· It’s easy to see why Georgia is now 0-9 in the conference. Tonight they played one of the worst basketball games I have seen in some time. It’s hard to believe the Vols actually trailed this team by 11 points in the second half of the game in Athens earlier this year.
·J.P. Prince continued his streak of untimely fouls. With the clock ticking down in the first half, Prince fouled Dustin Ware on a three-point attempt from the corner with 1.3 seconds remaining. I’ve lost count how many times Prince has fouled an opposing shooter on a three-point attempt.
·Speaking of that three-point shot by Ware, I am still unclear about what happened afterward. Pearl asked for a review to determine if the shot was, in fact, a three-point shot — he clearly believed Ware’s foot was over the line. The officials reviewed the call, confirmed it was a three-point attempt, and then charged Tennessee with a timeout. According Bob Kessling, an official has the discretion to charge a timeout in that situation. Regardless, it sounds like some made-up adaptation of the coaches challenge in football and I’ve never heard of it happening during a basketball game.
·Key stat: Tennessee forced Georgia into 17 first half turnovers that fueled their 17-point halftime lead. The Bulldogs finished with 25 turnovers (the most in a Southeastern Conference game this year), while Tennessee only turned the ball over 9 times.
·#11 Quinn Cannington: Tennessee’s new zone buster? I will be honest, when I first saw him on the floor I had to check the official roster to find his name. Coming off the bench with over 12 minutes remaining in the second half, the non-scholarship Junior from Fulton High School in Knoxville nailed a three-point bomb from the corner. It was his first appearance of the season, but not his first at Tennessee. Entering the game, Cannington was 3-3 from the field in his career — including 2-2 from three-point range.
·With 2:29 remaining in the contest, Coach Pearl called a timeout so he could clear the bench. Cannington, Childress, Pearl, Tabb, and Wild entered the game with the Vols leading 74-46. Tanner Wild drained a three-pointer from the top of the key and Ryan Childress added two free throws. While on the floor, this group of mostly walk-ons outscored Georgia 5-2 and extended the lead by three. See point #1 above.
Pearl post game.
After the Auburn loss. “We got in Monday morning at 6:00 am and we did some work on Monday morning. We practiced three times on Monday between weight training and film and practice. We just needed to get that out of our system. Auburn is a good team, lets don’t ever not give the opponent credit, but we obviously were disappointed. We had the game won.”
Remaining schedule. “There’s not a team that we have left that we can’t beat — home or away. But there’s not a team left that can’t beat us either.”
Coaches getting fired mid-season. “It’s very very difficult in my mind what Mark Gottfried had to go through with his Alabama team — and Georgia. Gosh, I would not think a head coach would leave his team in the middle of the season for any reason. It’s tough.”
Quinton Cannington. “I just thought that he was going to bring us some energy. I felt like he deserved the rotation. He had been practicing well so we just went ahead with it.”
Tennessee’s scout team. “They are good. You haven’t seen that many white guys on the floor since 1971.”
Next up for Tennessee (15-8, 6-3): Vandy (14-8, 3-5) Saturday at TBA, 3:00pm.