TALKING POINTS: JOHN CALIPARI IS NOT AFRAID OF YOU EDITION

Who wants links for lunch?

  • Part II of my in-depth post-game analysis of the Auburn game (Part I here ("we won")): Ramar Smith, WOOO! Actually, there's more. The man went 6-7 from both the field and the free throw line on his way to 19 points last night. And then there's this: When Pearl observed Ramar shooting three-point shots at practice earlier this week, he goaded him, asking "Why are you wasting your time on a shot you will not shoot in a game?" Thus explaineth the wink last night after he made a three. Speaking of Ramar, have you seen his official pic at UTSports.com? Zowie. That's some 70's NBA hair right there.
  • Who's next? Oh, yeah. Memphis. Now I remember. Because ESPN scored the equivalent of hitting the broadcast lottery, they're sending the Gameday crew. JaJuan Smith says Saturday's No. 1 v. No. 2 matchup is a dream come true. Coach Pearl says it's "step-up time:"

    "Everybody’s going to be challenged. I’m going to be challenged. Each player is going to be challenged. We’re going to be challenged by the environment … all the attention. We, as a group, have to step up."

    Not only is Pearl going to be challenged, he's going to be "on edge." You know, like every other day.

    And this should come as no surprise, but the most substantive piece of writing on the Vols this week can be found over at the BruceBall Blog, which refutes Ken Pomeroy's assertion that the Volunteer defense isn't very good if it can't force its opponents into turnovers. Ken, I'm with rbk. Love ya man, but, well, duh. The statement boils down to this: The Volunteer defense isn't very good if it isn't very good. Come on. It's what we do, Ken. You might as well have said that Mike Tyson wouldn't have been a good boxer if he couldn't hit anyone. Sigh. Anyway, go check out The BruceBall Blog's post on the matter, because it's much more authoritative than I just made it out to be. Of course, he balances out that scholarly piece with a little image arithmetic.
  • Coach Cal: Worried about Tulane? Yes. Worried about Tennessee? Nah:  
    "I was scared to death [about Tulane]," Calipari said. "I had a pit in my stomach all day and I'm not worried about Saturday's game."
  • This Chris Douglas-Roberts guy? Yikes. Twenty-nine points versus Tulane. That's almost ten points for every one of his first names.
  • All right. Not basketball, but check out Ghost of Neyland's Chain Gang Charity post. Sometimes poking fun is the only way to cope.

Well, then. Lunch is already over. How long until Saturday again? Oh, who put the handy countdown clock up there?

All right. Who's the wise guy who chose this picture for SI.com's front page?
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