) only beat Moorehead State by 16 points and Tennessee beat Austin Peay by 39, I guess we would be 11th and Kentucky 12th????

Look at the Top 25 scores across the country. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-baske...
Tennessee's ranking seems fairly appropriate. Let's not get too down against our team when we just thumped the predicted 3rd place team from the OVC in our opening game without playing very well.

hillsborovol writes:

Make that 29...typo.

Smallmike4pres writes:

in response to xvolx:

I wasn't impressed that this team is the 10th best team in the country. They wouldn't have been the 10th best team in the conference last night. Didn't improve much in off season.

It's the first game of the year, idiot! Did you think they would be in final four mode the first game out, there John Wooden? I suspect you will be back posting on here in March about how great this team is & how you knew they would do it all along.

Phowell23 writes:

We scored 50 points in the 2nd half. 1st half was sloppy, but we came out and did our thing in the 2nd half. Austin Peay is not a bad team, they could probably beat most of the teams that the Top 10 faced yesterday.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to richvol:

Very disapointed in Brian Williams...he is not in shape. He looks to be heavier than last year and could not make it up and down the floor tonight. He also is weak around the basket. He missed at least 3 point blank shots. A 6'10" 300 pound junior should never be stopped on a dunk right under the basket. If someone tries to block his shot then he should cram them through the net along with the ball. Man up...

I had heard Brian lost 20 more pounds and was faster than last year..I could only listen to the game on radio replay though..It's early in the season but from what little Ive seen he's still bumbling passes and his ball handling is as bad as last year.Considering he will be the man after Chism leaves;I agree Man up now;This will be his 3rd year with significant playing time!!

Bigger_Al writes:

Lighten up, Reason. You can't judge a season by an opening game in November.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to xvolx:

I wasn't impressed that this team is the 10th best team in the country. They wouldn't have been the 10th best team in the conference last night. Didn't improve much in off season.

I really dont know why i waste my time reading most replies....Man!

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to frank_lloyd_64#1376169:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I watched the KY game and in the first half they did not look good either..

richvol writes:

Coach is enamored with JP Prince for some reason because he does nothing on the basketball floor except glide around trying to not get dirty or touched by anyone. He did nothing as usual last night.

johnlg00 writes:

As one might expect for a first real game, there were both good and bad things. I haven't always agreed with AVOR, but I thought his summary was pretty good. With their style, UT is always going to play in spurts, both good and bad. Their good spurts can do damage even to really good teams and destroy weaker ones, but their lulls will kill them against good ones.

The main reason for the lulls, IMHO, is still inadequate PG play, although--just as with Jonathan Crompton's play going from terrible early to quite good lately--there is more involved than just the PGs themselves. Agree completely with the posters who said that both the number and the percentage of FTs was pretty sorry. I hoped to see more improvement in the areas I mentioned, but on the whole not a bad start against--AVOR's opinion notwithstanding--a pretty good Austin Peay team that returned four starters from a league champion team. The league they won last year also includes a team that gave UK quite a tussle for about 2/3 of the game, so the Govs aren't exactly creampuffs.

GR82BAVOL writes:

Ya'll must've been watching a different game than I was. AP was an NCAA tourney team last season although they lost some players. Tennesse came out with a "show time" attitude, giving an "air" that it wasn't going to get beaten no matter what the circumstance or whom they were playing. MANY of the Tennessee teams of the past would have puckered up in the arse and lost that game after AP went on that run...this team just shrugged it off and blew their doors off in the 2nd half.

Yep, I agree there was some sloppy play, but whoever said that Williams looked heavier was watching on a wide screen with digital only...he looks great physically and was moving 200% better than last year, even though he had some issues under the basket a time or two...he also made a couple of pretty sweet plays.

The vast improvement of Hopson will make a tremendous difference this season. Goins looked okay in his first game...Bobby has some comp at PG so he tried to do a little too much cos he's getting pushed...typical 1st game stuff...Kansas and Duke did some silly things in their games too but when you go to their boards you don't hear them raggin on their team after one game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I only checked in occasionally on the UK game, but I do not remember seeing John Wall on the floor. If he did play, how did he do? What number does he wear? Not ragging, just asking. I was curious how he would match up against all the hype.

