Storyline for losses has been frontline for Vols

NASHVILLE - How could the Tennessee men's basketball team look so bad against Vanderbilt on Tuesday night after beating South Carolina by 26 points last Saturday?

"Matchups,'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said without hesitation. "It's the way (Vanderbilt) is built and the way they play. Size, athleticism, their balance.

"We struggled against Georgia and Vanderbilt, with their big front lines, and we'll have a tough game with Kentucky because of the way they're built, too.''

Tennessee (18-5, 6-3 SEC) returns to action Saturday (TV: ESPN, 9 p.m.) at Rupp Arena against No. 3 Kentucky (23-1, 8-1), with the ESPN GameDay crew scheduled to be on hand.

As Pearl alluded, and as recent history suggests, it might not be pretty for the Vols.

The Commodores' front line proved too talented and too deep for the short-handed Vols. UT was down by as many as 27 before falling 90-71.

Kentucky's front line is even bigger and better than Vanderbilt's.

Senior Patrick Patterson, 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, has gotten the better of UT senior Wayne Chism in past meetings - and Patterson's not even Kentucky's best big man since the arrival of 6-11, 260 freshman DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins, who averages a double-double with 16.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing, is widely considered the most talented post player in the country.

Even if UT wasn't short-handed, the Vols would have a difficult task.

"They're missing Tyler Smith,'' ESPN commentator Jay Bilas said Tuesday night, "and they're missing him more as the season goes along.''

It's not what Tennessee fans want to hear after jumping behind a team that seemingly willed itself to a shocking 76-68 victory over No. 1 ranked Kansas on Jan. 10.

The Vols scored their first win over a top-ranked team in Thompson-Boling Arena history despite the dismissal of Smith and the suspensions of 6-foot-10 post Brian Williams, and guard Melvin Goins and Cameron Tatum.

Tennessee did it by hitting 50 percent of its 3-point attempts (9 of 18) while the Jayhawks suffered through one of their worst perimeter shooting games of the season, draining only 26 percent (7 of 27).

The Vols lost by 15 points at Georgia two weeks later, snapping a seven-game win streak and foretelling the struggle UT was prone to have against bigger, more physical teams.

Reality began to set in.

Losing Smith, one of the most multi-dimensional power forwards in the nation, had only compounded the loss of 6-7, 230-pound power forward Emmanuel Negedu to a heart condition in the preseason.

Throw in Williams' suspension - the 278-pounder isn't up to speed after seeing his first post-suspension playing time Tuesday night - and the Vols are without their biggest, their best, and their most athletic players.

"You play with the cards you're dealt,'' Pearl said. "You play to your strengths, and minimize your weaknesses.''

But as UT forward J.P. Prince said, "Your opponent scouts, too.''

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings knew his team had an advantage in the paint, and he came with a plan to exploit it.

"We kept pounding at the rim,'' Stallings said. "Wayne Chism is so good that you have to commit a lot of your defense to him and that's what we tried to do.''

Pearl said the Commodores' defense limited UT's ability to reverse the ball and work it inside to Chism.

That put the onus on the Vols' perimeter shooters, and aside from some late, meaningless 3-pointers from Prince, UT faltered.

"We need to get more production from the two (guard position),'' Pearl said. "We've got to get more from Scotty (Hopson) and Skylar (McBee).''

Hopson is hitting a respectable .388 of his 3-pointers in SEC play, but he has been streaky, making only 1 of 5 against Vanderbilt. McBee is 7 of 28 in league play.

Tatum was just getting back in form (.389 from three on the year) after returning from suspension when he suffered a sprained ankle against South Carolina that will sideline, or at best limit him at Kentucky.

Prince, 5 of 11 beyond the arc in SEC play, shoots the best percentage (.455), while Chism (8 of 24, .333) is the only other healthy UT player connecting on better than 30 percent of his shots in league games.

The problem with the 6-7 Prince or 6-9 Chism attempting more shots from the perimeter is they are also the two top rebounders in the starting lineup.

