The Prince who would be king

Pearl explains that 'when he's focused ... he's tremendous'

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - It's hard to know exactly what Tennessee senior J.P. Prince will do next for the Vols.

Defensive stopper one minute, show stopper the next, Prince continues to find ways to come up big in the clutch for UT.

Opponents have double-teamed Wayne Chism inside, shaded Scotty Hopson on the perimeter and pestered Tennessee's point guards.

But there doesn't seem to be a plan to stop Prince. At least, there wasn't an effective one in the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, where Prince's play spearheaded the Vols' march into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

One moment he's slashing for a dunk or a lay-in; the next, he's directing traffic in the lane as a passer. The 6-foot-7 senior gets his share of put-back baskets, but then, he's been known to cherry pick fast-break points, too.

Prince's 83-inch wingspan has led to numerous deflections, and his film study of opponents has enabled him to jump passing lanes for steals.

His shot ranges from the pull-up jumper variety to a no-arc, flat-footed 3-pointer that has proven more effective down the stretch (5 of 12 over the past eight games) than anyone might have expected.

The only person capable of stopping Prince, it seems, is Prince himself.

"I've told J.P. that this is how it can be,'' said UT coach Bruce Pearl, who watched Prince lead the Vols with 18 points in Saturday's second-round 83-68 demolition of Ohio. "When he's focused and when he's playing hard, he's tremendous.''

No doubt, when Prince is on his game the sixth-seeded Vols look pretty good, too.

UT (27-8) plays second-seeded Ohio State (29-7) on Friday night (TV: WVLT, 7:07 p.m.) in a Sweet 16 game in St. Louis hoping for more big things from Prince, and the numbers show why.

Tennessee is 9-3 over its past 12 games - 9-0 when Prince scores in double figures, 0-3 when he does not.

Prince said it's not a matter of playing hard so much as it is playing healthy.

"I feel like now that I'm finally healthy, I can show everyone what I'm made of,'' Prince said. "Once again, I didn't have an offseason to work out, and it wasn't really until the start of SEC play that I felt 100 percent.''

Prince has undergone shoulder surgeries each of the past two summers; once on his left, and then on his right.

"People forget that sickness I had at Arizona made me very limited for a long time, too,'' said Prince, who transferred to UT from Arizona in January of 2007.

The sickness was a result of a wisdom tooth extraction gone terribly bad. A severe infection caused respiratory issues that led to Prince being placed into an induced coma and on a respirator for 16 days.

"I remember when I came to I was completely immobile, like an 80-year-old,'' Prince said. "I couldn't walk 10 feet. I passed out trying to walk. People saw me at my worst.''

It wasn't the future Prince imagined after earning 2005 Class 3A Mr. Basketball honors and the Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year award while leading Memphis White Station High School to three consecutive state titles.

Prince played 28 games as a point guard with Arizona in 2005-06. He dished out 51 assists and made 24 steals while logging 12.4 minutes per game coming off the bench.

But 2006-07 didn't start so well; Prince dropped weight, and dropped down the depth chart because of the illness. A transfer back to his home state was in order.

The Vols gladly welcomed him, especially title-hungry All-American and former player Chris Lofton.

"He can do everything,'' Lofton said after seeing Prince for the first time. "He's long, bouncy, he gets to the rim and finishes, or he can kick a pass back out.''

Lofton's assessment holds true three years later, except Prince has put on 30 pounds.

The added strength enabled him to body-up on San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard, a 6-7, 225-pounder, in the Vols' first-round 62-59 win over the Aztecs.

Prince harassed the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year into a 5-of-15 shooting performance while scoring a team-high 15 points.

"Leonard physically overwhelms a lot of people, but I thought we had a good match up there,'' Pearl said. "J.P. is a tough kid, and his toughness doesn't get enough attention.''

UT fans have celebrated and berated Prince over his career in Knoxville, sometimes both in the same game.

Prince's swagger and confidence have been effective and necessary against tougher competition - Memphis, in particular - but his post-dunk salutes to the crowd haven't always been appreciated by traditionalists.

The theatrical expressions Prince wears after being called for fouls are a by-product of growing up watching his father, former coach John Prince, show the same incredulous reactions on the side courts.

John Prince was head coach at Jackson State after assistant stints at Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Colorado State, Memphis and Alabama-Birmingham.

