Inconsistency maintains grip on Vols

Tennessee forward John Fields, center, and guard Cameron Tatum, right, try to grab a loose ball as Mississippi State forward Kodi Augustus looks on at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee forward John Fields, center, and guard Cameron Tatum, right, try to grab a loose ball as Mississippi State forward Kodi Augustus looks on at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.

UT's Bruce Pearl on loss to Miss. State

Has Bruce Pearl run out of answers?

The Tennessee men’s basketball team has made five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and has more wins than any other SEC program since Pearl took over the program some six years ago.

But inconsistent performances this season and an ongoing case with the NCAA has the Vols coach flustered.

“Another disappointing Saturday,’’ Pearl said, opening his post-game news conference after a 70-69 loss to Mississippi State at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday.

Pearl cited a lack of leadership and on-court chemistry on the offensive end of the floor as the primary reasons behind his team’s inability to get any kind of momentum as the postseason approaches.

The Vols (17-12, 7-7 SEC) next play at South Carolina (14-13, 5-9) at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Pearl said Sunday that “if our shooters hit one more open shot apiece, we’re sitting in a pretty good position.’’

But he also said he realizes more changes could be necessary to get the team playing at peak level.

But what are those changes?

“If I knew what to do, I would have been doing it,’’ Pearl said when asked that question after Saturday’s game.

Suffice it to say, that’s not the kind of answer the UT fan base is accustomed to getting from Pearl.

But then, the Vols are one loss short of equaling Pearl’s high at UT, which occurred two seasons ago, when Tennessee went 21-13 and was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

That team, much like the current one, struggled to replace key players who had moved on and lacked consistency.

While Pearl’s teams have typically evolved, with different lineups at different points of the season, this season’s group has failed to take positive steps.

“We have got some good individuals, some really good kids,’’ Pearl said. “But we have a lot of parity. We have a lot of guys that aren’t much different or better than one another.’’

That has led Pearl to foster a team identity of defense and rebounding — two elements of the game he said players can control with effort and execution.

Offensively, it has been a different matter.

From an offensive skill standpoint, Pearl has pointed out that UT has only two consistent threats, junior Scotty Hopson and freshman Tobias Harris. After that one-two scoring punch, there has been a significant drop-off.

“We need that third option,’’ Pearl said. “Who’s going to be that third option?’’

The game plan typically calls for junior wing Cameron Tatum.

However, Tatum was 2-of-8 shooting in the loss to Mississippi State, 1-of-7 shooting against Vanderbilt, and 1-of-5 shooting against Georgia.

Pearl could opt to start senior Josh Bone in place of Tatum, but it’s unlikely the distribution of minutes would change significantly, and it might amount to just shuffling the pieces only to end up with the same sum.

Pearl’s prior two moves were to reinstate freshman Trae Golden as the backup point guard and start playing sophomore transfer Jeronne Maymon at power forward.

Golden had strong performance against Vanderbilt, showing playmaking skills. But against Mississippi State, his performance but was inadequate and he got pulled again in favor of sophomore Skylar McBee.

Maymon, the 6-7, 258-pound transfer from Marquette, has shown flashes of brilliance rebounding and going to the rim, but he has been inaccurate from the free-throw line (3-of-14).

In his past two appearances, against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, Maymon has provided a spark.

But there haven’t been enough sparks across the board to set UT ablaze with momentum.

It’s up to Pearl to find more answers.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

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

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Related Links

Comments » 102

samvol writes:

the answer is for you to LEAVE!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

It's too late in the season for Pearl to change his MO now. The offensive and defensive schemes are set. no one is going to get better at shooting 3's or free throws or playing defense. There's not much he can do now except try to motivate his players to play harder and hope that its enough. I hope so, too, but I don't have confidence in Pearl anymore. Why should I?

bobbarbilly writes:

When they are hot, they are hot. When they are not, they ain't.

