Strange: Vols can feel 'good' about things

Mike Strange
Tennessee center Wayne Chism celebrates after making a basket during the game against South Carolina Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.  Chism scored 30 points for the Vols.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee center Wayne Chism celebrates after making a basket during the game against South Carolina Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Chism scored 30 points for the Vols.

How’s this for an ending?

Josh Bone, Quinn Cannington and Kenny Hall casually parade to the stripe and swish free throws.

Instead of being on the edge of its seat, the Thompson-Boling Arena crowd of 21,003 is already on the edge of the parking lot.

Dangerous Devan Downey has retired in submission to the South Carolina bench and holstered his guns for another battle.

The student section raises the chant “Just like football, just like football.’’

Finally, Saturday evening, an opportunity for Tennessee basketball to exhale. And smile.

When Scotty Hopson made that basket to beat Florida six days earlier, it was a joyous occasion, a SportsCenter moment. But given a choice, I’ll take the ending I saw Saturday.

Tennessee dominated South Carolina 79-53. When’s the last time Tennessee dominated anyone?

To be fair, domination should not be the goal in the SEC grind. With rare exceptions the competition is too fierce. You take your one-point wins and go on to the next one.

That said, in Tennessee’s case the next one — and then the next one after that — oh, boy. Fasten your seatbelt.

During the next 16 days, the Vols face the season’s most daunting stretch of basketball. Four of the next five games are on the road, all against SEC East opponents.

It starts Tuesday at Vanderbilt, the Vols’ third game in six days. Up next, on Saturday, is Rupp Arena. You may have heard, Kentucky has improved a bit since last year.

After a Feb. 17 pit stop to do laundry and hit this team’s favorite training table, Waffle House — and play Georgia — it’s back into the jungle, at South Carolina and then Florida.

Knowing that murderer’s row lurked on the horizon, I had been watching for post-Kansas signs that the Vols were up to it. And I had been watching mostly in vain.

Toughing out a road win at Alabama on Jan. 19 was a legit sign. Since then, nothing much.

For whatever reasons, the Vols more or less mailed it in at Georgia. Then, at home against Vanderbilt, they blinked at crunch time and let the Commodores get away with one.

Beating Florida 61-60 last Sunday was big. Still, Tennessee was fortunate. The Gators missed a bunch of shots they normally make, including the potential game-winner.

As for a 59-54 win at LSU on Thursday night, I didn’t race away from that one and make Sweet 16 hotel reservations. LSU is a dreadful team and on that night, the Vols weren’t much better.

For a while, Saturday actually looked like more of same. The Vols started out rushing up shots as if the bus was already warming up for the ride to the airport. At one point they were 1-for-8, then 3-for-16.

Maybe the least impressive 17-4 team in America, I remember thinking.

Then, something began to click. An extra pass here, a defensive stop there, and momentum slowly started to build.

With Wayne Chism leading the way, most everyone pitched in. South Carolina had no answers, not even the marvelous Downey.

Throughout the second half, Tennessee looked like a deserving 18-4, a contender rather than a pretender.

“We played a lot better,’’ confirmed coach Bruce Pearl.

“We talked a lot about that if we were going to continue to win, we were going to have to play better.’’

Continuing to win at the tough joints coming up on Tennessee’s itinerary is a lot to ask. But the team I saw play against South Carolina, at least you’re not afraid to ask.

The defense remained sound. After the early flurry of questionable shots, Tennessee settled down and played its best offense in a while.

Bobby Maze raised his point-guard consciousness. The Vols valued possessions (only six turnovers) and recognized that Chism was money in the bank.

They won the boards. For that matter, they won every column of the box score.

“You feel better about yourself,’’ said Pearl. “You feel you’ve put yourself in position to have a chance.’’

It’s a hard road ahead, but having a chance is a better position than the Vols were in before Saturday.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com or 865-342-6276.

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Comments » 27

Ironcity writes:

Well said.

stayingorange writes:

Keep clicking, and no blinking this time against Vandy.

10SE writes:

Nice! Now lets do it again next week!

10SE writes:

How good will we be if Scotty plays up to his potential?

