Thursday, April 15, 2010

Basketball Ball News and Bruce Pearl Runs His Mouth

Jeff Lockridge writes in today's Tennessean about Vanderbilt adding a 4th scholarship player. With the departure of Charles Hinkle and A.J. turning pro, Vanderbilt now has 2 scholarships available.

Bruce Pearl, while appearing on ESPN's First Take, took some shots at Vanderbilt. The article claims Pearl didn't want to do so, but was basically goaded into it by Skip Bayless. Despite being a VU grad, I'm no Bayless fan, still this excuse is pretty weak as far as I'm concerned. Pearl was on notice they wanted to talk about Vanderbilt and get him to take a shot. He should have, if we really didn't want to talk about them, said nothing and not taken the bait.

Bruce's Criticisms Explored:
- "Head to head against them, we have a winning record..." (Bobby responds: hard to argue with that)
- "They've beaten us at our place one time, we beat them at their place a couple times..." (Bobby Responds: That time was this past season, where we pretty much dominated soon we forget)
- "Over the last three or four years we've won seven NCAA tournament games; over the last three years Vanderbilt hasn't won a game..." (Bobby Responds: Again, this is hard to argue with)
- "We average 20,000 (attendance), they average about [12,000]..." (Bobby Responds: First off, we averaged over 13K fans, not 12; second, the capacity of Memorial is only 14,168, so to say they only get 12,000 a night is disingenuous. Vanderbilt's average attendance in the 2009 season was 93.7% of capacity; UT's was only a slightly higher 94.4%.)
- "We play on a court where the benches are actually on the sidelines, not in the end zone. . ." (Bobby Responds: LAME BRUCE. You're going to go with the benches on the sidelines to bolster you're argument? I guess that explains your 29 point loss last year)
- "I think our program is ahead of Vanderbilt's." (Bobby Responds: I don't disagree that this is the case right now....but doesn't this objective fact make Pearl that much more of a D-Bag?)

For solidarity purposes, I would encourage everyone in the East Tennessee area to patronage Alimony, Bruce Pearl's ex-wife's salon. You know why? Because "screw him," that's why.


Stanimal said...

Skip Bayless should never, ever have been our representative in this argument. It definitely should have been someone with an iota of intelligence.

Brucie wins on the NCAA tournament games and the head-to-head, even though it should be noted that this year's elite 8 run was somewhat lacking in eliteness (Beating San Diego State and Ohio). But we don't have any room to talk. Teams who are knocking on the door to greatness do not lose in the first round of the tournament. That's all there is to it.

Bobby did not even point out the most egregious statement by Brucie. That if there's a kid in Tennessee who has a choice between Vanderbilt and Tennessee, he's going to Tennessee. That simply isn't true (see John Jenkins). Furthermore, Brucie talking about our recruiting is like talking about apples and oranges. As has been evidenced from the countless screw-ups who have graced UT (see the 4th Amendment Four riding around in probable cause with guns and weed), Pearl will recruit anyone that can play basketball regardless of character concerns. At Vanderbilt, it's not just about athletics. I won't play the academic card because it's overused, but both our coaches steer clear of complete chuckleheads like Tyler Smith. Simply put, we don't sell our souls for players simply because they're good at basketball. That's why we actually HAD a guy who WON a Lowe's Senior Class Award and they had a guy who took a fat dump all over his nomination.

Bruce Pearl and the rest of these jokers who are NCAA coaches should never point to recruiting as a positive. If anything it's a fat ugly stain on the landscape of college athletics. Come talk to me when you have a Myron Rolle.

Stanimal said...

By the way, to further evidence Brucie's BS about recruiting, explain to me how a team with THIS recruiting group could not even come within 5 points of OUR team:

Tennessee Players
Brian Williams 3*
Scotty Hopson 5*
Bobby Maze 3* JuCo All-American
J.P. Prince 5*
Duke Crews 5*
Wayne Chism 4*
Cameron Tatum 4*
Renaldo Woolridge 4*
Kenny Hall 4*

Vandy Players
John Jenkins 5*
Jermaine Beal 4*
A.J. Ogilvy 4*
Jeff Taylor 4*
Brad Tinsley 4*
Lance Goulbourne 4*
Steve Tchiengang 4*
Festus Ezeli 3*
Andre Walker 3*
Darshawn McClellan 2*

Unknown said...