Past Pearl teams at UT compensated against bigger front lines by pressing to force turnovers and score in transition or by using depth to wear down opponents.

But the Vols have been ineffective pressing with this group, and they lack depth themselves, with the departure of senior wing Josh Tabb, the physical ailments of Negedu and Tatum and the dismissal of Smith.

Not only does Saturday's game at Kentucky appear daunting, but so do remaining road games at Florida (Feb. 23) and Mississippi State (March 6). Home games with Georgia (Wednesday) and those same Wildcats (Feb. 27) present the same front-line difficulties.

"We just have to play better,'' Prince said. "We have to step up.''

It will likely take a big step, at that.

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Comments » 70

mytrifecta writes:

Based on all this team has accomplished this year, it's easy to forget how shorthanded they are. To be where they are at this point is just short of incredible. Definitely Pearl's best coaching job. I hope they finish strong and get a win or two in the NCAA tournament.

sandiegovolunteer writes:

Agreed- win one that we shouldn't and win the ones we should and we will be fine. Not sure they are going to go too far into the ncaa tourney. Seems we have to play a little tentative because we are afraid of foul trouble. When that happens we lose our strength. if the refs let things go a little- we do a lot better.

mcdevitt#229126 writes:

no way this team steps up. They have proved time and time again that they cannot play on the road. Until they can shoot the three and score at the basket, we are going to relegated to a 10-6 or worse an 8-8 SEC record and one and done in both the SEC tourney and NCAA (if we get there) most likely headed to the NIT after our loses down the stretch. Its a shame but reality shows this team does not have it. BP must find some perimeter shooters or he is going to be headed back to the Midwest and the Horizon League. Its very hard and frustrating to watch up blow up time and time again. This team reminds me of watching the old Phil Fulmer football vols blow up and lose. Wish we could do better but reality is coming very very soon. Wait until we lose to UGA at home. Blowouts at UK, USC, UF, and Starkville are on the way too. Hold on tight Vols fans as we are going to be eating crow for awhile.

tapeworm writes:

Wow. Now, I get it. We don't match up with certain teams. Makes sense. Then maybe we should just cancel all the games where we don't match up with our opponent and only play those teams where we do. Then maybe the NCAA Selection Committee will only schedule teams that "match up" against each other. That's it! That's why we've never gone beyond the Sweet Sixteen - we haven't "matched up." Let's get that changed and move on.

Bogytrain writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

volball7222 writes:

in response to mcdevitt#229126:

no way this team steps up. They have proved time and time again that they cannot play on the road. Until they can shoot the three and score at the basket, we are going to relegated to a 10-6 or worse an 8-8 SEC record and one and done in both the SEC tourney and NCAA (if we get there) most likely headed to the NIT after our loses down the stretch. Its a shame but reality shows this team does not have it. BP must find some perimeter shooters or he is going to be headed back to the Midwest and the Horizon League. Its very hard and frustrating to watch up blow up time and time again. This team reminds me of watching the old Phil Fulmer football vols blow up and lose. Wish we could do better but reality is coming very very soon. Wait until we lose to UGA at home. Blowouts at UK, USC, UF, and Starkville are on the way too. Hold on tight Vols fans as we are going to be eating crow for awhile.

I challenge you to play a game of poker with 2 cards....I get 5. Who do you think would win?

Ironcity writes:

in response to mcdevitt#229126:

no way this team steps up. They have proved time and time again that they cannot play on the road. Until they can shoot the three and score at the basket, we are going to relegated to a 10-6 or worse an 8-8 SEC record and one and done in both the SEC tourney and NCAA (if we get there) most likely headed to the NIT after our loses down the stretch. Its a shame but reality shows this team does not have it. BP must find some perimeter shooters or he is going to be headed back to the Midwest and the Horizon League. Its very hard and frustrating to watch up blow up time and time again. This team reminds me of watching the old Phil Fulmer football vols blow up and lose. Wish we could do better but reality is coming very very soon. Wait until we lose to UGA at home. Blowouts at UK, USC, UF, and Starkville are on the way too. Hold on tight Vols fans as we are going to be eating crow for awhile.