"People can think what they want and are entitled to their opinions,'' Prince said. "I'm going to play hard and go at it the best way I know, regardless.''

Pearl has accepted Prince for what and who he is, on and off the court.

"J.P. just says to me, 'Coach, I got this,' '' Pearl said. "And you know what? I trust him, and I have confidence in him.''

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Comments » 48

volsn3 writes:

prince can take us to the final four

cdonsbach writes:

GO VOLS!

tenuscvol writes:

in response to volsn3:

prince can take us to the final four

I hope he does...

out_of_town_vol_fan writes:

i think we have seen a new jp...since the last few games of the season...he has seemed poised and very mature.

-sometimes i think jp is going to jump over the rim when he goes in for a dunk. he has huge hops!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

All of you are right. Really impressive how J P has improved his free throw shooting.

And, I like the suggestion to take a shot at using him from time to time to guard Turner.

Just hope he can stay out of foul trouble if that's the case.

Go Vols

eduardo writes:

Must shut down Turner...Last time against us as a freshman the dude had 21 pts and 12 rebs.!

Fryinpansvols writes:

Very good article! I like the stat mentioned about the last 12 games that we are 9-0 when he scores in double figures and 0-3 when he doesn't. For all those naysayers, who said we wouldn't go anywhere well here we are in the Sweet 16 so in your faces! And with more basketball left to play. This a very special team and if we play together we can't be stopped. Lastly, the only person that can stop JP is himself as above mentioned. GBO and beat Ohio State.

Bogytrain writes:

Every player on this team is under-appreciated. We focus too much on the negative and forget the positive.

Without J.P., we're not playing basketball right now. And we won't be finished AFTER next weekend is over..... I HOPE!!!

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

Prince taught chuck norris the roundhouse kick! Sorry, got a little carried away.

jclowers writes:

A couple of interesting notes about this team: Our first two games are against teams (Regardless of what Seth Davis thinks) that we should have beaten. Now we get a team that is considered even or better than us. Which means Chism, Prince and Mays will be focused and ready.

I like that Bruce got Josh Bone and Kenny Hall some good minutes against Ohio. Against Tech THREE Ohio State players played the entire game. They only played 2 guys off the bench one for 4 minutes and another for 9. Turner has played nearly every minute for the past month so we should go 10 or even 11 deep throw in Woolridge, Hall, McBee and Bone really grind them defensively.

Turner is interesting because that would have been a big matchup for Tyler Smith. Both 6-7 forwards who will play guard at the next level. So the question is who guards him. I think Tatum and Hopson will get some time but Prince has to be the guy to lock him down. Woolridge might need to play to guard him especially if foul trouble becomes an issue.

A tough team but hopefully Chism remembers the last time we played them in the Sweet 16 and we can take that next step. This is a winnable game and so is the one against Michigan State & UNI. This team could be a Final 4 team and no one would want to play them. Go Vols.

nolancrooks10 writes:

Its that time when we need our seniors(Prince, Chism, Maze) to get this team together and make the run all the way to the championship! I think this team can do it this year and it will say a lot about how hard this team worked and kept on fighting till the end!

murrayvol writes:

Just keep on representin' JP. The vast majority of us appreciate what you've brought to the table for the last 3 years. 4 more games.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

He and Maze have really grown up a ton over the last half of the year.

VolWoman writes:

I've always loved JP so keep it up big guy. Nothing wrong with confidence, especially when you can back it up with results.

I see a lot of focus in JP, Wayne and Bobby. Also a little sadness knowing they will only be playing a few more weeks (I hope!).

I hope someone with connections can get the Sporting News article to our team. We are picked 16th out of 16 teams left with a chance to win.

Volsfan94 writes:

in response to Bogytrain:

Every player on this team is under-appreciated. We focus too much on the negative and forget the positive.

Without J.P., we're not playing basketball right now. And we won't be finished AFTER next weekend is over..... I HOPE!!!

Couldn't have said it better myself. It seems a ton of fans are always talking about the negatives on this website and not giving the players on football and basketball the credit when they do the right things. I guess it is because we expect it of them but still they are given chances to screw themselves up in life everyday and it is hard to stop yourself from a lot of temptations.
GO VOLS!!!