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey CAT glad to see you in here..I think we both are glad to see BB start..

Chris4Vols22 writes:

Haha I don't know what you guys are talking about. I've gone to the RTL, exhibition, and opener games and I've seen great improvement. To me Tyler looked like an NBA player. He had this energy and confidence about him that helped the team tremendously. Scotty, of course, played awesome. How bout Tatum with 15 pts off the bench? I've been saying this all year, I think Skylar is overrated...there's a reason we didn't recruit him. All the fan like him because he's the only white guy in the rotation...just like Dane Bradshaw and Steven Pearl, both of whom were/are not key contributors. Sorry, that's a different story.

But the point is everyone on here loves to overlook how well the team plays and just wants to point out every flaw like the fairweather fans you are. You guys sound the same way you did earlier in the football season about Crompton. Instead of bashing a player when he's struggling, you should try to encourage. DUH! GO VOLS!!

mtvols writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Austin Peay is more than a decent team. They went to the NCAA tournament last year and routinely win 20+ games.

I think it will be a matter of time before Tatum takes Prince's starting spot. Prince is just a liability on offense and we are a better team when Hopson and Tatum are on the floor together.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to richvol:

Very disapointed in Brian Williams...he is not in shape. He looks to be heavier than last year and could not make it up and down the floor tonight. He also is weak around the basket. He missed at least 3 point blank shots. A 6'10" 300 pound junior should never be stopped on a dunk right under the basket. If someone tries to block his shot then he should cram them through the net along with the ball. Man up...

hmmm Bert says he lost 20 more pounds this year

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to mtvols:

Austin Peay is more than a decent team. They went to the NCAA tournament last year and routinely win 20+ games.

I think it will be a matter of time before Tatum takes Prince's starting spot. Prince is just a liability on offense and we are a better team when Hopson and Tatum are on the floor together.

the only Reason you show is the reason to blab your BS every post.

If we would have won by 70 you would have said ah we should have won 90.

No matter the sport, player or whatever your voice will always be to put down instead of encourage

ucancallmeray writes:

hey coach, could you please teach JP Prince how to shoot a simple lay up? You know, the way we all learned it in grade school. Oh, and tell him to quit looking around dumbfounded after he gets his pocket picked for the third or fourth time. This team of hot dogs needs to focus on the fundamentals, sharp passes, and just plain hustle, and quit trying to make highlights for ESPN. Save it for the NBA.

murrayvol writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Everybody can't be like Kentucky and Kansas Cat.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I only checked in occasionally on the UK game, but I do not remember seeing John Wall on the floor. If he did play, how did he do? What number does he wear? Not ragging, just asking. I was curious how he would match up against all the hype.

Wall is serving a 1 or 2 game suspension for "irregularities" with an AAU coach/agent. He'll be back soon and will match up with the hype very well.

Thankfully, he will be playing for pay next year.

tnqball writes:

Our point guard play will have to improve. Just an observation, but it seems that everytime that Michael Hubert gets on the floor he shoots the 3 very well. I think that maybe he should get some time on the floor. I know it is early and Michael has embraced his role on this team, but stil what could it hurt?
Also, if you go back to last year, the first game played the Vols did everything right and look how the season ended up. Maybe this is a good sign and will be a final four team!

bluevol writes:

Pastner, Tigers get commitment from prospect Jelan Kendrick 6-foot-6 Atlanta player ranked

No. 8 by Rivals.com

By Dan Wolken

Originally published 06:39 p.m., November 14, 2009
Updated 06:39 p.m., November 14, 2009

University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner added to his star-studded recruiting haul Saturday in a major way when Jelan Kendrick committed to the Tigers.

Kendrick, a 6-6 guard/forward from Atlanta, is rated as the No. 8 overall player in the country by Rivals.com. His committment is a stunner -- not just for Memphis, but for all of college basketball since Kendrick had said all year that he would wait until next spring to make his college choice.

Though Memphis had been recruiting Kendrick hard, and he had been on campus as recently as last month for an unofficial visit, there were no indications he was ready to pull the trigger.