Looks like the idiot posters are out tonight. This team will improve with Williams but its going to take time. A good game Saturday can get this teams confidence back, I do not expect a win, but I hope we hang with UK for a while.

volsn3 writes:

in response to sandiegovolunteer:

Agreed- win one that we shouldn't and win the ones we should and we will be fine. Not sure they are going to go too far into the ncaa tourney. Seems we have to play a little tentative because we are afraid of foul trouble. When that happens we lose our strength. if the refs let things go a little- we do a lot better.

You must not have watched the game...The refs let them bang around and UT got killed...The way I see it UT better get the best players more time...Just heard a qoute from coach K in the DUKE-CAROLINA game..."you better be ready to play atleast 40 minutes a game for me, I did in my college days". That is what is wrong at UT...When they were short on players the better players had more playing time...I was at the Florida game and HOPSON, CHISM, and MAZE where on the bench at the same time...PEARL, MCBEE,and PRINCE trying to score.

Bogytrain writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DebKY writes:

When experienced players sit on the bench while unathletic walkons take valuable minutes from them, you are going to see frustration. This is now occurring to Tennessee. Your best athletes need to play most of the game. There is a big difference in taking a breather and sitting out valuable minutes while little Pearl gets to play. Big Daddy Pearl is going to play his son even if it costs him the game!
Kentucky's #1 Vol Fan

volsn3 writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

nope...Vandy went to the line more because they penitrated and shot more...this "troll" thing on here is rediculous...i go to the games...i give money to the university...sometimes you just have to tell it like it is...I can give my oppinion about UT sports cause I spend thousands in support to do so...anyways it is just an oppinion.

TSNVol writes:

These guys are Bruce's guys. Lets forget about who we lost this year and focus on preparing the players we have to compete.

I'm beginning to get tired of hearing about the players Tennessee lost last month. No excuses, hell we beat Kansas with what we still have.

It's bascially down to having THE RIGHT 5 ON THE COURT. The ones that gel together. And if they have to play 35 minutes so be it. Use your timeouts to get a breather.

And the UT players do not need to get hostle toward one another either. I kinda sensed the friction between some of the guys...so I'll just take it down the lane and make a stupid shot.

That's all I've got to say. If they don't get it fixed and if Pearl doesn't take control their season may go down in flames.

volsn3 writes:

in response to TSNVol:

These guys are Bruce's guys. Lets forget about who we lost this year and focus on preparing the players we have to compete.

I'm beginning to get tired of hearing about the players Tennessee lost last month. No excuses, hell we beat Kansas with what we still have.

It's bascially down to having THE RIGHT 5 ON THE COURT. The ones that gel together. And if they have to play 35 minutes so be it. Use your timeouts to get a breather.

And the UT players do not need to get hostle toward one another either. I kinda sensed the friction between some of the guys...so I'll just take it down the lane and make a stupid shot.

That's all I've got to say. If they don't get it fixed and if Pearl doesn't take control their season may go down in flames.

A-MEN ...That is the best post ever

TotalPackage1 writes:

Wasn't it was great to have Williams back? It was nice to see that even after a LONG layoff he stepped-in and was just as non-productive as he was before and now that he is not smoked-up while playing, even HE realizes how useless his effort is....

volsn3 writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

real vol fans has a log in name with their team in mind..no name calling here..just proud to be a vol

volsn3 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yet another good post...not all vol fans are idiots like some think we are...UT better run on the CATS.

flatrock writes:

The thing that puzzles me is why, with very few
3-point shooters, do we continue to play 4-out, 1-under vs. zone defenses...Wouldn't it make sense to flash someone to the high post and
force the defense to loosen up on Chism...Against Vandy, they played 3 guys around
Chism every possession, leaving the high
post area unguarded...and out-numbering him
3-to-1 for rebounds while our 4 outside guys would drift backwards down the floor...Bruce
is right about the bad match-ups but we pay him
$2 million to figure that out and make adjustments...

