Pearl hoping to get players past 'wall'

Skylar McBee #13

Tennessee seniors Brian Williams, Cameron Tatum and Josh Bone returned from injuries and practiced on Monday.

But don't expect the Vols to be at full strength at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when they play host to Brevard at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"We're going to play a game (scrimmage) Tuesday and then a game with Brevard (Wednesday),'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said after practice. "We're going to find out, can we go three days in a row?''

Pearl was none too pleased the last time the Vols were in that situation, at the SEC tournament last season.

Tennessee, playing its third game in three days last March, suffered the most lopsided loss in Pearl's UT tenure, falling to then No. 2-ranked Kentucky, 74-45, after trailing by only five points with under 9 1/2 minutes left.

"We hit the wall,'' said Pearl, noting that Kentucky was only playing its second game in two days after receiving a bye.

This time, Pearl welcomes a challenging situation.

"You look to get exposed so you can learn about your team in an exhibition,'' Pearl said. "I don't know much about Brevard, but I would guess they will be smaller at us at every position so our quickness will be challenged, and they'll be hard to guard man-to-man.''

Pearl said he plans to use his vaunted "Controlled Chaos" press at some point in the exhibition.

"We'll have rotations that can press,'' he said. "We're going on our third week of practice, and last week was the first time I put it in.

"We still want to play fast and force tempo.''

Injury Update: Williams missed a week of practice with a sprained ankle, but he's expected to play despite some lingering after-effects.

"It got real tight today,'' Williams said. "But I needed to get some run in.''

Pearl said Bone will likely be available despite just coming back from a strained quadriceps, but Tatum won't play even if the senior wing appears capable.

"Even if he's available, he won't play,'' Pearl said, citing Tatum's three-week layoff.

Tatum, who stayed late to get extra shots after practice, said he's still working himself back into cardiovascular shape.

"I'm still a little sore, but that's to be expected,'' said Tatum, who suffered a deep bone bruise on his knee three weeks ago. "It's just a matter of getting all of my muscles ready, and my cardio needs work.''

First Rotation?: Pearl started Monday's practice with Williams, Tobias Harris, Jordan McRae, Scotty Hopson and Melvin Goins working with the first team.

The second team was comprised off John Fields, Steven Pearl, Renaldo Woolridge, Skylar McBee and Trae Golden.

Pearl didn't say that's how the lineup will look Wednesday, but many of the players talking amongst themselves after practice took note of it.

Competition: Pearl will take today's scrimmage into consideration when divvying up playing time for Brevard.

Pearl has said the competition remains tight on the wing between McRae and Woolridge and at the post between Fields and Kenny Hall.

"Kenny is shooting the best percentage in the paint, and he's at 53-percent,'' Pearl said. "John, when the lights have come on, he's played better with officials. John and Kenny are really neck-and-neck.''

About Brevard: A Division II school located in North Carolina with an enrollment of 650, Brevard is coming off a record-setting campaign that saw the Tornados set or tie 28 school records en route to a 21-10 record and NCAA Division ll regional appearance.

Brevard, which plays in the South Atlantic Conference, lists its tallest two players at 6-foot-7.

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Comments » 23

skm writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you cringe, but you'll be applauding pearl's successes this year. hypocrite.

Greyfeathers writes:

Any idea who will replace Lyin' Bruce when the NCAA suspends him?

give_him_6 writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then quit following the team then you idiot. If you aren't with us, you are against us!!

rbut5252#220065 writes:

Put me down in the corner of those that are P O'd at the way Pearl has brought shame to our program......and don't you dare try to use the lame cliche' "if you aren't with us, you're against us" on me. No punishment...up to and including termination....should be off the table. I appreciate the progress we have shown under his time at UT and don't deny for a minute that he's an outstanding coach. However, there is an issue of character involved here......and his actions with the NCAA investigators demonstrate a glaring lack of it. They're still my Vols and will be for life. If Pearl survives this, here's hoping for at least another Elite 8 or beyond. Bruce has the know how and the team has the talent to be Final Four material.

AlphaMan1 writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you're a Vol fan then your job is to be a Vol fan. Nothing more.

You're not their judge, their jury nor their executioner. Doing more results in a mind divided for you and a house divided for us.

Let others, whose job it is to handle this issue, handle this issue.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope this doesnt sound like I'm condoning lying...I'm not...and I hope this statement doesnt make me a homer...I'm not...I think i can be objective...Now that the disclaimer is out of the way....I had rather have someone lie to me then come back after a time of uneasiness and apology for it than someone who YOU KNOW is a liar, lies to you and just let's it go...and we all put it behind us saying "well that's just the way he is, you know, he doesnt mean anything by it...so I still have respect for CBP and hope he will be allowed to continue as our coach.

Clarkwgriswold writes:

in response to tennrich1:

I hope this doesnt sound like I'm condoning lying...I'm not...and I hope this statement doesnt make me a homer...I'm not...I think i can be objective...Now that the disclaimer is out of the way....I had rather have someone lie to me then come back after a time of uneasiness and apology for it than someone who YOU KNOW is a liar, lies to you and just let's it go...and we all put it behind us saying "well that's just the way he is, you know, he doesnt mean anything by it...so I still have respect for CBP and hope he will be allowed to continue as our coach.

Who among us has not covered a little something up with a false statement?

Irwin_Linker writes:

Any Idea if this will be shown online?

CTVol writes:

in response to Greyfeathers:

Any idea who will replace Lyin' Bruce when the NCAA suspends him?