The_Mayor writes:

This bunch as a unit have reached the limits of their capabilities. They're just not that good. They have no leader. Hopson will continue to develop, but he lacks the consistency and maturity to be the team leader. Tobias will, if he stays, position himself to fill the role as leader next year, however if the NCAA hammer falls, he and Hopson will likely be NBA bound. Brian Williams has maximized all he will ever be, and you have to give a kid credit for that. Without sugar coating it though, I will always think of him as the guy who let himself be the victim of his environment, rather than demanding that his environment be a product of his own assertiveness. Woolridge is distracted with extra curricular performing arts pursuits, and that's good, except he's doing it on a UT basketball scholly. Everybody else is just interchangeable parts in my opinion...we can do with them or without them, and no one will ever really know the difference. The key to any championship basketball team at any level is a dominant point guard and a dominant center. We have neither. We're the best we'll ever be his season. There may be no next season. Frustrating. Still all Vol til no end.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

My hope is that we get an 8/9 seed in the same bracket as Duke and we take out Duke in the second round. Isn't likely to happen, though. Regardless of who we play, we're stuck in a "good game" followed by a "bad game". So, even if we get to the Big Dance and win the first game, odds are we'll lose the second round no matter the opponent.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Can you say NIT? BigVolinCarolina

Aussievol writes:

The starting five next year:

G Tatum
G McRae
G Golden
F Maymon
F Hall

Total pts per game this year: 19.7

If Jones and Ware show up I guess they will probably start but why would they come here now??

No coach, limited recruiting, reduced scholarships, post-season ban, etc. Time to bring back the curtains in Thompson-Boling because its curtains for the Mens basketball program.

everydayisorange writes:

JMHO.This team will rebound after all the NCAA stuff is over,ie next year.What ever tourney they get into, they probably wont stay long.As is usually the case,when a team has something like this (NCAA and/or probation,other penalties) hanging over their head, then the team tends to not play well.Rare occasions have happened that the team rallies and does well, but this is not one of them.I wont pretend that the sanctions may be tough and CBP may end up being fired, but in any case I will still cheer on the team and will always be a VFL. GBO!!!

richvol writes:

The problem is shot selection and intensity on both ends of the floor. Pearl cannot get these guys to follow his coaching,or to play like they value possessions,because he won't bench them...they know no matter what they do they are going to go back in and play.

It's too late now at this point in the season but if pearl had benched a couple of these morons when they threw up a quick three or did not play with intensity on either side of the floor for the rest of the game they might have learned a lesson. However they know they are going to play regardless so why listen,or hustle or value a possession...I'm going back in. It's too late now to bench them for a couple of games.

Pearl acts like these guys are his buddies and with his lack of leadership this year they don't respect him.

VOLDoll writes:

Inconsistency, that describes Bruce Pearls teams every year. Not sure why he would blow his only shot at coaching division 1.

One_in_West_Knox writes:

I just heard that the team appears more geared toward making dunks in practice than layups. And how many more games could the team have won in the past few years (including Michigan State for the Final Four last year) if they hadn't missed a few more layups??

Madkels writes:

Pearl said Sunday that “if our shooters hit one more open shot apiece, we’re sitting in a pretty good position.’’

How about just hitting the shots from the charity stripe? If this team was just a hint above average at the line, they would be 15-7 since going 7-0 instead of 10-12.

theoldbear writes:

It would have been difficult to fire Bruce Pearl during his son's senior season. Steve Pearl has given more to this team than any other player. Yes, he lacks skills. But if those with the skills played with his intensity and heart, the Vols might be undefeated in the SEC. Heck, they might be undefeated and ranked number one.

When the season is over, both Pearls need to move on.

Bruce cannot motivate his players to the effort needed to win, and he cannot coach them to execute an offense or a defense that wins consistently.

The Pearl era will be remembered as the pinnacle of Tennessee basketball. Let's hope the next coach can take the program to even greater heights!

mcdevitt#229126 writes:

Maybe I am over simplifying things but it seems to me that if you had only two scorers that they would play 35 to 40 minutes per game unless they get into foul trouble. Lofton played 35 minutes a game. Why not play Harris and Hopson all game and substitute the rest of the non-scorers for defense and rebounds. Kentucky plays six men and waxed us a home. I am tired of the all the c$$$ about needing depth.