Instead, Kendrick sneaked into town Saturday afternoon and called an impromptu news conference at The Peabody, where he announced that he had indeed signed a National Letter of Intent with the Tigers.

With Kendrick in the fold, Memphis has three of the top 15 players in the country for 2010 and is almost guaranteed to have the top-ranked recruiting class.

Though on the surface Kendrick's addition may not make much sense, given that the Tigers have already signed four guards, he said his comfort level with the other members of the recruiting class was crucial.

Kendrick played the latter part of the AAU season with signees Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford, and Will Barton had been working on Kendrick hard for the past several weeks.

Since that time, Kendrick took visits to Georgetown, Alabama and Indiana.

Amazing, three five star players coming in next year along with that 4 star mad bomber Crawford. Not to mention they already have one 5 star player, Elliot William, on the team, a sophomore.... four 5 star players for Memphis next year and Pastner still has 3 scholarships to give,, whew!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

Haha I don't know what you guys are talking about. I've gone to the RTL, exhibition, and opener games and I've seen great improvement. To me Tyler looked like an NBA player. He had this energy and confidence about him that helped the team tremendously. Scotty, of course, played awesome. How bout Tatum with 15 pts off the bench? I've been saying this all year, I think Skylar is overrated...there's a reason we didn't recruit him. All the fan like him because he's the only white guy in the rotation...just like Dane Bradshaw and Steven Pearl, both of whom were/are not key contributors. Sorry, that's a different story.

But the point is everyone on here loves to overlook how well the team plays and just wants to point out every flaw like the fairweather fans you are. You guys sound the same way you did earlier in the football season about Crompton. Instead of bashing a player when he's struggling, you should try to encourage. DUH! GO VOLS!!

Mostly agree with everything you said, but you are premature in judging Skylar and WAY off-base with regard to Dane. This was Skylar's first real college game. He'll get it together. There may be a reason why he wasn't a blue-chipper coming out of HS but there is no reason he can't contribute. As for Dane, every single coach of every single team we played during his last two years at least said they wished they had him on their team. Don't be like Naffy/Rob/whatever in demonstrating that you don't know any more about basketball than what you see in the box score. Steve Pearl...eh, who cares? He won't ever be on the floor during crunch time, so don't sweat it.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

the only Reason you show is the reason to blab your BS every post.

If we would have won by 70 you would have said ah we should have won 90.

No matter the sport, player or whatever your voice will always be to put down instead of encourage

Is it possible that you were replying to a different post?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVolunteer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is it possible that this is the poster formerly known as MorristownVol? If not, he is likely to sue you for plagiarism. If it is, it is clear you haven't gained any wisdom in your poor attempt to make yourself over. Besides, there is nothing in AVOR's post that suggests agreement with what you said.

xvolx writes:

in response to Smallmike4pres:

It's the first game of the year, idiot! Did you think they would be in final four mode the first game out, there John Wooden? I suspect you will be back posting on here in March about how great this team is & how you knew they would do it all along.

I suspect you will be wrong again.

AVOL writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks coach......seriously? It's the first game of the SEASON, let them play some ball before you post "the great novel of american hoops"..... good grief!?!?!?

richvol writes:

I don't care if Bert said that Williams lost 20lbs,he could not run last night and had to stop and bend over while they played at the other end of the court...twice. He still does not finish at the rim and that's inexcusable for a 6'10" 300lb post. Why defend his timidness? Yes,he has shown improvement since he got there but he is now an upperclassman and should be getting the job done.

Prince is a wasted spot on the floor 90% of the time. Occasionally he does something to let you see what he's capable of if he cared enough to give 100% effort but most of the time he is coasting...and it's contageous.

Tyler played like an all-american and Hopson played well. This ridiculous criticizem of the arc on his shot is stupid. Who cares if it goes up to the rafters if it goes in the basket. What difference does it make? Leave his shot alone...it's what makes him confortable.

Goins looked really quick and strong on defense and Skyler looked good on d as well...the shots will begin to fall. Tatum looked better than ever.

Slystone writes:

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

Pearl you are getting out recruited. Get Busy!

