Dooley wasn't too pleased with the late "de-commitments" of two key linebackers in this year's class, but neither was he surprised:
But from the beginning, even back in September, we knew those two guys ... it was going to be a tough road to close them out because they were both far away and never shut it down.
They were always going to listen to other schools and go on trips. When that's happening, experience tells you that you're not going to get them at the end. What made it challenging for us was, because of the 25 rule, you couldn't stockpile more at that position, knowing you were going to lose them or [that] there's a chance you're going to lose them.
And yeah, the 25 rule essentially precludes programs from buying Decommitment/Academic Ineligibility Insurance. The next best thing, then, is post-NSD scavenging and table-turning, which Dooley will be doing with Cincinnati LB commit Kenneth Bynum. (Bret Bielema does not approve and is outraged at your audacity, sir.) Bynum is taking an official visit today, and he'll be looking for that "vibe," so set your behavior to Resonate, campus residents.
Dooley's also not particularly a fan of multi-year scholarships but suggests that maybe he's just too dumb to understand contracts. Heh.
Oh, and also not a fan of the Kentucky loss, which will "bother [him] for the rest of his life." The whole "we needed that" thing is just lemonade, and hey, if it clued him in to the fact that they need more team camaraderie and leadership, then that's cool. And if it leads to a when I was your age (video) moment during which Dooley reveals that he "used to grind out Super Mario Bros. against my teammates," all the better. Who do you suppose is Dooley's favorite Super Mario character?
MOAR. That Tennessee added four great wide receivers to a unit that already had two stars catching passes from an excellent junior-to-be QB doesn't necessarily mean all-verts-all-the-time. Dooley just wants more talent and more numbers at key positions so that one injury doesn't kill the season like it might have last year. Sounds like a plan to me.
Hoops. This is your friendly reminder that the Tennessee basketball team that was picked to finish 11th in the league is tied for 8th. Credit everybody, starting with coach Martin and including Trae Golden and his attitude at losing his starting position to Skylar McBee and guys like Renaldo Woolridge and Jordan McRae, who take turns surprising opponents' scouts. Dane Bradshaw makes a really good point about how good of a job the team is doing under the special circumstances:
All of these guys were brought into a different system and they were recruited because they fit that system with their style of play. Coach Martin isn't going to throw guys under the bus, but I don't know that he has a ton of guys on his roster who are built to play the kind of gritty style that he's trying to instill here. He does have guys with skills, but a lot of them are built primarily to be offensive players first and his program is built around defense.
John Adams: Talent overcomes lapses for Lady Vols " GoVolsXtra
Even as Tennessee was leaving Auburn in its dust, it didn't distance itself far enough from Thursday's loss to South Carolina.