Bruce Pearl plans to 'make some tough decisions'

Coach likely to trim rotation, base minutes on defensive performance

Tobias Harris discusses Vols' home loss

UT coach Bruce Pearl analyzes loss at home

The Bruce Pearl way always has involved a process of evolution on the basketball court.

Players get an opportunity to show their wares and learn their shot spots and, ultimately, a rotation and shot hierarchy shakes out.

"I like for things to play out,'' said Pearl, in his sixth year as coach at Tennessee.

But time has run out on the process for Pearl with a home game against rival Memphis fast approaching on Wednesday (TV: ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

"I've got ideas, and some things we have to work on between now and Memphis,'' Pearl said. "We'll have a couple of days of practice, which we desperately need.''

Pearl said he's ready to "make some tough decisions" and cut the Vols' playing rotation down from 10.

"The decisions will come down to this: The guys who can defend and move their feet can play,'' said Pearl, who watched the College of Charleston shoot 57.1 percent from the floor in a 91-78 victory over the Vols (9-4) on Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Pearl pointed out that in UT's 7-0 start and ascension to No. 7 in The Associated Press poll, opponents hit better than 50 percent from the floor in only two of the 14 halves of basketball.

Over the past six games, opponents have shot better than 50 percent in seven of 12 halves.

The Vols' lack of continuity is the other issue Pearl addressed.

"While our players have dimensions, offensively and defensively this team has struggled to find ways to make each other better,'' Pearl said. "Offensively and defensively, we don't make each other better.''

UT freshman Tobias Harris, who scored 16 points and had eight rebounds in the loss to the Cougars but was only 5-of-18 shooting, agrees with Pearl.

"This team needs to play better team basketball,'' Harris said. "Me and Scotty (Hopson) need to feed off each other better and create for the whole team.

"The team looks at us to score, so we need to do our jobs and create our shots and when they are not there look for others.''

Jones Preview: Vols associate head coach Tony Jones took over on the sideline Friday when Pearl was ejected after getting his second technical with 5:25 remaining.

Senior Josh Bone said he didn't notice much of a difference in how Jones handled the team.

"I couldn't tell a difference,'' Bone said. "Both are so into the game, they run things the same way, so there really wasn't much difference.''

Hot Harris: Harris has hit 25 of 28 (89.3 percent) free-throw attempts over the past four games.

Hopson missed his last two free throws in the final minutes against Charleston, but is still 22 of 26 (84.6 percent) from the foul line over the past four games.

The rest of the team is a collective 28 of 53 (52.8 percent) from the free-throw line over the past four games.

Who Was Out: Skylar McBee didn't play against Charleston because he's still recovering from a flu.

That wasn't the case for freshman wing Jordan McRae and junior wing Renaldo Woolridge, both of whom have had issues on defense.

Post Cut?: With Pearl cutting his rotation, it would seem likely that only two posts will play, barring foul troubles.

Sophomore Kenny Hall started against Charleston, but in nine minutes was 0-for-2 shooting with two rebounds.

Senior transfer John Field, in seven minutes, was 3-for-5 shooting with four rebounds.

Sophomore transfer Jeronne Maymon has been seeing minutes at power forward, but has center abilities.

Maymon was only 1-for-4 shooting against the Cougars, but he had five rebounds in seven minutes.

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Comments » 76

paradisetaxi writes:

1st !

volll1 writes:

He needs to find the hearts of the players

paradisetaxi writes:

bye Brian

CommodoreCapital writes:

I have a not so tough decision for you: Don't let Pat Summitt step onto the floor during one of the games. That was an embarrasment to all of NCAA basketball. Step your game up, you are killing the SEC RPI!

