Mike Strange: Some timely holiday cheer from Vols

UT's Scotty Hopson on 66-65 win over Belmont

"Merry Christmas, everybody,'' shouted the figure in a gray sweatsuit as he flashed through the media work room on his way to the holidays.

Indeed, it will be a merrier Christmas for Scotty Hopson after the ending he helped author for Tennessee on the night before the night before Christmas.

Hopson scored the final nine Tennessee points and the Vols needed every last one of them to subdue Belmont 66-65 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

That's good news for UT on a number of fronts.

One is avoiding the first four-game losing streak of the Bruce Pearl era.

Another is that if Hopson doesn't convert the driving layup with 5.7 seconds to play, UT is looking at a hat trick of one-point losses to follow on the heels of Charlotte and Southern Cal.

But it also matters which Vol got to go home in the orange hero's cape.

If you want to make a case that "as Hopson goes, so go the Vols," you could present the past five games as evidence.

Hopson carried UT to victory at Pittsburgh on Dec. 11. Without him going off for 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting there's no way the Vols get the attention-grabbing, RPI-boosting win.

Alas, in UT's crash-back-to-earth losing streak Hopson was mired in a horrid shooting slump and turnover frenzy.

He put that to bed by taking over the final four minutes Thursday night. If he wasn't slashing through Belmont's defense for the basket, he was getting fouled and hitting the free throws.

"That's good for him and good for their team,'' said Belmont coach Rick Byrd.

"He's hard for us to guard and he's hard for a lot of people to guard.

"I'm sure Bruce just wants him to be more aggressive offensively. Sometimes he disappears for them, I think, and I'm sure this is a big step for them.''

Hopson got his 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 8-of-9 at the free-throw stripe.

With 3:50 to play and Belmont hanging within three points, Hopson slashed for a dunk, was fouled and finished the three-point play for a 60-54 lead.

Next trip, he drew the foul and hit the freebies. His subsequent drive ended in his fourth turnover, but he didn't back off.

After Belmont took a 63-62 lead, Hopson went on the move, drew the foul and converted both tries to restore Tennessee to a 64-63 lead with 37.5 seconds left.

Belmont got a go-ahead bucket with 18 seconds on the clock and it looked like dej<0x00E0> vu all over again.

However, unlike the past two games, Pearl had a plan that produced a high-percentage look at the basket.

His plan? Hopson, one more time.

"We forced the ball to him and told him to get to the rim or get fouled, and he did,'' Pearl said.

Said Hopson, "It was really the same play, either side, every time.

"For me to get the ball in 'iso' and whatever way I drive, the big men are clearing out the paint for me and I was able to score some buckets.''

A word about the big men. Pearl has been saying for a couple of weeks that it takes all five guys in sync to make an offensive play come to fruition.

This wasn't just a case of saying, "Here's the ball, Scotty, go score and everybody get out of the way." On the game-winning basket, center Brian Williams sealed off the help-side defense to assure Hopson a clear path.

"We were properly spaced,'' said Pearl, "and Brian manhandled the post. There was no help.''

Instead, there is hope.

The Vols still have a ton of work to do before they launch into SEC play in January.

At least Hopson, the guy the Vols have to get points from every time out, heads home to Hopkinsville, Ky., feeling better about himself.

He knows when his team needed him he rose out of a slump and delivered.

That's fine, but it's also temporary. Another week will bring another game when the Vols need him to deliver again.

With that in mind, Pearl was cautious in validating exactly how big of a step Hopson took in those final four minutes.

"That depends,'' said Pearl, "on what he does when he comes back.''