Tennessee had a chance to put away the MSU game mid way into the 1st half and Pearl loaded up the floor with zero (0) offensive weapons and watched MSU make a run and take the lead. Why cannot he not play the guys that score and let rest of the mediocre players sit on the bench. We are deep trouble over the next several years. Zero depth and zero scoring ability from the subs.

The entire SEC knows BP's game and they all know how to stop it. Pack the paint and let us jack three point airballs. I would never play us man to man.

Ole Brucey boy needs to hit the street and go back to DIV II where he belongs. He cannot recruit without cheating, cannot develop good talent, and cannot coach to win games in the last minute.

Tired of watching the SOS. It's been a long time since I had to turn off a basketball game on the HDTV.

brod writes:

incosistency is the reason that this team will not be in the dance this year. people say that they will be in but i don't see how the committee can really consider them with their record and record in the last half of the season. cameron tatum is one of the key shooters and he has gone stone cold. he needs to back in rhytm and start scoring again for this team to have chance of winning games in march. whether it be the nit or ncaa. it's been a disappointing year, way too many close losses at home. beating kentucky would really help salvage it, but i don't see it happening.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Aussievol:

The starting five next year:

G Tatum
G McRae
G Golden
F Maymon
F Hall

Total pts per game this year: 19.7

If Jones and Ware show up I guess they will probably start but why would they come here now??

No coach, limited recruiting, reduced scholarships, post-season ban, etc. Time to bring back the curtains in Thompson-Boling because its curtains for the Mens basketball program.

Why would they show up? For one they signed a LOI and unless they want to sit a year there coming. Second, they can start as freshman and be significant contributors. 3rd, their will be a coach we just are not sure who it will be, 4th, most of these kids want to play so a loss of a scholly actually is a positive to the players. Just because you have given up on the program doesn't mean they are shutting it down. The problem with UT is simple, we have the worst backcourt in the SEC. Not sure how it happened and Coach Pearl should have addressed it better then he did, however next year that will change and all of a sudden the guys will look like they are on the same page.

As for this year, since none of our guards can score in the lane (I don't count Hopson as a guard) we better hope that we somehow get hot from outside.

One other thing, Harris needs to make his lay-ups. He gets to the rim and just misses the shot. You can see he has to much talent to continue to do that.

FearlessFreep writes:

Pearl is at his best when he is the underdog. This squad has never done well as front-runners.

I'm struck by the contrast in defensive intensity between this team and Pearl's earlier squads. This one just seems to be going through the motions. The others were so intense at times that they simply wore other teams down. Not this bunch - lazy, nonchalant effort and that's what shows up on the court. Defensively this team is subpar.

DancingOutlaw writes:

How many horrible 3's were attempted in the last game, and no one sat for it? We're taking these stupid contested or off balance 3's with 27-29 on the shot clock. We cannot figure out how to get the ball low, we pass it around the arc and either hopson drives or someone decides this is a perfect place for a 3. I'm starting to wonder if anyone on the team knows what a mid range jumper is. I'm also thinking Brian Williams has neither a positive or negative impact on our team. He does something good, followed up by something completely boneheaded. The foul on that dunk with 3 seconds left was an example of boneheaded. It was a useless foul, was not going to stop the guy from scoring. Gave them time to regroup, an extra point to take the lead, and you foul out. Genius.

Whoever said an 8/9 seed will be a "good" game for us has not been watching this team. If we wind up an in 8/9 matchup we are done no matter which seed we are. We cannot compete with even remotely equal talent.

gillblog writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

It's too late in the season for Pearl to change his MO now. The offensive and defensive schemes are set. no one is going to get better at shooting 3's or free throws or playing defense. There's not much he can do now except try to motivate his players to play harder and hope that its enough. I hope so, too, but I don't have confidence in Pearl anymore. Why should I?