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

I say it is time to go into match play in practice.
Pick the first top five and have them play the "next five" position vs position. Match Williams against Fields, have it the: 1 vs 1 , 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4 and 5 vs 5. Let's see who wants to play. Whichever player beats the other is a starter and the "loser" gets his chance to show that he is better by coming off the bench. Bruce has had way too many combinations on the court as starters and during the games. They've got to have time to develop with each other - - it's called trust in the each other. This team cannot afford to wait on someone to step up; everyone needs too.

fpcoach writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

I have a not so tough decision for you: Don't let Pat Summitt step onto the floor during one of the games. That was an embarrasment to all of NCAA basketball. Step your game up, you are killing the SEC RPI!

another moron makes an appearance on govols

allntl1#565211 writes:

Gotta be impressed with a guy like Callimari, Kryshevski( I know I butchered that name ) and a select few coaches who seem to be able to have their teams ready when the season actually starts instead of searching for lineups 12 or 13 games into the season. Maybe some of it is just talent maybe the Vols just peaked to early.

afret_1 writes:

Poor old Pearl What goes around comes arfound Lier

PUL4VOLS writes:

Looks like we have a Pearl in the "rough" this season. May be a long year with more underwheming fun when the NCAA speaks. We shall see.

VictorKruger writes:

I'd like to see Golden get a start at point guard. Goins can defend and create his own shot, but he does not create many easy shots for his teammates. There's entirely too much standing around while Hopson, Tatum or Harris goes one-on-one. Between the lack of any offensive continuity and a fast break, there are no easy baskets to be had!

wazzya69vol writes:

I'm a little frustrated reading this 'cause most posters, including me though I'm not as good as most Vol posters re: basketball, have been saying this after our "collapse". We've said, we need a reduced rotation, thus establishing better chemistry (continuity) amongst those running offense and defense. With 10 rotating, the players never gel,,,be like always going on a blind date. You will always have the depth on bench if foul trouble, etc. It would be like having 4 spare tires with plenty of tread if needed. You need to have the best 7 players in rotation, those who show the will and desire; not their big "names" who they're suppose to be! The prime example would be against Kansas last year. We had guys on the floor who wanted to be there and prove themselves, and a team leader named Chism. Chism never gave up, and who ever was with him on floor or bench, he was still leading/coaching. Like a fellow named Al Wilson! And we need a point guard that sets it up, and given the opportunity, can hit a critical 3! It's not too late to change our course. Take no prisoners,,,,including the trolls! Go Big Orange!

govolsrpa writes:

I would love to see them play Scotty at the three and insert Bone at the two. Most Athletic group with a defensive mind. Also start Fields in the post. Galatians 2;20

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

I have a not so tough decision for you: Don't let Pat Summitt step onto the floor during one of the games. That was an embarrasment to all of NCAA basketball. Step your game up, you are killing the SEC RPI!

If that's (CPS) what it takes to get crowd into it, so be it! The players on bench sure weren't showing any emotion when we were trying to make a run. And thanks for your insight, you pathetic troll!! GBO!

bobbarbilly writes:

in response to afret_1:

Poor old Pearl What goes around comes arfound Lier

Except spelling.

vol_4_fan writes:

For the first time since CBP has been here, he is showing weakness! Sounding unsure and not confident in his next move. Go Vols!

richvol writes:

Sub one player at a time for a breather...not 3 or 4. It's ridiculous the way it's done now. You only need 1 sub for post,1 for forward and 1 for guard. Play the 8 best and that doesn't include Pearl or McBee.

NTNSTY writes:

in response to afret_1:

Poor old Pearl What goes around comes arfound Lier

WTH is a 'Lier'?

tomkats3242 writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree that Hopson is very overated and needs to learn to play team ball starting with defense. Bruce is playing too many players. He has only 9 players worth playing but until he learns this we are in trouble. FIRE Mike Hamilton, Doug Dickey clone.

CoverOrange writes:

Rotation is not the problem. The starting five let CoC get the 10+ lead that the bench couldn't make up. It is inexperience in helpside defense and having no scheme to beat the zone other than 3 point shooting. Issues that every Pearl team has had to some degree.

DebKY writes:

It is a shame that all of us experts, are having to tell Pearl how to coach! Every sports commentator who has televised a game, has mentioned that Pearl was playing too many players!
These guys should be conditioned to play more minutes! They should be able to DEFEND and SCORE!
Sorry, but that excludes you baby Pearl!