CoachFulmer writes:

in response to richvol:

Very disapointed in Brian Williams...he is not in shape. He looks to be heavier than last year and could not make it up and down the floor tonight. He also is weak around the basket. He missed at least 3 point blank shots. A 6'10" 300 pound junior should never be stopped on a dunk right under the basket. If someone tries to block his shot then he should cram them through the net along with the ball. Man up...

Thank you Thank you. Everything you said fits the big man to the tee.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to richvol:

I don't care if Bert said that Williams lost 20lbs,he could not run last night and had to stop and bend over while they played at the other end of the court...twice. He still does not finish at the rim and that's inexcusable for a 6'10" 300lb post. Why defend his timidness? Yes,he has shown improvement since he got there but he is now an upperclassman and should be getting the job done.

Prince is a wasted spot on the floor 90% of the time. Occasionally he does something to let you see what he's capable of if he cared enough to give 100% effort but most of the time he is coasting...and it's contageous.

Tyler played like an all-american and Hopson played well. This ridiculous criticizem of the arc on his shot is stupid. Who cares if it goes up to the rafters if it goes in the basket. What difference does it make? Leave his shot alone...it's what makes him confortable.

Goins looked really quick and strong on defense and Skyler looked good on d as well...the shots will begin to fall. Tatum looked better than ever.

Good post. Brian's mindset has been a bit of a puzzle to me for some time now. I could understand why he might not have had the killer instinct as a freshman with so little experience actually playing the game. Even then, I sometimes marveled at his skills and feel for some of the subtleties of the game. Last year, I saw some improvement, especially in his shooting touch. This year, I expected to see him really start to break out. I have come to the conclusion that he is just not going to be the kind of player to ATTACK the basket and dare anyone to stop him. Even so, if he gets in shape and takes care of the ball, he could be a real asset on a strong team. I'm just not seeing all of it yet.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVolunteer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's funny. Talk about getting a life; I surely haven't read anybody's posts except as they are posted. The similarities in themes and even expressions aren't that hard to pick up. If you aren't him, you are just like him. Thanks for your concern about how I spend my time, but I'm doing fine.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVolunteer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's OK. These boards don't always bring out the best in everybody. I'm fortunate to be able work at my own pace from home. I play golf about twice a week. I sometimes do volunteer work. I am on here a lot during basketball and football seasons, but very little in the off-season. I will say that being on here is one of the main things I do for fun other than what I said. Since I don't live in K'ville anymore, this is the only way I can keep up with other fans of UT sports. You have a blessed day, too.

As for the the team's style of play, it seems to be based on the idea from military doctrine that war is chaos, not that I have heard CBP say this in so many words. Detailed plans rarely survive contact with the enemy. The victor is usually the one who thrives in the chaos while the other side is trying to execute his detailed plan. This makes for a great deal of seemingly random action and sometimes fails if the other side IS able to continue to carry out his plan. I have always been partial to a BIT more control and attention to detail than CBP seems to be, but I must say that he has been pretty successful at it for a pretty good while now and watching UT basketball is seldom dull, however offensive it may be to a purist!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FWIW, that is one of the most reasonable posts I have ever seen from you. I agree completely.

BigOrangeGhostHunter writes:

in response to A_VOICE_OF_REASON:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You truly have the most misleading name I've ever seen. Your about as reasonable as man about to jump off the ledge, which, given some of your posts, I'm not convinced you aren't gonna be on the news with the police trying to talk you down. Pessimism may suit you, but it doesn't necessarily suit the tone of this message board. You are clearly a closet Wildcat fan, and I can assure you that your negativity regarding the Vols would be welcomed by them, so why not try it out and see if you like it, because 95% of the people in here are sick and tired of your phooey.

askUncleMaze writes:

in response to AVOL:

Thanks coach......seriously? It's the first game of the SEASON, let them play some ball before you post "the great novel of american hoops"..... good grief!?!?!?

OK B.Maze had a bad game..(S**t happens). I was there & I talk 2 him about it... I can tell you this UT wont go far without Him.. CBP needs to let B.Maze play.. B.Maze took 4 shots & was called selfish after the game...(Bull****)Hell McBee was 0-6 cold not buy a bucket.. But I did watch McBee during warm-ups & He can shoot really good.. All players have bad games..

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