Tony Jones prepared for role as Pearl's replacement

Shay, Forbes will share responsibilities

Bruce Pearl has already started ribbing Tony Jones, his longtime assistant, joking on Friday that he heard "Tony wants to renegotiate his contract now.''

The last time Jones was a head coach when a basketball game mattered was in 1993, when he led Team Michigan to a 35-1 record during three seasons in the AAU ranks.

The Tennessee associate head coach will find himself in charge of the 24th-ranked Vols (3-0) on game days when the Vols open the SEC season on Jan. 8 at Arkansas.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday that Pearl has been suspended for the first eight games of the SEC schedule.

It's a sure bet Pearl's plans will be well in place for Jones and UT assistants Jason Shay and Steve Forbes.

"Me and Jason and Steve have been doing this a while, so we know the ropes,'' Jones said. "Jason will help me with the offense, Steve will continue working with the defense, and I'll still do the substitutions while managing the game and dealing with the officiating.

"Coach won't be there physically, but he'll be there spiritually,'' Jones said. "We know what he would do in any and all circumstances.''

Pearl will be allowed to coach the Vols during the first half of the SEC season, but just not on game days.

Jones has wondered how he would do as a head coach for years now, and other programs have flirted with the same idea.

Jones was a finalist for the top job at Marshall in 2007, and he was reportedly the leading candidate for an opening at Boston University two years ago before withdrawing his name from consideration.

Jones doesn't like the circumstances that have led to his future assignment on the side court, but he plans to make the most of it.

"Bruce has prepared me well for this over the last 10 years I've worked beside him,'' said Jones who joined Pearl's staff at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "He's one of the best minds in college basketball.''

And while Jones has been bothered and upset over the situation the Vols' basketball program has been forced to deal with over the past few months, he's quickly able to put it into perspective.

"Nothing can or ever will be more catastrophic than that situation with my father,'' said Jones, whose father was murdered in August of 2009. "I still think of him every day, and those daily talks we had, and I know during that eight-game stretch he'll be looking down on me and guiding me.''

Jones has needed to fill in for Pearl just once before over the past 10 seasons, doing so at halftime after Pearl was ejected during a game with Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Illinois-Chicago during the 2003-04 season.

"They were first in the league and we were second, and we were down eight at the half,'' Jones said. "We came back to lead by 10 but we lost by four.''

Jones will have an opportunity during the eight-game SEC stretch to win on two campuses where Pearl has failed to garner a victory, at Ole Miss and at Auburn.

Mighty Melvin: UT senior point guard Melvin Goins, who injured his side in the Vols' win over Belmont on Tuesday, was back on the court Saturday, practicing his shooting.

"It felt a lot better,'' said Goins, who was held out of the Vols' scrimmages and contact drills as a precaution. "I'll definitely be ready to go on Wednesday.''

UT plays Virginia Commonwealth at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.) in the semifinals of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off.

Goins originally suffered the side injury on Nov. 12 in UT's season-opening win against Chattanooga, and he re-injured it the second half against Belmont.

"I tried to go, but I had to take myself out,'' Goins said. "I realized I was hurting my team.''

Adjusting Scotty: Shay worked with guard Scotty Hopson on Friday to help adjust the junior's shot.

"It was his shoulder angle,'' Shay explained. "It's just a minor adjustment, so I think he'll be fine.''

Hopson has started the season making two of 13 shots beyond the 3-point arc.

"I don't think I'm really in a slump,'' Hopson said. "I've just had some bad luck with a few shots that didn't fall. I've gotten it taken care of.''

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Comments » 36

Caspian writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OK. Whatever.

checkeredheart writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Small minded still I see. You may want to look at your own program's coach before you speak. It could be you next. If it is I promise I will keep quite. I never thought much of those who liked to pile on.