Bogytrain writes:

If Tatum misses much time with that ankle injury it's going to hurt our outside game. He's one of just a few that can shoot on this team. I hope he's OK, but it didn't look good....

jandjhome#228397 writes:

How sweet it is. The Dores got beat tonight also. Perfect night. I hope this win assures us of at least 20 wins.

cdonsbach writes:

Beat the Commode-odors!

dvols writes:

college bball a joke.... and in this market BP is the man!

GerryOP writes:

Great Game! Good job basketVols!

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

How sweet it is. The Dores got beat tonight also. Perfect night. I hope this win assures us of at least 20 wins.

I think for sure we will get at least get 21 wins as a worst case scenario and possbily 24 wins with a strong finish including an upset or two. There are 8 games left with 5 of them being on the road. Here's the remaining schedule and my prediction of the outcome.

Next Tuesday Feb. 9th at Vanderbilt-Win. Vandy got us in TBA in a game that we essentially gave away and now its time to pay them back. I think UT needs a strong start and good play from Maze to run the offense against Jermaine Beal and AJ Ogilivy. In case you didn't know Chism owns I mean OWNS Ogilivy. 19-4 (7-2).

Next Saturday Feb. 13 at Kentucky- Loss. I hate to say we are going to lose at any point but I think it would be a daunting task to win back to back road games against two of the top teams in the SEC. Kentucky will double team Chism and force our shooters who are inconsistent to beat them. Also, Kentucky is undefeated at home this season. 19-5 (7-3).

Feb. 17 vs. Georgia-Win. Georgia is a better home team than they are a road team and I think UT feeds the ball inside to Chism, Hall and maybe even Williams. Tennessee hasn't forgotten the nightmare of a game that was in Athens.
20-5 (8-3).

Feb. 20 at South Carolina-Win. I think if we play like we did last night we can beat South Carolina again. We can ill afford a slow start on the road in Columbia, but I'll say win.
21-5 (9-3)

Feb. 23 at Florida-Toss up, but I'll say Loss. Florida might be one of the most underrated teams in our league and given their play from Parsons and Tyrus they're a team that causes trouble for our Vols. 21-6 (9-4).

Feb. 27 vs. Kentucky-Win. I think we bounce back from a couple of road losses to pay the Cats back at home. This time we get contributions from the whole team. Pearl usually always splits with UK and I think the home game gives us a better chance to beat a very good Kentucky team. This gives our Vols at least the 21 wins I said with room for improvement. 22-6 (10-4)

Mar. 3rd vs. Arkansas-Win. I've watched the Razorbacks play a few times and have not really been impressed with them. This is Senior day and I think Chism, Prince, and Maze shine in their last game at home in front of their family and a rowdy sell out crowd. 23-6 (11-4)

Season Finale Mar. 6 at Miss. State-Win. I think our boys still have a sour taste in their mouth from the loss in last years SEC Championship Game. I think Wheezy handles Varnado inside and Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze create offense against a good perimeter defense. We close out our regular season in fashion. 24-6 (12-4)

This might be a little bit of a stretch but I think we can finish 6-2 in our last 8 games if we play up to our capabilities. Good luck and GBO!

KCHS63 writes:

in response to dvols:

college bball a joke.... and in this market BP is the man!

No, the joke is pro bb. That's why Tennessee's attendance historically ranks ABOVE the bottom of the NBA. And, why not? Our arena is as good as most of those in the NBA and where do you see the pros schmoozing with the fans like Wayne was last night?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

How sweet it is. The Dores got beat tonight also. Perfect night. I hope this win assures us of at least 20 wins.

Yeah, it will help us for Vandy to have another loss, but I'm afraid it will only fire them up more against us Tuesday. Good thing for us that the guys were able to cruise a bit Saturday. Maybe everybody will be fresh enough to play with energy in Nashville.

rootin4volz writes:

Good Article. Indeed it did start to get fun about a third of the way through the first half, and it just got better. And by the way, I am LOVING Bobby Maze's aggressiveness in driving to the basket. He's like a little steamroller, and they all part like the Red Sea to get out of his way. Pretty fun stuff. Go VOLS!!

acolvol#632266 writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll take the "Gates of Pearl" over the "Commode-Doors" anytime. Go Vols.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Fryinpansvols:

I think for sure we will get at least get 21 wins as a worst case scenario and possbily 24 wins with a strong finish including an upset or two. There are 8 games left with 5 of them being on the road. Here's the remaining schedule and my prediction of the outcome.