TSNVol writes:

Heck, I just got an idea. Why don't coach Pearl make his team sit down and watch the Kansas game again. Maybe they'll get fire up...if that doesn't do it nothing will.

Just a thought. :)

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to VolsFan4Ever11:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

glad they are coming but we can reserve tauting Trae and Harris further until they get here and show something---all this hype about one and done to the NBA Hopson before he got here and hes hasnt shown that much to get all that excited about, just another average player in this league and nothing more to this point

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

our soft ones just prefer to stay farrrrrrrrr away from the paint where the men hang out and instead jack up airballs from afar--we lead the country in airballs, hearing Kessling say a lot "way off"

Orangealltheway writes:

I think that if pearl played Chism, Prince at PF and Kenny Hall at center and Hopson or Mcbee on the wing. and Bobby Maze or Goins at point
With Prince , Chism and Hall in at the same time we should get more rebounds.

Orangealltheway writes:

In order for us to win with this team several things have to happen. Shoot lights out , get lots of turnovers, 2 or 3 guys play over their head . stay out of foul trouble. The bench has to step up . and hope we can get the other teams best players in foul trouble . Even when all these things happen sometimes it is still close. We just do not have the team to play like Pearl is used to and he is doing the best he can. I think he needs to get Hall more minutes . Kick Hopson out of wonderland

Bogytrain writes:

in response to volsn3:

real vol fans has a log in name with their team in mind..no name calling here..just proud to be a vol

UT graduate, former high school basketball player, football and basketball season ticket holder.

So my 15 year old username rubs you the wrong way too?

I LOVE UT homey, just don't see the need to air my frustrations against our coach or players. Pearl is building a program and one loss to a good team with 5 key players missing is not cause for alarm.....

Troll around somewhere else.

schymtz writes:

Given all that this team has endured this season, including some above-it-all, knew-it-all along, toss-those-drowning-men-an-anchor fan support evidenced on this board and an abundance of kick 'em harder when they're down "visitors," I can give at least five great reasons for supporting this Tennessee team of over-achievers:

North Carolina (13-11): preseason #4 has lost 4 in a row and 7 of their last 8, including tonight's home loss to Duke.

Michigan State (19-6): preseason #2 has lost 3 in a row.

Texas (19-5): preseason #3 has lost 3 of the last 4 and 5 of the last 7

Connecticut (14-10) preseason #12 has lost 7 of the last 10

Louisville (15-8) preseason #19 has lost 4 of the last 7

And of course, TENNESSEE (18-5) preseason #10, has lost 1 of the last 4.

I am grateful to be a Tennessee fan, grateful to this coach and this team!
GO VOLS! BEAT the 'Cats!

Bogytrain writes:

I hear you schymtz. These people crack me up sometimes. No perspective or rationale.

Why doesn't Pearl just tell them to throw it down low and dunk it every time? Why doesn't he coach them to never let the other team score?

Sometimes and some nights the other 5 are better. These people need to get over it. Our best 5 are not 18-5 caliber, they have over-achieved to this point. Help is on the way and the loss of 5 players wasn't expected.

Pearl can coach, look at his record. Show us a problem or move along.

Brentwoodvol writes:

in response to schymtz:

Given all that this team has endured this season, including some above-it-all, knew-it-all along, toss-those-drowning-men-an-anchor fan support evidenced on this board and an abundance of kick 'em harder when they're down "visitors," I can give at least five great reasons for supporting this Tennessee team of over-achievers:

North Carolina (13-11): preseason #4 has lost 4 in a row and 7 of their last 8, including tonight's home loss to Duke.

Michigan State (19-6): preseason #2 has lost 3 in a row.

Texas (19-5): preseason #3 has lost 3 of the last 4 and 5 of the last 7

Connecticut (14-10) preseason #12 has lost 7 of the last 10

Louisville (15-8) preseason #19 has lost 4 of the last 7

And of course, TENNESSEE (18-5) preseason #10, has lost 1 of the last 4.

