Bone, McBee awarded scholarships

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl announced walk-on players Skylar McBee and Josh Bone have been placed on scholarship.

It was one of many special moments at the sold-out team banquet at Knoxville's Marriott Hotel on Friday night.

"This is a celebration of our season,'' said Pearl, who led UT to its first Elite Eight in the program's history. "It's a time for us to laugh, and a time for us to cry.''

And there was a time during the ceremony when Pearl took the time to show his ambition for the program.

Pearl was presented a bench chair from the St. Louis Regional as a gift, but playfully cast it aside saying, "I want a chair from the Final Four.''

More than 800 UT supporters crowded into the ballroom to share an evening of presentations that began with UT great Bernard King being honored with the Mike Hamilton Volunteer of the Year Award.

"Being connected to Tennessee and Bruce Pearl is very special to me,'' King said. "I'll remember everything this team did this year for the rest of my life.''

Among the tales King playfully shared was the offense UT ran under coach Ray Mears: "Get the ball to Ernie (Grunfeld), and if he's not open, get it to Bernard, and if he's not open, get it back to Ernie.''

There was a serious tone moments later when trainer Chad Newman was presented with the Most Courageous Award.

"I want to thank God I was in the right place at the right time to help a beautiful young man,'' said Newman, who revived Emmanuel Negedu on Sept. 28, after the former player suffered a cardiac event in the UT indoor football complex. "All I could think about was how many lives he's touched.''

Negedu took the stage beside Newman, putting his arm around him before addressing the crowd.

"I believe in God, and if God thinks it's my destiny, I'll play again,'' said Negedu, who UT declined to clear to return for competitive action. "I know whatever happens, people here will worry about me, and I appreciate that.

"This will always be a part of my family, wherever I go,'' he said. "We're all going to die someday. If I die, I know I'm going to a better place in heaven.''

UT associate head coach Tony Jones thanked Negedu for his efforts and attitude.

"I speak for everyone when I say we want the best for you, and if that's to play basketball, that's what we want,'' Jones said. "And if that's not what's best for you, we want you back at the University of Tennessee.''

Indiana's administration recently rejected Negedu's bid to play for the Hoosiers, but New Mexico, UTEP and Nebraska remain among the schools showing interest in having Negedu play for them.

Steven Pearl, after being named the Vols' Most Improved Player, lightened the moment by poking fun at himself during his acceptance speech.

"I'd like to thank the fans,'' Pearl said. "Me going out there playing big minutes, it had to be tough to watch for a while.''

It was one of many self-deprecating moments, as coaches and players playfully jabbed at one another and themselves.

Strength coach Troy Wills said he often gets teased about his thick Southern accent.

"But I asked Skylar about it, and he says I sound just fine,'' Wills said.

Bruce Pearl capped the presentations by thanking his seniors and recognizing the entire team.

"I can look every player in the eye,'' Pearl said, "and I can tell them that without their contributions, we couldn't have done what we did.

"I know that just sounds good, but this year is was absolutely true.''

Vols' Futures: Wayne Chism said he has a future workout with the New Jersey Nets scheduled tentatively, while J.P. Prince has received interest from the New York Knicks.

Bobby Maze had a workout with the Knicks on Friday and was not in attendance at the banquet.

Former Fulton standout Quinn Cannington announced he will attend Wheaton (Ill.) College to pursue a doctorate degree in Psychology.

Here are the award winners from Friday:

Iron Dogs weightlifting awards: McBee, Kenny Hall, Steven Pearl, Wayne Chism

Highest GPA: Melvin Goins

Most courageous award: Chad Newman

Most improved player: Steven Pearl

Team before self award: Bone

Best attitude: McBee

Community service awards: Scotty Hopson, Cameron Tatum, Skylar McBee, Kenny Hall

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Comments » 59

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

anyone know which recruiting year the scholarships will apply? I didn't think we had that many skollies for the 2010 yr.

