Am I disappointed by the Vols being one and done in the NCAA tournament this year? Yes.
Am I losing faith in the team and Bruce Pearl like a lot of people I heard on a certain sports call in show this afternoon? No.
I still think the Vols have some kind of mental barrier that they just can't get over when it comes to advancing in a tournament--be it SEC or the NCAA. The frustrating part is you can see they have what it takes to get there--esp. under Pearl. Look at the Memphis game last year, look at the Florida game in Knoxville this year. I'm not sure how you get that intensity all the time, but we've got to find a way to do that.
And I think...no, wait make that I KNOW Bruce Pearl can do it. The man can sell ice to eskimos, so I know he can get this team to the promised land. And he will.
Though you wouldn't know it by the calls I heard on a certain sports call in show today. George Plaster never misses a chance to run down the Vols or cast dispersions Knoxville way, so I don't know why I should be shocked he'd do it now. I understand he's probably sore that Vandy didn't get an invite to the NIT, despite what we heard Kevin Stallins saying all week about how "Oh we got to 8-8 and that should count for something..."
I really think what I hear is a lot of petty jealousy that UT has the better coach. Kevin Stallings turned us down years ago and while in the short term, I was unhappy, in the long term it's been better for us. Bruce Pearl is a far better fit and exactly what the Big Orange want and need...and still believe in him and our team.
We didn't make it this year...but we've got huge potential for next year. Once again, we see that most other SEC teams are still trying to catch up to Bruce Pearl and Tennessee. And here's the thing that scares them to death--the gap isn't closing...
Labels: tennessee basketball
posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/20/2009 07:17:00 PM