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com or 865-342-6276. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange

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Comments » 44

VolinCalif writes:

Thanks to you Mike am having a great Christmas. I hope you and all the staff and fans back there have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
Out here in Calif. we are making sure that we use the words Merry Christmas to every one. Hope You are doing the same.

rebvavolfan1 writes:

Lot of vol fans saying a lot of negative things about the mens BB team. They have a very short term memory. Remember last years run in the ncaa tourney. Remember this year beating up on Vill and Pitt. I kept hearing how great this team is going to be. We slipped back losing 3 in a row to two very good ball clubs. This years vols are still looking for their roots. I believe in time this will be a very good team going into the ncaa tourney. CBP has done an outstanding job since he has been at UT. Yes we have had a ruff past 10 days, but I remember when it was a lot worse. Pearl has made Tennesee a BB program to be proud of. To all the bashers, get a life. Remember how this program faired since Coach Ray Mears. Bruce has brought back Tennessee to new heights. Go Vols Merry Christmas

Laydbakvol writes:

Good finish, but it's scary to see halftime leads disappear the way they have been. The second half should be a chance to increase your lead, not give the other team a way out.

utjunkie writes:

in response to rebvavolfan1:

Lot of vol fans saying a lot of negative things about the mens BB team. They have a very short term memory. Remember last years run in the ncaa tourney. Remember this year beating up on Vill and Pitt. I kept hearing how great this team is going to be. We slipped back losing 3 in a row to two very good ball clubs. This years vols are still looking for their roots. I believe in time this will be a very good team going into the ncaa tourney. CBP has done an outstanding job since he has been at UT. Yes we have had a ruff past 10 days, but I remember when it was a lot worse. Pearl has made Tennesee a BB program to be proud of. To all the bashers, get a life. Remember how this program faired since Coach Ray Mears. Bruce has brought back Tennessee to new heights. Go Vols Merry Christmas

I think we have alot of fair weather fans when it comes to mens basketball. I also think some of the people on this site pretend to be Vol fans, when they are fans other schools. All they are trying to do is start trouble. Every school in the SEC would love to see coach Pearl fired. They know this guy can win.

slambob2#228938 writes:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

Wow, now I feel terrible. For some reason I thought we'd won.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

volholic#282380 writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

So I guess Christmas is cancelled?

FeelVol writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

Agree with your candor,thanks.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good points. Merry Christmas to all you Vol fans and yes to you Z and to you DC.

thevoice writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

I agree completely, especially about Pearl wearing down. It's as if he's already been informed by the NCAA of the news, but it's not officially public yet. I can hear it in his interviews and his word choice is different nowadays... doesn't exude the confidence he once did.

Someone, somehow needs to groom and be a mentor for T Harris. He's the most impressive person on and off the court and sidelines. Who says Freshmen can't be leaders? John Wall did it. Harris is our only chance for a leader on this team.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor sneak and peak at all Witch Doctors presents under tree! Witch Doctor believe Witch Doctor wife must be waiting to surprise Witch Doctor with Hooter girl he ask for!
Bones never lie.
(Witch Doctor say BB team very unfocused)

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

Dead on post!! Twice Hopson gave up 2 easy lay ups because he was so far out of position..Funny that had Pearl been on him no way belmont scores that basket..Also had Williams not blocked out for Hopson only a foul would have saved us.At least Hopson is still automatic on FT's

bobbarbilly writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor sneak and peak at all Witch Doctors presents under tree! Witch Doctor believe Witch Doctor wife must be waiting to surprise Witch Doctor with Hooter girl he ask for!
Bones never lie.
(Witch Doctor say BB team very unfocused)

If Witch Doctor's wife have sense of humor, female owl may fly from tree as squirrel did in Christmas Vacation.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to thevoice:

I agree completely, especially about Pearl wearing down. It's as if he's already been informed by the NCAA of the news, but it's not officially public yet. I can hear it in his interviews and his word choice is different nowadays... doesn't exude the confidence he once did.

Someone, somehow needs to groom and be a mentor for T Harris. He's the most impressive person on and off the court and sidelines. Who says Freshmen can't be leaders? John Wall did it. Harris is our only chance for a leader on this team.

I was thinking the same thing about Pearl this morning. The mood changed with this team almost overnight about 10-12 days ago. The report was supposed to come to the university this month, right? I wouldn't be suprised in the least if Hammy, Pearl and the team know what the NCAA said in the report and are waiting until after New Year's to release the findings to the media.
It just looks as though the life got sucked out of the players and staff the last couple of weeks.

rdrgtr writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor sneak and peak at all Witch Doctors presents under tree! Witch Doctor believe Witch Doctor wife must be waiting to surprise Witch Doctor with Hooter girl he ask for!
Bones never lie.
(Witch Doctor say BB team very unfocused)

Does witch doctor wife have sister?