UTByrd writes:

Congratulations, gentlemen. Now work ya'll's tails off and get the Vol Ballers into the National Championship Game. While you're there, just go ahead and win the whole thing.
Go VOLS!!!!!

rockytopatl writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

anyone know which recruiting year the scholarships will apply? I didn't think we had that many skollies for the 2010 yr.

It wouldn't make any sense at all if it were any year other than the 2010-11 school year.

I think both of them earned a scholarship, especially McBee. The three against Kansas was one of the biggest buckets in Vol hoops history.

Georgia_Dave writes:

Congrats Skyler, you earned it! Your devotion to Big Orange has been rewarded. That shot against KU was the shot heard round the world. Now keep the fire going, don't let up for a moment. Take us to the Final 4 for the 1st time in 2011. GBO

pbnichols writes:

Can't you just hear John Ward....

"Skylar McBee for Three..."

Wait for it, wait for it... "BOTTOM!"

jclowers writes:

Awesome both of them played key roles in big wins this year. McBee struggled to see some playing time late in the year, but he got some valuable experience. Bone is going to be one of our best perimeter defenders next year. With Bone, Melvin Goins and McBee along with Tatum and Hopson and our freshman Golden and McRae, we can go small, tall, quick and anything in between.

newportvol writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

anyone know which recruiting year the scholarships will apply? I didn't think we had that many skollies for the 2010 yr.

next season.. i guess??

knox7320 writes:

They deserve it after playing so hard during their teammates suspensions this year.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

anyone know which recruiting year the scholarships will apply? I didn't think we had that many skollies for the 2010 yr.

We had 6 returning on scholarship, 1 negedu, and 4 incoming scholarship players so that was 11. We had 2 scholarhips available.

gtownvol writes:

Great news for a couple of guys that really helped in the stretch run of the season. Thanks. GBO

stroker writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Highest GPA: Melvin Goins

Reflections writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The reason you didn't see Bone? It was Goings with the highest GPA.

murrayvol writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not a hater at all. He's a great kid from a good family who'll do just fine in life. I just don't think he's an SEC player. Hope I'm worng.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

We had 6 returning on scholarship, 1 negedu, and 4 incoming scholarship players so that was 11. We had 2 scholarhips available.

Lucky for them Selby went elsewhere. Would they have flipped a coin or played rock/paper/scissors?

KnoxTennVol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I believe it says Melvin Goins, has the highest GPA.

Ironcity writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What are you talking about. I love Skyer but please don't let your infactuation cloud your judgement. Hopson can get and make his shot anytime he wants. Skyler is a catch and shot player. Nothing wrong with that but he needs a good passers and defenders worried about guys like Hopson for him to get open. Congratulation Skyler and good luck Josh. Go out and make us proud.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Not a hater at all. He's a great kid from a good family who'll do just fine in life. I just don't think he's an SEC player. Hope I'm worng.

murray, you are right, he is NOT an SEC player, at least not a current one.

I think back to Lee Humphrey. HE wasn't an SEC player, either, but he got a couple of rings (and I believe broke a net???)

The problem now is the SEC is full of Tyler Smiths, Scottie Hopsons, and John Walls. The SEC has been down for, what , 5 years at least??

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to look at who IS making it to the final four, and who isn't. It sure hasn't been what the SEC is putting on the floor.

Flabbergasted writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What was your GPA, Rich?

nola_vol writes:

Skylar can fix his shot (more accurately, pre-shot) problems simply by analyzing his video (and then gluing 1/4" cord to the bottom-outside edge of a pair of shoes for shooting practice so he can feel when he's got his platform set--very old school).

But the fix for his gametime scoring will have to come from Hall and Harris. Until we can force defenses to collapse 3 or 4 players into the paint, none of our catch-and-shoot-ers are going to be consistent factors in our offense.

Can't wait for RockyTopLeague to begin so we can see what the guys have been working on! Until then, there's nothing sweeter for a fan than un-informed anticipation!

WillieGualt writes:

in response to pbnichols:

Can't you just hear John Ward....

"Skylar McBee for Three..."

Wait for it, wait for it... "BOTTOM!"

