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December 2011 Archives

Happy Birthday - Dec. 31 - Chievous, Lane, J.Smith

A trio of Vols birthdays on the final day of the year, Dec. 31. We wish Happy Birthday to basketball freshman Quinton Chievous, football freshman running back Marlin Lane Jr. and sophomore defensive lineman Jacques Smith.

Quinton Chievous  Marlin Lane Jr.  Jacques Smith

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/31)

Trae Golden Underwent Successful Surgery for his Nasal Fracture on Friday. Read more of the media coverage and a feature on Renaldo Woolridge from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

GOLDEN UNDERGOES SURGERY FOR NASAL FRACTURE


Tennessee senior associate athletic trainer Chad Newman has reported that basketball player Trae Golden underwent a surgical procedure Friday morning to correct a minor nasal fracture.

The procedure took place at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The sophomore point guard initially suffered the injury to his nose in practice Dec. 16. He should return to practice Saturday and is expected to be cleared to play in the Vols' Jan. 2 home game against Chattanooga (7 p.m. ET, SportSouth).

ON TOUR: Smith Starts 2012 Season in Brisbane

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith is set to start 2012 in a big way Saturday by entering the qualifying draw of his first ATP Tour-level event: the Brisbane International.


Playing in his home state of Queensland, Australia, Smith faces a very familiar foe in the first round: former UCLA Bruin Michael Look.


Look defeated Smith in an incredibly tight match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Playoffs in December. 


Smith is currently ranked No. 438 in the ATP World Tour Rankings, a career best.


On the other side of the world, a few Vols have a few weeks to wait before beginning their pro circuit. Tennys Sandgren starts his year Jan. 9 with a Futures event in Plantation, Fla.

Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/30)

Behind a monster game from freshman Yemi Makanjuola, the Vols Beat The Citadel, 86-55. Check out the following recaps on the win along with some news on newcomer Jarnell Stokes.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols' Makanjuola has double-double
- Inside Tennessee: Mount Yemi erupts
- Volquest: It's Yemi-time!
- Charleston Post Courier: Tennessee too much for Citadel, Groselle

Happy Birthday - Dec. 30 - Soccer's Bailey, Swimmer Gaeckle

On Dec. 30, we wish Happy Birthday to soccer sophomore Tori Bailey and freshman swimmer Erin Gaeckle.


Tori Bailey  Erin Gaeckle

Happy Birthday - Dec. 29 - Swimmer Atlantis Wilkins

On Dec. 29, we wish Happy Birthday to senior swimmer Atlantis Wilkins.


Atlantis Wilkins

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/29)

The Vols take on The Citadel tonight at 7 p.m., check out the following preview stories on the game as UT seeks to even its record at 6-6.

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/29)

With the release of the SEC 2012 football schedule, here are some stories on the Vols' upcoming slate of games for year year.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Schedule encouraging for UT
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: 2012 SEC football schedule shuffle
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Eight wins attainable UT target

Stories On Foster, Wells Making Pro Bowl

Check out these stories on former Vols Arian Foster and Scott Wells making the NFL Pro Bowl. It's Foster's second trip and Wells' first.


- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Pro Bowl honor special for Rodgers

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/28)

The Vols are prepping for Thursday's match-up with The Citadel. Check out the latest stories on Cuonzo Martin's squad:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT Vols look ahead to Jarnell Stokes' arrival

Happy Birthday - Dec. 28: Hannah Trainer

On Dec. 28, we wish Happy Birthday to freshman infielder Hannah Trainer.


Happy Birthday - Dec. 27: Tyler Bray & Skylar McBee

On Dec. 27, we wish Happy Birthday to football quarterback Tyler Bray and basketball guard Skylar McBee.

Tyler Bray  Skylar McBee  

Vols In NFL Update (12/27)

It was a big night for several former Vols in the Saints' 45-16 win over the Falcons

- Robert Meachem had three catches for 75 yards including a 24-yard touchdown reception (WATCH HIGHLIGHT). On defense, Jabari Greer was the team's leading tackler with 10 stops including a TFL and a pass defended. Aubrayo Franklin made two tackles also. 

  

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/26)

The Vols and Lady Vols had a few days off for Christmas. Before their break they sat down with the 10Sports team to share some of their favorite Christmas traditions, along with their most memorable gifts given and received. Check out the video: Tennessee Basketball Christmas.

