Bruce Pearl back, Scotty Hopson could be for Kentucky

Bruce Pearl on facing Kentucky and rejoining his team on the bus

Coach Bruce Pearl will be back in the Tennessee huddle at Kentucky tonight.

The Vols’ leading scorer, Scotty Hopson, probably will, too.

But it remains to be seen how much of a lift Pearl’s game-day presence will provide and how much lift Hopson can muster against the No. 18 Wildcats at Rupp Arena (TV: 9 p.m., ESPN).

Pearl will slip on an orange sports coat, as is customary for games with Kentucky and Vanderbilt, having just finished serving an eight-game SEC men’s basketball suspension.

Hopson, who averages 16.5 points per game and is from Hopkinsville, Ky., has missed the past two games with a sprained left ankle suffered during a Feb. 1 practice.

Tennessee (15-8, 5-3 SEC) will try to become the first team to beat Kentucky (16-6, 4-4) at Rupp Arena since John Calipari took over as Wildcats coach prior to last season.

Kentucky’s string of 29 consecutive home wins includes 10 victories this season and dates back to a 90-85 loss to Georgia on March 4, 2009. It’s the second-longest active streak of its kind in the NCAA behind Duke’s 32-game streak.

“Hopefully I can help ... I don’t know that we’d be in any different position if I had been here for eight (SEC) games,’’ said Pearl, who in the teams’ most recent meeting suffered the most lopsided defeat in his 5-plus years at UT, 74-45, in last season’s SEC tournament. “We’ve got more to be concerned about playing Kentucky at Kentucky, and the challenges there, than whether I’m back or not.’’

Calipari was asked if he thought UT would look any different with Pearl back on the bench.

“No ... deep team, very talented, maybe the most talent in the league,’’ Calipari told the Lexington Herald Leader. “They’ve got great size, good players, play really hard. Play physical. They’re going to try to bump and grind and grab. They do it full court, half court.’’

UT junior wing Cameron Tatum said the biggest difference with Pearl returning will be hearing a familiar voice on play calls and in the team huddles.

“It’s great to have our leader back, our general,’’ Tatum said. “It will be good to have everything back to normal.’’

Almost everything.

While Pearl lists Hopson’s official status as “questionable,” he made it clear he expects Hopson to attempt to play against his home-state school.

“I would anticipate he will try to play, yes,’’ Pearl said. “Will Scotty, in reduced minutes (and) not being 100-percent still be effective for us? Yes.

“There will be some things Scotty can do, and there will be some things he won’t be able to do.’’

Hopson went through warm-up drills in Monday’s practice but did not take part in contact work before the team left for Lexington, Ky. He was not made available for media interviews.

Pearl revealed that Vols freshman forward Tobias Harris isn’t completely healed after twisting his ankle in UT’s 74-57 win at Ole Miss on Jan. 29.

Harris — who missed two days of practice after his ankle injury but hasn’t missed playing time — said Hopson could make a difference even if he’s playing in a limited capacity.

“Scotty helps us every time he’s out there,’’ Harris said. “When he’s not out there, I’ll have to be more aggressive and do what I’ve got to do to hold the fort down.

“I want to win, so I’ve got to gut it out and fight through it (sore ankle).’’

Harris figures to have his hands full against Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, who at 6-foot-8 and 244 pounds is averaging a team-high 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds.

No doubt, as much as the game is about the Vols taking care of their own business, the Wildcats lineup presents plenty of challenges.

Pearl said UT’s 5-foot-9 senior point guard, Melvin Goins, has one of the tougher matchups against the 6-3 Brandon Knight (17.5 points per game).

“Melvin will be challenged in a big way; they’ll go at him,’’ Pearl said. “Brandon Knight likes to score over smaller point guards. This is the most size Melvin will go at as far as the point guard matchup.’’

Goins, who stepped up against talented guards in wins over Pittsburgh and Villanova earlier this season, didn’t sound too intimidated.

“We’ve got to contain them and play team defense; they like to go middle,’’ Goins said. “It will be good to go there and get a win ... I’m anxious to see what it feels like.’’

The last time any UT player or coach knew what a win at Kentucky felt like was in 2006, when former Vols All-American Chris Lofton scored 31 points in a 75-67 victory.

Tennessee has lost 10 of its past 11 games in Rupp Arena, and yet, Pearl said Monday it’s his favorite place to play outside of Thompson-Boling Arena.