OrangePride writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

I was thinking the same thing about Pearl this morning. The mood changed with this team almost overnight about 10-12 days ago. The report was supposed to come to the university this month, right? I wouldn't be suprised in the least if Hammy, Pearl and the team know what the NCAA said in the report and are waiting until after New Year's to release the findings to the media.
It just looks as though the life got sucked out of the players and staff the last couple of weeks.

Perhaps it's reading too much into body language, but if you watch the Pearl interviews from earlier in the season and now, it is undeniable that the fire and humor are now gone. In this interview, he almost seemed on the verge of tears......and it was a win? If the front office has not seen the NCAA report, they must have a very good idea of what's coming; and it isn't good. CBP has been the energy and fight in this team since his arrival and it does not take a psychologist to see that those ingredients have been missing for two weeks now.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to OrangePride:

Perhaps it's reading too much into body language, but if you watch the Pearl interviews from earlier in the season and now, it is undeniable that the fire and humor are now gone. In this interview, he almost seemed on the verge of tears......and it was a win? If the front office has not seen the NCAA report, they must have a very good idea of what's coming; and it isn't good. CBP has been the energy and fight in this team since his arrival and it does not take a psychologist to see that those ingredients have been missing for two weeks now.

Witch Doctor hear from 3 pretty good sources that something in report not talked about before...(?) Witch Doctor hear the Athletic dept was like a funeral home. Witch Doctor believe they must be exploring every option but Pearl gone(?).(Witch Doctor said earlier if WRONG Witch Doctor gladly wear egg on face as a HUGE Pearl supporter..past and present.)

Bones never lie.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor sneak and peak at all Witch Doctors presents under tree! Witch Doctor believe Witch Doctor wife must be waiting to surprise Witch Doctor with Hooter girl he ask for!
Bones never lie.
(Witch Doctor say BB team very unfocused)

I thought I saw WD_wife shopping for white tank, orange shorts, blonde wig and push-up bra in her size at the flea market last week. Was that what you were expecting? Drink more eggnog and your eyes will be unfocused too.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I thought I saw WD_wife shopping for white tank, orange shorts, blonde wig and push-up bra in her size at the flea market last week. Was that what you were expecting? Drink more eggnog and your eyes will be unfocused too.

Witch Doctor believe she have to throw acid in Witch Doctors eyes first to pull that one off....Witch Doctor really ok with that if she does...lol.
Bones never lie.

Pompey writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Thanks to you Mike am having a great Christmas. I hope you and all the staff and fans back there have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
Out here in Calif. we are making sure that we use the words Merry Christmas to every one. Hope You are doing the same.

.....we don't have to, we live in the real world.

thevoice writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

I was thinking the same thing about Pearl this morning. The mood changed with this team almost overnight about 10-12 days ago. The report was supposed to come to the university this month, right? I wouldn't be suprised in the least if Hammy, Pearl and the team know what the NCAA said in the report and are waiting until after New Year's to release the findings to the media.
It just looks as though the life got sucked out of the players and staff the last couple of weeks.

True. I have a feeling the news is not going to be good. Wouldn't be surprised if the penalty damages the university as well, especially for not issuing harsher penalties (the recruiting visit restriction period was a joke and most people would still be tickled to death to earn "only" $1-1.5 million a year).

Evidently, and according to these posters, I'm in the minority about how I feel about Bruce. He has undeniably brought the program to heights is has has never seen. But I like to look at the bigger picture of our society in which I live and my Alma Mater... what and who shapes it ('cause they sure ain't getting no better with generations). His past actions are approaching "inexcusable" for a person of his position. After all, he does indeed influence our future generations. Not to mention the irreparable damage he has inflicted on the university. But most people may not see this, as they are concerned only with winning. I think winning is awesome too! But I'm just as, if not more, concerned with how the winning is done. Just trying to provide an objective voice, as I believe most people who are behind Bruce would be ragging him if he were coaching at Memphis. Some day, as Coach Wooden says, people will realize all we really have is what we are, not what we've done. Just a thought.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor hear from 3 pretty good sources that something in report not talked about before...(?) Witch Doctor hear the Athletic dept was like a funeral home. Witch Doctor believe they must be exploring every option but Pearl gone(?).(Witch Doctor said earlier if WRONG Witch Doctor gladly wear egg on face as a HUGE Pearl supporter..past and present.)