Next Tuesday Feb. 9th at Vanderbilt-Win. Vandy got us in TBA in a game that we essentially gave away and now its time to pay them back. I think UT needs a strong start and good play from Maze to run the offense against Jermaine Beal and AJ Ogilivy. In case you didn't know Chism owns I mean OWNS Ogilivy. 19-4 (7-2).

Next Saturday Feb. 13 at Kentucky- Loss. I hate to say we are going to lose at any point but I think it would be a daunting task to win back to back road games against two of the top teams in the SEC. Kentucky will double team Chism and force our shooters who are inconsistent to beat them. Also, Kentucky is undefeated at home this season. 19-5 (7-3).

Feb. 17 vs. Georgia-Win. Georgia is a better home team than they are a road team and I think UT feeds the ball inside to Chism, Hall and maybe even Williams. Tennessee hasn't forgotten the nightmare of a game that was in Athens.
20-5 (8-3).

Feb. 20 at South Carolina-Win. I think if we play like we did last night we can beat South Carolina again. We can ill afford a slow start on the road in Columbia, but I'll say win.
21-5 (9-3)

Feb. 23 at Florida-Toss up, but I'll say Loss. Florida might be one of the most underrated teams in our league and given their play from Parsons and Tyrus they're a team that causes trouble for our Vols. 21-6 (9-4).

Feb. 27 vs. Kentucky-Win. I think we bounce back from a couple of road losses to pay the Cats back at home. This time we get contributions from the whole team. Pearl usually always splits with UK and I think the home game gives us a better chance to beat a very good Kentucky team. This gives our Vols at least the 21 wins I said with room for improvement. 22-6 (10-4)

Mar. 3rd vs. Arkansas-Win. I've watched the Razorbacks play a few times and have not really been impressed with them. This is Senior day and I think Chism, Prince, and Maze shine in their last game at home in front of their family and a rowdy sell out crowd. 23-6 (11-4)

Season Finale Mar. 6 at Miss. State-Win. I think our boys still have a sour taste in their mouth from the loss in last years SEC Championship Game. I think Wheezy handles Varnado inside and Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze create offense against a good perimeter defense. We close out our regular season in fashion. 24-6 (12-4)

This might be a little bit of a stretch but I think we can finish 6-2 in our last 8 games if we play up to our capabilities. Good luck and GBO!

Pretty good analysis. If the team we saw Saturday shows up for all of those, it could well unfold as you say. If they get by Vandy Tuesday, that may well give them the confidence to finish up strong. It will hurt a lot if Cam's ankle injury is as bad as it looked at the time. I would also have liked to see Brian get a few minutes Saturday even if he hasn't been practicing with the team. We will need his bulk and extra fouls to help against all the big guys looming on the horizon.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

It was good to see Bobby get back into his groove. When he is on his game, he is as good as any point guard in the SEC, just a little inconsistent.

Where will we put all these players next yr? Maymon left a team because he wasn't playing enough. How will he and Woolridge expect to play next year - only 2 spots open for next yr (not counting pg) and Tobias has a lock on one of them.

HtownVol writes:

Maze played like a beast. I wish he would use his speed and ball skills more. He has a lot od skill.

Hopson is still trying to make the game come to him. LOnce he figures out how to get his game on he will be great. He has as much talent as ANY player in basketball, he just has to figure out to get the ball in more.

Chism played as inspired as I have ever seen him. He had so much fun. When he has confidence he is unstopable.

The only issue I still have is that Bruce is letting his no talent kid play WAY TOO MUCH!

I understand resting our bigs, but Steven Pearl kills our team, and thje last 5-6 games he is playing over 10 minutes per game. Look at his lay ups, why does he always have to reverse them. All he does when he is in is go to the top, catch and pass. There is no reason for him to play more than 4-5 minutes per game..If that!

Bruce, I am really not understanding why Steven Pearl has played SO MUCH! HE HAS NO TALENT!!!

Sorry guys, I just wish he would see that.

Go Vols!

Pompey writes:

Just think how good they could be if they could make foul shots, and not lead the conference in missed lay ups and missed put backs.........