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bubbanuts2010 writes:

The way i see it if your going to bash one of our Coach's, then your BASHING the University then your not considered a UT FAN, us fans and UT Officials can get past this with flying colors. SO you hypocrits out there let it so!!!!!!!!!! And pull for your University no mater what, All your doing is showing your true colors, and it's not Orange!! GBO

Bubbanuts2010 writes:

Coach made a Mistake by lying then turned around and told the truth, I condone him for being truthful after the fact. I hope it dosen't happen again, we need CBP the University needs him and we all will get past this, let's focus on the new season ahead and pound UK into the ground!!!!!! GBO

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I don't never lie ever!!! IRS are you listening? Pastor are you with me?
Anyway go Vols. (Pearl I seriously think that you goofed, but I forgive you, "go and sin no more")( or should I say STAY "and sin no more")

walt23tn writes:

in response to myfollower#555763:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well said

macon_volfan writes:

in response to Irwin_Linker:

Any Idea if this will be shown online?

yes, at utsports.com

JDL211 writes:

in response to AlphaMan1:

If you're a Vol fan then your job is to be a Vol fan. Nothing more.

You're not their judge, their jury nor their executioner. Doing more results in a mind divided for you and a house divided for us.

Let others, whose job it is to handle this issue, handle this issue.

It probably does feel like a job to be a Vols basketball fan these days.

YoungUtAlum writes:

I would just like to say that Division I men's basketball and women's basketball is dirty. To the fan, NCAA rules may appear black and white but it is the coach's job to interpret the rules to gain a competitive advantage. I'm not saying that Bruce was right in lying but coming from someone that has worked in Division I college basketball I can assure you that he is being made an example of by the NCAA. I just laugh at all the people that say that Bruce has brought irreparable shame upon the university. Welcome to Division I basketball ladies and gentlemen. It would be a flat out mistake to fire Bruce Pearl. I promise you that if you cringe at the name of Pearl because of what he has done then you should just stop being a college athletics fan and take up knitting. I will venture to say there is not one "clean" program in the entire United States. The NCAA is so ridiculous that you can break rules just tying your shoes the wrong way. Those of you who want Pearl fired because of this are living in a fantasy world.

AlphaMan1 writes:

in response to JDL211:

It probably does feel like a job to be a Vols basketball fan these days.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. It's an honor and a pleasure to be a Volunteer.

Still, like everyone else, we're less than perfect. Most of us do have enough class, however, to avoid making snide comments on other's websites.

Please go back to the Cathouse or Gator Hole that you came from. We don't need you here.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

I didn't read the article but didn't John 'Wall' leave college for the pro's so why the heck are we worried about hitting him?

Laydbakvol writes:

in response to tonyvick#213307:

I didn't read the article but didn't John 'Wall' leave college for the pro's so why the heck are we worried about hitting him?

Finally! A poster who makes sense.

ChatBleu writes:

in response to Bubbanuts2010:

Coach made a Mistake by lying then turned around and told the truth, I condone him for being truthful after the fact. I hope it dosen't happen again, we need CBP the University needs him and we all will get past this, let's focus on the new season ahead and pound UK into the ground!!!!!! GBO

Get a clue about Pearl "turning around and telling the truth!" Do you think it was coincidental that Pearl told the truth the day after his contract was torn up and Hamilton sent him a scathing letter in the contract termination?? He was told the day before when his contract was torn up to come clean. If the lying sleaze thought he would have gotten away with it he never would have come clean. When it's over the NCAA will suspend him for at least a year and UT will fire him at the end of he season due to the fact that the NCAA is going to nuke UT with everything short of the death penalty thanks to Bruce. The NCAA suspended a 19 year old football player for a full season just for lying to them, Dez Bryant. He didn't even cheat/commit any violations, just lied to them. Given that case you better believe they will a coach that cheated and lied.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Pearl should not have lied!? Pearl messed up period. Pearl should be honest when every other coach in the country is probably dishonest. You don't choose to do the right thing because it's popular...doing the right thing is always the best choice and should be the only choice!! You can't justify wrong by saying "everyone else does it"!!
Now...forgiveness is the right thing always and forever whether the person wants it or not. I think Pearl is sorry for what he did and hope it's not just because he got caught. He did from my vantage seem to volunteer some info he didn't need to to keep his job. I don't know and all I've heard is guesswork. I'm for forgiving him and going on for the players sake and for the universities sake. anything else seems to be the wrong thing for the players and the program. He deserves the chance to continue.

ChatBleu writes:

in response to Clarkwgriswold:

Who among us has not covered a little something up with a false statement?

You don't get it, Clark. Yes we've all told lies. The thing is that the NCAA is omnipotent, like the IRS. They answer to no one. They don't like being lied to as referenced by the Dez Bryant case. I would guess this is the 1st case of a coach lying to the NCAA during an investigation. If there were other cases of coaches lying to the NCAA the press would reference those cases, but they don't. The only case they have to use as an example is where a player, Bryant, lied to them. As stated they came down on Bryant hard, 1 year suspension, which the NCAA can also impose on a coach. You better believe they're going to do the same to Pearl, they are going to send a message to all other coaches, don't lie to us!

beetlebomb7 writes:

in response to jmr68ut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wouldn't be surprised if you would say you never lied , cheated on a test or you wife/girlfriend. Are you that pure. Um , before you answer that remember you will have to stand before the Lord one day. EVERYONE screws up here and there.

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