It's not too late to improve FT shooting, though. If they did nothing else in the next 3 days but practice FT's they might win a couple of games. Just a 10% improvement in team freethrows would have won us at least 3 of the last five games we lost.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

I can't remember which game it was, perhaps it was Auburn, but in one game this year we passed the ball around as if we were an old Ray Mears team looking for our favorite shot. We got that shot most of the game and played one of our very best games of the year. We dribble to the teammate instead of passing the ball to him. I don't think that either Scotty or Tobias will go to the NBA next year. Scotty really needs a year of playing as a leader on his team to prepare for the NBA. You think it is easy to get your head down now, wait until you face those really good NBA players and it will be hanging to your navel. That one thing could help this team greatly. If their body language would show some confidence their teammates would pick up on that as well. Oh, yea there are times when their heads are held high, these are the times where they stand posing for the crowd or the cameras while beating their chests while the opponent takes the ball out of bounds, runs the floor and scores easily. Free throws: as someone who has watched UT basketball since before Ray Mears, I would bet my house that I could out shoot all but two or three of these guys from the free throw line. Totally unacceptable. Bruce needs to get off the backs of these kids and coach them up to the point they can play better. Just another nail in the coffin to tell the world of these kids shortcomings as if any of us needs to be told. Just read where the kid from Huntsville, Butler has cooled on UT because of the NCAA violations and the uncertainty of this program's future. Bruce, the biggest problem with this team is that YOU LET THEM DOWN. They have said all of the right things. They have not dissed you in public, yet you have really failed to be their coach and protector of late. What I see is a guy trying to save his own skin when you talk about yourself as in, " This is the most games that I have ever lost," etc. These kids do not critize each other or you yet you are, lately so quick to point your finger at them. Grow up and be their leader or get out of their way.

freevol writes:

pearl cant blame team for each loss.he should be held accountable for mistakes during the last game.one of the greatest shooters in nba history ray allen shoots around 500 shots before tip off.what are our guys doing in practice?certainly not shooting free throws or behind the arc.ive been a bp fan but blaming a team for his mistakes is unacceptable.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well put me in the 25%. Bruce hasn't done more for the university than Fulmer did, and we ran his arse off without a second thought. Perhaps wanting to keep Bruce isn't wrong, perhaps wanting him gone isn't wrong. Both are opinions. Perhaps those wanting to keep him have a win at all cost mentality. If the ENTIRE NATION laughing at us doesn't bother you, then keep him by all means. And don't give me this "look at what he's done for the program" B.S. Because the same argument can be made by saying "look what he's done TO the program". You act like when this season passes it's gonna be peachy. Keep wishing Naval, keep wishing. Is it football season yet?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll bet if you polled the rest of the nation 75% of them would say Pearl should be fired. What do you think the Tennessee fan base is gonna say? Two things I find ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS...1)People like you think if one's opinion doesn't mesh with yours, they are not "real UT fans". 2)People think if someone didn't attend UT, that they are not "real UT fans".

Me personally, it's REALLY hard for me to consider ANYONE who would allow ANYONE to KNOWINGLY compromise the integrity of the university a "real fan".

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

I can't remember which game it was, perhaps it was Auburn, but in one game this year we passed the ball around as if we were an old Ray Mears team looking for our favorite shot. We got that shot most of the game and played one of our very best games of the year. We dribble to the teammate instead of passing the ball to him. I don't think that either Scotty or Tobias will go to the NBA next year. Scotty really needs a year of playing as a leader on his team to prepare for the NBA. You think it is easy to get your head down now, wait until you face those really good NBA players and it will be hanging to your navel. That one thing could help this team greatly. If their body language would show some confidence their teammates would pick up on that as well. Oh, yea there are times when their heads are held high, these are the times where they stand posing for the crowd or the cameras while beating their chests while the opponent takes the ball out of bounds, runs the floor and scores easily. Free throws: as someone who has watched UT basketball since before Ray Mears, I would bet my house that I could out shoot all but two or three of these guys from the free throw line. Totally unacceptable. Bruce needs to get off the backs of these kids and coach them up to the point they can play better. Just another nail in the coffin to tell the world of these kids shortcomings as if any of us needs to be told. Just read where the kid from Huntsville, Butler has cooled on UT because of the NCAA violations and the uncertainty of this program's future. Bruce, the biggest problem with this team is that YOU LET THEM DOWN. They have said all of the right things. They have not dissed you in public, yet you have really failed to be their coach and protector of late. What I see is a guy trying to save his own skin when you talk about yourself as in, " This is the most games that I have ever lost," etc. These kids do not critize each other or you yet you are, lately so quick to point your finger at them. Grow up and be their leader or get out of their way.