RoadTrip writes:

One thing for sure, if he keeps doing things the same way he will keep getting the same results - losses and scarily hard wins against bad teams. Time for a change in scheme, plays and player combinations while only using 8 guys.

james#216392 writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scotty (and Harris) are our best options to win. Scotty is our most consistant scorer and when he plays well, we play well. He scores 14-20 points every game but does make a few mistakes. However, if the rest of the team (Except Harris) would step up, then Scotty's mistakes wouldn't be as noticeable. Tatum is the one player that I can't figure out. He has the skills to score 20 points a game and disappears completely at times. Williams, Fields, Maymon and Hall are all NAIA type players. None can score consistenly and foul way to much.

This team has to play motivated to compete. They are not over talented. None can shoot well and they play up and down on defense. However, they will be alright once Pearl cuts down to 8 and they play more together.

govolsrpa writes:

Guard play.Bruce has missed on this one. Next year will be different, the two best true guards in Jones and Ware he has recruited. Galatians2;20

Reece writes:

I believe Pearl will survive. We have to give any coach a bad year now and then.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Huh??

MrWilson writes:

I know who needs to be cut, it is time to cut bruce pearl loose. why wait for the ncca to suspend him for two years for cheating and lying about it. and while we are at it pack mike hamilton's bags too.

eduardo writes:

man oh man this is getting embarrasing!!!!!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to afret_1:

Poor old Pearl What goes around comes arfound Lier

english major? wait, hard to know working at Micky D's

Orangeblood13 writes:

all of you calling for BP's head ought to be slapped, man's having 1 rough season, which is still early btw, and you guys want to yap for his head, slap you I say

stompintheswamp2 writes:

Lets see, who can move their feet and play defense? What a set up to justify mini-Pearl starting....or at least lots of minutes...

TNVOLNTX writes:

I don't see it as a problem with scheme as much as it is a problem with personnel. As good as he has been in recruiting, Pearl's one glaring recruiting shortfall has been his failure to land a couple of pure shooters. If you look at the hot start we had this season, we were at least hitting enough outside shots to force teams to man up. Clearly that was an aberration. I get that he wants long athletic talent, but no one respects our ability to consistently shoot over a zone defense, nor should they...we can't.

jryevols#222657 writes:

Here's a no-brainer for you coach. Review the films of the first seven films and come up with an average of how those games were won.Seven different teams , seven different playing scemes , yet we won. Here is what set in , it is called a case of the " Big Head " .They thought they were a number seven team rather than play like one. All Bruce needs to do is bench the players that are trying to boost thier NBA ratings and believing everything the media says. Someone above me on the board mentioned " heart " ..... thats exactly correct. Id rather watch a team of walk-ons , at least they play with determination and heart.This group of players have forgotten who they are and how they got here.Watch what happens when Bruce goes on the 8 game probation , I predict an 8-0 run....laugh all you want...just watch.

slambob2#228938 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Rotation is not the problem. The starting five let CoC get the 10+ lead that the bench couldn't make up. It is inexperience in helpside defense and having no scheme to beat the zone other than 3 point shooting. Issues that every Pearl team has had to some degree.

I totally agree. Pearl runs a collapsing M2M defense, which this and other Vol teams have turned into NBA highlight reels for opposing 3 point shooters.

Still, he's a great coach and will get it fixed. We'll all feel better when they've put a strong SEC run behind them.

Hopson has played much, much better lately. Harris is a stud. Nobody else seems comfortable since the addition of Maymon, which may be natural. But we'll be fine and we'll be in the NCAA tourney again.

Biggie writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

english major? wait, hard to know working at Micky D's

That's English Major you boob. And Mickey D's

Razor784 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

all of you calling for BP's head ought to be slapped, man's having 1 rough season, which is still early btw, and you guys want to yap for his head, slap you I say

I totally agree, I remember Buzzball, Jerry Green, and O'Neill's teams and the last five years have been 10 times better than all of those teams. He's earned the chance to try and straighten this out

GreerVol22 writes:

Your cheatin' heart will make you weep
You'll cry and cry and try to sleep
But sleep won't come the whole night through
Your cheatin' heart will tell on you
HW Sr.