HtownVol writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are being a little too nice to Steven. High basketball IQ? Why does he try to do reverse layups every time he is close to the rim? I have seen him out of position a lot on D. I give him credit on a few steals, but what I am disappointed about is that he has played in such long stretches lately. A breather for the bigs is ok, but no more than 2-3 min of gamt time in one stratch. You can not say that we are better in any way with him on the floor.

Would be see as much PT with any other team in the SEC, much less the country? No, he wouldnt. I have seen him miss so many lay ups. When he has had a couple break away lay ups the D catches up to him and fouls him (once he got a clean strip on a easy lay up) and he has made 2 free throws in the season.

Summary is he is ok to give someone a break for a couple minutes. Just dont play him as much as he has played lately.

Now that we are back to 9 scholarship players we do not need him. We were a much better team when he stayed on the bench where he belongs.

If you say he deserved to be on the court and you believe that, then Tennessee is not a good overall team.

I disagree, we are good enough and do not need him more than 4 minutes per game, if that.

Go Vols!

jdcdjc writes:

in response to Fryinpansvols:

I think for sure we will get at least get 21 wins as a worst case scenario and possbily 24 wins with a strong finish including an upset or two. There are 8 games left with 5 of them being on the road. Here's the remaining schedule and my prediction of the outcome.

Next Tuesday Feb. 9th at Vanderbilt-Win. Vandy got us in TBA in a game that we essentially gave away and now its time to pay them back. I think UT needs a strong start and good play from Maze to run the offense against Jermaine Beal and AJ Ogilivy. In case you didn't know Chism owns I mean OWNS Ogilivy. 19-4 (7-2).

Next Saturday Feb. 13 at Kentucky- Loss. I hate to say we are going to lose at any point but I think it would be a daunting task to win back to back road games against two of the top teams in the SEC. Kentucky will double team Chism and force our shooters who are inconsistent to beat them. Also, Kentucky is undefeated at home this season. 19-5 (7-3).

Feb. 17 vs. Georgia-Win. Georgia is a better home team than they are a road team and I think UT feeds the ball inside to Chism, Hall and maybe even Williams. Tennessee hasn't forgotten the nightmare of a game that was in Athens.
20-5 (8-3).

Feb. 20 at South Carolina-Win. I think if we play like we did last night we can beat South Carolina again. We can ill afford a slow start on the road in Columbia, but I'll say win.
21-5 (9-3)

Feb. 23 at Florida-Toss up, but I'll say Loss. Florida might be one of the most underrated teams in our league and given their play from Parsons and Tyrus they're a team that causes trouble for our Vols. 21-6 (9-4).

Feb. 27 vs. Kentucky-Win. I think we bounce back from a couple of road losses to pay the Cats back at home. This time we get contributions from the whole team. Pearl usually always splits with UK and I think the home game gives us a better chance to beat a very good Kentucky team. This gives our Vols at least the 21 wins I said with room for improvement. 22-6 (10-4)

Mar. 3rd vs. Arkansas-Win. I've watched the Razorbacks play a few times and have not really been impressed with them. This is Senior day and I think Chism, Prince, and Maze shine in their last game at home in front of their family and a rowdy sell out crowd. 23-6 (11-4)

Season Finale Mar. 6 at Miss. State-Win. I think our boys still have a sour taste in their mouth from the loss in last years SEC Championship Game. I think Wheezy handles Varnado inside and Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze create offense against a good perimeter defense. We close out our regular season in fashion. 24-6 (12-4)

This might be a little bit of a stretch but I think we can finish 6-2 in our last 8 games if we play up to our capabilities. Good luck and GBO!

I think you have set your sights a little high. You guess 21 to 24 wins. I, like you have no crystal ball, but after its all said and done the final win-loss will be 21-9 season. This is a very rough stretch they are ging to have to go through & if the win more than 21 games it will be a good season for the team we have this year. Hopson would have to get red hot for us to pull this season out past 21 wins.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Maze played like a beast. I wish he would use his speed and ball skills more. He has a lot od skill.

Hopson is still trying to make the game come to him. LOnce he figures out how to get his game on he will be great. He has as much talent as ANY player in basketball, he just has to figure out to get the ball in more.

Chism played as inspired as I have ever seen him. He had so much fun. When he has confidence he is unstopable.

The only issue I still have is that Bruce is letting his no talent kid play WAY TOO MUCH!

