Sitting not a part of Kenny Hall's plan

Sophomore: 'I'm gonna take it out on 'em next year'

Tennessee's Kenny Hall goes up for a basket against Belmont.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee's Kenny Hall goes up for a basket against Belmont.

A funny thing happened on the way to Kenny Hall's breakout sophomore season.

There was offseason surgery and an injury.

There was an unexpected arrival of a transfer senior at his position.

And there was perhaps a bit of overconfidence.

Thus, as the 6-foot-8 center's quiet sophomore season winds down, he's anxiously awaiting his breakout junior season.

"Oh, yeah,'' Hall said Thursday. "All this bench-riding right now, man, I'm gonna take it out on 'em next year.''

He'd rather take it out on Georgia on Saturday, but that probably won't happen.

The Vols (16-10, 6-5 SEC) play host to the Bulldogs (17-8, 6-5) at 1 p.m. (TV: WVLT)

"It's been a really tough year for him,'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said. "Kenny got put in a tough spot.''

Hall played in 35 games as a freshman. He averaged 12.4 minutes, 3.6 points and 3.0 rebounds.

His three starts came in SEC games. He produced 12 points and 10 rebounds at Alabama.

This year, Hall has played in 18 of 26 games, averaging only 6.1 minutes, 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds.

What happened?

The wild card was the arrival of John Fields, a senior transfer from UNC Wilmington.

When Fields came on the market back in the summer, Pearl said both Hall and freshman forward Tobias Harris were in walking boots due to foot surgery. Thus, Tennessee took Fields, who has started 11 games and averages 13 minutes, to complement senior Brian Williams.

"Which really put Kenny in a tough spot,'' Pearl said, "because there's not much difference in the two of them.Kenny is better offensively. John brings a little bit more energy.''

Hall said the foot surgery, compounded by an ankle injury soon after practice opened, also was a setback.

But the coaching staff points some of the responsibility back at Hall.

"Knowing Wayne (Chism) was gone,'' said Pearl, "Kenny probably thought he could just walk into the position. And he can't.

"I don't think he worked hard enough in the offseason to take that step from being a promising freshman to a sophomore that's ready to step in.''

If so, Hall won't repeat the mistake. Despite the lack of playing time, he says he's a better player than this time a year ago.

"I'm more aggressive,'' he said. "I'm a lot more stronger and quicker. I've got a wide range of moves compared to what I had last year.''

He just doesn't get to show it much. There was a flash Wednesday night. In seven minutes against South Carolina, Hall had a basket and three rebounds.

"(Sitting) would be tough for anybody that's a competitor,'' Hall said. "I didn't come here to be a bench-warmer.''

In that respect, he has some well-heeled company.

UT's "scout team" on Thursday consisted of five four-star recruits, all of whom were in the top 75 of their signing class: Hall, Jeronne Maymon, Jordan McRae, Trae Golden and Renaldo Woolridge.

"I was telling Brian and some other players, this is not like a regular practice,'' Hall said. "It's like you're playing a game against another D-I school.''

Said Pearl, "My heart aches for those guys. They played well (Thursday).

"It looked like five guys who will be playing a lot for us next year.''

This year, however, Hall and the rest are sitting a lot.

Recruiting: At least two post recruits have offers from Tennessee, according to reports. Stan Simpson of John A. Logan College in Illinois has been offered, according to hoops247.com. Memphis, Gonzaga and Kentucky are among others involved. Lekan Ajayi, a senior at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C., has an offer and plans to make a visit to UT when his father comes over from Nigeria, he told zagsblog.com. Florida, Seton Hall and Loyola Marymount are other prospective visits.

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Comments » 43

VOLDoll writes:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

vols1990 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

stop talking.

scvols writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pearl is going to be around for a long time and us VOLS fans are happy to have him.

tmartin writes:

I guess steven pearl is better than all these 4 stars?? Why not just go out and get all the best 6th men off the bench from high schools in east tennessee. Stop wasting our time with the studs and get the ones that cant play, but can "hustle and play with heart." I bet we would win all recruiting wars with Maryville College and Carson Newman.

dcap8424 writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

PearlMustGo must go!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to scvols:

Pearl is going to be around for a long time and us VOLS fans are happy to have him.

I would not place any bets on that. If we get the punishment from the NCAA that I fear, he is out of here. And very likely Hamilton too. I am a UT fan and a Bruce Pearl fan, but I fear keeping him has cost us dearly

samvol writes:

Hall wont be in orange next year...

vols1990 writes:

if kenny hall was going to transfer he would have done it after last year. hes not going to give up a year of eligibility at this point in this college career.

