January 7, 2008
(click on the above icon to watch and listen to Bruce Pearl's weekly press conference.)
INTERVIEW OF COACH BRUCE PEARL BEFORE GAMES WITH
MISSISSIPPI WEDNESDAY AND SOUTH CAROLINA SATURDAY
1. With the SEC schedule beginning Wednesday, how well have the Vols met your goals at this point?
A - "I think we are prepared for the SEC. We faced a challenging non-conference schedule. At the same time, I think the league is as balanced as it has ever been."
2. How is the rotation for playing time set up starting SEC play?
A - "We still have the nine-man rotation -- Ramar Smith and Jordan Howell at the point, a three-man rotation at the two and three in JaJuan Smith, Chris Lofton and J.P. Prince, Tyler Smith and Ryan Childress at power forward and Wayne Chism and Brian Williams at center."
3. Summarize how SEC teams have shaped up contrasted with pre-season expectations.
A - "Start out with Ole Miss. Andy Kennedy is one of the best coaches in the country. I've said it before: Cincinnati should have done everything to keep him. He has a senior, physical front line. Vanderbilt, undefeated, may be the best offensive team in the country. Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi State are very talented and will compete in the West. The East is dangerous. Kentucky is wounded, but starts out now with a clean slate like everybody else. Florida is young and will get better."
4. Are you surprised that Ole Miss, UT's opponent at Knoxville Wednesday (8:00E), is undefeated?
A - "We're surprised. But when you take what Andy Kennedy has done, along with the addition of Chris Warren, one of the best freshmen in the country, that tells you a lot about their team."
(For use after Ole Miss game)
5. What do you expect Saturday (8:00E) when the Vols visit the South Carolina Gamecocks?
A - "South Carolina is a place where we have struggled. They do a good job of matching up with us. We need to get some orange in the arena at South Carolina. We need Tennessee people to travel. South Carolina is a place where Tennessee fans can get tickets."
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