“It will be the same situation as it was against Alabama,” Pearl said today at his weekly press luncheon. “We didn’t get into any foul trouble with Skylar (McBee), J.P. (Prince), and Scotty (Hopson). I thought all three were playing well enough.
“I did think about putting Cameron in a time or two in that (Alabama) game and just decided to stay with it because of the way Scotty and Skylar and J.P. were playing. Scotty had a really good game, made some big plays for us, and J.P. is effective out there because of his ability to penetrate and create for others. I just think we need that creativity on the floor because he’s one of the few guys that can do it.
“And Skylar plays so solid defensively. He just doesn’t get beat very often defensively, and of course he’s always the threat out there on offense to shoot the ball.”
McBee twice got fouled while taking 3-point shots against Alabama and was 5-of-6 from the line in those situations.
“His man has got to extend on him,” Pearl said. “It’s like our offense can run better with him out there because he’s got to be guarded. So I just never felt like (putting Tatum in the game), although I thought about it, a couple of times because of fatigue, that we needed to go there. If we’d have picked up two fouls in the first half, we’d have gone there.”
Pearl wants to see the offense improve.
“The defense has been good, the offense has got to be sharper if we’re going to be able to continue to win,” Pearl said.
Pearl, Donovan for OUTLIVE: Pearl and Florida head coach Billy Donovan will be featured speakers for the OUTLIVE (Tennessee Fights to Beat Cancer) program on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Marriott Hotel. The Vols play host to the Gators Jan. 31. Special guests include Greg Anthony and Gus Johnson of CBS Sports. Proceeds benefit the OUTLIVE campaign against cancer and the Cancer Institute at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. For more information, call the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Development Office at 865-305-6611, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.