Mark63 writes:

JP is amazing, to doubt about it. I am looking forward to this game against Ohio St. We do have a chance to beat them, and head to elite eight. Now that the number one team was defeated. We have a clear line to the final four. All we need to do, is have the rest of the team, to step up there efforts as well.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to jclowers:

A couple of interesting notes about this team: Our first two games are against teams (Regardless of what Seth Davis thinks) that we should have beaten. Now we get a team that is considered even or better than us. Which means Chism, Prince and Mays will be focused and ready.

I like that Bruce got Josh Bone and Kenny Hall some good minutes against Ohio. Against Tech THREE Ohio State players played the entire game. They only played 2 guys off the bench one for 4 minutes and another for 9. Turner has played nearly every minute for the past month so we should go 10 or even 11 deep throw in Woolridge, Hall, McBee and Bone really grind them defensively.

Turner is interesting because that would have been a big matchup for Tyler Smith. Both 6-7 forwards who will play guard at the next level. So the question is who guards him. I think Tatum and Hopson will get some time but Prince has to be the guy to lock him down. Woolridge might need to play to guard him especially if foul trouble becomes an issue.

A tough team but hopefully Chism remembers the last time we played them in the Sweet 16 and we can take that next step. This is a winnable game and so is the one against Michigan State & UNI. This team could be a Final 4 team and no one would want to play them. Go Vols.

Interesting analysis, there, Jerry. Totally agree that we need to wear these guys down by putting fresh legs on Turner and the other full-game players.

But no way do I put Woolridge on Turner any player we need to stop or slow down. His defense is just not there yet and he tends to fall asleep, which might be why he's not in the current rotation.

Down_The_Field writes:

prince has never shied away from hustle and trying to make something happen and now it's paying off for the team. i've always like this guy.

the suspension last january as paid dividends for this team. CBP has options on the bench. he puts bone in against ohio when the kid has set out for a while and he gives solid minutes to the team. there are several of these players that aren't stars, they're just helping the team win.

ODA751 writes:

JP is and has been a great player for UT. I will miss him when he is gone. This team can win it all. There isn't one team out there that UT cannot defeat. I think we match up well with Ohio St. and I like our chances. I say "Go Big Orange" and to the seniors of the team "Thanks for the memories".

9krpms writes:

I remember at one of those traveling dinners with the UT coaches a few years back I was talking with Bruce about Tyler Smith transferring to play for UT, but all Bruce could talk about was a kid named JP Prince... the last few games are why. Lets hope this train keeps rolling.

Brillovol writes:

in response to jclowers:

A couple of interesting notes about this team: Our first two games are against teams (Regardless of what Seth Davis thinks) that we should have beaten. Now we get a team that is considered even or better than us. Which means Chism, Prince and Mays will be focused and ready.

I like that Bruce got Josh Bone and Kenny Hall some good minutes against Ohio. Against Tech THREE Ohio State players played the entire game. They only played 2 guys off the bench one for 4 minutes and another for 9. Turner has played nearly every minute for the past month so we should go 10 or even 11 deep throw in Woolridge, Hall, McBee and Bone really grind them defensively.

Turner is interesting because that would have been a big matchup for Tyler Smith. Both 6-7 forwards who will play guard at the next level. So the question is who guards him. I think Tatum and Hopson will get some time but Prince has to be the guy to lock him down. Woolridge might need to play to guard him especially if foul trouble becomes an issue.

A tough team but hopefully Chism remembers the last time we played them in the Sweet 16 and we can take that next step. This is a winnable game and so is the one against Michigan State & UNI. This team could be a Final 4 team and no one would want to play them. Go Vols.

The way I see it, depth is our biggest advantage. I wonder if the defensive scheme will be to press.

As for the last time we played them, I believe Prince was on the team at that time. He was just ineligible to play yet. Correct me if I am wrong, but he transferred to UT for the spring semester of that year. If so, could you imagine how bad he wanted to be out there? Now's your chance, J.P.

vol88 writes:

For the record, I've supported Prince the entire time, when lots and lots of people were hating on him. Thanks J.P.! Help take us to Indy!

VolJunkie writes:

At one point, JP was one of those interesting players who could keep both teams in the game at the same time. Since the January incident, he has stepped up his leadership role, the results speak for themselves. I don't think there is a player who shows as much sheer joy of playing the game as JP, I would love to see him saluting the crowd after a dunk on April 5!

Go Vols!