I am grateful to be a Tennessee fan, grateful to this coach and this team!
GO VOLS! BEAT the 'Cats!

Great post!!! My best of the year. Just sayin

volsn3 writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

UT graduate, former high school basketball player, football and basketball season ticket holder.

So my 15 year old username rubs you the wrong way too?

I LOVE UT homey, just don't see the need to air my frustrations against our coach or players. Pearl is building a program and one loss to a good team with 5 key players missing is not cause for alarm.....

Troll around somewhere else.

One player missing and I am sure glad the thug is gone....your intelligence really shows.

richvol writes:

Pearl had Negedu last year and in spite of his superior athletic ability and his passion on the court Pearl would not play him more than two minutes. He had Williams play instead and he is the biggest wuss UT has ever put on the court.

If Pearl had stuck with a starting five and subbed only the next best two maybe the team would have learned to run an offense by now...probably play better defense as well. Vandy was a well oiled machine that tore UT a new one...that's what smart players and effective coaching will do for you. We,on the other hand,can't run a half court offense and haven't been able to for quite some time.

If UT tries to run with Kentucky they will absolutely kill us. We need to walk it up the court and burn as much clock as possible to avoid another 60 point blowout.

wayoutwill writes:

in response to mytrifecta:

Based on all this team has accomplished this year, it's easy to forget how shorthanded they are. To be where they are at this point is just short of incredible. Definitely Pearl's best coaching job. I hope they finish strong and get a win or two in the NCAA tournament.

I would say just making the torney at this point would be a major victory as we are in danger of sliding off the map of college b-ball until we grow up;this team has been crippled like no other team in the game;and not only this year(though it's the worst)-I don't see how Pearl did the job he did do with this team;but reality has sat in and the talent isn't there especially along the front line,I think we got it coming though!Go Vols!

give_him_6 writes:

in response to mytrifecta:

Based on all this team has accomplished this year, it's easy to forget how shorthanded they are. To be where they are at this point is just short of incredible. Definitely Pearl's best coaching job. I hope they finish strong and get a win or two in the NCAA tournament.

AGREED!!! Help is on the way next year, but with all that has happened, Pearl has done a great job keeping it all together.

SummittsCourt writes:

Am I the only one who has noticed that before the arrests of the four players they were not playing well (even in wins). Then once they were gone the Vols started playing well and now that the suspended players are back they are once again not playing well.

chestnutglade writes:

in response to TSNVol:

These guys are Bruce's guys. Lets forget about who we lost this year and focus on preparing the players we have to compete.

I'm beginning to get tired of hearing about the players Tennessee lost last month. No excuses, hell we beat Kansas with what we still have.

It's bascially down to having THE RIGHT 5 ON THE COURT. The ones that gel together. And if they have to play 35 minutes so be it. Use your timeouts to get a breather.

And the UT players do not need to get hostle toward one another either. I kinda sensed the friction between some of the guys...so I'll just take it down the lane and make a stupid shot.

That's all I've got to say. If they don't get it fixed and if Pearl doesn't take control their season may go down in flames.

I agree. Get the people that can't stay out of trouble and move on. We did that once and won some games. Then the bad apples came back and not winning is normal to them.Some don't care about rules or other team mates.

spcw101#621225 writes:

I think this loss above all definately shines a light on how one player or an event can change a team. The Vols do not have the depth nor the offense to overcome these kinds of events.

For once the defense had a bad night which is saying something but I don't think it was unexpected.

Unless the Vols learn to play offense and score some points they will run into hot teams that will not miss that many open shots and no amount of defense can stop that.

Props to Vandy though because they by all rights should flip flop with the Vols in the rankings and be considered the number 1 or 2 team in the SEC.

I still believe that the Vols are a solid number 3 but they have exposed a gaping hole that I doubt they can fill.