SIMSVOL writes:

Pearl is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in college basketball today. Tennessee if fortunate to have him on the hill. There are a lot of ignorant posters on here who are either trolls or just uneducated when it comes to their comments regarding Pearl. Go VOLS!!!!

carbonzip writes:

Let us see Kenny Hall play against Georgia until it is obvious he can't compete. Stop kidding yourself about McBee. Muffing two inbound passes was inexcusable and he's over his head on defense.

TennVol01 writes:

in response to carbonzip:

Let us see Kenny Hall play against Georgia until it is obvious he can't compete. Stop kidding yourself about McBee. Muffing two inbound passes was inexcusable and he's over his head on defense.

I agree about McBee. When I see him getting ready to come in, I cringe. If he isn't passing the ball to opponents, he is double dribbling or walking. Then when he shoots it is often an air ball. He plays so hyper and out of control. When he leaves the floor, my buddies and I stand up and clap.

carbonzip writes:

in response to TennVol01:

I agree about McBee. When I see him getting ready to come in, I cringe. If he isn't passing the ball to opponents, he is double dribbling or walking. Then when he shoots it is often an air ball. He plays so hyper and out of control. When he leaves the floor, my buddies and I stand up and clap.

No disrespect to McBee, but I think the opposition has him figured out.

Volgrad777 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

I would not place any bets on that. If we get the punishment from the NCAA that I fear, he is out of here. And very likely Hamilton too. I am a UT fan and a Bruce Pearl fan, but I fear keeping him has cost us dearly

Pearl isnt going anywhere. Hamilton has no chance of going anywhere. He has straightened out an athletic department in shambles. Most of you dunce's have no idea how that department is run. The punishment doesnt matter.....if it did hed already be gone. Bruce Peark will retire here and Hamilton will stay as long as he wants. Some of you guys amaze me that you actually have the stones to "think" you know what youre talking about.

voloffaith writes:

WOW!!! PMG has ,prior to my post, 7 of the 21 postings. Momma will ewe tell him that it ain't right to always want to hear yoself! What was his other name b4 it got banned?

Anyway we all be speculating on this matter of here or gone...but then the article was on Kenny Hall wasn't it? He may surprise us Saturday, but Fields with better D may be necessary to keep Tompkins in check so we can be in the game.

carbonzip writes:

What bothers me about the bench is the short fuse BP has when they make a mistake. They get yanked out and nobody bothers to instruct them and give them a chance to show that they have learned. They deserve to sit if they don't improve after that.

VolunteerLifer writes:

You would think that with a scout team of 4-star players, the starting team would be in the top ten in the country. But no.

As for Kenny Hall, he has learned a valuable life's lesson: No matter how talented you are, you can always be replaced if you're not getting better and working your butt off every day.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to vols1990:

if kenny hall was going to transfer he would have done it after last year. hes not going to give up a year of eligibility at this point in this college career.

I agree. And especially since both Williams and Fields are leaving, the path to playing time will be open for Kenny next year - assuming he works hard enough to earn it.

Einstein writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

This is a ridiculous comment. Where have you been girl. Did you see the Tennessee men play basketball before Bruce Pearl arrived. They were pitiful. Bruce Pearl has made the program relevant.

Einstein writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another ridiculous, uninformed comment. Today is a new low for commenters on this issue.

Einstein writes:

in response to tmartin:

I guess steven pearl is better than all these 4 stars?? Why not just go out and get all the best 6th men off the bench from high schools in east tennessee. Stop wasting our time with the studs and get the ones that cant play, but can "hustle and play with heart." I bet we would win all recruiting wars with Maryville College and Carson Newman.

Steven Pearl brings hustle and defense to the team. Steven's job is to annoy the hell out of the opposition and he does it extremely well.

Einstein writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

I agree. And especially since both Williams and Fields are leaving, the path to playing time will be open for Kenny next year - assuming he works hard enough to earn it.

I agree with the original post and this post. Kenny Hall will be here next year and he will most likely be a starter. Fields and Williams are gone and Hall and Maymon and maybe a freshman have to play the post. With Maymon having time to learn the system (not just 1/2 a year) and his energy, he should be a force.

VOLDoll writes:

in response to Einstein:

Steven Pearl brings hustle and defense to the team. Steven's job is to annoy the hell out of the opposition and he does it extremely well.

