SEC M5: 11.06.12 Edition

Posted by KAlmekinder on November 6th, 2012

  1. The list of ineligible players in the SEC adds another as Texas A&M’s Shawn Smith was ruled a partial qualifier over the weekend. Smith, a freshman guard on the Aggies’ roster, will only be allowed to practice with the team this season. He will be eligible next season as a redshirt freshman and still have four years of eligibility remaining. Smith joins Missouri’s Michael Dixon and Dominique Bull as well as Dai-Jon Parker from Vanderbilt as the most recent SEC players to be removed from action. Those three suspensions are ongoing and the respective schools have not released any information as to the causes for their sanctions.
  2. The expectations for typical freshmen are usually low but not at a school like Kentucky. John Calipari’s system of high-caliber freshmen coupled with the ridiculous love and support of the Wildcat fans raises the expectations of their freshmen exponentially. Will  Totten at Kentucky Sports Radio wrote a piece comparing the statistics of freshmen in the Calipari era to other freshmen across the country and the reasons why the Wildcat freshmen’s numbers are slightly higher than the national averages. With everything involved with Kentucky basketball, those reasons seem pretty obvious.
  3. After his visit to Auburn where he was quoted by stating he wanted to be “the face of the program,” class of 2013 recruit Austin Nichols will not be committing to any SEC school this fall. Instead, Nichols chose Memphis on Monday over Auburn, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt, becoming the fifth commitment to the Tigers program in the class of 2013. Each of the SEC teams he considered could have significantly benefited from adding a five-star recruit next year, as Kentucky and Florida have recently been the only league programs regularly signing that level of high school talent.
  4. Many coaches have mutual respect for one other, stemming from their success on the court and character off it. But does that respect come from actions that took place in a high school decades ago? Frank Martin thinks it does. Martin, who is in his first year as the head coach at South Carolina, stated in an Alabama.com article that his first college essay was about Alabama head coach Anthony Grant, describing his hard work ethic and humble attitude when both he and Grant attended Miami Senior High School together. The same degree of respect goes the other way from Grant to Martin as well, as Grant has in the past described his relationship with Martin as like a ‘relative,’ stating he has been very close to him in almost every aspect of life.
  5. With a healthy Jeronne Maymon in tow, Tennessee is considered by many as a dark horse pick for the SEC crown. The problem is that Maymon is not healthy. The 6’7″ senior who spent the offseason rehabilitating the second knee surgery of his career is still on the sidelines for the Volunteers with still no timetable for his return. Cuonzo Martin and the rest of his squad is learning how to practice without Maymon in the lineup and are drafting a strategy for the season once he is healthy. With Maymon out, that means more practice time for Quinton Chievous, a redshirt freshman who could take Maymon’s place because of his speed and perimeter shooting. The injury also forces highly touted returning sophomore Jarnell Stokes to take a more pivotal role in the Vols’ game plan as well as providing leadership on and off the court.
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SEC M5: 11.05.12 Edition

Posted by KAlmekinder on November 5th, 2012

  1. Two years removed from raising over a million dollars in Haiti earthquake relief efforts with a nationally televised telethon, Kentucky is at it again. The Wildcats are going to host another telethon this year to support the victims and recovery of the aftermath from Hurricane Sandy in the northeast. John Calipari will host this telethon on Wednesday evening and already has some ideas as to improve upon the last one, stating that the Hati fundraiser had over 70,000 calls. “We couldn’t take them all. We could only take 2,000. So we’re going to hope to have it so that whoever calls in, that phone will be answered somewhere.” The telethon will be from 7-8 PM EST online at WKYT.com.
  2. After the sudden change in roster spots and coaching, many Bulldog fans knew the Mississippi State rebuilding process would take some time, but even they probably did not think it would begin with a very close win in its exhibition game versus William Carey on Sunday night. Rick Ray’s club trailed by eight points in the first half but eventually came back to win, 80-74. Ray was asked if his team was ready for Friday’s regular season match-up versus Troy and he gave “no” as his response. While his team’s execution was poor, Ray focused on the positives and knew that their exhibition would help with teaching points for his squad going forward.
  3. It has been a few weeks since Missouri head coach Frank Haith suspended Michael Dixon and Dominique Bull for team rules violations. On Friday, Haith stated that Dixon would continue to sit out for the Tigers’ exhibition versus Missouri Southern yesterday (which Missouri won, 86-60). Haith said that Dixon is working better to meet the team’s rules and expectations and has rejoined the team in practice. The freshman Bull, suspended for a separate incident, dressed out on Sunday but he was not guaranteed any playing time (he received three minutes). There is no timetable set for Dixon’s return to the lineup.
  4. The first step toward new head coach Johnny Jones’ returning LSU to a premier SEC power is by establishing a solid recruiting base. Jones is off to a great start by already receiving verbal commitments from two 2013 ESPN Top 100 recruits in Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman. Late last week he made his biggest splash by landing Baton Rouge star and #14 overall player, Jarell Martin, a 6’8″ power forward who had offers from Alabama, St. John’s, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. LSU now has two verbal commitments in the Texas/Louisiana area with four more also considering the Tigers. Jones is successfully using his local geography pitch to help land these recruits and it could pay off with more to come.
  5.  The Georgia men’s and women’s basketball teams participated in “Painting the ‘G'” over the weekend, a tradition started two years ago by the Georgia football staff. They let Mark Fox and the basketball players physically paint the Georgia “G” on the football field before their most recent game, knowing that while football still reigns in the SEC, November is also the beginning of the basketball season. The football staff wants to convey the message that all its players and coaches support and respect the other sports at the university and looks to involve them in other projects.
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Vanderbilt Guard Dai-Jon Parker Suspended