It's too soon to be looking to next year but in a month it won't. Time to go after that one and done offensive God like Kentucky does.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to flatrock:

The thing that puzzles me is why, with very few
3-point shooters, do we continue to play 4-out, 1-under vs. zone defenses...Wouldn't it make sense to flash someone to the high post and
force the defense to loosen up on Chism...Against Vandy, they played 3 guys around
Chism every possession, leaving the high
post area unguarded...and out-numbering him
3-to-1 for rebounds while our 4 outside guys would drift backwards down the floor...Bruce
is right about the bad match-ups but we pay him
$2 million to figure that out and make adjustments...

Vandy did a good job defending the guards and pushed us further out the perimeter than we normally play; then collapsed to double teams when the ball went inside..Your concept is good but we don't have a good ball handling forward to make the easy passes to chism; which leads to another dimension to an inside out game we so badly need

JayTee writes:

Coach did it ever enter your mind to play a little zone defense once in a while when you can't match up man to man. There are several variations of zone defenses and you have been beaten by them more than once. Remember Temple embarrassing you with one?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Team defense generally is good enough to win; We run into guards like Downey;Walls;Taylor;Beal who get their points no matter how well you defend..WE win games only when Chism;Hopson;Prince and Maze combined shoot at a good percentage but rarely do 3 or 4 of them start the game shooting 50%;If you watch most top#10 teams what they all have in common are 3 players or more that are CONSISTENTLY making 2 pointers from tip off to finish instead of air balls from 15 feet..This is a bad shooting team that often loses the game in the first 10 minutes.You can have the best half court offense in the world but it doesn't mean squat if you don't put the ball thru the basket!!!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Am I the only one who has noticed that before the arrests of the four players they were not playing well (even in wins). Then once they were gone the Vols started playing well and now that the suspended players are back they are once again not playing well.

Bringing back suspended players DID NOT lead to Woolridge;Hall and other players shooting air balls and bricks after their return!!!That magical little run was a fluke..You need only look at Woolridges point production now as compared to then to find your answer.

PennVol writes:

I know we've lost some good players and I don't expect to win every game. But I do expect effort and hustle, and we don't see that every game. This team needs to work on some basic fundamentals. They play defense with their hands instead of their feet (and always foul) and are atrocious free throw shooters. Not sure why they can't correct these things.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to AtlantaHawk:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You cant be serious???? can you? You're own words spell out some of the problems...a lot of the "talent" has and was dismissed from the team...You make be sick of hearing it, but when you lose a player of T.Smiths ability, and yes Negedu was going to be a "HUGE" part of this team this year....Not even a question about that and Tabb, who never really got with the program, would DEFINITELY helped this team....BUT THE GREATEST THING ABOUT ALL THIS IS "WE HAVE PASSION WHEN TALKING ABOUT MEN'S BASKETBALL AGAIN". Whether its negative or positive, we're talking UT bb....

RoyaltyVol writes:

If Chism and Woolridge would keep their butts down low instead of always shooting 3's we might do better. Thats why I like Kenny Hall, he knows where he is supposed to play, you don't see him shooting 3's and he is a great rebounder which we need to do a better job crashing the boards. Thats hard to do though when all your big men are standing behind the 3 line when a shot is attempted.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to rcr12:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, except for Chism, I think we will miss him.

VolJunkie writes:

Apparently a lot of head coaches posting today ...

CBP makes a good point about match-ups; they exist in every sport, a team or style of play that your team has a tough time playing against. It's against the big teams that we miss players like Crews or Negedu, even T. Smith.

As for CBP's ability, I'll take a coach who in the past four years has a 73% winning percentage and made the NCAA each year with two Sweet Sixteens ... especially given where the program was when he arrived. We'll make the NCAA Tourney again this year.

Go Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You may be right. We don't shoot that well from outside, but at least putting Chism outside will draw their big man out, and spreading the defense around the perimeter might give Hopson, Maze, JP, and Goins more room to drive the basket. The biggest danger is that the other team might just concede the outside shot and pack it inside, figuring even four or five threes from Chism won't beat them. Also, if we could press effectively, we would have been doing it already, since that is CBP's stated preference. They really ARE at a disadvantage against some teams, and there is no easy fix with this team.