Bones never lie.

If your sources are correct, then Bruce's termination may only be a formality. Sucks but they might not have a choice.
Maybe if Bruce had changed his last name to "Newton" or "Pryor" then he would be fine by NCAA standards.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to thevoice:

True. I have a feeling the news is not going to be good. Wouldn't be surprised if the penalty damages the university as well, especially for not issuing harsher penalties (the recruiting visit restriction period was a joke and most people would still be tickled to death to earn "only" $1-1.5 million a year).

Evidently, and according to these posters, I'm in the minority about how I feel about Bruce. He has undeniably brought the program to heights is has has never seen. But I like to look at the bigger picture of our society in which I live and my Alma Mater... what and who shapes it ('cause they sure ain't getting no better with generations). His past actions are approaching "inexcusable" for a person of his position. After all, he does indeed influence our future generations. Not to mention the irreparable damage he has inflicted on the university. But most people may not see this, as they are concerned only with winning. I think winning is awesome too! But I'm just as, if not more, concerned with how the winning is done. Just trying to provide an objective voice, as I believe most people who are behind Bruce would be ragging him if he were coaching at Memphis. Some day, as Coach Wooden says, people will realize all we really have is what we are, not what we've done. Just a thought.

And I really hate if for the current players if Pearl's gone. They evidently love playing for the guy.
We as fans will get over it. It's the team that will suffer the most.

rab63 writes:

Is Hall the only "big" we have coming back next year? Are there any recruits on the radar that could back him up? I think we're going to be in trouble under the basket.

RoadTrip writes:

It may be that the NCAA has determined there is a lack of institutional control in the athletic department with 3 men's sports programs under investigation. It will be interesting to see where all of this leads. I agree with Witch Doctor - despite my desire for CBP to stay - there is more to the story than what has been disclosed so far. I believe that some of what we have seen is a smokescreen to keep fans involved so the money flow does not stop. Regardless, it needs cleaned up and new leadership with character installed. Wins without good character don't mean spit in my book.

Besides all of that, the obvious issue with this team is a lack of player leadership. The upperclassmen don't lead. There needs to be an enforcer that when he sees Scotty sulking or Melvin blowing it all off or Brian getting out of position on defense or Coach playing his son or Skyler too much; gets in their faces and calls them out like Weezy would do.

TennVol01 writes:

Belmont is a very good team !! They could beat the last three teams that the Vols lost to. They have only three losses .... 2 to the Vols and 1 to Vandy. If the Vols can turn around there "up and down" play and make the big tourney, they may play Belmont again if the brackets line up. Congrats go out to Belmont and Vols for an entertaining night of basketball. I think I held my breath the last four minutes of play.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

If your sources are correct, then Bruce's termination may only be a formality. Sucks but they might not have a choice.
Maybe if Bruce had changed his last name to "Newton" or "Pryor" then he would be fine by NCAA standards.

Witch Doctor really really hope sources misreading something or flat wrong but I really dont as they have no reason or motive. Witch Doctor bet this is a "lets get through the holidays thing"..ouch.
Bones never lie.
Vol Nation will survive!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

My sources tell me that it will all come out just before conference play, most likely after the Mempho game. I think Pearl will be back but it may be in a year. We will soon find out.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

My sources tell me that it will all come out just before conference play, most likely after the Mempho game. I think Pearl will be back but it may be in a year. We will soon find out.