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 31st, 2012

Coming off its first SEC Tournament title since 1952 and losing a majority of their offense from last season due to the NBA Draft or graduation, Vanderbilt already knew it would have to replace many pieces on this season’s team. Today, they will have to add sophomore guard Dai-Jon Parker to the list because of a non-academic suspension. Head coach Kevin Stallings announced Tuesday that the projected starting shooting guard will be suspended indefinitely because Parker “failed to uphold the high standard that we expect of a Vanderbilt basketball player and will be disciplined accordingly.” Parker and sophomore Kedren Johnson were expected to fill the voids left by Brad Tinsley, John Jenkins, and Jeffery Taylor, all upperclassmen who left after last season due to graduation or to pursue professional careers. The guard trio of Tinsley/Jenkins/Taylor provided Vanderbilt’s most dangerous weapon: 244 three-pointers on a blistering 43% clip and high offensive efficiency numbers. Parker and Johnson, on the other hand, were substituted into the rotation last year with very minimal roles.

Who will replace Dai-Jon Parker in Vanderbilt’s already depleted backcourt?

The departures of Tinsley, Jenkins, and Taylor, as well as experienced defensive big men Festus Ezeli, Lance Goulbourne, and Steve Tchiengang, made up arguably Vanderbilt’s most well-rounded team in the Kevin Stallings era. The Commodores’ offensive efficiency (115.7) ranked #11 in the country while their defensive efficiency (92.7) was solid at #30. Sky-high expectations after winning the SEC Tournament over heavily favored Kentucky  quickly came crashing down when Vanderbilt lost to Wisconsin in the Third Round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, one step short of the school’s first Sweet Sixteen since 2007.

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Happy Halloween From the SEC: Which School Represents Which Candy?

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 31st, 2012

As we preview the SEC this season, the focus this week is on Halloween, the junk food-centered holiday predominantly celebrated by children or college kids, who both have different motives when this date comes around on the calendar every year. While the ghosts and goblins knock on doors asking for their sweet tooth tithes tonight, we pose the question: Which Halloween candy represents each SEC school? The analogies might surprise you.

What Kinds of Candy Are the 12 SEC Schools This Year?

