So what if there had been no Rumspringa with Lane Kiffin? Derek Dooley isn't trashing any of his predecessors, but does emphasize that the transitional attrition that accompanied change chained to change is a real challenge:
"I think the first thing, about 14 players left when Lane came in," Dooley said in an interview last month. "Now, there would be some attrition regardless, but it's hard to measure. Would there have been 14? I don't know. Lane and I have very different styles. But then when I came in there was another bulk of attrition.
"So there were a lot of players that left that wouldn't have left, I think we can agree on that - maybe we would have had 10 or 12 more players. Then on top of that, we had two transitions in recruiting, coaches in recruiting areas, having a good feel for who the juniors are, and so we went from two to one. Yeah, it made a difference, and it wasn't because of who the coach was. It was just the fact you had another change on top of a change that set you back considerably."
Austin-East senior point guard Brandon Lopez has accepted an offer to play at UT as a "preferred walk-on." The Vols aren't done with guards, though, as 6'5" combo guard Quinton Chievous will decide between Tennessee and St. Louis tomorrow. Quinton's the son of Derrick Chievous, who's Missouri's all-time scoring leader and was a first-round pick for the Houston Rockets in 1988. Quinton's ranked only 109th by ESPN, but he's only been playing for two years and has therefore stayed off the AAU radar, so take that for what it's worth. I'm reserving the nickname "Mis-Chievous" if the guy turns out to be a defensive star for Cuonzo Martin.
The biggest need for the Vols next year, though, appears to be inside, and it's not looking like it's going to be filled. Mike Strange points out that if Tobias Harris commits to the NBA Draft, the two inside positions will be manned by Kenny Hall (6'8"), Jeronne Maymon (6'7"), and Renaldo Woolridge (6'9").
Etceteras . . . Preach it, Byron Moore. Dooley and Stanley Morgan beat all of their SEC brethren in the recent Chick-fil-A Challenge charity golf tournament. Do you think Steve Spurrier hates losing to Tennessee more on the football field or the golf course?