My words of advice is that Pearl had better use his time off to get his personal life in order. The Good Lord doesn't take kindly to hypocrisy.

howdydude writes:

No one can deny that Bruce Pearl has greatly improved the atmosphere at UT concerning the men's basketball program; however, there are several issues that need to be addressed with BP:

1. He has an obvious lack of morals. His recruiting violations, though some might were small, were still examples of blatant disregard for the rules. He knew he was breaking the rules and then he lied about doing so. That is troubling. Especially when years earlier he ratted on other teams to the NCAA for similar violations. And then there is the issue of his recent affair and divorce (not necessarily basketball related but it still speaks about the man's character).
2. He has recruited poorly. Where is our depth? Why don't we have a center that can score? Why do we not have a true shooting guard? All of Buzz Peterson's players are gone now. Pearl did well winning with them, but who has he recruited to replace them?
3. Poor coaching decisions in the example of constantly playing his son (who even though some say he hustles on defense has proven to be a fouling turnover machine that is utterly useless on offense) and continually putting weak player rotations on the floor where only 2-3 of the players playing are capable of generating offense. Often his lineups make it 3 against 5 since 2 or more of the players on the court are totally inept offensively.

These issues make it hard for me to believe that Pearl is on the road for long term success at UT. I am thankful for what he has done for UT's basketball program in the past, but I do not like the road he is taking the team on now.

beachvol1 writes:

in response to howdydude:

No one can deny that Bruce Pearl has greatly improved the atmosphere at UT concerning the men's basketball program; however, there are several issues that need to be addressed with BP:

1. He has an obvious lack of morals. His recruiting violations, though some might were small, were still examples of blatant disregard for the rules. He knew he was breaking the rules and then he lied about doing so. That is troubling. Especially when years earlier he ratted on other teams to the NCAA for similar violations. And then there is the issue of his recent affair and divorce (not necessarily basketball related but it still speaks about the man's character).
2. He has recruited poorly. Where is our depth? Why don't we have a center that can score? Why do we not have a true shooting guard? All of Buzz Peterson's players are gone now. Pearl did well winning with them, but who has he recruited to replace them?
3. Poor coaching decisions in the example of constantly playing his son (who even though some say he hustles on defense has proven to be a fouling turnover machine that is utterly useless on offense) and continually putting weak player rotations on the floor where only 2-3 of the players playing are capable of generating offense. Often his lineups make it 3 against 5 since 2 or more of the players on the court are totally inept offensively.

These issues make it hard for me to believe that Pearl is on the road for long term success at UT. I am thankful for what he has done for UT's basketball program in the past, but I do not like the road he is taking the team on now.

you know, some of things you have commented on, are correct, but his moral and personal issues are his and not the university of tn..he was hired to coach this team and bring to another level, which he has done..this team is slow out front, quick guards will beat them nearly everytime...Williams should be a beast with his size, but isn't..he is getting all he can out of Tobias Harris, which hopefully he will be back, no matter who the coach may be...appears to this outsider that this team lacks the desire and not pressing, diving for balls, going crazy under control as I put it...well, Memphis has quick guard play and will push it up and down the floor for sure...unless something changes, going to be a long night....hopefully something changes....GOVOLS

Katphan29 writes:

As a Kentucky fan, I am mildly amused at UT's decision to hang on to Pearl. UT has always had a self-inflicted inferiority complex when it comes to hoop, despite the ability to have a quality program. Knoxville is a great town, UT is a very good school, but just have never supported a hoops program, so when someone like Pearl comes along, UT sticks with him, as if UT can do no better.

AS a rival, I am all for UT keeping Pearl. He will drag the program into mediocraty, searching for a line up in the New Year exemplifies the woes, and his 8 game suspension plus NCAA sanctions this next summer will continue to keep the story on hoops front page.

I know the hope is that the NCAA will not impose further sanctions, but that body is such a sanctimonious body I can't imagine it won't choose to impose something on its own, to make a statement.