  • Alabama – M&M’s. The always consistent M&M’s can never disappoint, even with variable options such as peanut butter and peanut. This year marks Year Four of the Anthony Grant Experience in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide are coming off consecutive 20-win seasons and are building a case to challenge more prominent schools for their place in the SEC pecking order. Returning senior Jalen Steele, sophomore sharpshooter Trevor Lacey and skilled freshman Devonta Pollard will provide skill and reliability for Anthony Grant as the Tide battles a tough non-conference slate, including Purdue, Villanova, Cincinnati, and Grant’s previous school, VCU. A 2o-plus win season in Alabama, coming off another dominant season on the gridiron, will have fans in Tuscaloosa cheering all season long.
  • ArkansasMilky Way. Like the Milky Way bar in its history, Arkansas basketball has lost some luster from its national championship ways in the early 1990s. Over time, better teams and chocolate bars have gained popularity while leaving little respect for this program and its chocolate. Arkansas has not been to the NCAA Tournament in four years and is 17 years removed from its last Final Four appearance. Now on their third coach since Nolan Richardson’s firing in 2002, head coach Mike Anderson is working to reinvigorate the “40 minutes of hell” style of play that his mentor used to gain attention almost two decades ago. The Milky Way bar has done the same; changes to the texture, size, and taste to attract more buyers might have done more harm than good. Maybe a trip back to their standard will be more profitable too.
  • AuburnSmarties. The Smarties are the consistently bad candy; they can always be found in a jumbo pack of other powder-type candies for cheap and are always the last Halloween candy eaten — usually on the day after Thanksgiving. Auburn basketball has consistently been the Smarties of the SEC. Since the 2003-04 season, Auburn has finished in the bottom three of the conference standings in all but one year. Fans no doubt see basketball as the dead period between fall football games and spring football practice. There is some hope on the horizon, however, as Auburn is in the mix with ESPN Top 100 recruit Austin Nichols and was quoted to say he “wanted to be the face of the program.” Head coach Tony Barbee, his staff, and players hosted a  free “Barbee-Q” for all Auburn students on Monday night. Maybe weekly free food and an elite recruit could help invigorate some life into the basketball program; or maybe just feed some college kids so they take a break from eating ramen every night. Read the rest of this entry »
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Andrew Wiggins Reclassifies to Class of 2013, Adds More Schools to List

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 26th, 2012

Thursday became a huge day in the world of recruiting when top Class of 2014 prospect Andrew Wiggins decided to reclassify to the Class of 2013, essentially moving all of his college recruiting visits and commitment to a lucky college to next spring. This decision allows Wiggins to leapfrog current undecided recruit Jabari Parker to take over the #1 spot as the top recruit in this year’s senior class. Wiggins is currently in the process of taking the necessary classes and filing the paperwork to finalize his transition.

Wiggins is considered by some to be the best high school player since LeBron James (Getty Images)

Wiggins, a native of Thornhill, Ontario (Canada), chose to finish his amateur basketball career at Huntington (WV) Prep, a ‘basketball academy’ known for producing great basketball players from across the globe, including current collegiate star Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), but also former athletes of the coaching staff including current Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, Houston Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, New York Knicks guard Bill Walker, West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli, and current Virginia Tech football player Logan Thomas. Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the 25th best player in the 2013 class and Wiggins’ teammate, recently chose to attend Florida State.

What makes Andrew Wiggins’ so spectacular? Some media members familiar with his talents have heralded him as the “best high school player since LeBron James.” The consensus is that Wiggins’ skill set is dominant in almost every category — scoring, slashing to the rim, rebounding, passing, and defense — all with the same tenacity and passion demonstrated by James throughout his time in high school and in the NBA.

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Analyzing Florida’s Non-Conference Schedule

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 25th, 2012

High expectations are floating around Gainesville this season, and with good reason. The Florida Gators look to expand on last year’s loss to Louisville in the Elite Eight with veteran players, key transfers, and a challenging non-conference slate. Experienced returnees Kenny Boynton, a preseason all-SEC First Team pick earlier this week, Erik Murphy, a three year letterman and post defender with good perimeter range, and reserve Scottie Wilbekin, a deadly three-point shooter at over 45%, lead the charge as the Gators will challenge Kentucky and Missouri for the SEC crown.

The Gators are primed for another run towards a Final Four (AP)

While the departures from last year’s team only includes Bradley Beal and Erving Walker (a combined 26.9 points per game on 42.1% shooting), the Gators will miss Beal’s steadiness on the floor and his play-making ability. But the Gators will also miss Walker’s production in almost every offensive category, most notably scoring (12.4 PPG), distribution (1.8 ATO), and durability (30.3 MPG). Head coach Billy Donovan has regrouped nicely after the losses of these two players, snagging transfers Dorian Finney-Smith, a 6’8″ sophomore forward from Virginia Tech, and 6’10” forward Damontre Harris from conference foe South Carolina. Both players will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules but will be great practice acquisitions this year.