Scotty and Tobias will play in the NBA. They might both be 1st round picks. Did it ever cross your mind, that they might go pro and actually get BETTER coaching? I agree with your post, other than the Scotty not going pro statement. Scotty has destroyed the opposition for 6 straight games. The problem with Scotty is that if Scotty scores 20, this fan base demands 25. If he scores 25 they demand 45. The problem is, nothing makes this fan base happy. If Scotty goes pro, he will be a 1st round pick.

tmartin writes:

in response to theoldbear:

It would have been difficult to fire Bruce Pearl during his son's senior season. Steve Pearl has given more to this team than any other player. Yes, he lacks skills. But if those with the skills played with his intensity and heart, the Vols might be undefeated in the SEC. Heck, they might be undefeated and ranked number one.

When the season is over, both Pearls need to move on.

Bruce cannot motivate his players to the effort needed to win, and he cannot coach them to execute an offense or a defense that wins consistently.

The Pearl era will be remembered as the pinnacle of Tennessee basketball. Let's hope the next coach can take the program to even greater heights!

By all means, SHUT UP, that is ignorant! Steven Pearl is a major part of the problem. He sucks and everyone on the team knows it.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Well put me in the 25%. Bruce hasn't done more for the university than Fulmer did, and we ran his arse off without a second thought. Perhaps wanting to keep Bruce isn't wrong, perhaps wanting him gone isn't wrong. Both are opinions. Perhaps those wanting to keep him have a win at all cost mentality. If the ENTIRE NATION laughing at us doesn't bother you, then keep him by all means. And don't give me this "look at what he's done for the program" B.S. Because the same argument can be made by saying "look what he's done TO the program". You act like when this season passes it's gonna be peachy. Keep wishing Naval, keep wishing. Is it football season yet?

Except Pearl hasn't had a losing record and has taken the team to the NCAA tournament every year he's been here. The nation is paying attention to Tennessee Basketball, which it hadn't done in 25 years. If you honestly think we're going to be BETTER OFF with another coach more power to you. . .but history states when Pearl leaves we go back to being SEC cellar dwellers.

Smokey_Chow writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Except Pearl hasn't had a losing record and has taken the team to the NCAA tournament every year he's been here. The nation is paying attention to Tennessee Basketball, which it hadn't done in 25 years. If you honestly think we're going to be BETTER OFF with another coach more power to you. . .but history states when Pearl leaves we go back to being SEC cellar dwellers.

WestKnox I'm with you.

It drives me crazy when people want to run Bruce out. He is by far the best thing that has happened to our BBall program since... well probably forever.

This team is just not consistent. I dont believe this has anything to do with coaching b/c he has proved he can coach UT to the NCAA every year. I think we just have an odd handfull of players that are not meshing.

I also think that this is a classic case of playing down to your opponents level. It's been shown over and over... actually just in the last week. We lose to Georgia and then stomp on a #18 Vandy... just like we have done all year. Just because of this trend i think Vols fans may end up surprised in the NCAA in march.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Aussievol:

The starting five next year:

G Tatum
G McRae
G Golden
F Maymon
F Hall

Total pts per game this year: 19.7

If Jones and Ware show up I guess they will probably start but why would they come here now??

No coach, limited recruiting, reduced scholarships, post-season ban, etc. Time to bring back the curtains in Thompson-Boling because its curtains for the Mens basketball program.

