Bruce is doing the right thing by indefinitely suspending all 4 players. No waffling or delays. Bam. I love him for that.
The Kansas game goes from being a potentially-competitive upset to a painfully-outmatched blowout. And, it may be even more painful to watch the losses pile up against lesser teams. But Bruce has my full support - now more than ever.
Post - Wayne Chism (10.9/5.8/21min) and Kenny Hall (3.0/2.2/8min) have to pick up the slack created by Brian Williams absence. Can we replace his 5.9/5.4/17 min? If Wayne can be persuaded to stay under the basket and get a double-double every night while staying out of foul trouble and if Kenny Hall matures sooner rather than later. Since that will happen less frequently than it needs to, the answer is 'probably not'.
Point Guard - Bobby Maze has to keep his 2.7 A/TO ratio in tact as he logs IronMan-style minutes and the competition steps up. Can Josh Bone be a PG/SG combo? Now we really wish Hubert hadn't blown out his knee. Losing Melvin's 22 minutes is as big as his 6 ppg.
Shooting Guard - Scotty has to man up to replace Cam Tatum and become tougher. We lose 8.7/2.4 and an important 20 min with Cam's absence. Can Orlando make good decisions, play decent defense, get a couple more rebounds and hit key shots? Probably not, but he'll have to. Scotty has the talent. Does he have the mental toughness? He's the one guy who could start to replace...
The Glue Guy - Tyler Smith is worth a whole lot more than his 11.7/4.7/27. His A/TO is among the best in the nation at 2.8. He is a leader and the guy who can create his shot (except in the USC game). He's irreplaceable. Yet someone has to step up.
Recruiting class impact. Will all the guys still come? Will others sniff opportunity if some of the dismissals are permanent (and surely a couple will be)?
SEC East - This definitely puts us behind Kentucky and Florida and Vandy. We look a lot more like South Carolina and Georgia now.
NCAA - Could we still make the NCAA's? Highly improbable, but if Pearl pulls it off then it would be his best coaching job yet. Even if he doesn't pull it off, he still has my full support. To everyone still left on the team - Go Vols.