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SEC Media Pick Kentucky as SEC Champion, Phil Pressey as SEC POY

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 22nd, 2012

No surprises here: The SEC media has chosen the Kentucky Wildcats to repeat as SEC champs. John Calipari’s team, coming off the first perfect season in conference regular season play since they last accomplished the feat in the 2002-03 campaign, received 328 total votes, including 17 first place selections. Florida finished second in the voting with 310 votes (five first place votes), Missouri third (286, one) and Tennessee fourth (269, one). Mississippi State, with new head coach Rick Ray and the loss of stars Dee Bost, Renardo Sidney, and Arnett Moultrie, was picked dead last with 37 votes, over 150 votes below the Bulldogs’ preseason ranking last year. The Vanderbilt Commodores, after surprisingly winning the 2012 SEC Tournament last season, also lost nearly the same number of votes as Mississippi State because of a similarly large personnel losses. The full preseason poll is listed below.

Kentucky was picked to repeat as SEC Champs by the media on Monday

SEC Preseason Media Poll

  1. Kentucky (17)  328
  2. Florida (5)         310
  3. Missouri (1)      286
  4. Tennessee (1)   269
  5. Arkansas            226
  6. Alabama             222
  7. Ole Miss              186
  8. Georgia               149
  9. Texas A&M        122
  10. Vanderbilt         120
  11. LSU                       116
  12. Auburn               95
  13. South Carolina 54
  14. Mississippi State 37
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SEC M5: 10.19.12 Edition

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 19th, 2012

  1. As Missouri slowly tries to find its identity in the SEC football realm, its basketball presence has already been met with much hype and high expectations heading into the season. The Tigers’ initial move from the Big 12 to the SEC was criticized regarding the status of some of their regional rivalries, most notably with its immediate neighbors, Kansas and Illinois. Yesterday the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the “Braggin’ Rights” rivalry between Missouri and Illinois will continue through the 2016-17 season. The annual Mississippi River border showdown at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis has featured an intense regional rivalry since its inception in 1980. Missouri has won the last three meetings in the series after Illinois had won nine straight from 2000-08. As for the rivalry with Kansas, no news has surfaced (and may never surface) since Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 and thus ending the century old Border War, for now.
  2.  Could Michigan’s Fab Five beat last year’s Kentucky squad? Or vice versa? Coach John Calipari defended his Wildcats in an ESPN “Numbers Never Lie” clip on Thursday. Co-host and former Fab Five member Jalen Rose, in defense of his Wolverines, jokingly stated “Kentucky cheated by not starting all five freshmen last year.” Calipari praised Rose for his vocal leadership that helped make the Fab Five a very tight-knit group and said “my team wasn’t as vocal but came together in the same way. It would’ve been a heck of a game.”
  3. With the release of the Top 25 Coaches Poll earlier this week, head coach Mike Anderson and the Arkansas Razorbacks saw the difficult road that lies ahead: Seven ranked opponents on their schedule this year, including four within three weeks of each other. The Las Vegas Classic will challenge the Hogs early with games against #15 Creighton and #21 Wisconsin on November 24. Less than a week later, Arkansas hosts #9 Syracuse on November 30. In conference play, Arkansas will play home-and-home with #10 Florida and  #17 Missouri with another home game versus #3 Kentucky on March 2. Anderson will be tested early and often this season, hoping these difficult games will improve on last year’s 18-14 record and get the Razorbacks back into the NCAA Tournament.
  4. In recruiting news, Missouri picked up a commitment on Thursday from ESPN Top 100 forward Johnathan Williams, III. Dave Telep of ESPN reported that the 6’8″ Memphis native chose the Tigers over Tennessee, Michigan State, Georgetown, and George Mason. Williams is ranked as the 38th best overall recruit in the Class of 2013 and the second Top 100 recruit Missouri has obtained for next year. Williams’ pick has immediately vaulted the Tigers to #16 in next year’s class rankings.
  5.  New LSU head coach Johnny Jones spoke out on Wednesday about the first four practices he held this year. Jones discussed the difficulty of playing with only 11 guys and the challenge of molding his squad to understand the tempo he expects to see this season. “We want to try and make sure that our level is as such the way that we play. We’re trying to implement our system in just a short time because we’ll obviously be playing here in less than a month,” Jones said. The new head coach also praised several of his players but was still grounded, knowing they must all improve individually as well as a team going forward.
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SEC M5: 10.18.12 Edition

