Pressure gets to UT in exhibition defeat vs. Indy
Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:35 pm
By: By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Indianapolis coach Stan Gouard took a note out of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl’s own playbook to lead his Division II Greyhounds to an upset exhibition win over the 23rd-ranked Volunteers.
Gouard, who was part of Pearl’s 1995 Division II national championship team at Southern Indiana, had his players use Pearl’s trademark style of full-court pressure to force 25 turnovers en route to a 79-64 win over Tennessee on Monday night.
“He thought we did a great job of controlling the game,” Gouard said. “I owe a lot to him. I told him also that this was the toughest win I have ever had, because I could not get too excited. I felt like I was beating my dad. He is like a dad to me. I have tremendous respect for him.”
It’s not Tennessee’s first exhibition loss under Pearl — the Vols lost 103-98 to Pezinok BK while on a summer trip in Slovakia in 2007 — but it doesn’t do much to quell the questions about the coach, who is currently under NCAA investigation because of his staff’s recruiting practices.
Pearl acknowledged in September that he mislead investigators about photos taken of him and recruit Aaron Craft, when Pearl improperly hosted the prospect at his home in 2008. Tennessee also revealed he and his staff made excessive calls to recruits.
It also created questions for a young Volunteers squad that no longer has center Wayne Chism or guards J.P. Prince and Bobby Maze, three players who bailed the team out of trouble last season and led it to an NCAA regional finals appearance.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the progress we’ve made, or lack of progress,” Pearl said. “What you saw Indianapolis do to us was using our system — taking the fast break, being patient in the halfcourt and then breaking it down in the end. They were patient. They had a purpose out there. They had chemistry. They were better coached. They knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to execute their game plan.”
Darius Adams scored 27 points for the Greyhounds, who shot only 41.2 percent from the field but scored 25 points off the takeaways and hit 33 of 40 free throws.
Tennessee lead by as many as 10 points in the first half and was up 40-31 just before halftime, but never looked fully composed. A free throw by Adams before the break and a layup by Nate Blank after it launched a 16-0 run, which was helped by three fouls and five more turnovers by the Vols..
To compound Tennessee’s turnover troubles, the Vols were a woeful 14 of 27 from the free throw line and only hit seven of their 29 shots from behind the arc. Scotty Hopson and Skylar McBee had both fouled out with just under six minutes to play.
Cameron Tatum lead the Vols with 15 points, and freshman Tobias Harris added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“Mostly it’s embarrassing,” guard Melvin Goins said. “I think that’s the one word that wraps it up. Just an embarrassment to ourselves and to our fans.”