The "T" in Tennessee once again stands for "transition" in the Vols men's basketball ranks.
UT sophomore power forward Jeronne Maymon said he'll be eligible to play in Saturday's game at No. 3-ranked Pittsburgh (9-0).
"All my grades are in; just need one to get posted on the main (web) site,'' the 6-foot-7, 258-pound Maymon said following Wednesday's practice. "It's exciting, but I'm also a little nervous about playing in the game.''
Maymon took and says he passed five classes in the fall semester; the final grade he's waiting to get posted and make his eligibility official is a bowling class that ended in October.
"Maymon brings even more defense and toughness,'' UT senior post Brian Williams said. "We're bringing another dimension into the mix; from a team standpoint, something we needed.''
What the 11th-ranked Vols (6-0) don't need is to lose their team chemistry.
"There will have to be some changing of some roles, and that could present some chemistry issues,'' coach Bruce Pearl said. "Individuals will have to stay right and ready. Our depth has always served us well.''
Maymon will back up freshman Tobias Harris at power forward.
"I'm probably better at the four, but I think it's a matter of what's best for the team,'' said Steven Pearl, who has averaged 14.2 minutes per game. "Renaldo is one of my best friends, and we both understand what's going on and why we'll be fighting for minutes.''
Woolridge has averaged 11.2 minutes playing at the three this season. Woolridge offers the Vols more length (6-9) than Pearl (6-5) or Tatum (6-6), but he has struggled to get his 3-point shot to fall this season (0-for-8).
Bruce Pearl said it remains to be seen if Steven Pearl can be as effective at the three as he was muscling up foes in the paint at power forward.
"The three is completely different; there's a lot more running,'' Steven Pearl said. "Defensive assignments are different, too, most three-men are better shooters and slashers.''
Steven Pearl said he can see the minutes being divided up differently from game to game for various reasons.
"We understand it could be a matter of who is playing better, or the particular match-ups,'' Steven Pearl said. "If we weren't so close as a team and as friends, this wouldn't be so easy.
"But we all know how important our depth is and how quickly things can change.''
About a year ago at this time, Steven Pearl was forced to play 10 minutes at the wing position in the Vols' upset over then-No. 1 Kansas when starter J.P. Prince ran into foul trouble.
Woolridge, meanwhile, played at the four for 34 minutes against the Jayhawks, where he was 4-of-6 shooting beyond the 3-point arc.
Steven Pearl said he has no problem stepping aside for a player like Maymon.
"He's more athletic than I am, so he can get closer to the basket,'' Steven Pearl said. "I mean, the guy is a linebacker; he's the one person I've ever played against that I can't front at the post.
"He reminds me a lot of Draymond Green from Michigan State; he has those quick hands to get steals.''
Bone Conditioning: UT senior Josh Bone went through conditioning drills with the possibility he will return to the team. Bone, a combo guard, suffered a fractured wrist in October and will have his cast removed on Monday.
Maymon's Slate: In addition to the bowling elective Maymon took this fall, the two-time Wisconsin player of the year took two psychology classes, a communications class and a musicology class.