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 18th, 2012

  1. One of the best articles you will read this week is regarding the interaction between Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and Lane Goodwin, a 13 year-old teen from Beech Grove, Kentucky, who is battling a rare form of cancer. The last few weeks have brought the “Thumbs Up For Lane Goodwin” movement on Twitter and Facebook that quickly gained interest among Wildcat players and the Big Blue Nation. With the endorsement of these high profile basketball players, it quickly spread nationwide as celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Tim Tebow, Anderson Cooper, and many others have also given a “thumbs up” for Lane. Yesterday, Twitter and Kentucky Sports Radio reported the tragic passing of Lane. The sudden loss of a teenager fighting a terrible disease helps remind us that not only there are more things to life than college basketball but these players do care about the community and will help out as much as possible for those in need.
  2.  The preseason Top 25 USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Wednesday with Kentucky coming in at #3 with five first place votes, behind their neighbors Indiana and Louisville at #1 and #2, respectively. Florida was the only other SEC team to crack the top 10 (#10) while Missouri was the last SEC squad to be ranked in the poll (#17). Both Tennessee and Georgia were among the others schools who received votes, but neither was ranked in the Top 25.
  3. Mississippi State guard Jalen Steele spoke extensively to the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger on Wednesday regarding the style of play and the content of practice for the Bulldogs early in the season. Steele stated that MSU has been focusing on defense lately and that a lot of the practices are physical, comparing the hardwood practices to the gridiron. In terms of style of play, new head coach Rick Ray wants “more dribble drive and creating more shots for people”, according to Steele. He also mentioned the increased respect given to the new head coach in comparison to former leader Rick Stansbury, who abruptly retired after last season. Stansbury struggled in the latter few years with commanding respect and obedience from his players, both on and off the court.
  4. New Florida transfer Damontre Harris is already sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules but will have to spend even more time without practice because of a dislocated shoulder. Harris transferred from conference rival South Carolina after last season where he averaged 6.8 points per game on 55% shooting in 25 minutes per game. Once healthy, Harris will provide quality practice minutes against Gator returnees Patric Young and Erik Murphy in the post.
  5. Texas A&M is preparing to host its Maroon & White scrimmage on Friday, October 18 at 8:15 PM CT. Head coach Billy Kennedy will have an opportunity to showcase nine returnees and seven newcomers to the Aggie faithful. The event is sandwiched in between a full sports weekend at A&M, including an important SEC football game versus LSU. Free food and drink will be provided by local advertisers and students of course are encouraged to attend.
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Kentucky Freshman Star Nerlens Noel Cleared by NCAA

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 17th, 2012

Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel has been cleared by the NCAA to compete athletically in college basketball. The heralded Massachusetts big man enrolled in Lexington earlier this fall without any problems, but an ongoing investigation by the NCAA about payments for unofficial visits to other universities during the recruitment process has kept Noel, Kentucky, and Wildcat fans anxious about the investigation result leading up to the team’s first regular season matchup with Maryland on November 9. Earlier today, Kentucky head coach John Calipari visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, to promote the Kentucky All-Access series that debuted tonight on ESPN. Calipari was asked about Noel’s eligibility and stated quite clearly, “He’s been cleared to practice and cleared to play games. Everything’s good to go.”

John Calipari Announced Nerlens Noel is “Good to Go” Today (credit: USA Today)

Wildcat fans can breathe easy now knowing that the next-in-line UK shot-blocker will officially don the blue and white this season. The high accolades set by Anthony Davis last season will make many fans across the country expect Noel to become a carbon-copy of last year’s NPOY, but both players are drastically different: Davis quickly learned his rejection technique in a few years only because of his growth spurt in high school, while Noel has mastered this craft throughout his many years manning the post in the sport. Davis was a much more polished offensive player facing the rim, and conversely, Noel needs to quickly improve on his game away from the basket. Regardless of their differences, Noel will be a truly amazing player to watch as the season progresses as well as a great asset to this year’s Kentucky squad along with some other high caliber freshmen such as Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Archie Goodwin.

