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Talking Points: Pearl, Pearl, Pearl

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Talking Points to the left,
FanShots to the right.
Photo by Jule Berlin.

All right, then. Back to the Talking Points, but don't neglect the FanShots. Know them. Love them. Use them, and the best will be chest bumped to the front.

  • Pearl on Hopson, Smith, and Crews. If you have access and you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out's excellent Visit with Bruce Pearl. A couple of points: First, landing Scotty Hopson on the rebound (!) from Mississippi State didn't just happen. Pearl and his guys were recruiting him hard, and when Hopson announced for the Bulldogs, the Vols simply wished him well. "This is important, and not something that you think about all the time, we left things the right way in that situation with Scotty, his family and the people around him. We honored his decision, didn't contact him any more and wished him well. . . . Every time there was an opportunity to check in with his situation through an AAU coach or whoever, we just wished him well, never talked badly about him. I really think that stuff all came back to help us. When he opened it back up, he remembered us, remembered how we ended things without any sour grapes. I think that was a factor." Second, Pearl considers the dismissal of Ramar Smith and Duke Crews as his own failure. They didn't have to be dismissed, but they were for the good of the program: "The reason why I'm willing to accept some failure myself for it not working out is because they weren't bad kids, they weren't bad character guys. But they cut corners and I couldn't get them to stop.When I lost confidence in myself and in them, that I could bring out the best that I had to give, that was it." Part of the rationale was also that Pearl was bringing in a bunch of hot new recruits, and no, he wasn't just making room for somebody better, he just wanted to make sure that they were coming into the right environment, and retaining Smith and Crews would have made that more difficult.
  • More basketball. Brian Williams is gaining weight . . . and speed. . . . Dates and TV for Gonzaga and Memphis are set: Gonzaga will be January 7 on ESPN, and Memphis will be on January 24 on CBS. More Pearlfection, please. . . . The best part about the Negedu commitment? We beat Memphis. Again. . . . Mike Griffith's definition of a blog is apparently an article consisting almost entirely of one sentence paragraphs.
  • Mrs. President. The Lady Vols will be visiting the White House on Tuesday to celebrate their national championship. Perhaps somebody will get more pictures like the one BlueVol3 uses for his avatar, which, if you haven't seen yet, go. Do.
  • No deal. Former Tennessee defensive tackle and current Tennessee Titan Albert Haynesworth doesn't think he'll sign a long-term deal with the team before the July 15 deadline.
  • Football. Tennessee has extra benefits, and it's not an NCAA violation. It's what comes from a fast start in recruiting. Because they have a lot of solid commitments this early, they can now transition into a more selective mode and can focus on fewer and better prospects.
  • Alabama. I'm halfway done with the Alabama recap, which means I'm halfway sick. Full regurgitation tomorrow or Friday.