One thing no one has mentioned about Jones and Ware is that the NCAA allows a player who has signed with a team to go elsewhere if the coach who signed him leaves or the program is put on probation. There is thus no guarantee that either of them will be here next year. I agree that Hopson and Harris will probably go pro after this season, though both still have to improve a lot to get much playing time in the NBA. There won't be more than five or six names we will recognize on next year's team, and not many of them exactly fill me with confidence. This season isn't over yet, and I suppose the team could still string together a few more wins, but even with all our frustrations--which I am sure are shared by the coaches and players--this team is about as good as we will see in orange for at least the next couple of years whether Pearl stays or leaves.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Smokey_Chow:

WestKnox I'm with you.

It drives me crazy when people want to run Bruce out. He is by far the best thing that has happened to our BBall program since... well probably forever.

This team is just not consistent. I dont believe this has anything to do with coaching b/c he has proved he can coach UT to the NCAA every year. I think we just have an odd handfull of players that are not meshing.

I also think that this is a classic case of playing down to your opponents level. It's been shown over and over... actually just in the last week. We lose to Georgia and then stomp on a #18 Vandy... just like we have done all year. Just because of this trend i think Vols fans may end up surprised in the NCAA in march.

If one steps back and looks at the bigger picture the whole SEC has been inconsistant. Kentucky, Vandy, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia have all been inconsistant. The West is just bad, Alabama's leading with eight total losses, their record would be far worse in the east.

If Pearl goes we're not going to get a big name coach, we won't spend the money and 99% of coaches worth their salt won't come here making less money than the women's basketball coach when the men's team brings in more money and more fans, we're going to settle for another Buzz Peterson and suffer through years of mediocrity, meanwhile Pearl would eventually get another job and build a successful program while we flounder at the bottom of the SEC.

The_Mayor writes:

I'm not the one to judge Bruce Pearl. That said, those of you who say, "Bruce Pearl has done more for the UT basketball program than anyone since Ray Mears" should realize that Bruce Pearl's body of work is far from being complete. When all is said in done, the story may tell that Bruce Pearl did more to hurt the basketball program than anyone in the history of UT. I guess we'll find out in Indianapolis in June.

brokendownoldvol writes:

Tn had a 25-17 lead then the walk-on subs come in and State goes on a 12-0 run. Same ole same ole. That was the ballgame.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes, but how many wins against top50 RPI teams? That's really what the selection committee is going to look at.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Except Pearl hasn't had a losing record and has taken the team to the NCAA tournament every year he's been here. The nation is paying attention to Tennessee Basketball, which it hadn't done in 25 years. If you honestly think we're going to be BETTER OFF with another coach more power to you. . .but history states when Pearl leaves we go back to being SEC cellar dwellers.

Yes, the nation is paying attention to UT basketball, but not for the reasons you surmise. And the so called 25% of those wanting Pearl gone is growing every day

The_Mayor writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Yes, the nation is paying attention to UT basketball, but not for the reasons you surmise. And the so called 25% of those wanting Pearl gone is growing every day

To add to your point, if I may, the poll was taken in the days following the Vanderbilt win. Results are skewed...as skewed as they would have been in the other direction had the poll been taken in the days following the Georgia loss the week prior.

Keeping in mind that this is not a popularity contest, so polls really don't add up to a hill of beans in my opinion.

pms151 writes:

Don't you have a better thing to do than write about this non team? If someone paid me the $ KNS is paying you I would have already divorced CBP.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Yes, the nation is paying attention to UT basketball, but not for the reasons you surmise. And the so called 25% of those wanting Pearl gone is growing every day

Well. . .do you want a basketball program people pay attention to even if it's for the wrong reasons or do you want a basketball program that nobody cares about like we had from 79-05?

BeRealistic writes:

in response to The_Mayor:

I'm not the one to judge Bruce Pearl. That said, those of you who say, "Bruce Pearl has done more for the UT basketball program than anyone since Ray Mears" should realize that Bruce Pearl's body of work is far from being complete. When all is said in done, the story may tell that Bruce Pearl did more to hurt the basketball program than anyone in the history of UT. I guess we'll find out in Indianapolis in June.