BlueManToo writes:

in response to Biggunzz44:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A local sportscaster said KY has the two fastest guards with the basketball he has ever seen play. And you want TN to run them into the ground. Would that be with Skylar and Steve P leading the way?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to volsn3:

You must not have watched the game...The refs let them bang around and UT got killed...The way I see it UT better get the best players more time...Just heard a qoute from coach K in the DUKE-CAROLINA game..."you better be ready to play atleast 40 minutes a game for me, I did in my college days". That is what is wrong at UT...When they were short on players the better players had more playing time...I was at the Florida game and HOPSON, CHISM, and MAZE where on the bench at the same time...PEARL, MCBEE,and PRINCE trying to score.

Here in ACC country, I have seen a lot of Duke this year, and their top three players average well over 35 minutes a game. Also, I was impressed with how loose the Duke-UNC game was called, especially inside, where both teams had lots of big, strong guys. That rivalry is AT LEAST as intense as UT-Vandy and UNC was desperate for a win, so you KNOW both teams were battling, yet there were probably half the fouls called in that game as there were at Vandy on Tuesday.

I agree completely, and have said so on many occasions, that UT substitutes too much. The staff seems almost paranoid about avoiding foul trouble and keeping guys fresh. No one plays long enough at a stretch to develop their "second wind", and of course the constant churning not only produces some odd combinations on the court, it prevents cohesion among the guys who ARE on the court.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Bringing back suspended players DID NOT lead to Woolridge;Hall and other players shooting air balls and bricks after their return!!!That magical little run was a fluke..You need only look at Woolridges point production now as compared to then to find your answer.

Good point. Too many on here fall victim to a classic logical fallacy: "post hoc, ergo propter hoc"--"after this, therefore because of this". They equate the Vols' relatively poorer play to the return of the three suspended players, when the real culprits are the fall-off in production of the players who were and still are getting the most playing time AND the start of SEC play. I think the SEC is better overall than it was last year, but even if it is not, these are still rivalry games against motivated opponents. As someone else said, sometimes you have to give the other guys some credit; they're on scholarship, too.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

If Chism and Woolridge would keep their butts down low instead of always shooting 3's we might do better. Thats why I like Kenny Hall, he knows where he is supposed to play, you don't see him shooting 3's and he is a great rebounder which we need to do a better job crashing the boards. Thats hard to do though when all your big men are standing behind the 3 line when a shot is attempted.

Sad as it may seem, Chism is no worse than our second-best 3-pt shooter. Woolridge, the way he has been playing lately, has NO place where he is effective; it's not just that he is shooting about 15% from 3-pt range, he shoots them when guarded with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. He WON'T rebound and he CAN'T play physical defense. I think Chism and Hall COULD be a decent high-low post combination, but they surely aren't yet. The trouble is that Chism is our best all-around big man and he doesn't have ANOTHER Chism to help carry some of the load.

dynasty101 writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Confusion or lack of intelligence? Volleyball is a fall sport...

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Sad as it may seem, Chism is no worse than our second-best 3-pt shooter. Woolridge, the way he has been playing lately, has NO place where he is effective; it's not just that he is shooting about 15% from 3-pt range, he shoots them when guarded with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. He WON'T rebound and he CAN'T play physical defense. I think Chism and Hall COULD be a decent high-low post combination, but they surely aren't yet. The trouble is that Chism is our best all-around big man and he doesn't have ANOTHER Chism to help carry some of the load.

We just need more big man presence in the paint. But Chism is pretty good with the 3, which causes that lack of presense in the paint. If the shots are falling its great, but when not we look like a terrible rebounding team. Offensivly right now we are not sharp. When running our plays we just seem like we're lazily going through the motions. Goins and Maze have to really step up their game and penitrate to the basket more IMO to make some things happen for us offensivly.

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to rcr12:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I do think Chism could do a better job of being a leader. Sometimes I don't think Chsim is serious enough for a leadership role.

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