Five Questions With Coach Bruce Pearl...


1. What do you expect from the Kentucky Wildcats Tuesday (9:00p ESPN) in a road game on national TV?

A - "Kentucky is playing much better now. They've had a tough row. They beat Vanderbilt in double overtime, went down and gave a very good Mississippi State team a tough game and then lost at Florida in overtime. When they're playing at Rupp, it means there are a lot of elements you've got to go up against."

2. What did Coach Billy Gillespie mean in reference to the Wildcats "buying into" his system?

A - "There's an adjustment period that takes place in any coaching change. Part of buying into it is seeing it work. I remember back to my first year at Tennessee. The last two players to buy into the system were Chris Lofton and C.J. Watson. It wasn't so much questioning whether it would work, but it was important to see it work. It isn't what you do, but how you do it. You've got to believe in what you're doing in order to succeed."

3. Describe the qualities that make Vols sophomore point guard Ramar Smith such a standout.

A - "Ramar is our most competitive player. He'll rise to the level of competition and do what it takes. He's a physical guy. Last year when we got into league play his game stepped up, and it's doing the same this season."

4. In what areas would you hope for solid improvement before Tuesday's game at Kentucky?

A - "Kentucky is leading the SEC in rebound margin, and Tennessee is down near the bottom. We've just got to keep people off the offensive boards. The other thing is our post defense. Patrick Patterson is a McDonald's All-America, and he's a load on the inside. So the answer is, rebounding and our post defense."

5. What concerns you most about Georgia, which visits Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday (7:00p FSN/SUN)

A - "Georgia will have the entire week to prepare. Right now they have the best record in the SEC. They have veterans in the backcourt and young guys on the inside. They are playing very well right now."

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Candace Parker Wins SEC Player of the Week
Junior Hoopster Garners Honor For Third Time This Season

Knoxville, Tenn. – University of Tennessee women’s basketball star Candace Parker was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week the conference office announced on Monday. Parker led the Lady Vols to victories against Kentucky and Vanderbilt for her third weekly honor of the season.

The Naperville, Ill., native averaged 21.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 3.0 blocks in the two victories this week. She was named the Lady Vol Player of the Game for her efforts at Kentucky. Against the Wildcats, she connected on 10 of 14 field goal attempts en route to 23 points. She added two steals, three blocks and seven rebounds in the contest.

Parker climbed into the top-10 all-time Lady Vol scoring list with her ninth point against Vanderbilt on Sunday. She has amassed 1,683 points in just 89 games in an orange uniform. Against the Commodores, she grabbed double digit rebounds for the seventh time this season and the 40th time in her career, giving her double-double No. 38 for her career. Her 19 points marked the 23rd time in a row that she has reached double-digit scoring.

Parker earns player of the week accolades for the third time this season and the ninth time in her career. Since the SEC began presenting the weekly award in 1985, only Armintie Price (Ole Miss) has amassed as many honors as Parker. Including her five rookie of the week nods, Parker’s 13 weekly recognitions are the most by anyone in the history of the SEC.

Story's Courtesy: UT Sports Information & Lady Vols Sports Information


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