Mayor these pro-BP people doesn't realize what damage he has already done, (RECRUITING). I agree he has brought UT BB back to respectability, but IMO he has set it back this season.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Taking a timeout here from the Bruce talk. Let's look at the players themselves for a little bit.
Talking about the 3's and inability to make them and often not rebounding the misses. We ask, "do they have the green light to jack up the 3's early in the shot clock, or is it a directive from the bench?"
Watching our guys moving the ball around, do you watch the guys without the ball? Have any of you noticed quite a bit of standing still? It's hard to get open that way. Maybe that's part of why so many 3's are hoisted. As we observe some other teams, there seems to be perpetual motion and those teams have many options.....open passes, lanes to the basket, dish offs to open people under the rim, etc. Also, I wonder what the players think themselves. They should be intelligent enough to think "hey coach wants us to shoot 3's but what if we miss? I am going to take it upon myself to not just stand here and observe, but I'm going for any rebounds that may occur." In other words, we just wonder what the players themselves actually think once the game is in progress..........much of this falls on them to make some intelligent decisions on their own.
In Tennessee's case, talent or lack of it is an issue, NCAA looming is a big distraction, playing down to level of competition and letting them hang around until they beat you is another factor. And as someone else said, mid range jumpers are a thing of the past..........they don't make the highlight reels,
so inevitably we are resigned to these low percentage 3's.
My post is like Shakespeare said, "much ado about nothing."

Everyone hang in there! ( you too Vols )

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to BeRealistic:

Mayor these pro-BP people doesn't realize what damage he has already done, (RECRUITING). I agree he has brought UT BB back to respectability, but IMO he has set it back this season.

What the anti-BP people don't realize is we hadn't been respectible since 1979 and the likely hood of getting a coach that would keep up the momentum Pearl has started is slim to none.

Ironcity writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please!! Arkansas is going know where. You really show your lack of understanding if you think Ark has a chance at the NCAA. UT getting in will be determined by how UT does and is completely unaffected by Ark and there 100 RPI.

The_Mayor writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

What the anti-BP people don't realize is we hadn't been respectible since 1979 and the likely hood of getting a coach that would keep up the momentum Pearl has started is slim to none.

I respect your stance, and just for the record, I am not proBP or antiBP, I am proUT. That said, coming off the heels of the Kiffin debacle (which haunts us more than ever as we type), I am sooooooooo leary of a smoking gun, which in my opinion is what CBP is. I am not one to judge. I am the first to admit my own transgressions in life. But the same ones who have such passionate convictions that Bruce Pearl saved the UT basketball world are the same ones who lauded Kiffin before his abrupt jetting to the west coast, leaving behind a trail of busted stuff. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a single UT fan who would say what Kiffin did for UT's football program those 10 or so months was worth it. We'll check back on Bruce Pearl when the dust settles. In the meantime, I sure would love to see these kids make a run in the NCAA touney. They will in fact be there...maybe as an 8 or 9, but they'll be there.

PeeEllthree writes:

I welcome opposing opinions to my lutis for wine and games.

brod writes:

i don't really like to talk about the coaching situation right now, but everyone else is so i will say this. in the past, big name coaches have always turned down tennessee even with lucrative offers. if the ncaa makes it almost impossible to not fire pearl, then i'm ok with making a coaching change. otherwise, i suggest that you people calling for a coaching change better have a da** good idea about who tennessee should make offers to. and if you think rick byrd is the answer, then yes all these remarks about curtains in tba and mediocrisy will come true. obviously, the fans still love this team. 20,000 plus fans when gas is 3.25 a gallon and a lousy economy on top of having an inconsistent team is amazing to me. you ask anyone who follows basketball around the country and they are impressed with that. i would suggest that we don't screw up like we did in 2001 this time.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Pearl is at his best when he is the underdog. This squad has never done well as front-runners.