Thanks for this post. It brought goose bumps. Not only could I hear it I could see it. The great thing about John Ward's call was I could watch the game on my radio. I miss him!

utfan15govols writes:

I was there, and not only was Bone and Skylar mention for a scholarship but Stephen Pearl as well. Not sure why they did not mention it.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to WillieGualt:

Thanks for this post. It brought goose bumps. Not only could I hear it I could see it. The great thing about John Ward's call was I could watch the game on my radio. I miss him!

And he was replaced by a guy who can't even correctly relate what is going on in front of him, who displays no emotion, whose only signature call, "into the checkerboards," is beyond moronic.

How many lifetime Vol fans were created by huddling next to the radio to hear Ward's amazing play-by-play, sense of humor, timing, catch phrases and key perspective? He painted the scene in canvas, each game, every play. The Vol Network doesn't create anything now except revenue.

We go from "Bottom!", "McBee for three for Tennessee!", "Pops, drops!" "Give him six!", Did he make it ..... yes!" and "No, siree!" to ..... Jefferson Pilot on the radio, Bumbling Bob Kesling!

johnlg00 writes:

Hate to have to tell you guys, especially the one with the screen name, but the former Vol speedster's last name is spelled GAULT, not GUALT.

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

in response to pbnichols:

Can't you just hear John Ward....

"Skylar McBee for Three..."

Wait for it, wait for it... "BOTTOM!"

Instead we get to hear.......MONEY..... As Charles Barkely would say......that is turble!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

And he was replaced by a guy who can't even correctly relate what is going on in front of him, who displays no emotion, whose only signature call, "into the checkerboards," is beyond moronic.

How many lifetime Vol fans were created by huddling next to the radio to hear Ward's amazing play-by-play, sense of humor, timing, catch phrases and key perspective? He painted the scene in canvas, each game, every play. The Vol Network doesn't create anything now except revenue.

We go from "Bottom!", "McBee for three for Tennessee!", "Pops, drops!" "Give him six!", Did he make it ..... yes!" and "No, siree!" to ..... Jefferson Pilot on the radio, Bumbling Bob Kesling!

Amen to all, bro! Kenny Chesney's song salute to the Great One chokes me up every time I hear it or even think about it. The line from the song, "His voice was our eyes" is the most apt description of what a great radio play-by-play man can do that I have ever heard.

Congrats to the new scholarship Vols! Well-deserved, with much more greatness to come!

Southland writes:

Man I miss John Ward Bob Kesling followed a legend and you really cant do that but Bob Kesling really could not follow anyone and do a very good job. He is better at basketball than football but has not shown improvement in either area. I loved John Ward. Truly one of the greatest Vols of all time

vol75 writes:

All posters hold hands and repeat after me, "Spell check."

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Southland:

Man I miss John Ward Bob Kesling followed a legend and you really cant do that but Bob Kesling really could not follow anyone and do a very good job. He is better at basketball than football but has not shown improvement in either area. I loved John Ward. Truly one of the greatest Vols of all time

You pounded the nail with the "has not shown improvement in either area" line. I was willing to give the guy a chance, recognizing he was replacing a legend. But it has been 12 years and he's still Bumbling Bob.

I think UT should show Bob the door and bring in somebody young and talented who would be willing to recreate John's catch phrases and even, to some extent, his style. This would serve not only as a tribute to John, but would also restore some lost Vol traditions. I believe Ward would love it, and so would thousands of Tennessee faithful.

"Final score, Tennessee 20, Florida 17. Pandemonium reigns!"

MemphoVol writes:

in response to Flabbergasted:

What was your GPA, Rich?

Must not have been too high...he obviously can't read! Goins, not Bone for highest GPA.

1vavolfan writes:

The was the first awards banquet I had been to and enjoyed it very much. I wanted to see the seniors off and was disappointed that Maze wasnt there. I thought it might have been more than a workout with the Knicks, he was only mentioned in passing 1 time and didnt receive any recognition at all.