“Favorite is a good word, yeah, because of the history and tradition,’’ Pearl said. “You walk in there and it’s very special. There’s an atmosphere that’s very festive.’’

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 63

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Going to need all hands on deck to play 40 minutes of great D! GBO!

eduardo writes:

Most likely a loss anyways just get better Hop!!!

Dobervol writes:

in response to eduardo:

Most likely a loss anyways just get better Hop!!!

But even if a loss, maybe at least a "festive" loss.

GO VOLS! Beat the Holly-Judd Bobcats!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Cats will be drooling for this game, especially now that the Lady Vols walked into the litter box and took one from the Lady Cats.

Prediction.............Bruce will probably get a technical in this one. Don't be surprised at the calls.

b24vol writes:

I see where Pearl said " they will be things Scotty can do and things he can not do". I'm betting he can shoot but can't play defense. I hope that's enough to win at UK. It sucks we've lost there 10 out of the last 11 times in Lexington! I still think we can win if our defense shows up. GO VOLS

PrideOfTheSouthlandBand writes:

I think its unfair that they came up with records outside of the Bruce Pearl era. Why not go back another year? Would the record have been 2 of 12? Does that look too good for a sports column? I hate some stats. You can make numbers say literally anything you need them to. Bogus. Go Big Orange. This KY-gel team doesn't have a 7' 290lb first round draft pick sitting in the middle to kill us this time. Limping or not, veterans win rivalry games. Kentucky's fish are not as dynamic as last year, this team will not win the title. They will lose in the sweet 16. No moxie from the blue cats. Why are they blue? I wonder if their kitty has been neglected too :-/

2Good writes:

They sure need him after losing to bama at home . This team should be a top 10 team not a bubble team. When are they going to start playing to their potential?

dmore writes:

GO VOLS!!!!

brod writes:

tape that thing up and go play scotty. without you we have zero chance. a good showing at rupp is critical right now.

lomas98 writes:

Does Calipari really believe TN is the most talented team in the SEC? I'm taking off the orange colored glasses for this one. Goins wouldn't start at pg for any other team in the east. Nor would John Fields. That's 2 of our starters. We play 3 former walkons who would not get significant playing time with the exception of Auburn or Ole Miss. And I will add they actually play important minutes against conference teams, not just mop up duty. Harris and Hopson are a decent 1-2 punch, but KY has a better combination, so does GA, so does Vandy, so does FL, could argue Bama does as well. Throw in a streaky Cameron Tatum. Brian Williams has played very well as of late. Add all of those up and I don't see the most talented team in the SEC. I hope we can somehow find a way to win one of the next 2 road games. We need to be 10-6 at the end of conference play, but it won't be because we are the most talented, it will be because of good team play. I think Calipari is just saying TN is the most talented to wake his team up.

lomas98 writes:

I think I may have saw in another post after the Bama game, but I couldn't agree more with it regarding Hopson. I wish he showed as much emotion and trying to will his team to victory on the court as he did on the bench against Bama.

acworthdave writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pseudo fan...He wears the orange jacket for Vandy AND UK games as a tribute to Ray Mears and the fact that these are our 2 biggest rivals within the conference. Historically, UK is the much bigger rival than Vandy. Nice dig at the boss BTW. Did your arm hurt patting yourself on the back after typing that witty finish to your post?

LEXKYVOLS writes:

I was at that game in 2006 in Rupp. The video UT produced that year shows me and my son in the background decked out in orange as Chris goes up for that last - put the game away layup!

I was also at the game in 1999 when we beat UK for the first time at Rupp in 20 years.

And I will be at Rupp tonight as Bruce Pearl hands Calipari his first loss in Rupp Arena.

GO VOLS - I got a good feeling about this game!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to LEXKYVOLS:

I was at that game in 2006 in Rupp. The video UT produced that year shows me and my son in the background decked out in orange as Chris goes up for that last - put the game away layup!

I was also at the game in 1999 when we beat UK for the first time at Rupp in 20 years.

And I will be at Rupp tonight as Bruce Pearl hands Calipari his first loss in Rupp Arena.

GO VOLS - I got a good feeling about this game!

You and me both my man, you and me both. I'm not the least bit worried about them. They are 4-4 in the SEC. The ONLY thing I AM worried about is the officiating. The RUPP REFS have their way of handling the game.

abnermc writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can't LYAO, you are ALL "A".

