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Rocky Top Talking Points: Keeping up with the Smiths and more edition

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  • Keeping up with the Smiths. Tyler Smith, the 6'7" forward who committed to play basketball for UT when Buzz Peterson was the coach then decided to go first to Hargrave Military Academy and then to Iowa instead when Bruce Pearl was hired and wouldn't release him from his letter of intent, has enrolled in classes at Tennessee. Pearl publicly gave props to Iowa for granting Smith a release. Hear that, FSU? Smith will likely file for a hardship waiver of the NCAA transfer rule that would require him to sit out next season. If it's granted, we could end up with three Smiths on the floor at the same time, maybe even for the tip off.
  • He'll adjust. Speaking of Pearl, he doesn't like the rule change ($) moving the three-point line back by a foot, saying that it will make it more difficult for smaller teams like Vanderbilt and Tennessee because defenses will play more zone. Still, he says, he'll adjust. Anybody not believe him?
  • Under-appreciated. VolQuest has a nice feature on Josh Hawkins, who we previewed a few weeks ago. A quote from Hawkins:
    Following Tennessee the way I have growing up gives you a different feel for things. When I committed to Tennessee, coach Brooks told me that I had to develop thick skin. I found out what he meant quickly. The morning after I committed, I was driving to school and had the local sports talk show on and the first caller I heard was talking about how desperate coach Fulmer was to take this local two star running back. That is the day that I stopped listening to those shows.

    Yikes. What did we say about him? Oh, okay. We gave him four jars and said he was underrated. We've said it before, and we'll say it again, local kids who commit early are generally under appreciated because ratings are driven in part by a desirability factor (what other schools have offered), and other schools generally consider it a waste of time to chase a player who commits early to play for his hometown team. So, Josh, if you're reading, keep reading!

  • Time Capsule. One year ago today, I linked to SMQ's Absurdly Premature Assessment of Tennessee. He predicted eight wins for the Vols, and, as you know, we had nine. Not bad at all. If you missed his Premature Assessment of the 2007 Vols, go read it now, and while you're there, check out his assessment of Florida and his post on Georgia, which went up yesterday.
  • Time Capsule, Stop II. Also a year ago, I did my first Animated Drive Chart. I'll start working on what I hope will be a significant upgrade for next season in a few weeks.
  • Afternoon kickoff. The Vols' game in Gainesville against the Gators has been set for a 3:30 p.m. EST kickoff. Does it seem like they've been all night games for several years in a row? What's changed? What's better for the Vols, an afternoon game or a night game?
  • College World Series. The No. 1 Lady Vols begin their third consecutive College World Series tonight at 6:00 p.m. when they play Texas A&M in Oklahoma City.

Out of time for this morning. Good day to all.