I know you guys might not like it but basketball is extremely tournament based, and when you lose to #13 seeds in 2 out of the last 3 years its hard to avoid the image of being chokers when the bright lights are turned on. Lets look at some numbers comparing UT and Vandy since Bruce Pearl arrived:

SEC record
UT 57-23
Vandy 46-34

NCAA tourney appearances

NCAA tourney wins

SEC East titles

SEC regular season titles

I realize these are not the only things that matter, but it gives a pretty good comparison. As far as our "bad boy" image goes we have rightfully earned it at times, but I think it must be noted that Bruce Pearl has not been shy to kick off key members of the team. Major Wingate (who was not recruited by Pearl), Duke Crews, Ramar Smith, and Tyler Smith all have been given the boot since Pearl arrived. Also everybody knows that Vanderbilt is a better academic school than UT, but Duke just won the national championship, so it is not exactly like you can't win basketball games due to being a tough academic school. It seems like any time Vandy fans argue athletics with UT fans they always have to add the academic standards, and use it as a crutch. Thanks for letting this UT fan voice his opinion.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Ryan -- Good points, I basically agree with all of them. I think UT being successful under Bruce Pearl is good for the conference and good for Vanderbilt. It's part of why the convincing sweep of y'all this year was such a highlight of our season.

As for Coach Pearl's comments, not only should that stuff not be taken personally, we should be flattered that he feels threatened enough on the recruiting trail to be willing to dog our program on ESPN. And we should feel motivated to kick his ass again next season.

Anonymous said...

Vanderbilt will sweep the vile little orange again next year.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about the Elston Turner transfer rumors? I keep hearing more about it from random people...

Stanimal said...

Yes, I've been trying to dig further into that myself Anonymous.

For those that haven't read it over at Anchor of Gold, Elston Turner Jr., a 6'5" rising junior shooting guard from Washington, supposedly wants to transfer to Vandy. There has been discussion on a number of boards, but so far the rumor originates from the board moderator at UWDawgPound, which is an SBNation site much like Anchor of Gold.

Speaking with King James, I think we've both agreed that per the NCAA rules, he would need to sit out a year. Considering how badly we need guard depth right now, I'm not sure how it helps unless he can get a pass and somehow start playing for us this year. There are a couple of major guard prospects in the 2011 class that we're after in Kedren Johnson and Levi Randolph. It would seem better suited, with Brad, JJ, and Fuller, to add one of those two to our back court rather than take a transfer. While I think this transfer would be HUGE for us if he could play next year, it isn't as good a situation if he's not able to get out on the court until 2011-2012.

Anonymous said...

Bruce is gay.

So is american idol.

Stanimal said...

In response to Ryan and Seamus:

I specifically evaded the academic standards for a reason. It's a weak excuse for being unable to compete in college athletics. Sure it is AN excuse, and I think it carries more weight in football than basketball. However, it's a lame excuse and it certainly doesn't keep others from celebrating big achievements.

I'm not taking issue with program success. Tennessee made a bigger statement this year about their program than we did, despite our season sweep. We can talk about the sweep all we want, but they have an elite 8 in their back pocket. Jeff Green deprived us of that with his take five steps and shoot buzzer beater. We have choked the past 2 times we've been in the tournament. That's pretty much all there is to it.

My point is that college basketball, and for that matter college athletics, is so far bottom-line driven that some kids get to do whatever the heck they want to do just because they are tremendously gifted on a basketball court. I admire Pearl for pulling the plug on them AFTER they get into trouble, but frankly when you're at one of these BS factory mill AAU events where the players are represented by an entourage of 11321231 people and the kid is jumping in a Mercedes Benz (for those of you who read the fantastic NY Times article on Josh Selby), you should know that the kid probably doesn't care about contributing to a University in any other way than playing basketball. The fact that legal trouble is literally the only thing we care about with these people is absolutely egregious. I love college basketball as much as the next person and I oooh and aaaah whenever someone makes a disgusting dunk, but frankly that product derives FAR too much from underhand shoe deals, dirty AAU coaches trying to get on college staffs, and Worldwide William Wesley. MY point is that Tennessee, and more specifically Kentucky, has a version of recruiting that's vastly different from Vanderbilt's. It isn't that we take nothing but smart kids, I'm sure we've made exceptions in that realm. But in our basketball program, we don't kiss some scum bag representatives ass so that he'll put in a good word with his boy the 5-star shooting guard. In that sense, Bruce Pearl's version of "recruiting" is very different from ours. He cares about the bottom line. We care about overall quality of the individual in addition to their abilities as a basketball player.

I'm sure our kids do plenty of bad things. Anyone between the ages of 18-21 will tend to do that. But at least our kids refrain from getting on the police blotter for guns and weed. The reason is because we don't recruit them in the first place.

But as long as all of us are oooh and aaaah-ing and turning a blind eye to the underworld garbage of it, it gets condoned.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I'm pretty sure weed was the reason why JuJuan Brown "withdrew" from Vanderbilt. I don't think it was ever published explicitly but I would bet everything I own that is the reason.

Stanimal said...

In fairness, I probably should have just focused on "gun" and not "weed". After all, it would also be ignorant to turn a blind eye to the fact that pot is a frequent thing on college campuses.