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Come on man...wouldn't be any fun if we didn't have something to b#### about.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011...

SI has their projected tourney brackets. UT as a 5. Possible? Yeah, but we will have to close strong and at least be respectable in the SEC Tourney.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not worried about the Gators either. Being that about 10 cities claim to be title town, you might wanna drop that handle until you atleast....win another title.

MusicCityVol writes:

Give Him 6! Travel to Rupp Edition. Just a collection of links for Vol fans to stay in the know from some of the best UT guys in the business (including the article above)...

http://checkerboardchatter.blogspot.c...

johnlg00 writes:

in response to lomas98:

Does Calipari really believe TN is the most talented team in the SEC? I'm taking off the orange colored glasses for this one. Goins wouldn't start at pg for any other team in the east. Nor would John Fields. That's 2 of our starters. We play 3 former walkons who would not get significant playing time with the exception of Auburn or Ole Miss. And I will add they actually play important minutes against conference teams, not just mop up duty. Harris and Hopson are a decent 1-2 punch, but KY has a better combination, so does GA, so does Vandy, so does FL, could argue Bama does as well. Throw in a streaky Cameron Tatum. Brian Williams has played very well as of late. Add all of those up and I don't see the most talented team in the SEC. I hope we can somehow find a way to win one of the next 2 road games. We need to be 10-6 at the end of conference play, but it won't be because we are the most talented, it will be because of good team play. I think Calipari is just saying TN is the most talented to wake his team up.

Yep, that sounded like pure "coach-speak" to me. I won't say the Vols CAN'T win, but I don't like the match-ups at the key positions. People have already mentioned Jones v. Harris--where Jones is bigger and more active than a hobbled Harris can likely contain--and Knight v. Goins--where Knight has great shooting range, great quickness, and more size--but I don't much like Lamb v. whoever, either. He can put up big numbers in a hurry, with great range to go along with a strong drive to the hoop.

The Vols' best hope in this game is that Jones and Knight get in early foul trouble, forcing UK's subs to play more. I do think the Vols have the advantage with the bench, but those guys are going to have to step up more than they have in some other big games for that to be much help in one of the toughest environments for a visiting team in all of college basketball. Mark this one down as a loss but not necessarily a fatal one, unless Hopson and Harris damage their ankles further.

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to Tweetdriver63:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post and good points! GBO and beat the Kitty Cats!

thetrollhunter writes:

IT'S THE VOLS VS. KENTUCKY DRINKING GAME!!!!!

- take a shot every time they mention Bruce Pearl's suspension

- take a shot every time Bruce puts on his angry face

- take a shot every time Steven Pearl draws a charge

- take a shot every time Brian Williams knocks somebody down

- take a shot every time the terrible SEC officials miss a call for either side, or make a bad call

- take a shot every time Skylar McBee hits a three (take a double shot if immediately after he lets them score on them)

- take a shot every time you find a Vol in the audience

- Take a shot if Dickie V pops out nowhere (finish the bottle if he uses the word "passion")

- take a shot if Kentucky fans start chanting something about Pearl

- take a shot if the camera shows Maymon on the bench not smiling

- take a shot if Calipari calls someone a selfish mofo

- take a shot if Cantstandsaban is jealous loser who's Vandy education was entirely wasted (gulp gulp gulp)

- take a shot if trolls waste their life (gulp gulp gulp)

- drink EVERYTHING if Vols win

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once again, you attribute every bad thing to our fans in whining about the refs at Rupp when it is a matter of simple observation over decades that the 'Cats get favorable treatment there. I would bet that all possible cumulative foul stats would show the largest discrepancy between them and ALL of their opponents than on any other home court in the SEC with the POSSIBLE exception of Vandy in Nashville. Even that stat wouldn't be conclusive, since it isn't possible to account for NON-calls. It is just a known fact--your favorite word--that the visitors have to fight the refs and their crowd as well as the 'Cats team. You can count exceptions to that on the fingers of one hand.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hasn't Tn beat KY more than all the other conference teams combined? For yrs. SEC was only TN and KY.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to thetrollhunter:

IT'S THE VOLS VS. KENTUCKY DRINKING GAME!!!!!

