Last night the Vols basketball team traveled to Gainesville, FL to take on a Florida team that needed to win to get into the NCAA Tournament next month. Those Gators did just that beating Bruce pearl for only the 2nd time during his tenure as Vol’s head coach. The Vols star player was out for most of the game and another Vol did his best to try to fill those shoes but it was not enough to overcome a team bent on winning its way into an at-large bid. This was a “Kansas” victory for this years Florida Gators and with their upcoming schedule they had to win at least one, and unfortunately it turned out to be us.
The game started off very fast pace which is unusual for Vol fans as of late. We were up 37-30 with 3 min to go in the 1st half, which is more then we have scored in a first half in a long time, and Scotty Hopson was firing on all cylinders even with Wayne Chism on the bench with foul trouble. Thats when trouble struck, as the Vols did not score again for the entire first half and only scored 25 more total points. Florida tied the game at the half and went on to score 38 second half points.
Our defense was very lax it seemed to me watching it on TV. Even though Brian Williams led the team in rebounds with 7 to me it seemed like he was hardly ever grabbing one where it seemed like Florida got every rebound they wanted. Scotty Hopson kept us in the game by scoring game high 20 points put it was not enough as Florida drained 3 after 3 in the second half to pull away from the Vols. Wayne Chism reinjured his hip and re-entered the game (with 4 fouls). In my opinion he should have stayed out. We had played most of the game with out him to that point and he couldn’t run up court on defense. We need him healthy fast so resting him would have been the better call in my opinion but Chism did fight through the pain and that can be seen as honorable. He finished the night with 7 points and 1 rebound. The UT bench scored 35 points where as the starters only scored 27. Steven Pearl played solid defense logging better overall stats than Williams, Hall, and Woolridge. Vols shot 39.7% and Gators 50.9%.
To me we lost this game with horrible officiating (10 fouls called on Florida the entire game including only 7 during the first 33 minutes vs 21 called on TN), not stopping the 3 ball especially during the 27-6 run the Gators had in the 2nd half, and Chism getting in foul trouble early and being out with the injury. Had Chism been healthy and not in foul trouble we could have contained the Gators on the inside more and spent more time guarding the 3 ball. Overall I think Florida had more heart than we did as they were playing in front of UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway who is on this years NCAA Selection Committee and they needed to pick up a win bad. We were over looking to this weekend in my opinion and hopefully we will be ready to go. We almost had them last time and this time we are in our building. Bruce is 3-2 vs Calapari so hopefully that win column will continue to grow.
- Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno had eye surgery last week and sold his vintage legendary coke bottle glasses to a couple of students for $9,000
- Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly continued to show his disciplinarian side as he suspended LB Alonso today for the duration of the 2010 season.
- Clemson self-reported 17 secondary violations to the NCAA. 3 of which were recruits who received <$500 in prize money which has to be repaid or they will lose their eligibility.
- USC is in wait and see mode until the NCAA reaches a verdict. OL Henderson who delayed his signing will now have to either trust in USC or find a new home before April 1st.
- Only four teams will return starting QB’s this season in LSU’s Jordan Jefferson, Arkansas’s Ryan Mallett, South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia, and Alabama’s Greg McElroy. If McElroy and the Tide can repeat last years performance he will finish his college career with a perfect 28-0 record and back to back titles. The tide are favored to do just that.
- Since the creation of the BCS the SEC’s record is 14-5 however neither the conference nor any of its members holds the record for most appearances in a BCS bowl. The SEC is however 6-0 in the title game.
- The SEC led the nation in Attendance this year in Football again. Here is the data:
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- NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang says that with a clean bill of health and impressive workouts this week that RB Montario Hardesty could earn his way into the 2nd round with 3rd or 4th round more likely. He called him the toughest back in the class. If Hardesty lands in 2nd round it could allow the Vols to have up to four players drafted on the first day!
- Tennessee coaches are busy recruiting and getting ready for this weekend’s Junior Day on Saturday. The Vols have some big name talent coming in and have turned away several big names to asking that they instead attend the next Junior day which will be next month or in early April. Dooley wants time to evaluate each and every prospect coming in fully before seeing them live and in person. He takes this very seriously and I find this very promising. Here is a list posted on GoVolsXtra earlier today of whom is attending:
Here are the confirmed visitors for Tennessee’s junior day this weekend:
LB Jarrod Coleman (McCallie/Chattanooga)
OL Kyler Kerbyson (Catholic/Knoxville)
OL Hunter Long (Briarcrest/Eads)
LB Steven Rich (Hardin County/Savannah)
OL Antonio Richardson (Ensworth/Nashville)
Ath. Jabriel Washington (Trinity Christian/Jackson)
QB Mike Wegzyn (Catholic/Knoxville)
WR Daryl Collins (Gadsden City/Gadsden)
OL Hudson Grimes (Cherokee County, Centre)
RB Alonzo Harris (Gadsden City/Gadsden)
Ath. Christion Jones (Minor/Adamsville)
OL Spencer Region (Cullman/Somerville)
DE Xzavier Dickson (Griffin/Griffin)
OL Justin Floyd (Cartersville/Cartersville)
FB John Hampton (Dade/Trenton)
OL Randy Holt (Dade/Trenton)
DL Jack Howard (Blessed Trinity/Dalton)
OL J.D. Jones (Cartersville/Cartersville)
DE Kendall Lawson (Temple/Temple)
OL Nick Lawson (Dade/Trenton)
DB Mitchell Malcolm (Valdosta/Valdosta)
DB Brian Randolph (Kell/Marietta)
TE Jay Rome (Valdosta/Valdosta)
DB Damien Swann (Grady/Atlanta)
TE Jeff Heuerman (Collier/Barron)
LB C.J. Johnson (Philadelphia/Philadelphia)
OL – Eric MacLain (Jack Britt/Fayetteville)
With all this talent coming in the Coaches will be very busy this weekend. If we get a commitment or two it will be a shock but a welcome surprised shock at that. Lets see what this staff can do to woo prospects to Rocky Top!
One quick update on Cody Hawn. Coach Raleigh said he swung today and looked fine should play this weekend. His step mother told me yesterday that Doctor told him it would be best to let it heal completely and sit this weekend as the season is long and lasting damage would be hard to overcome. It will be interesting to see if anything changed and if he plays.