Also, from the Knoxville News Sentinel: Trae Golden needs 'to play with confidence'

Vols In NFL Update (12/25)

Here's a look at former Vols in action in Saturday's NFL games:

Broncos lost at Buffalo, 40-14 in a game that Robert Ayers had a tackle on defense for the Broncos. Britton Colquitt had seven punts for  a 43.7 average. 

Patriots rallied to beat Miami, 27-24 in a game with five former Vols. Jerod Mayo was stellar with 13 tackles including two sacks and two quarterback hurries. Shaun Ellis had three tackles, a sack, TFL and two QB hurries. With the Dolphins, Kevin Burnett had nine tackles, Tony McDaniel and Marvin Mitchell each had a tackle.

Ravens topped Cleveland, 20-14 as Morgan Cox snapped nine times on punts and kicks. Montario Hardesty is still sidelined for the Browns.

Oakland came back to beat Kansas City in overtime, 16-13 as Denarius Moore had a 61-yard touchdown (WATCH HIGHLIGHT) as part of nine catches for 94 yards with the Raiders. With the Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt punted three times for a 48.7 average.  


Giants beat the Jets, 29-14 as Deon Grant had five tackles and two passes defended. 

Minnesota outscored Washington, 33-26 despite a big day fron Donte Stallworth, who had five catches for 59 yards including a 5-yard TD (WATCH HIGHLIGHT). With the Vikings, Anthony Herrera started at right guard. 


Carolina thumped Tampa Bay, 48-16. Luke Stocker had three catches for 16 yards for the Bucs. 

Cincinnati moved in playoff position with a 23-16 win over Arizona. Gibril Wilson didn't have a stop, but played defense. 

Pittsburgh blanked St. Louis, 27-0 as Ramon Foster continued to start at right guard for the Steelers. 

Philadelphia hatled Dallas, 20-7 despite Jason Witten's four catches for 24 yards for the Cowboys. 

San Francisco beat Seattle, 19-17 as Parys Haralson had a tackle and a quarterback hurry for the 49ers. 

- On Sunday night, the Packers moved to 14-1 with a 35-21 win over Chicago. Scott Wells started at center for Green Bay.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 25 - Track's Desmond Brown

We wish a special Happy Birthday on Christmas Day to Desmond Brown of the track and field team.  

Desmond Brown  

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/24)

Golden, Hall Keyed The Vols' 66-63 Win on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. Check out these recaps and stories on new basketball addition Jarnell Stokes.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols battle back to beat ETSU, 66-63
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jarnell Stokes a once-a-decade signee
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols rally past Bucs with Golden flurry
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Memphis star Jarnell Stokes picks UT
- Daily News Journal: Stokes picks the Vols
- Inside Tennessee: Golden finish

Happy Birthday - Dec. 24: A.J. Johnson

On Dec. 24, we wish Happy Birthday to Freshman All-American A.J. Johnson.

A.J. Johnson

Happy Birthday - Dec. 23: Football's Crowder & Lathers

On Dec. 23, we send Happy Birthday wishes to freshman offensive lineman Mack Crowder and junior linebacker Herman Lathers.

Mack Crowder  Herman Lathers

Vols In NFL Update (12/23)

Former Vols star Arian Foster ran for 158 yards on 23 carries including a touchdown, but his Texans lost to the Colts, 19-16 on Thursday night. Watch some highlights of Foster from NFL.com: Foster hits the hole for 30 and Foster finds the end zone. He also had three catches for 16 yards. On defense, Jason Allen had three tackles including a TFL. 

Peyton Manning was on the sidelines for the Colts as he is out for the season.


Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/23)

Check out previews as the Vols take on ETSU tonight at 7 p.m., in the final game before Christmas.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Cuonzo Martin makes message clear to Vols
- Kingsport Times News: Bucs hope to snap streak against Vols

Happy Birthday - Dec. 22: Swimmer Isaac Taylor

Happy Birthday on Dec. 22 to Knoxville native, freshman swimmer Isaac Taylor.

Isaac Taylor

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/22)

The Knoxville News Sentinel has a feature story on Renaldo Woolridge and his break-out game against UNC Asheville on Tuesday night. Check out: Stepping up: Woolridge's outburst something to consider.