There was more to the McBee/Bone scholarship story than included here. Skylar came to the stage to thank Troy Willis, and said that "Troy didn't treat me like a walk on, he treated me like everyone else". After that Skylar went to sit down and Bruce came on stage and said "did he say walk on?" , then he motioned for Josh Bone and Steven Pearl to come on stage.He then introduced them as the 3 newest scholarship players for the Vols (Of course, Steven attends for free). I was really surprised about Bone as there was little talk in the media about him receiving the last scholarship.If you were there it was a pretty touching moment if you are a fan of the team.

Negedu's speech was also very emotional, this young man wants to play basketball badly and is willing to risk his life to play the game.

There were many funny moments, the best was the coaches parody of the players. They had a black kid that looked like he was about 5 years old that was supposed to be Melvin Goins that was hilarious.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to MemphoVol:

Must not have been too high...he obviously can't read! Goins, not Bone for highest GPA.

Funny . The one assumed to be smoking the wacky backy is the smartest. Just shows why people shoudnt stereotype.

69grad writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe I just want to rmember it, but I think I remember watching the game on TV and hearing Ward say that. Your mentioning of that caused a lump in my throat.
VOL FOREVER!!!

InVAbutHeartInTN writes:

in response to pbnichols:

Can't you just hear John Ward....

"Skylar McBee for Three..."

Wait for it, wait for it... "BOTTOM!"

...or....(another Ward classic like).."GIVE IT TO HIMmmmmm !!"

MillisaAnn writes:

Congrats to Sklyar and to Josh :) :) :)

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i knew what you meant all along. don't like it when vols turn on vols just cause of a typo. shoot, fighting the trolls it enough.

i'm proud of this team from top to bottom. mostly the bottom. pearl is the most improved player. nice to see bone and mcbee get the scholarship.

bone and mcbee CHOSE to come here and work and i like true volunteers. they stepped up when the going was tough.

i think tatum will be a beast this year. JMO

good job VOLS!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kenny Chesney = Chely Wright.

Ringside writes:

in response to pbnichols:

Can't you just hear John Ward....

"Skylar McBee for Three..."

Wait for it, wait for it... "BOTTOM!"

How I miss JW....what a difference he made listening to the Vols on the radio.
"string music"

DarthWilson writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't worry about it Rich. We all have made mistakes. By the time I was reading the fifth correction of your post I was thinking "come on guys give him a break". Or at least scroll down the comments and see if anyone else has corrected him so you don't end up looking stupid. I admit I am no master of the english language. I am so amazed at how many people try to point out others mistakes only to make one themselves. I enjoy your posts and your perspective. Keep on keeping on.
Congrats to the two deserving young men. The future for UT basketball remains very bright. I hope to see many great things in the following seasons.
And please people, let's keep Vol on Vol violence in these posts to a minimum. Save it for the Bammer and Gator trolls.
GO VOLS!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to vol75:

All posters hold hands and repeat after me, "Spell check."

I agree. Some posters pay know attenshun too there gramer, and come accross like a looser. They should allways think what your writeing about.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to Reflections:

The reason you didn't see Bone? It was Goings with the highest GPA.

Goings? Seriously? I hope you weren't trying to be a jerk to Rich in this post.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's OK, Rich. I made a mistake once. Well, not really, I just wanted to make you feel better.

TigerOne writes:

in response to UTByrd:

Congratulations, gentlemen. Now work ya'll's tails off and get the Vol Ballers into the National Championship Game. While you're there, just go ahead and win the whole thing.
Go VOLS!!!!!

LMAO, you are kidding right. They got past the sweet 16 for the first time in over 100 years; 100+ years. I would not put any money that you need on that brother.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to TigerOne:

LMAO, you are kidding right. They got past the sweet 16 for the first time in over 100 years; 100+ years. I would not put any money that you need on that brother.

must be a bich having your 2nd place trophy taken away for cheating.

DandyVol writes:

When CBP said he had a scholarship available, but he wasn't going to give it out except to someone who could help the team, I thought he meant someone of Selby's ability. I see now my expectations were way to high.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to DandyVol:

When CBP said he had a scholarship available, but he wasn't going to give it out except to someone who could help the team, I thought he meant someone of Selby's ability. I see now my expectations were way to high.