I'm struck by the contrast in defensive intensity between this team and Pearl's earlier squads. This one just seems to be going through the motions. The others were so intense at times that they simply wore other teams down. Not this bunch - lazy, nonchalant effort and that's what shows up on the court. Defensively this team is subpar.

What is so amazing to me about this team is the lack of rebounding from the guards. Bost is getting rebounds over Scotty who is scoring great but averages probably 2 rebounds a game at 6'8" and then he just cannot dribble. He is Vincent Yarbrough reincarnate.

VolInSabanLand writes:

Inconsistency? What inconsistency? They consistently have the worst shot selection of any team in the history of basketball. Their shots in the paint consistently, (with the usual exception of Hopson and, sometimes Goins or Harris), have the "touch" of Godzilla on the rag. They are VERY consistent - as is my frustration.
How can players frequently throw the ball off the backboard so hard that it never touches the rim at all, (having sailed OVER and PAST it), and the rebound ends up 8 to 10 feet away? I've never seen anything to compare.
How can a team come out game after game and fall behind by 12 or so while raining missed 3s...then turn to the dribble drive and make a furious run only to barely lose in the final seconds....THEN start the next game exactly the same way - again until trailing sizeably, at which time they turn to the dribble drive and ALMOST win again. Then start the next game the same way...it's freaking "Groundhog's Day" around here.

All of that is very consistent, and hard to understand.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

First off if Tim Floyd can get a job Pearl will be able to.

Secondly, Pearl as an anomaly, the odds of us finding another coach with his potential is very very small.

Third, unless we get a big name coach who has a proven track record of success (and we won't) they will be making less than Summit at least for the first year. She is overpaid, but the media and perception says she's underpaid and should be making more than Pearl.

Fourth, it's not fear it's common sense. Between Mears and Pearl there were five coaches who couldn't make Tennessee Basketball matter, ones that won like DeVoe and Green and the rest that didn't, Houston, O'Neal and Peterson, nobody cared about Tennessee basketball. It's not enough with this program to hire a winning coach, we need to hire a winning coach who can advertise our program in the national media, one that can get on ESPN, bring College Gameday to Campus and create perceived rivalries to make people care. Heaven help us if Hamilton is fired and a football guy replaces him, we went through enough of a void with Dickey in charge.

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So they didn't respect BP at vandy last week when they dominated the last 5 mnutes? You just make stuff up and hope something sticks.

BeRealistic writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

What the anti-BP people don't realize is we hadn't been respectible since 1979 and the likely hood of getting a coach that would keep up the momentum Pearl has started is slim to none.

Man your momentum is headed in the wrong direction. Your slim to none chance of getting a good BB coach is BS. This program needs leadership, which it doesn't have.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to PearlMustGo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's Review some resume's-

Buzz Williams, three seasons at Marquette, never had fewere than 10 losses, never advanced past the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. What exactly makes him a top candidate. . .and how much do you see Marquette in the national spotlight?

Sean Miller-Why exactly would Sean Miller leave Arizona for Tennessee? A perennial basketball powerhouse with national titles to a program that's only mattered since 2005. . .he's not coming.

Shaka Smart-VCU is 21-10, he really hasn't proven himself in the NCAA tournament, not real sure if he's ever been in the tournament.

Gregg Marshall-Three Seasons at Witchita state, hasn't made the tournament.

I'm starting to question your basketball IQ. . .if those are the best four you can come up with, why bother having a basketball program? Do you LIKE the NIT more than the NCAA tournament? I thought you didn't like double digits in the loss column because all four of those coaches have that this year. Between them, in their current jobs they have ZERO championships.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to BeRealistic:

Man your momentum is headed in the wrong direction. Your slim to none chance of getting a good BB coach is BS. This program needs leadership, which it doesn't have.

Who do you think is going to come to Tennessee to be the third fiddle in the athletic department? We wouldn't pay good money to lure a football coach, what makes you think we'll spend to get a basketball coach?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features