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/22)

Happy Winter! The Vols signed defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore, who played last season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as JUCO Signing Period opened on Wednesday. Here are some of the media's story on the Louisiana native.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols land former Alabama lineman
- Volquest: Sentimore is a Vol

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/21)

UT Signees Finish Top-12 at Jones Cup Junior

A pair of Tennessee signees posted excellent showings at the Jones Cup Junior Invitational, which finished play Tuesday at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons, Ga.

Grant Daugherty finished ninth and Chad Merzbacher 12th in the 78-player field made up of the top 18-and-under male amateur golfers who are not enrolled full time at a university or college.

Daugherty closed with his best score of the tournament, a 2-over-par 72. The Alcoa native was tied for 16th place entering Tuesday's action after opening with rounds of 75-73. He finished at 10-over-par 220 for the tournament.

Merzbacher shot 76 Tuesday after consecutive rounds of 73 had him tied for ninth heading into the third and final round. The Dublin, Ohio, product finished at 12-over 222.

Both Merzbacher and Daugherty managed only one birdie apiece in Tuesday's final round on the difficult Seaside Course, which every April hosts the SEC Men's Golf Championship.

Daugherty and Merzbacher joined Michael Nagy of Manistique, Mich., last month to form the heralded 2011 Tennessee men's golf signing class. The trio enrolls at UT in fall 2012.

Final scores for the 2011 Jones Cup Junior Invitational can be found here.

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/20)

Check out GAMEDAY CENTRAL: Vols vs. UNC Asheville as Tennessee returns to the court tonight.

Here are some game previews from the media:

- Inside Tennessee: Golden breaks nose
- Asheville Citizen-Times: UNC Asheville seeks revenge

Happy Birthday - Dec. 20: Swimmer Grace Ann Sanderson

On Dec. 20, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore freestyle swimmer Grace Anne Sanderson.

Grace Anne Sanderson

Remembering Reggie White

Former Tennessee football legend and NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White would have turned 50 today. Born on December 19, 1961, he passed away on December 26, 2004.


Sports Illustrated posted a gallery of rare photos earlier today. CLICK HERE to view them.

In his four years with the Vols, White collected a school-record 32 sacks in establishing himself as the most prolific pass rusher in Tennessee history. In 42 career games, he also had totals of 293 tackles (201 unassisted), 19 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and seven pass break-ups.

The 1983 captain drew little publicity, until the sixth game of his senior year. By then, his domination was evident. He collected 100 tackles on the season, 72 of them unassisted, and set the school record with 15 sacks for the year. White's senior campaign earned him All-SEC, SEC Player of the Year and consensus All-America honors. 

White was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and posthumously into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006. In 15 NFL seasons, "The Minister of Defense" collected 198 sacks, second i the all-time NFL record book behind Bruce Smith, and was named All-Pro 13 times, including eight first-team selections.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 19: Brent Brewer

Happy Birthday on Dec. 19 to junior-to-be defensive back Brent Brewer

Brent Brewer

Vols In NFL Update (12/19)

Here is a look back at how the former Vols in the NFL performed on Sunday. 

Green Bay's perfect season came to an end with a surprising loss to Kansas City, 19-14. Scott Wells continued to start at center for the Packers. With the Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt had two punts for a 49.5 average in the stunning win. 

New Orleans routed Minnesota, 42-20 as several former Vols played in the game. Robert Meachem had two catches for 22 yards and a rush for four yards. On defense, Jabari Greer made four tackles. Aubrayo Franklin didn't make a tackle and Turk McBride continued to be sidelined with an ankle injury. With the Vikings, Anthony Herrera started at right guard. 


Miami won at Buffalo, 30-23 as three former Vols continued on defense and special teams with the Dolphins. Kevin Burnett made five tackles, Tony McDaniel had four stops and Marvin Mitchell had three special teams tackles and a forced fumble. 

Washington thwarted the Giants, 23-10 as Donte' Stallworth had two catches for 35 yards with the Redskins. On the Giants defense, Deon Grant made two tackles. 


Carolina ended Houston's 7-game win streak with a 28-13 win. Omar Gaither played on defense for the Panthers, but had no stops. With the Texans, Arian Foster continued his monster season with 16 carries for 109 yards and a 1-yard touchdown (WATCH HIGHLIGHT) along with five catches for 58 yards. On defense, Jason Allen had four total tackles. 


Cincinnati beat St. Louis, 20-13 as Gibril Wilson had two tackles for the Bengals, who kept their playoff hopes alive. 