BigHornBuckShot writes:

Hey, Lets not get to excited just yet. We have played an 11 seed and a 14 seed. One was right with us, the other used up all their energy just getting to us. I hope it doesn't happen, but I feel it could get really ugly at the end. Like Chism and Prince getting into it on the floor, Coach Pearl chewing out young Steven, and grandpaw coming down out of the stands and whipping Bruce's behind. Things have went our way so far, I am afraid of what will happen when they don't. Hopefully Ohio State will have an off game.

GerryOP writes:

A tossup between Prince and Chism for MVP of this team. Both will be missed next year.

2 down ... 4 to go! Go Vols!

GeneralNeylandsReturn writes:

in response to jclowers:

A couple of interesting notes about this team: Our first two games are against teams (Regardless of what Seth Davis thinks) that we should have beaten. Now we get a team that is considered even or better than us. Which means Chism, Prince and Mays will be focused and ready.

I like that Bruce got Josh Bone and Kenny Hall some good minutes against Ohio. Against Tech THREE Ohio State players played the entire game. They only played 2 guys off the bench one for 4 minutes and another for 9. Turner has played nearly every minute for the past month so we should go 10 or even 11 deep throw in Woolridge, Hall, McBee and Bone really grind them defensively.

Turner is interesting because that would have been a big matchup for Tyler Smith. Both 6-7 forwards who will play guard at the next level. So the question is who guards him. I think Tatum and Hopson will get some time but Prince has to be the guy to lock him down. Woolridge might need to play to guard him especially if foul trouble becomes an issue.

A tough team but hopefully Chism remembers the last time we played them in the Sweet 16 and we can take that next step. This is a winnable game and so is the one against Michigan State & UNI. This team could be a Final 4 team and no one would want to play them. Go Vols.

The Stars are are Aligning!

Seriosuly though, we all know that when this team is focused, they can play basketball with anyone, even without Tyler (who has got to be bittersweet sick right now...such a shame...so easy to slip...consequences for so many things in life that only have to happen once, and can't be taken back).

We may not advance but right now we are a legitimate shot in this tournament, underappreciated by not only the national media, but also many of our own fans.

If they play focusd baseketball all the way down the bench, Ohio State may well not know what hit them...right now, its just go win annother two game tournament...Go Big Orange!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to BigHornBuckShot:

Hey, Lets not get to excited just yet. We have played an 11 seed and a 14 seed. One was right with us, the other used up all their energy just getting to us. I hope it doesn't happen, but I feel it could get really ugly at the end. Like Chism and Prince getting into it on the floor, Coach Pearl chewing out young Steven, and grandpaw coming down out of the stands and whipping Bruce's behind. Things have went our way so far, I am afraid of what will happen when they don't. Hopefully Ohio State will have an off game.

BigHorn, penty to be excited about -- 5 straight 20 win season, 5 straight trips to the NCAAs, 3 sweet-16s in 5 years, and, most exciting of all, only 16 teams still paying ball and Tennessee is one of them!

You betcha we should be excited!

tomkats3242 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

A tossup between Prince and Chism for MVP of this team. Both will be missed next year.

2 down ... 4 to go! Go Vols!

Have you lost whatever you have to think with. NO Way can Prince be a MVP for Tennessee. He is lazy, only plays when he wants too and in my opinion could not make most high school teams in this area. No one will miss Prince next year. I love the big Orange but Prince should have went to another school that needs jumpers that hang on the rim.

volonthehill writes:

> Have you lost whatever you have to think with. NO Way can Prince be a MVP for Tennessee. He is lazy, only plays when he wants too and in my opinion could not make most high school teams in this area. No one will miss Prince next year. I love the big Orange but Prince should have went to another school that needs jumpers that hang on the rim.

Gotta love impressive trolling! You just have to be a little less obvious.

hueypilot writes:

Prince drove me crazy early in the year. When he wasn't fouling three point shooters at crunch time he was picking a fight with a Memphis player BEFORE the opening tip, or dribbling into a double team pushing him out the baseline and no one to pass to. But he has grown on me and most of the time, his turnovers are because he is trying to make something happen, not just carlessness. He still makes me nervous with the jungle jim swings on the rim and he'll get a technical for it at a crucial time if he doesn't tone it down, but no way to we beat either Kansas or Kentucky, or Ole Miss in the regular season for that matter, and without those wins, we might be in the NIT. We're much better with him than without him.