196SVol writes:

Does Tony sweat like Bruce does?

checkeredheart writes:

I am trying to find the positive side on this as it could be worse. But for now I will just be happy we could be one step closer to closure. And Slive now probably feels better having punished UT, as we all know he would have loved to smack down Lane, but didn't get the chance. I am sure he feels better now that he has gotten a little pay back. Slive down, one to go.

BankerVol writes:

Hopson... You aren't in a slump. You just cant shoot!

FEARinSEC writes:

Pearl, I'm still with ya! Hang in there, You'll be back soon enough!!

Go Vols!!!!!

bobbarbilly writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And at that prestigeous university with such great athletic tradition are those who stand above the kitty-litter reactionaries by believing in second chances.

pvtoe writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What do you care. Its none of your business. Worry about Calipari, not Bruce. Bruce Pearl will be here a long time and theres no reason he shouldnt. By the way 26 in a row coming at you next week.

eduardo writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What about Bledsoe and his phony act/sat scores holmes?? I think the junk that goes up in your neck of the woods is far worse bro!! Can you say death penalty and vacated final 4s????

everydayisorange writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why are you concerned about UT stuff? Could it be that you want Pearl gone and some stiff brought in so KY can win consistently against the Vols? I don,t believe for one second that you care any about the goings on at the best university on the planet! GBO!!

everydayisorange writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you back again? I thought you had been banned! I believe your only purpose in life is to come on a UT board and make snide remarks. Go to bed little boy!

everydayisorange writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whats the matter? Did baby lose his pacifer? Cry to momma and she will bring you a bottle! Or is that the problem, too many bottles of beer. Geeze what a whiner!

give_him_6 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Before you cast stones...TROLL..you better look at your coach. Calamari is taking you down the same road he took Memphis down and trouble has followed him wherever he has gone. You have already lost your "prize" center. If he had played in a gmae you would have had to forefited it. LMAO!!! Go troll elseware..loser

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BankerVol:

Hopson... You aren't in a slump. You just cant shoot!

I'd love to see you and Hopson in a game of 21 or horse? That would be funny...well not if you won!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Oh MrPearl(uwish) Why do you and Catscratcher ENJOY TAKING OVER A VOLS SIGHT!(accidentaly hit the caps button but seemed appropriate)? What facts do you want to debate? It seems that every time any one takes you on you come back with useless drivel. You are always on the attack with slurring words and never say anything of value. Say something positive about your team, for instance!!! You said that team was Tennessee but I've seen nothing to back that.

CCLC writes:

If you do the crime .... do the time.

jzt writes:

Tony might pull a Fulmer, look out Bruce.

hillsborovol writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How many times have the Vols sports programs been banned from post season play? Now, would you care to compare that to the cheaters in Lexington? I didn't think so.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to jzt:

Tony might pull a Fulmer, look out Bruce.

That'd be ok...I actually was upset when Coach was let go and Fulmer took over. I was upset when Fulmer was chased almost away, I was upset when Battle left, I was upset when Green was gone, I thought what's his name after Green? before? O'neal and Peterson, uhhh Houston??? Where have all the good boys gone?!!!
Point is UT will survive, we'll continue with basketball and it's pretty sure it'll only be 8 games and Tony knows his stuff and is more likely to be hired some where else anyhow.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to hillsborovol:

How many times have the Vols sports programs been banned from post season play? Now, would you care to compare that to the cheaters in Lexington? I didn't think so.

How many times are we going to re-post these idiots this article?!!lol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

How many times are we going to re-post these idiots this article?!!lol

PS I think Catscratch and "MrPearl(UWISH) have everything thought pre-typed then see any knew article and just hit the button to post their pre-typed idiocy!! funny

wolfram writes:

I see the "whoyougonnagit" crowd is still bleating like they did for Filmer. Except this time we have the chancellor of our university defending a man who lied before an NCAA investigation and put our program in peril ... defending a coach who the university essentially fired 2 months earlier. So it's the University of Pearl now, heh? LOL

Volumnus writes:

The underlying theme here is that the entire staff lied. Makes you wonder if it was/is a pattern or culture of lying. Have they been lying to recruits along the way? So Slive suspends CBP from games for 8 games and Assistant Head _____ Jones (you fill in the most appropriate noun) takes over, what does that accomplish? Either correct the culture and fix the athletic department or quit making worthless gestures. Suspension from a game with cell phones text messaging and I-pads is pretty much like confining him to a luxury suite. A fish rots from the head down... Is Hamilton the head???