- take a shot every time they mention Bruce Pearl's suspension

- take a shot every time Bruce puts on his angry face

- take a shot every time Steven Pearl draws a charge

- take a shot every time Brian Williams knocks somebody down

- take a shot every time the terrible SEC officials miss a call for either side, or make a bad call

- take a shot every time Skylar McBee hits a three (take a double shot if immediately after he lets them score on them)

- take a shot every time you find a Vol in the audience

- Take a shot if Dickie V pops out nowhere (finish the bottle if he uses the word "passion")

- take a shot if Kentucky fans start chanting something about Pearl

- take a shot if the camera shows Maymon on the bench not smiling

- take a shot if Calipari calls someone a selfish mofo

- take a shot if Cantstandsaban is jealous loser who's Vandy education was entirely wasted (gulp gulp gulp)

- take a shot if trolls waste their life (gulp gulp gulp)

- drink EVERYTHING if Vols win

Dang! There is no way anybody could stay conscious long enough to consume all the shots THAT game would generate. Better call the EMTs before the tip-off if you want to try to get through that one!

carbonzip writes:

McCrae shot lights out in the summer league, why can't our coaches develop his play? No way he should be sitting behind McBee this late in the season(IMHO).

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did they make you sit in the back by the crapper again on the team bus? Clown, that job was for college. You aren't still supposed to be on the uniform washing staff. What is it? Like the dude in "Office Space" who hangs around though he was fired 10 years ago? That is you, man. Your obsession has taken over your life. You are not even being paid anymore. BP fixed the glitch when he got here 5 years ago. Now it's all coming together.

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to carbonzip:

McCrae shot lights out in the summer league, why can't our coaches develop his play? No way he should be sitting behind McBee this late in the season(IMHO).

Woolridge also scored 40 one game and I believe SP may have hit the 25 mark.

lomas98 writes:

in response to carbonzip:

McCrae shot lights out in the summer league, why can't our coaches develop his play? No way he should be sitting behind McBee this late in the season(IMHO).

Based on all of the stats from summer league, we should win the national championship. It all starts on the defensive end in college basketball. If there is no effort there, you will not see the floor. Summer league there is no defense played.

TNVol71 writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe you should follow the Vols more closely. Coach Pearl asked Ray Mears if it was OK before he donned the Orange sport coat. Coach Mears said it would be a great tribute. Bruce wanted to wear it for Vandy and Florida. It was Coach Mears that stated our 2 biggest rivals are Kentucky and Vandy. That is why Bruce wears the jacket for those games. GBO!!

GOPROKID (Inactive) writes:

Kentucky is going to take out thier.."We could have beat Florida" frustration on the the Vols. I predict atleast 2 wildcats with triple doubles. As for the sweaty coach...it won't matter if he is at Rupp or shouting at his Television . Wildcats by 12.

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your pathetic ! I don't even know why people respond to your idiotic rants ! If you are being serious, then you sure don't know a dang thing about baskeball. Tennessee has the highest rated RPI, and has already played 10 teams that are likely to make the NCAA Tourney. UT is 15-8 and 5-3 in the SEC with 4 home games that they will win. They will also win at least 1 or 2 of their road games against Kentucky, Florida, Vandy and South Carolina. Mark it down ! Tennessee will finish 21-10 or 20-11 before the SEC touney. They will be a lock for the NCAA's. By the way Kentucky is 4-4 in the SEC and Vandy 5-3 or 4-4.Tennessee has played the tougher schedule. So you need to watch more basketball and become more educated. Your posts show how little you know about basketball and sports.

KVD writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Once again, you attribute every bad thing to our fans in whining about the refs at Rupp when it is a matter of simple observation over decades that the 'Cats get favorable treatment there. I would bet that all possible cumulative foul stats would show the largest discrepancy between them and ALL of their opponents than on any other home court in the SEC with the POSSIBLE exception of Vandy in Nashville. Even that stat wouldn't be conclusive, since it isn't possible to account for NON-calls. It is just a known fact--your favorite word--that the visitors have to fight the refs and their crowd as well as the 'Cats team. You can count exceptions to that on the fingers of one hand.