GerryOP writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

Have you lost whatever you have to think with. NO Way can Prince be a MVP for Tennessee. He is lazy, only plays when he wants too and in my opinion could not make most high school teams in this area. No one will miss Prince next year. I love the big Orange but Prince should have went to another school that needs jumpers that hang on the rim.

Geeze, sounds like somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Volumnus writes:

in response to eduardo:

Must shut down Turner...Last time against us as a freshman the dude had 21 pts and 12 rebs.!

This team is not as deep for OSU, so 21 and 12 for Turner would probably translate into a win for UT.
I think if we hold him to 21 and 12 and keep the balance of the team in low double figures or less, we win going away. This game is about defense and points off transition. Prince needs 26 to 28 solid minutes. This is a very good matchup for The Vols. I like our chances.

crappieking writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

Have you lost whatever you have to think with. NO Way can Prince be a MVP for Tennessee. He is lazy, only plays when he wants too and in my opinion could not make most high school teams in this area. No one will miss Prince next year. I love the big Orange but Prince should have went to another school that needs jumpers that hang on the rim.

Congratulations! You Win!!!!!!!

Come on down and accept the "dumbest post of the year" award. You win a set of BUBBA TEETH and a case of FLAT FIX for your house trailer tires. Idiot Troll.

Good Job JP. Help take us to Indy!!!

mrvol2u writes:

Tomkat what area are you in, CBP wants to send recruiters to those high schools as soon as the dead period ends.

JP is a great talent. One because of his ability and two because of physical dimensions. He is a forward who can guard smaller, quicker players and makes it tough on them to score or pass.

Look for UT to use Goins, Maze, and Prince on Turner. Turner is OSU's point guard. 6'7" Prince on a 6'2" guard and with the ability to stay with him. That is pretty special.

So, Tomkat, pleas don't take offense when I say that he would start for any high school in your area.

richvol writes:

I had been one of Prince's biggest critics over the past two seasons but he has not left me much to complain about since the suspensions in January. He has really stepped up his game and has eliminated most of the bonehead plays that drove me crazy.

He is a tremendous athlete that has grown up considerably over the last half of the season and has assumed an effective leadership role in the void left by Tyler Smith. We would not be here without Prince and the way he is playing now. The team runs better,I believe,since Tyler is gone because everyone has stopped standing around waiting for Tyler to do something.

Pearl needs to be firm with Chism and insist that he stay under the basket and away from foul trouble...we need his rebounding and with him 30 feet away from the basket,defending or trying to play guard,he is ineffective,i.e. a one point game.

VolJunkie writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Geeze, sounds like somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

They now have wireless at the Waffle House.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to vol88:

For the record, I've supported Prince the entire time, when lots and lots of people were hating on him. Thanks J.P.! Help take us to Indy!

Well, I will confess that I was one of the ones "hating on him" earlier in the season. It was not that I doubted his energy or ability, it was just that I didn't trust his judgment on the court and shuddered when he went to the foul line. He has shown tremendous growth in those areas over the last half of the season and the team's success has in large part been due to that growth. If he can just stay as focused and as intense for about four more games, he will surely join the ranks of the all-time most-loved Vols! GBO!!! TCB!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mrvol2u:

Tomkat what area are you in, CBP wants to send recruiters to those high schools as soon as the dead period ends.

JP is a great talent. One because of his ability and two because of physical dimensions. He is a forward who can guard smaller, quicker players and makes it tough on them to score or pass.

Look for UT to use Goins, Maze, and Prince on Turner. Turner is OSU's point guard. 6'7" Prince on a 6'2" guard and with the ability to stay with him. That is pretty special.

So, Tomkat, pleas don't take offense when I say that he would start for any high school in your area.

I pretty much agree with the thrust of your argument, except that Turner is 6'7", not 6'2"! That is why I expect to see Prince on him quite a bit, and why I think their match-up will largely determine the outcome of the game. I don't expect to see JP on Turner all the time, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that match-up in crunch time, at least. Besides, if Turner has to try to guard JP, we have a great chance to get Turner in foul trouble or worn-out, whereupon I expect us to run away with the game.

mrvol2u writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I pretty much agree with the thrust of your argument, except that Turner is 6'7", not 6'2"! That is why I expect to see Prince on him quite a bit, and why I think their match-up will largely determine the outcome of the game. I don't expect to see JP on Turner all the time, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that match-up in crunch time, at least. Besides, if Turner has to try to guard JP, we have a great chance to get Turner in foul trouble or worn-out, whereupon I expect us to run away with the game.