So hey.....as long as UT supports Pearl, I do too. Go Bruce!

CrankE writes:

Hmmmm, let me guess. Pearl is going to sign the contract. A tough decision. The NCAA will come down with a sledgehammer. Then UT can either fire him (and buy out his contract with the still-wet ink) or endure whatever length of suspension he has-essentially paying him to do nothing.

Either way, UT gets hosed in the worst possible way thanks to Mike Hamilton's genius contract negotiation and administration.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

I hope that I misunderstood this article. It seems to me that he is saying S Pearl will be getting even more playing time. After all, he can move his feet and play defense. Man,I hope I'm wrong about this one.

We also need some offense, we need to learn to play against a zone, we need a point guard that can get some assits. Most of all, we need more heart, desire, and intensity...that is what is missing the most.

I am really happy to finally read that all of these mass rotations are going to stop. Not giving up on the Vols yet...unless S. Pearl is the one who gets more PT. Not slamming him, he has his defensive moments, but nothing to offer on offense. GBO!!!

crappieking writes:

in response to Katphan29:

As a Kentucky fan, I am mildly amused at UT's decision to hang on to Pearl. UT has always had a self-inflicted inferiority complex when it comes to hoop, despite the ability to have a quality program. Knoxville is a great town, UT is a very good school, but just have never supported a hoops program, so when someone like Pearl comes along, UT sticks with him, as if UT can do no better.

AS a rival, I am all for UT keeping Pearl. He will drag the program into mediocraty, searching for a line up in the New Year exemplifies the woes, and his 8 game suspension plus NCAA sanctions this next summer will continue to keep the story on hoops front page.

I know the hope is that the NCAA will not impose further sanctions, but that body is such a sanctimonious body I can't imagine it won't choose to impose something on its own, to make a statement.

So hey.....as long as UT supports Pearl, I do too. Go Bruce!

You make some good points Katphan. While I have always supported BP, I can't help but feel that the wheels are starting to fall off. Granted, I did not feel this way when we were beating Villa and Pitt in good fashion, but what has happened to this team, I do not know. I do feel that the reason BP does not have a contract, is our school feels more infractions/sanctions are coming. If this happens, BP will be let go. You are right, that we can find another stellar coach, because of the resources available. Yes, BP has done a outstanding job in 5 years here, and I still support him, but this sixth year might be too much to overcome. Time will tell. GBO!

Katphan29 writes:

in response to crappieking:

You make some good points Katphan. While I have always supported BP, I can't help but feel that the wheels are starting to fall off. Granted, I did not feel this way when we were beating Villa and Pitt in good fashion, but what has happened to this team, I do not know. I do feel that the reason BP does not have a contract, is our school feels more infractions/sanctions are coming. If this happens, BP will be let go. You are right, that we can find another stellar coach, because of the resources available. Yes, BP has done a outstanding job in 5 years here, and I still support him, but this sixth year might be too much to overcome. Time will tell. GBO!

UT actually is a very good team, to beat Pitt and Villanova, so the fact UT is struggling now is a result of the weight of this issue hanging over their heads. I also wonder why Pearl characterizes the decision to choose which players to play as "tough decisions," unless he means he knows his offense will suffer because he has to favor defense.

Fortunately for Pearl, the SEC east as a whole is way down this year. If UT finishes second, can he withstand what is almost inevitable NCAA sanctions? You think not? If they aren't too severe, maybe. I just cannot imagine the NCAA not doing anything, given its mentality.

But.....just the continued weight of all this has a debilitating affect. I don't know Pearl will ever be the same at UT. He's been there long enough that if he survives and is mediocre the next three years, UT can justify letting him go without prejudice.

Volumnus writes:

in response to UTVOLSRROCKN:

I hope that I misunderstood this article. It seems to me that he is saying S Pearl will be getting even more playing time. After all, he can move his feet and play defense. Man,I hope I'm wrong about this one.

We also need some offense, we need to learn to play against a zone, we need a point guard that can get some assits. Most of all, we need more heart, desire, and intensity...that is what is missing the most.