YoungUtAlum writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You must of gotten into UT back when ACT scores didn't really matter. You are an Idiot and i'm also thinking a kentucky fan posing as a UT fan. If you are truly a UT fan then you are in the minority sir and the only reason you have a voice is because of message boards like this.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say it must be hard to type with those big ole tears in your eyes that NO ONE cares about...."waa waaa waaa why wont anyone listen?" you post and "I wish Pearl would leave so my team could win!" comments mean you just a big ole girl...HAHA
Bones never lie.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

Just how many coaches have they ever critized as much as these RUG RATS have Bruce Pearl. Auburn has a Star player is that why they haven't had that stupid SEC know it all on their rear ends? Bruce Pearl had no money involved and Auburn did. No proof, no proof that't all you can hear and that's a down right lie. UCONN...KY. How about the wrong things they did ESPN needs to keep their big mouths glued up. All these are not from Tennessee fans either. We think Bruce is a great coach and person.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

This all would be serious if it wasn't so much fun. Right UK, Memphis, and various enemies? You're having fun? Right?
Well I hope for your schools sake that it doesn't happen there. But you all are way over board on what Pearl did. Guilty yes. Forgivable yes. Pearl won't do this again for sure one way or the other. If he stays he's learned some things. If he goes someone will hire him. If not he probably has plenty to live on.

eduardo writes:

Time for Santonio Jones to show what he can do!!!! Nice time to shine!!!

checkeredheart writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Troll much? or is it your screen name is a reflection of your jealousy. Since you want to talk facts, please give reasons to believe you are a Vol fan. I would be interested in hearing that from you before anything else. What quacks like a duck.... I am sure you get my point.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You must be one frustrated UT fan, Pearl's the best coach we've had since Mears. What makes you think if he's fired we won't be in for another 30 years of being sixth in the SEC East and not making the NCAA tournament? Maybe that's what you prefer.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Again your' not making any sense!!? You made my point by again not reading what I said.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MrPearl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then if you no longer support the team or the Universtiy then shut up and go somewhere else...just a suggestion...especially the shut-up part... If you're just disappointed in Pearl then join the club...but you keep taking up bball space on here with your attacks. The people who seem to know a lot of basketball have quit coming on here because of people like you!!.

JDL211 writes:

I know a lot of folks here are focused on the suspension, so I thought I would continue to help out on the calibration. Tough loss for U Indy over the weekend, losing at home to Urbana U. (the Blue Knights) 88-77. A nice win for Urbana after being routed by Pfeiffer Univ. and Catawba College in the Highway 52 Shootout (how could ESPN have passed on covering that?) to start the season, and then an ugly loss to Cleveland State, 83-49. Not sure if it was just pure coincidence or if your coach slithered through Cleveland on his way south about 20 years ago, but Urbana has a guard named Marcus Pearl, who had a nice game against U Indy with 13 points in 35 minutes. Your welcome.

Hacksaw57 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why are YOU still posting on this site?

acworthdave writes:

I forgive Pearl because I want to win basketball games. If he was an average coach, he would be gone and I would be leading the holier than thou cheers for him to go. However, I actually want to win games and keeping Pearl is the best way to do it both in the short-term and long-term. I don't care how it sounds and you can call me any name you want. I just want a winning basketball program that is relevant and as long as Pearl isn't paying players or commiting felonies, he is by far our best chance to do that. GBO and GBP!!!!

allntl1#565211 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Give it up man!! You have a good coach who cheats, quite hoping that ours becomes available.

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