I understand resting our bigs, but Steven Pearl kills our team, and thje last 5-6 games he is playing over 10 minutes per game. Look at his lay ups, why does he always have to reverse them. All he does when he is in is go to the top, catch and pass. There is no reason for him to play more than 4-5 minutes per game..If that!

Bruce, I am really not understanding why Steven Pearl has played SO MUCH! HE HAS NO TALENT!!!

Sorry guys, I just wish he would see that.

Go Vols!

To single out Pearl is, I think, unfair. Steven has played with a lot of heart and in limited minutes last night did some good things. You need to take a good look at the other tallent on this, excluding Chism, Hopson, & Prince (who makes a lot of dumb decisions) Steven is just about on par with everyone else. We just don't hav e a championship team. Go Vols!!

rockyandbowinkle writes:

split of the next 2 would be great... its "rivalry week" on espn and we are the only team that plays twice and both on the road... ouch!! hope the guys are ready, GBO...

send in williams to offer cousins some weed, he may throw an elbow or punch to steal it...
pure thug... calipari = d-bag....

ahouseho#651452 writes:

Chism
Just a short story experience related to him and his contribution to the team. During my playing days at c-n , our team was losing almost every game during the first of the season. Our coach took a leave of absence, and the great coach Frosty Holt, (athletic director and former coach of three sports) took over the team. The first practice he threw out the balls and turned on "Sweet Georgia Brown" as high as the volume would go and said boy's," were are going to have fun "! That was the beginning of a 10 game winning streak.
Wayne Chism started the day yesterday by leading the drive to help Haiti and continued his positive touch to probably his best game ever! I believe his leadership spilled over to the rest of the team. He was having fun! He planted a seed in the heads of his teammates with an intense , positive example of what will happen with the right mind set. Hopefully he will continue his crusade, and please help JP square up at the foul line.

Enough said.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

As for Stephen Pearl.

You guys bashing him so much are probably the same ones that make the statements about football like "I don't care if we don't win as long as it's with 3 *** players from UT", and "as long as they hustle and give their all, that's what counts". Some of you are really two-faced about all this. Coach's son has a lot of heart, hustles, and gives everything he's got and we are still 18-4 with him playing 8-10 min. per game.

Give it a rest and support the team, including Pearl.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Sorry, forgot to add this. I like nothing more than to win. But as a father of a 22 yr. old and a 15 yr. old, we parents take it more serious than they do. They just want to enjoy it, it is still just a game. Some of the parents and the fans that want to win at all costs have the attitude of "put the slow, fat ones at the end of the bench and never let them play", and you take all the fun out of it. It is possible to win and to have fun with it also. JMHO

johnlg00 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Maze played like a beast. I wish he would use his speed and ball skills more. He has a lot od skill.

Hopson is still trying to make the game come to him. LOnce he figures out how to get his game on he will be great. He has as much talent as ANY player in basketball, he just has to figure out to get the ball in more.

Chism played as inspired as I have ever seen him. He had so much fun. When he has confidence he is unstopable.

The only issue I still have is that Bruce is letting his no talent kid play WAY TOO MUCH!

I understand resting our bigs, but Steven Pearl kills our team, and thje last 5-6 games he is playing over 10 minutes per game. Look at his lay ups, why does he always have to reverse them. All he does when he is in is go to the top, catch and pass. There is no reason for him to play more than 4-5 minutes per game..If that!

Bruce, I am really not understanding why Steven Pearl has played SO MUCH! HE HAS NO TALENT!!!

Sorry guys, I just wish he would see that.

Go Vols!

You seem to be pretty immovable in terms of your opinion of Steven Pearl. Several of us have tried to convince you otherwise, but nothing has seemed to work. Despite the fact that he has had less to do with any of our losses than, say, JP Prince or Renaldo Woolridge, and as much to do with some of our wins as them, you insist that he hurts the team with his play. Far worse, you seem to imply that CBP only plays him because he is CBP's son.

Consider this, however: a basketball team is more than just a collection of individuals, games are decided by more than merely adding up statistics, and there really IS such a thing as "addition by subtraction". When Steven is in the game, the ball doesn't "stick" in his hands the way it often does in JP's for example. He keeps it moving which causes the defense to move, not to cover him but to try to cut off passing angles into the post.