LMFAO !!! You have got to be kidding. Already making excuses for a potential loss by blaming it on the refs? Unbelievable. I have heard it all. The Cats have just historically been a hard team to beat due to the talent level. The refs make good and bad calls at every game. Don't start posting whinny pathetic excuses on here without having some tangeable evidence to back up your claims. Produce proof. I am sure UK fans don't feel like the refs at a UT home game are calling the games fairly either. That excuse just doesn't have much merit.

allvols4life writes:

in response to GOPROKID:

Kentucky is going to take out thier.."We could have beat Florida" frustration on the the Vols. I predict atleast 2 wildcats with triple doubles. As for the sweaty coach...it won't matter if he is at Rupp or shouting at his Television . Wildcats by 12.

Two Cats with Triple Doubles? You do realize just how difficult that task is and how rare it happens in college basketball? Have not researched it, but I would doubt seriously any team has had 2 players with triple doubles in modern history.

collegegrad writes:

I say Go Vols! Pearl ought to be thankful that the University didn't give him the pink slip with the whole SEC/NCAA investigation leading to his suspension. Then again, if this had happened to anyone else at their job and they had gotten caught, they would've been fired immediately. However, we'll see what other penalties the NCAA may have, and hope that Pearl doesn't do it again, or the administration might have to give him the axe.

RollTideJoe writes:

I know one thing, I hope to high heaven that Vitale isn't on this ESPN game, because I absolutely despise the man. I turn the sound off when he calls a game. He is the most obnoxious thing on TV since Howard Cosell.

PeeEllthree writes:

First, thanks Roll Tide because before BP ball there wouldn't be other basketball fans fired up about watching UK/UT. People seem to forget. Second, why is Cal not being drug through the mud for lying about Larry Brown visiting? LB came in, spoke, looked at players and gave them things to work on. It's a blatant violation that gains a competitive advantage. It is a minor violation which results in nothing but a quiet reprimand. Having LB in is worth the slap on the wrist. Cal tells the NCAA he didn't know it was a violation, when we all know that he did and it was a calculated decision. He lied when he said he didn't know. Period. Honestly, I could give a flip about it, but since this thing is all about BP lying to the NCAA about a cookout, lets make sure Cal is called out for lying, when he brings a $1000/hr basketball consultant/coach into practice and acts like he didn't know it was against the rules. Cal has been pulling out, "i didn't know" lies for years and it hasn't hurt him yet.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to RollTideJoe:

I know one thing, I hope to high heaven that Vitale isn't on this ESPN game, because I absolutely despise the man. I turn the sound off when he calls a game. He is the most obnoxious thing on TV since Howard Cosell.

If he is, I hope he doesn't call us The Vowels again.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to PeeEllthree:

First, thanks Roll Tide because before BP ball there wouldn't be other basketball fans fired up about watching UK/UT. People seem to forget. Second, why is Cal not being drug through the mud for lying about Larry Brown visiting? LB came in, spoke, looked at players and gave them things to work on. It's a blatant violation that gains a competitive advantage. It is a minor violation which results in nothing but a quiet reprimand. Having LB in is worth the slap on the wrist. Cal tells the NCAA he didn't know it was a violation, when we all know that he did and it was a calculated decision. He lied when he said he didn't know. Period. Honestly, I could give a flip about it, but since this thing is all about BP lying to the NCAA about a cookout, lets make sure Cal is called out for lying, when he brings a $1000/hr basketball consultant/coach into practice and acts like he didn't know it was against the rules. Cal has been pulling out, "i didn't know" lies for years and it hasn't hurt him yet.

IMO what hurt Bruce was telling on Illinois. You can't tell on someone for breaking rules then break rules. Right or wrong, that has alot to do with it.

brokendownoldvol writes:

I'm old school. Tape it up and fill it full of lidocaine. This is KY!

carbonzip writes:

in response to lomas98:

Based on all of the stats from summer league, we should win the national championship. It all starts on the defensive end in college basketball. If there is no effort there, you will not see the floor. Summer league there is no defense played.

Isn't that part of player development. And how can Kenny Hall go from significant play last season to almost nothing this season?

trl_x writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MrPearl_STILL,

Should we worship you?

You're obviously an entity of unquestionable character whose morals are formed from an unspeakable truth. You sit above in Your glory and look down on those of us who are flawed.

Should we worship you?

VOLDoll writes:

in response to KVD:

LMFAO !!! You have got to be kidding. Already making excuses for a potential loss by blaming it on the refs? Unbelievable. I have heard it all. The Cats have just historically been a hard team to beat due to the talent level. The refs make good and bad calls at every game. Don't start posting whinny pathetic excuses on here without having some tangeable evidence to back up your claims. Produce proof. I am sure UK fans don't feel like the refs at a UT home game are calling the games fairly either. That excuse just doesn't have much merit.