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SEC M5: 10.17.12 Edition

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 17th, 2012

  1. A casino in Las Vegas has released its annual preseason odds to win the national championship for the 2012-13 season. Kentucky emerged as having the second best odds at 7-1, trailing only Indiana with 6-1. Missouri, heralded as one of the teams to challenge Kentucky for the SEC throne this season, is getting 30-1 odds along with Florida to win it all. High expectations for both squads could yield in an equally high payout for those who believe highly in the Tigers and the Gators. Other SEC teams on the list are Vanderbilt (80-1), Alabama (90-1), Texas A&M (100-1), and Arkansas (100-1). The field came in as a 15-1 favorite.
  2. ESPN is taking its all-access talents to a specific SEC school this year, and you guessed it, that school is Kentucky. The multi-part series, much like their Hard Knocks series, will display some of the behind-the-scenes of Kentucky basketball, ranging from John Calipari’s breakfasts in Lexington to preparations for Big Blue Madness to daily practices and player involvement. Most importantly, it will focus on Calipari’s latest project of implementing new freshmen into a cohesive unit en route to a national championship. Matt Jones at Kentucky Sports Radio has acquired a short clip about how the players prepared for Madness. CoachCal.com also offers another preview clip for the series. The first episode will air tonight at 7:00 PM ET.
  3. Who will be Vanderbilt‘s next point guard? Christian D’Andrea of Anchor of Gold wrote a brilliant piece regarding which players the Commodore faithful should turn to as their next floor leader. Vanderbilt loses nearly as many key pieces from its SEC Championship team as Kentucky did and will have to turn to Kedren Johnson or Kyle Fuller to help fill that particular void. D’Andrea states “they possess very different styles” in that the older Fuller has a faster tempo than Johnson, but Johnson has a much smoother game presence and has “showed more composure than his veteran counterparts in big games.” Johnson, for example, contributed with several important baskets in the final minutes of the SEC Tournament championship game over Kentucky. Both guards present weaknesses, however; Johnson shot 24% from three-point range last season and Fuller shot just over 27% from the field. They both must improve on their outside games rather quickly to keep defenses honest. Vanderbilt fans can also see positives with both players in their assist-turnover ratios (Johnson’s is 1.57 and Fuller 1.62, respectively) and their growing maturity in the upcoming seasons.
  4.  The Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger released two very interesting articles about the upcoming Ole Miss team involving the frontcourt bodies who will help Andy Kennedy’s squad improve on its 67 points per game from last year. Seniors Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner have very high ceilings with their post-collegiate futures, but both will have to improve on their dreadful free throw shooting. Holloway shot just under 51% from the charity stripe last year, while Buckner was even worse with a 42% free throw percentage. Both big men will have experience on their side but also must utilize the opportunity to make up for a lack of personnel that plagued the Rebels last year.  Kennedy spoke recently about his new squad and how they are not “last season’s team.” He added that he has “caught the new guys integrating themselves into what we’re trying to get accomplished about as smoothly as possible. We have two guys who have been through division one practices before in Marshall (Henderson) and Jason Carter and it helps.”
  5. Tennessee isn’t wavering at any of the success or praise that is being bestowed by its neighbors to the north. In fact, the Vols are embracing the “tough love” mentality that they are receiving in the preseason and will use it to motivate them going forward. With all the hoopla surrounding Big Blue Madness and the ESPN all-access series in Lexington, head coach Cuonzo Martin and sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes have other plans for what lies ahead in Knoxville. Both Martin and Stokes have high expectations for next year’s Midnight Madness, something they had to skip because of the university’s fall break last weekend. Martin stated that he is looking forward to an event next year and that his players will be ready as well.
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Bruce Pearl’s “Dream Home” For Sale (Again), Photo of Aaron Craft Not Included…

Posted by KAlmekinder on October 9th, 2012

Are you looking for a spacious and luxurious home yet still only minutes away from the benefits of a booming city? Well we have the right house for you! Located in southern Knoxville, this marvelous abode will fill your every property desire. Sitting on over an acre of land, this magnificent five-bed, seven-bath gem is only a short drive from the Tennessee River and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Bruce Pearl’s home can be yours for only $2.5 million.

Former Tennessee Volunteers head coach Bruce Pearl has re-listed his Knoxville, Tennessee, area home for just under a cool $2.5 million. Pearl, famous for his orange jacket and eccentric personality, was reprimanded by Tennessee in September 2010 after lying about a recruiting cookout at this house where Pearl encouraged then high school junior Aaron Craft and his father to not disclose the incident to the NCAA. A separate drug incident involving Volunteers forward Brian Williams led to the eventual firing of Pearl in March 2011.

A great backyard for mid summer barbecues!

Since his firing, new head coach Cuonzo Martin led the Vols to a 19-15 season last season. Pearl has since worked as the Vice President of H.T. Hackney, a wholesale grocery corporation, and was most recently hired by ESPN as a college basketball analyst for the upcoming 2012-13 year. We’re not sure how much money Pearl will make in television, but we doubt it’ll be enough to support a mortgage on a $2.5 million house (estimated mortgage: $10,000 per month).

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