You say you have seen him out of position on defense. Gee, that has NEVER happened to any of the OTHER guys(;-P)! Woolridge, as often as not, isn't even in the picture on defense much of the time he is on the court, and I don't think I have ever seen him take a charge, at least not on purpose. It is not just a matter of how many points a player scores, it is also how many he prevents and how many he helps his own players score.

Finally, every time the composition of the team on the floor changes, roles change. Our players know that Steven is not going to try fancy one-on-one moves or throw up crazy shots, so when he has the ball they are working harder to get open because they know he will try to get it to them. Casual fans don't recognize good screens away from the ball; Steven WORKS at giving good screens while some of the other guys just go through the motions setting them. Also, if nothing else, when he is on the floor, it is a way to rebuke the others who may not be playing the way they should: "You are doing such a poor job out there, even STEVEN is helping us more!"

I'm sure we all wish UT had someone "better" than Steven to put in for the minutes he gets, but the fact is that every team that is worth a darn has a player LIKE Steven who is content to the little things that often go unnoticed but nevertheless are VITAL to the overall functioning of a winning team.

As I said above, nothing I say is likely to sway anyone who has convinced himself that "Steven stinks!" There were people who never stopped slamming Jonathan Crompton long after he had transformed his play on the field. Part of being a fan is picking favorites and goats among the players. Just don't think that your own criteria for who is getting it done, or even for what "getting it done" IS, are the only ones that count, and just MAYBE our very successful coach may be one of those who has reason to judge those things differently.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Fryinpansvols:

I think for sure we will get at least get 21 wins as a worst case scenario and possbily 24 wins with a strong finish including an upset or two. There are 8 games left with 5 of them being on the road. Here's the remaining schedule and my prediction of the outcome.

Next Tuesday Feb. 9th at Vanderbilt-Win. Vandy got us in TBA in a game that we essentially gave away and now its time to pay them back. I think UT needs a strong start and good play from Maze to run the offense against Jermaine Beal and AJ Ogilivy. In case you didn't know Chism owns I mean OWNS Ogilivy. 19-4 (7-2).

Next Saturday Feb. 13 at Kentucky- Loss. I hate to say we are going to lose at any point but I think it would be a daunting task to win back to back road games against two of the top teams in the SEC. Kentucky will double team Chism and force our shooters who are inconsistent to beat them. Also, Kentucky is undefeated at home this season. 19-5 (7-3).

Feb. 17 vs. Georgia-Win. Georgia is a better home team than they are a road team and I think UT feeds the ball inside to Chism, Hall and maybe even Williams. Tennessee hasn't forgotten the nightmare of a game that was in Athens.
20-5 (8-3).

Feb. 20 at South Carolina-Win. I think if we play like we did last night we can beat South Carolina again. We can ill afford a slow start on the road in Columbia, but I'll say win.
21-5 (9-3)

Feb. 23 at Florida-Toss up, but I'll say Loss. Florida might be one of the most underrated teams in our league and given their play from Parsons and Tyrus they're a team that causes trouble for our Vols. 21-6 (9-4).

Feb. 27 vs. Kentucky-Win. I think we bounce back from a couple of road losses to pay the Cats back at home. This time we get contributions from the whole team. Pearl usually always splits with UK and I think the home game gives us a better chance to beat a very good Kentucky team. This gives our Vols at least the 21 wins I said with room for improvement. 22-6 (10-4)

Mar. 3rd vs. Arkansas-Win. I've watched the Razorbacks play a few times and have not really been impressed with them. This is Senior day and I think Chism, Prince, and Maze shine in their last game at home in front of their family and a rowdy sell out crowd. 23-6 (11-4)

Season Finale Mar. 6 at Miss. State-Win. I think our boys still have a sour taste in their mouth from the loss in last years SEC Championship Game. I think Wheezy handles Varnado inside and Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze create offense against a good perimeter defense. We close out our regular season in fashion. 24-6 (12-4)

This might be a little bit of a stretch but I think we can finish 6-2 in our last 8 games if we play up to our capabilities. Good luck and GBO!

Excellent post; I think a 5-3 run holds more water but will be more than enough for a ncaa bid..beating KY on any floor is tough;your right about FLA,they run hot and cold and anything could happen..To beat MSU pearl need only look at the gator film as Donovan for once found a game plan that shut down Varnado

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