New England dispatched Denver, 41-23 as Jerod Mayo, who signed a new five-year contract extension, had a team-high eight tackles. Shaun Ellis also had a stop. With the Broncos, Britton Colquitt punted three times for a 47.3 average. Robert Ayers had two tackles with a TFL. 


Detroit came back to beat Oakland, 28-27. With the Raiders, Denarius Moore returned to action and had two catches for 13 yards. On defense, John Henderson didn't play due to a knee ailment.


Arizona rallied to win in overtime, again, 20-17 as two Vols were sidelined with injuries. Montario Hardesty is ailing with a calf injury with the Browns. With the Cardinals. Dan Williams is out with an arm injury. 

- In the Sunday night game, San Diego topped the Ravens, 34-14. With Baltimore, Morgan Cox snapped five times on kicks and punts. 

- The Monday night game pits former Vols on opposite sides as San Francisco hosts Pittsburgh with 49ers linebacker Parys Haralson lining up against Steelers guard Ramon Foster. 

Former Vol & Current Vol Spread Holiday Cheer

The Knoxville News Sentinel has a story on former Vols' running back Jabari Davis and current Vols back Devrin Young making the most of the holiday season. The "J-Train" helped make Christmas come one week early for 34 foster children, whose ages ranged from tots to teens, as he emceed an early-evening dinner that ended with gifts galore.

Entire Dave Hart Interview With Knoxville News Sentinel

Check out Andrew Gribble's entire interview with Tennessee Athletics Director Dave Hart, which took place last week:

HART OF IT ALL: My entire conversation with Dave Hart

Happy Birthday - Dec. 18 - Runner Brittany Sheffey

On Dec. 18, we wish Happy Birthday to senior cross country and track & field performer Brittany Sheffey.

Tennesse

Jerod Mayo Agrees To 5-Year Extension With Patriots

Former Vols star Jerod Mayo has agreed to a five-year extension to remain with the New England Patriots. Mayo and New England play Denver on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. Here are some stories from the media about signing and Mayo's impact. 

Vols In NFL Update (12/18)

In Saturday's NFL game pitting the Cowboys and Buccaneers, three former Vols were in action. Dallas topped Tampa Bay, 31-15.

Jason Witten had four catches for 77 yards with Dallas.

With Tampa Bay on defense, Albert Haynesworth had five tackles.

Rookie Luke Stocker had his ninth catch of the season, for four yards with the Bucs. 

A.D. Dave Hart Meets With Media

Tennessee Athletics Director Dave Hart took part in several one-on-one interviews on Thursday. He spoke about his expectations for UT athletics. You can read the media stories here:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT athletic director offers insights


Richardson Shows Off Piano Skills

Vols freshman guard Josh Richardson has shown some potential this season. What you may not know is Richardson's talents extend beyond the court.

Vols fans have seen Josh Richardson show his versatility this season. Whether it is knocking down the three ball or attacking the rim Richardson has shown a number of skills.

However, he has also played classical piano since he was a child.

Check out this WBIR feature: Vol freshman basketball player also has another skill

USA Softball Q&A With Tennessee's Lauren Gibson

In the December (2011) issue of Balls and Strikes Magazine, USA Softball's Jamie Blanchard conducted a question and answer session with Tennessee junior and October USA Softball Female Athlete of the Month Lauren Gibson.  The Pasadena, Md., native made her presence felt in a major way during Team USA's gold-medal run in October at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, by hitting .529 (9-for-17) at the plate with eight runs scored and eight RBIs as the Americans went 9-0.  Gibson slugged a staggering 1.118 during the event and even blasted a home run during the 11-1 (4 inn.) title game victory over Canada.

Balls and Strikes Online Magazine Dec. 2011 (Gibson Q&A on pgs. 58-59)

Q-A with Lauren Gibson.pdf



Allan Houston Settling Into New Role


Former Vol and NBA great Allan Houston is settling into his new role in the New York Knicks organization as the general manager of the team's D-League Erie BayHawks affiliate. Here's a great read on how UT's all-time leading scorer is transitioning:

Erie Times News: Houston Reaching Out, Connecting with Players

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/15)

2012 Baseball Game Times Set

Game times for all 55 games in Dave Serrano's first season as the head coach of the Tennessee baseball team have been set. The complete 2012 schedule can be found here.