My mistake, he is 6'7".

I agree that makes JP more valuable because not many teams can match up with Turner.

shoelessvol#236864 writes:

JP is just nothing but a stat stuffer! You think he doesn't have a great game and then you look at the stats and he's got 12 points 7-8 rebounds and 3-4 assists. He is really a nice player who plays good defense. The good thing is he isn't the only one on the team that can do the same thing. If we have 2 or 3 others to do the same each of our remaining games well...the unthinkable could happen!! We have great matchups the next two games whoever it might be in game two. Ohio State is a real good matchup for us, better than Tech. This could be the year of the VOLS!!!

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Good article...hopefully JP will stay focused! And I hope they can take care of themselves well this week, too.

I had to laugh at his typical, young-person quote though: "I remember when I came to I was completely immobile, like an 80-year-old,'' Prince said. "I couldn't walk 10 feet. I passed out trying to walk. People saw me at my worst."
My Vol dad came in second in a golf tournament (not a seniors one) the week before he died at 83...so not exactly "completely immobile".

GBO!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've never been OFF the bandwagon! I have said all along that if the "good Vols" show up, they can play with anybody. Luckily, we haven't seen the "bad Vols" for some time now, but you must admit that they DID show up a bit too often on important occasions this year. I was down on them, to the extent that I was, when I literally did not know which JP Prince would show up in a given game. Now that he has somewhat assuaged my concerns in that area, I think the Vols have as good a chance to win the whole thing as anyone.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Mr. Turner, meet Mr. Prince.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Geeze, sounds like somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Troll burp.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

J.P. is my favorite "Prince" of all time. He did find a cure for his JPitis and has elevated his game to new heights. JP and Weezy....it is yours! Now go get it! One game at a time and I expect to see you in the Final Four!
VOLS.....TCB....KOKO....GBO!!!!!!

Colliervol writes:

I like that. "JPitis". He was INFLICTED with it but now he is HEALED. Can I get an AMEN? Put your hands on the radio and feel the radio!!! (That was in my best Jimmy Swaggart voice.)

No question JP and the team can play stretches of brilliant basketball and then, in a moment's notice, revert to the New York Generals (the old team that used to play the Globetrotters). But they seem to be keeping that to a minimum lately. Should be a fun ride this weekend if their heads are in it. And I think BP will have them ready.

volsoutlaw writes:

in response to jclowers:

A couple of interesting notes about this team: Our first two games are against teams (Regardless of what Seth Davis thinks) that we should have beaten. Now we get a team that is considered even or better than us. Which means Chism, Prince and Mays will be focused and ready.

I like that Bruce got Josh Bone and Kenny Hall some good minutes against Ohio. Against Tech THREE Ohio State players played the entire game. They only played 2 guys off the bench one for 4 minutes and another for 9. Turner has played nearly every minute for the past month so we should go 10 or even 11 deep throw in Woolridge, Hall, McBee and Bone really grind them defensively.

Turner is interesting because that would have been a big matchup for Tyler Smith. Both 6-7 forwards who will play guard at the next level. So the question is who guards him. I think Tatum and Hopson will get some time but Prince has to be the guy to lock him down. Woolridge might need to play to guard him especially if foul trouble becomes an issue.

A tough team but hopefully Chism remembers the last time we played them in the Sweet 16 and we can take that next step. This is a winnable game and so is the one against Michigan State & UNI. This team could be a Final 4 team and no one would want to play them. Go Vols.

No way to tell for sure, but I dont think T. Smith would ever guard Turner. Tyler was a slow 3. That is why he played the 4.

If Tyler makes the NBA (highly doubtful) I doubt he would ever even think of sniffing guard. He is too slow. His problem is he is too short for the 4 in the NBA and not a good enough outside shooter for the 3.

BubbaJ writes:

As much as I like Wayne Chism, JP could well be
Tennessee's MVP given his play down the stretch.
You can bet if the Vols beat the Buckeyes, that
JP Prince will have been a key.

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