I am really happy to finally read that all of these mass rotations are going to stop. Not giving up on the Vols yet...unless S. Pearl is the one who gets more PT. Not slamming him, he has his defensive moments, but nothing to offer on offense. GBO!!!

Aw, come on! S.Pearl is a role player. This NON-Team, does not play any better with him on the bench. McBee was on the bench the whole game and that sure put them over the top. This is a lousy basketball group. You can not call them a team. There is no teamwork. There is no chemistry. There are a bunch of poorly recruited super egos that are mismanaged and ill coached. They lack leadership on the floor and the leadership off the floor has been exposed for what it truly is. He could play the scout team and sit his "rotation" and probably not get beaten by College of Charleston any worse. The "starters" are officially the keystone cops of D-1. S.Pearl doesn't run point! He is not expected to score, EVER. He gets his one or two rebounds in his 10-12 min. He doesn't jack up 3's from never never land. When someone does he is the only one who moves to the basket(Williams never moves away from the basket). He doesn't make his team miss free throws at an alarming rate. He eats minutes and rarely makes a really bad mistake. He is not passing the ball to the other players at their ankles, behind their backs or over their heads as the rest of the team does. This team is slow and lazy they don't move off the ball and rotate on either end of the floor. The ball movement on offense is offensive, the movement to the ball and the rotation on defense is laughable.
They are a bunch of highly recruited hot dogs that are don't deserve to be on a basketball court. This group is fundamentally very poor! They have flashes of brilliance and then they implode. It is a COACHING ISSUE. As a team they suffer from cranial-rectal fusion, and it looks to be permanent.

Volumnus writes:

in response to Katphan29:

UT actually is a very good team, to beat Pitt and Villanova, so the fact UT is struggling now is a result of the weight of this issue hanging over their heads. I also wonder why Pearl characterizes the decision to choose which players to play as "tough decisions," unless he means he knows his offense will suffer because he has to favor defense.

Fortunately for Pearl, the SEC east as a whole is way down this year. If UT finishes second, can he withstand what is almost inevitable NCAA sanctions? You think not? If they aren't too severe, maybe. I just cannot imagine the NCAA not doing anything, given its mentality.

But.....just the continued weight of all this has a debilitating affect. I don't know Pearl will ever be the same at UT. He's been there long enough that if he survives and is mediocre the next three years, UT can justify letting him go without prejudice.

Good dialogue between you and CK, both make good points. This team is talented, not good. Good teams don't get beaten by C of C and lose 4 of 5 to smaller programs in such lackluster fashion. There are some other issues with CBP that the NCAA will take up behind closed doors. Those are not necessarily violations, but are endemic within the culture of a Bruce Pearl run team. This issue has given them the grounds to address those items within the framework of the larger more prominent picture. Like you, I expect more and perhaps harsher penalties from the NCAA. And yes, CK, while I was hopeful that the with the wins over Pitt and Villanova that they had achieved a team Identity and soul, it is fairly obvious that the wheels have come off.

Last year KPD and a traffic stop trimmed the rotation, so they are going to trim it this year??? Good luck with that. I have given CBP the credit he deserves over the years for his success here. I have also taken him to task over the years for some of his methods. Those methods are now a bigger part of the problem than they are of the solution.

I am hopeful for the best but fear the worst. Go Big Orange.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to paradisetaxi:

bye Brian

Considering that Brian is their best rebounder and help defender, I would think a sock in your mouth would do you good.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Volumnus:

Aw, come on! S.Pearl is a role player. This NON-Team, does not play any better with him on the bench. McBee was on the bench the whole game and that sure put them over the top. This is a lousy basketball group. You can not call them a team. There is no teamwork. There is no chemistry. There are a bunch of poorly recruited super egos that are mismanaged and ill coached. They lack leadership on the floor and the leadership off the floor has been exposed for what it truly is. He could play the scout team and sit his "rotation" and probably not get beaten by College of Charleston any worse. The "starters" are officially the keystone cops of D-1. S.Pearl doesn't run point! He is not expected to score, EVER. He gets his one or two rebounds in his 10-12 min. He doesn't jack up 3's from never never land. When someone does he is the only one who moves to the basket(Williams never moves away from the basket). He doesn't make his team miss free throws at an alarming rate. He eats minutes and rarely makes a really bad mistake. He is not passing the ball to the other players at their ankles, behind their backs or over their heads as the rest of the team does. This team is slow and lazy they don't move off the ball and rotate on either end of the floor. The ball movement on offense is offensive, the movement to the ball and the rotation on defense is laughable.
They are a bunch of highly recruited hot dogs that are don't deserve to be on a basketball court. This group is fundamentally very poor! They have flashes of brilliance and then they implode. It is a COACHING ISSUE. As a team they suffer from cranial-rectal fusion, and it looks to be permanent.

Steven Pearl needs to be a BENCH PLAYER. If you can slice it ANY other way, you are either dishonest or don't know flip about hoops. He's NOWHERE NEAR the defensive player some of you say he is. His stats don't lie. If he was that good on D, he would have more steals and defensive rebounds. If he preformed better in those 2 categories, I could see playing him without scoring points. But I'm hear to tell you, he doesn't score, he doesn't rebound, and hustle is all fine and dandy. But he's too slow to gaurd on the perimeter, and gets schooled by skilled post men. He averages 12.8 minutes per game. He has scored 26 points THE ENTIRE SEASON! He has 7 steals THE ENTIRE SEASON! Where is this D you speak of? Most importantly, he only has 16 rebounds as a post player who has played 166 minutes this season. You can slice it any way you want. But he has the 2nd most minutes as a non starter behind Golden, and he isn't even in the same galaxy as Golden. Simply put, the 3 BIGGEST waste of minutes on this team are 1)Steven Pearl 2)Skylar McThree 3)Kenny Hall. Brian Williams is a CLOSE 4th, his azz needs to come off the bench IMO. And Hall hasn't been completely healthy, nor has he been properly developed along with the other "more talented" bigs. They are under developed because 12.8 minutes are going to an ABSOLUTELY non productive Steven Pearl.

So does Steven Pearl lose games for you? No he does not, but he does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help this team WIN!!!! The #s don't lie.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-baske...

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Considering that Brian is their best rebounder and help defender, I would think a sock in your mouth would do you good.

Brian plays FAR more minutes. That's why he is the leading rebounder. Best help side defender? He needs to stay down low and quit trying to guard the other teams point guard and he might be alright. I'm over it with Williams more than I am S.Pearl. Williams as a senior has zero leadership skills, airballs FTs, gets pimped by smaller post players. Then has the NERVE to sit over there and smile and grin like he's cute. I think they need to bench him for Fields. Maymon is just getting worked into things. Those throwing him under the bus now will be singing his praises by March, IF we are even dancing in March. Steven Pearl gets 12.8 minutes per game. They should cut his minutes in half, and cut McThree's minutes in half. That would give them both 6-7 minutes per game and allow you 13.5 minutes per game to distribute amongst FAR more productive players.

pinevol writes:

Pearls teams have always made their way with intensity and headsy play. This team is obviously distracted. May not get much better with an eight game suspension coming up. BTW, I agree with several of the posters earlier- Hopson may be one of the most overrated players we have had.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I find it funny that he thinks our D is the issue. Sounds like an excuse to play his boy. Yeah, our D could be better, but the REAL issue is TOs/bad offense. We have a 13/14 assist to TO ratio, which shows me that we are EXTREMELY inept on offense at times. MANY, MANY of these close wins/ losses to inferior teams have been lower scoring grind it out type of games. The D isn't as bad as some would say at times. Another thing is continuity on defense IMO. If you are constantly playing with different players by your side, you WILL ALWAYS have struggles on D. But putting guys in who can't score when your offense is struggling just blows my freaking mind. Sometimes we have 2-3 guys out there who can't score. Lack of ball movement leads to Lack of assists. But playing players who can't score doesn't help either.Also, I'm not convinced Golden doesn't need to start.

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