Quickie Talking Points this morning:
The 19th-ranked Vols (21-7, 9-5 SEC) started their ninth different lineup in the 74-65 win over Kentucky on Saturday, opening the game with their most impressive half of basketball in charging to a 40-29 lead. Seniors Wayne Chism, Bobby Maze and J.P. Prince were joined by junior Brian Williams and sophomore Scotty Hopson. "I think our rotation is pretty much set, we've got a comfort level,'' UT associate head coach Tony Jones said Sunday. "The players who served suspensions are all back and in the flow, Cam Tatum is nearly 100 percent from his ankle injury and Wayne Chism played a game without getting nicked up. "We have the capability to play our best basketball here at the end of the season.''
Inspired Vols get big 3-pointer from Hopson for another big upset " GoVolsXtra
"We beat two number-one seeds,'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said, alluding to the upcoming NCAA tournament. "Nobody else in the country has done that. Tennessee has done that.''
Tennessee 74, Kentucky 65: Postmortem - A Sea Of Blue
The Vol fans were great -- loud, rowdy and yet they refrained from throwing water bottles, small animals or babies onto the floor. Great job by the Thompson-Boling crowd making this a memorable game, even if it is a bad memory for the 'Cats.
The Volunteers have knocked off the #1 and #2 team this year in Knoxville. Pretty good tournament resume, if you ask me.
Chattanooga Times Free Press | Vols dangerous on home court
Five top-six opponents have visited Thompson-Boling in Coach Bruce Pearl's five seasons with the Vols. All five have left with losses.
. . .
The Vols have home wins that would put an exclamation point on any team's NCAA tournament resume, but they've also suffered through some particularly wretched road stinkers. Their 22-point loss at Southern California, 15-point loss at Georgia and 19-point loss at Vanderbilt all rank among the biggest blowout losses of the Pearl era.
Chattanooga Times Free Press | Vols have faith in Shay
Assistant coach Jason Shay again was assigned the Kentucky scouting duty. Pearl calls his former Iowa point guard his "head scout," and Shay typically breaks down the Vols' toughest opponents. "I've always taken pride in our preparation," Shay said after Thursday night's video session with the team. "I've had to scout for a lot of our big games, and it's important for me to give those guys my best effort, and to give them the best game plan for us to win ballgames."
When Tennessee upset No. 1 Kansas on Jan. 10, Brian Williams was bunkered in his dorm room. Just him and his TV. He could almost literally hear the din emanating from Thompson-Boling Arena down the hill as the Vols stunned the Jayhawks, not to mention the rest of college basketball. Saturday, Williams got a second chance. So did his teammates, Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins.
Big Baskets from Hopson, Prince Give UT 74-65 win over No. 2 Kentucky - TENNESSEE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
"That was a mature win," Prince said. "We had a big lead, let them come back, but didn't panic."
VolQuest.com - Pearl pushes Hopson's buttons, more upset talk
Hopson's steadily slipping production in February led Bruce Pearl to take off the kid gloves he's worn when handling Hopson ever since he arrived on campus. The head coach has always been careful to avoid putting too much pressure on Hopson's young shoulders, but that approach has changed noticeably in the last month. Pearl didn't try to soften the blow in regards to benching Hopson at Florida earlier this week, stating specifically that it was directly related to his recent play. The head coach also didn't act as though he was overly concerned with how Hopson would react to the move, noting that [ ] given his recent play, there was little if any downside to him handling the move poorly. Using the last two games as evidence though, it would seem safe to say that Pearl's move lit a figurative fire under the gifted sophomore.
Kentucky Hits a Wall of a Different Kind: Tennessee -- NCAABB FanHouse
8. Calipari makes his halftime speech. He calls World Wide Wes on his cell phone: "Wes," Cal says, "I'm going to need you to get me five NBA lottery picks next year. I can't beat Pearl in Knoxville with four."
"I really just want to come here and leave no doubt,'' Berry said. "That is pretty much my whole goal, for anybody who has that little percentage in their mind that I am not good enough to be No. 1 or be up there with the other guys, I am trying to clear that up right now. … I feel like I am the best player in the draft.''