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Is this year Bruce Pearl's worst coaching job?

I began pondering this question today after seeing this tweet from Wes Rucker:

Vols scout team today has 4 4-star players — Kenny Hall, Jeronne Maymon, Renaldo Woolridge and Jordan McRae.

Mr. Rucker's above tweet served to further embellish a previous quote from Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut's head coach, which I had been deeply pondering:

 "I thought they were as athletic as any team," Calhoun said. "They have terrific size ... I would consider them - we've played Texas, we've played Michigan State and Kentucky - they certainly would stand equal to any of those teams as far as the athletic ability and the way they play defense and offense. They're a terrifically athletic team.

In view of the above alone, is it not quite fair to conclude that we are a basketball team comprised of very, very talented young men?  Indeed some of the most talented young men in the country?  And yet we've only played like one of the best *teams* in the country on a couple of occasions.  I'm a big fan of Bruce Pearl, and I want him to stick around and be our coach for awhile, but when a really talented basketball team is consistently mediocre, occasionally great, and occasionally terrible...well that's not really what you want.  And I do think that comes back to the coach. 

  • Scotty Hopson may or may not play against Kentucky.  Smart money says he's playing, if you want my humble opinion.  And we need him.
  • Jordan McRae's indefinite suspension is definitely in the rearview.  Or maybe just kinda.  He is back practicing with the team, but is not making the trip to Lexington and thus misses the always-golden opportunity to shake hands with World Wide Wes.
  • Bruce Feldman reports that "the school expects [Janzen] Jackson to return for the 2011 season."  From the context of the article, it is difficult to tell whether this is a source reporting on the school's expectations, or the school itself opining on their expectations. I am assuming the former just because school administrators are generally reluctant to opine on their "expectations" in matters such as these. 

We need some positive momentum and a win against the Wildcats would be a nice step in that direction.  So I really hope that the Vols play "lights out'.