Witch Doctor bet your right.(hope we're both wrong)
Bones never lie.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

I"ve been a VOLFAN since the late 60's (gre up in Farragut area) so I've seen a lot of ups and downs in all of the programs. Seems as like Scotty is fine until someone really guards him and then he does not wish to put forth the effort to play hard - - so he doesn't. If he wants to go to the NBA he better play hard every game. There are many better players than Scotty (is currently playing)that have not made it in the NBA. Teams do come into focus on him - - to shut him down but he has got to play through that if he is going to be the leader of this team. Scotty is not the only problem thta needs to be fixed on this team. As I've stated before I believe that Pearl knows (or thinks) this could be his last year coaching; so he better take these players as far as he can because I fear things are going to change for the worst after the NCAA comes calling. There is no doubt Pearl can coach just look at what he has accomplished BEFORE he starting getting some of the higher rated recruits. He coached and won big with walk ons. It's great that we won however, Belmont should not have even been in the game. And we should not have lost the other three; what's going on? If the players know that Bruce is going to be gone because of the NCAA, I believe I would be playing my best to show the world what a great coach Pearl is and that I (the players) have great talent. I'm frustrated.

TommyJack writes:

All are frustrated. Including the team. They have been affected since (guessing) they were told that CPB would be suspended. I hope CBP survies (even if we have to have an interim coach).

Mike Strange perhaps the best at KNS. Gribbs star rising too, IMO.

Colliervol writes:

in response to Razorhog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Non UT fan. Opinion irrelevant.

allvol32 writes:

Compare:

1. Cam Newton's father VERY likely takes $200,000 for his son's play at Auburn.

2. Bruce Pearl had a cookout at his house with 3 recruits only one of which signed at TN.

Guess which violation is worse in the eyes of the esteemed NCAA?

I put about as much stock in the NCAA as I do the Heisman voters - it's all BS. It's time for the top 100 sports schools to drop the NCAA and it's capricous lunacy.

Colliervol writes:

Said since this started that the NCAA could come down hard enough to make the University let him go if there were other issues that haven't been disclosed. I do not believe that a few phone calls and a hot dog cookout are enough to fire a man who has contributed a ton to the University and is an excellent coach to boot. True, the lying was unacceptable and he is being punished severely for that but one lapse in judgement should not be grounds for dismissal. If there are other issues, then that is a different matter.

Either way, the University will move forward. The good news is that the school has witnessed what can happen when you want a program to succeed (unlike when Doug Dickey was in charge) and you get the right coach in place to sell it. BP isn't the only coach out there in that mold and UT has the money to get one there if Pearl is forced out. Que sera sera.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Said since this started that the NCAA could come down hard enough to make the University let him go if there were other issues that haven't been disclosed. I do not believe that a few phone calls and a hot dog cookout are enough to fire a man who has contributed a ton to the University and is an excellent coach to boot. True, the lying was unacceptable and he is being punished severely for that but one lapse in judgement should not be grounds for dismissal. If there are other issues, then that is a different matter.

Either way, the University will move forward. The good news is that the school has witnessed what can happen when you want a program to succeed (unlike when Doug Dickey was in charge) and you get the right coach in place to sell it. BP isn't the only coach out there in that mold and UT has the money to get one there if Pearl is forced out. Que sera sera.

And those coaches would be who?

UTByrd writes:

in response to allvol32:

Compare:

1. Cam Newton's father VERY likely takes $200,000 for his son's play at Auburn.

2. Bruce Pearl had a cookout at his house with 3 recruits only one of which signed at TN.

Guess which violation is worse in the eyes of the esteemed NCAA?

I put about as much stock in the NCAA as I do the Heisman voters - it's all BS. It's time for the top 100 sports schools to drop the NCAA and it's capricous lunacy.

How about the Ohio State football players. They violated enough rules to be suspended for 5/6 games next year but yet are eligible to play in this year's bowl game.
Mark May on ESPN gave the NCAA the dickens last night on this issue. He said if this happened to an SEC team, the punishment would be much harsher. He nailed it on the head.
Coach Pearl has received enough punishment as it stands. The loss of income for him and his coaches, the lack of recruiting opportunities, the public embarassment...all over a little white lie.
How's them double standards working for you, NCAA?
Go VOLS and I'll see ya'll in Nashville on the 30th.