Yea we are always in the news now. The only problem is it is either hearing about Pearls lying, cheating butt or about one of his players on a police blotter.
He has no control of his players on or off the court.
But you do have to give him credit, he continues to fool most of the UT fans on here into believing he can coach.
I wonder why none of the so called basketball big boys have come after him?

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is your Tobias Harris 50k payoff scandal causing the delay from the ncaa?

PeeEllthree writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VOLDoll writes:

in response to PeeEllthree:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hard to even comment to someone that refers to himself as the ironsheik. Kind of reminds me of the dude that called himself PL3 and acted like a former Vol. That was one insecure kid.
You have to laugh at two phony people sticking up for a coach that is a fraud.
You should call yourself the ironicsheik. lol!

VOLDoll writes:

Have a great weekend Vol fans!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to Einstein:

I agree with the original post and this post. Kenny Hall will be here next year and he will most likely be a starter. Fields and Williams are gone and Hall and Maymon and maybe a freshman have to play the post. With Maymon having time to learn the system (not just 1/2 a year) and his energy, he should be a force.

Maymon transferred here because he didn't want to play the 5, though from what little I've seen of him I think he belongs there. Where he plays next year will depend on Harris. If Harris is here, he'll either play the post or back up Harris, or both. If Harris goes to nba, the 4 will belong to Maymon, unless Woolridge gets into the mix. I guess.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Cursing sputtering and annoyance...actually I'm the idiot for even posting on this article with these idiots on here.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, that's the same thing you said about Tobias

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Man you gotta LOVE Hall's mindset. He's basically accepted the fact that he's a bench warmer and will get his shot next year. Doesn't mean its right though. I've seen several question his production on here. How in the hell can you produce if you don't get minutes? He showed TONS of promise last year, but I guess that talent just left. It doesn't look very good on Pearl to have all this talent and not get anything out of it. Bruces recruiting and player development HAVE to be in question at this point and time. I just don't see how any honest individual can say anything different.

Mule_Days_King writes:

So he's gonna stand up all his life? Man, he'll get shin splints if he doesn't plan on sitting.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Hard to even comment to someone that refers to himself as the ironsheik. Kind of reminds me of the dude that called himself PL3 and acted like a former Vol. That was one insecure kid.
You have to laugh at two phony people sticking up for a coach that is a fraud.
You should call yourself the ironicsheik. lol!

You could always call yourself VOLblowupDoll:

Mouth wide open and nothing substantive coming from it.

fpcoach writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

You could always call yourself VOLblowupDoll:

Mouth wide open and nothing substantive coming from it.

and nothing ever will. she/he is the most ignorant poster ever......

carbonzip writes:

in response to Einstein:

I agree with the original post and this post. Kenny Hall will be here next year and he will most likely be a starter. Fields and Williams are gone and Hall and Maymon and maybe a freshman have to play the post. With Maymon having time to learn the system (not just 1/2 a year) and his energy, he should be a force.

Can you give us the "formula" for the "system"?

seadaddy writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

Is that you Lady Gaga..ATTENTION SEEKER?

seadaddy writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is that you ...Lindsay,ATTENTION SEEKER?

lgilbert writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

Really wish everybody knew what a waste of time reading your post was before we read it. It's a shame.

lgilbert writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Cursing sputtering and annoyance...actually I'm the idiot for even posting on this article with these idiots on here.

I really have to agree with you. I have no idea why I wasted my time with the post against voldoll. Just get tired of all the negativity. It has been a rough year to say the least. However, I for one fan am not ready to throw the towel in until the last buzzer sounds. Been a lot of issues for sure. Always have been, am, and always will be a BIG ORANGE FAN. Go Vols. Be there to watch you play against Georgia in about 14 hours.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We will be fortunate if you are kicked off this site again but for good this time

pvtoe writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

You are an idiot!!!!!!!!!!!

pvtoe writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not gonna happen and those are the facts!!!!!!!!!!

allvol32 writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Three weeks ago? Who were you then? I see that you've puked out 30 comments in the three days since this account became active.

It's too bad that the comments sections aren't forums for legitimate discussion. PMG and several other trolls make honest discourse impossible.

KNS - flush the trolls!

give_him_6 writes:

in response to VOLDoll:

Really wish these kids knew how bad a coach Pearl was before they signed to play here.
It's a shame!

Please be quiet, the adukts want to talk!

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