This has not always been the case. But a lot of the Vol fans hate to admit that Pearl could not coach the dream team to win the SEC west.
So it's easier to blame everything else for losing to teams like Oakland and the Charlottes of the world.
They are not smart enough to realize that all teams get fired up for the Kentucky's and the Villinovas of the world.
Good coaches have their teams ready to play against everyone, not just the big boys.
It's a shame that so many people in Knoxville are not smart enough to realize the obvious.
I guess it's better to win a few meaningless games and be laughed at by the rest of the NCAA and be criticized for our coach being a lying, cheating hypocrite. Truly sad!

Katphan29 writes:

I think my Cats will scratch out a tough game, win by 2-3. This game will be close, no doubt.

I do get tired of hearing the "ref" argument.

I saw TN steal a game because of refs this year (GA), I saw TN robbed of a game because of refs this year (Tide).

Yes, UK is a home and will get some calls, that seems to be the way it is in the SEC. Home teams get the calls.

I don't like it, but that is the way it is.

I personally think this UT team is the toughest in the SEC, and I also think UT will beat FL at FL.

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't care who is PROVEN or not. My point is the "i didn't know about it" is a lie 99% of the time and you know it. BP could have lied, said he had a cookout but he forgot the rule. My point is BP could have lied, stuck with it, and be fine today rather than have admitted to it and be where he is today.

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dude......get out of the house at some point.....

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to lomas98:

Does Calipari really believe TN is the most talented team in the SEC? I'm taking off the orange colored glasses for this one. Goins wouldn't start at pg for any other team in the east. Nor would John Fields. That's 2 of our starters. We play 3 former walkons who would not get significant playing time with the exception of Auburn or Ole Miss. And I will add they actually play important minutes against conference teams, not just mop up duty. Harris and Hopson are a decent 1-2 punch, but KY has a better combination, so does GA, so does Vandy, so does FL, could argue Bama does as well. Throw in a streaky Cameron Tatum. Brian Williams has played very well as of late. Add all of those up and I don't see the most talented team in the SEC. I hope we can somehow find a way to win one of the next 2 road games. We need to be 10-6 at the end of conference play, but it won't be because we are the most talented, it will be because of good team play. I think Calipari is just saying TN is the most talented to wake his team up.

He's looking at the bench players that get no playing time because of the coaches son. Top 50 players do TN no good on the bench so he has nothing to worry about.

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to MrPearl_STILLHERE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why not isn't McBee a scortching 18-67 from 3 pt. ranch? He gets more and more playing time Maymon was shoooting 65% from the field and he gets benched.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to KVD:

LMFAO !!! You have got to be kidding. Already making excuses for a potential loss by blaming it on the refs? Unbelievable. I have heard it all. The Cats have just historically been a hard team to beat due to the talent level. The refs make good and bad calls at every game. Don't start posting whinny pathetic excuses on here without having some tangeable evidence to back up your claims. Produce proof. I am sure UK fans don't feel like the refs at a UT home game are calling the games fairly either. That excuse just doesn't have much merit.

I have seen enough UK games to know that UK fans, more than most, disagree with ANY call against UK, no matter how merited. After awhile, the most independent-minded ref finds it easier to "bend" a little than to endure the constant harassment. FWIW, that is part of what I think the home-court advantage is all about. The shame is that the Vols DON'T usually get that treatment because our fans don't usually demand it the way the UK fans do. It seems to me that the refs take a game at UT as an opportunity to show that they DON'T cave to a home crowd the way everybody knows they do at UK and Vandy. Dealing with the refs at Rupp Arena is just one of those things visiting teams have to deal with, like the heat and humidity in the Swamp and the weird gym at Vandy. I understand why UK fans would rather not admit it, but I congratulate them for all but FORCING the refs to favor them. I wish the Vol fans were better at it.

KevDVol writes:

Calipari had the most talented team in the country last year but could not get them any farther than the Vols. He is a great recruiter but I'm not sure about his X's and O's.

If Goins and Tatum play well, we may have a chance. Williams and Harris need to do what they do. Scotty Hopsore needs to give us a 15-20 solid minutes (or not play).

Go Vols!

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