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

in response to slambob2#228938:

Yes, it was a good last four minutes for Scotty, except that we were behind in the final seconds because he was completely lost and his man drove for the easy basket with 18 seconds left, and Scotty turned it over with about 2 minutes to go, but other than that and the first 36 minutes, he played great.

Credit where credit is due. Good job on the driving jam. And great job on the free throws. But the last bucket was more to the credit of Brian Williams being a fullback and clearing the lane for an open two-footer.

CBP has no answers for this team and I can't help but think it's his problems that have infected the whole team. He's a great coach, but not now.

A come-from-behind one point victory over Belmont that looked and felt like a loss does not fill me with holiday cheer about this team.

There are serious problems in leadership on the court and on the sidelines.

Actually, I thought it was the 15 missed fts that had us behind; same as in the other lost games.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Thanks to you Mike am having a great Christmas. I hope you and all the staff and fans back there have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
Out here in Calif. we are making sure that we use the words Merry Christmas to every one. Hope You are doing the same.

Absolutely.Spot on my man.It is CHRISTmas.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Some telling stats about Mr.Hopson.

As Hopson goes,so do the Vols.

In the 8 wins,including the pre season games Hopson's stats are:

50 of 117 from the floor.42.73%
14 of 35 from three point land. 40%
38 of 50 free throws. 76%
161 points scored.17.8 average.
In the 4 loses including the pre season:
8 of 32 from the floor.25%
1 of 11 from three point land.0.9%
14 of 18 free throws.78%
39 points scored.9.2 average.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to allvol32:

Compare:

1. Cam Newton's father VERY likely takes $200,000 for his son's play at Auburn.

2. Bruce Pearl had a cookout at his house with 3 recruits only one of which signed at TN.

Guess which violation is worse in the eyes of the esteemed NCAA?

I put about as much stock in the NCAA as I do the Heisman voters - it's all BS. It's time for the top 100 sports schools to drop the NCAA and it's capricous lunacy.

It is not the BBQ that is the big deal.One lie after another to the NCAA as well as asking the other Coaches and the players involved to lie is the sin here.
You can be sure your sins will find you out.

I surely hope the punishment met out by the University will be enough.Doubt it though.We need Bruce. I for one, hope the University is willing to hold place for him if he is not allowed to Coach for a year.If I were to be forced to forfit 1.5 million over the next 5 years,I would have to borrow the money to forfit.
1.5 mil to Pearl will hurt him as much as the rest of us loseing same % of our wages the next 5 years.He earns a lot of money,but his standard of liveing is tied to his salary just as ours.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas. Looks like we're gonna get a white Christmas after all, at least in Mid TN. Be careful if you're traveling and enjoy the time with the family.
GO BIG ORANGE!!

dvsvol writes:

Methink this has been the most thoughtful and mature group of posts I've ever read after an article. And not JUST because WitchDoctor has joined us. Very few negative posts, just for the sake of angering others, very little intentionally hurtful comments about our great athletes, nothing about past coaches that are not relevant to our future, ...am I on the right site? Guess I'm saying thanks to the true Vols who've come out here on XMas eve. God bless you each and every one. I may even venture into the posts of the next articles I read. This gives this old man hope.

rdrgtr writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Thanks to you Mike am having a great Christmas. I hope you and all the staff and fans back there have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
Out here in Calif. we are making sure that we use the words Merry Christmas to every one. Hope You are doing the same.

Of all of the uncertainties listed in these posts, You speak of something that we are truly promised. Merry Christmas my friend.

Juzkruzin writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor bet your right.(hope we're both wrong)
Bones never lie.

That is what I am hearing also from people in the right places to know these things. CBP will be suspended for one year, the 2011-2012 season, and after the suppension, he will be back on the market as a coach, not having to go back to UT to finish his contract. If the Big H wants Coach Pearl he is going to have to come up with some serious money to get him, as several teams have their check books open. Pearl has said several times that there is no other place he would rather coach than the BO. So if my sources are right we will find out in a little over 16-17 months, if the BO is the place he wants to coach at.

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