#4 recruiting class by Rivals, #7 by ESPNU.Sorry this doesnt live up to your expectations.Glad to see two guys who have worked so hard get rewarded with what most players take for granted.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

#4 recruiting class by Rivals, #7 by ESPNU.Sorry this doesnt live up to your expectations.Glad to see two guys who have worked so hard get rewarded with what most players take for granted.

Yeah I know what you mean. Congrats to them. Top 10 recruiting class in all the main recruiting sites: #9 Rivals, #7 ESPN, and #9 Scout. So we have some pretty good talent coming in.

HtownVol writes:

Does anyone think SP really was most improved? Honestly what did he improve at? minutes played? I know...I know he plays with heart. I will not argue with that. My question is serious and is not making fun of SP.
For LADYKNOWS... before you start, I am more of a UT fan as ANYONE. Have not missed a football or basketball game in about 20 years and I sport UT ALL OVER my cars. Do not doubt my fan status because I want to know where SP improved in his game. Maybe on the defensive end, I can see that.

And to be honest, I dont really know another VOL that can be given the award. Chism was a beast all year. J.P steady, Hopson declined as the year went on...Maybe Maze. He was more aggresive at the end of the year. He really finished on some nice drives.

Anyway. Cant wait for 2010-2010. VOLS will be the best in the SEC!

Tobias will be FR of the year in the SEC and UT should and likely will make at least the elite 8 again.

GO VOLS!

Ironcity writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Isn't Bone going to be a Senior next year? If we have a scholly to offer why not? we can still offer it to a hot shot next year. No point bring in some average player this year that can't ever get off the bench. Thats what BOK would do but thats not what a great coach like Pearl does.

Go Vols!

samvol writes:

in response to bigorangekoolaid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Given the desperate need for front court depth this team has wouldn't it have been smarter to sign another big man with some talent???"

Amen to a post that makes sense.

easleychuck writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Does anyone think SP really was most improved? Honestly what did he improve at? minutes played? I know...I know he plays with heart. I will not argue with that. My question is serious and is not making fun of SP.
For LADYKNOWS... before you start, I am more of a UT fan as ANYONE. Have not missed a football or basketball game in about 20 years and I sport UT ALL OVER my cars. Do not doubt my fan status because I want to know where SP improved in his game. Maybe on the defensive end, I can see that.

And to be honest, I dont really know another VOL that can be given the award. Chism was a beast all year. J.P steady, Hopson declined as the year went on...Maybe Maze. He was more aggresive at the end of the year. He really finished on some nice drives.

Anyway. Cant wait for 2010-2010. VOLS will be the best in the SEC!

Tobias will be FR of the year in the SEC and UT should and likely will make at least the elite 8 again.

GO VOLS!

Thank you for not disappointing with your continued negativity that you express towards SP. As to what he improved upon:

He improved his free throw shooting from early on when he was really struggling. He became much more relaxed on the offensive end. He actually became an option once he gained the confidence to break to the basket. His passes became somewhat more crisp as the season wore on. He pretty much was the poster child for what a most-improved player represents but you will never see it because your bias is just too deep toward the kid. I would bet if you polled the kids on the team in a secret ballot that SP would have won the award to a man. They would have up close experience with how he improved over the course of the season. Getting your bearings on the basketball court when you are not the most athletic or quickest takes time. The way that he was able to burn minutes and buy the staff time when fouls became an issue inside was huge most of the season. He battled with bigger and stronger guys without backing down one step. Was he sometimes just over-whelmed by more athletic guys, you bet but that is what makes his work all the more admiral. He fought his tail off and did improve tremendously (even if you can't comprehend it) as the season wore on. If he can get the confidence to take and make 15 to 18 foot jumpers in games next season, he could really start to become a factor on the offensive end.

You asked and I offered up my opinion. I would never doubt your loyalty to UT but will disagree with you about SP's value to this team always.

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