The Vols will open the 2012 campaign with a three-game set against Northern Illinois, Feb. 17-19 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville. 

For more information about complete and partial season ticket plans, visit UTTix.com.

Dickey to Receive Award at Thurman Munson Dinner

Former Vol and current New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will be honored at the 32nd Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Jan. 31 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Dickey will be presented with a "Thurman" at the gala, which benefits AHRC-New York City Foundation

The Thurman Award is presented for success on the field of play and philanthropic works off of it. Dickey helps to operate the Ocala, Fla.-based Honoring the Father Ministries which provides medical supplies, powdered milk and baseball equipment to the impoverished in Latin American countries. 

Dickey and his wife, Anne, are also preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in early January to benefit Bombay Teen Challenge and its Red Light District Outreach Mumbai effort. They have set a goal of raising $100,000 to help address the issue of human trafficking in Mumbai.

To help support the cause with a donation, CLICK HERE.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 14: Tyler Porter

On Dec. 14, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore pole vaulter Tyler Porter.

Tyler Porter

Vols Among ESPN's Top Freshmen In 2011

ESPN.com's Todd McShay released his 2011 Freshmen Rankings, which includes Tennessee's linebacker A.J. Johnson at No. 17.

ESPN has this analysis on Johnson: Johnson is a tough between-the-tackles run stuffer who uses his hands to keep blockers from getting to his frame. He shows above-average discipline and rarely is caught out of position. While he's an average athlete and is exposed in space on occasion, he's a strong wrap-up tackler who doesn't let ball-carriers slip though his grasp once he's latched on. Johnson is fluid and strong enough to match up with most tight ends in man coverage, and he also has above-average awareness in zone coverage.

Fellow linebacker Curt Maggitt is listed as "Honorable Mention" 

Within the SEC, Chris Low has the following rankings: The SEC's top freshmen in 2011. That list has Johnson at No. 3, Maggitt at No. 6 and Brian Randolph at No. 8. 

Here are Low's breakdowns:

3. A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee: He started in 10 of the Vols' 12 games and led all SEC freshmen with 80 tackles, which was second on Tennessee's team. He had his best games against the best teams with 11 tackles against LSU, 12 against South Carolina and 13 against Alabama. 

6. Curt Maggitt, LB, Tennessee: One of the more promising big-play defenders in the league, Maggitt tied for third on Tennessee's team with 56 total tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. He started in eight games. 

8. Brian Randolph, S, Tennessee: He started in eight games and led all Tennessee defensive backs with 55 total tackles. Randolph was a safety for most of the season but started at cornerback against Alabama. 

Antone Davis Finishes 2nd In 'The Biggest Loser'

Former Vols star lineman Antone Davis lost 202 pounds as he slimmed down from 447 pounds to 245, but that wasn't enough to help him capture the title of "The Biggest Loser." John Rhode lost 220 pounds to claim the $250,000 prize on the NBC TV Show. Here are a few stories on the championship round which took place on Tuesday night:


If you missed it, here is our story on Davis on UTSports.com: Davis Already Winning on `Biggest Loser'

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/14)

The Vols tip with the College of Charleston, tonight at 9 p.m., on ESPN2. Here are a few stories to get your set for the day.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols seek payback at Charleston
- Charleston Post Courier: Cougars eager for rematch with Vols

Paisley Misses Cut at Euro Q-School Finals

Former Tennessee golfer Chris Paisley missed the cut Tuesday at the 2011 European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Girona, Spain.

Paisley shot a fourth-round 72, good for even par on the Stadium Course at the PGA Catalunya Resort but not good enough to make the top 70 and ties. The Newcastle, England, native finished his four days in a tie for 83rd place at a cumulative score of 1 under par, which was two strokes below the cut line.

The top 30 players and ties after Thursday's final round earn membership on the 2012 European Tour.

Paisley began his bid Saturday on the Tour Course with a 3-under-par 67. He shot 1-under 71 Sunday on the Stadium Course, before returning to the Tour Course on Monday for a 3-over 73.

A Vols team captain in 2009 and four-year letterman, Pasisley advanced to the European Q-School final stage by finishing fourth at his Second Qualifying Stage on Dec. 2-5 in Murcia, Spain. Paisley posted 9 under par after rounds of 72, 65, 70 and 68 against a field of 72 golfers.

Paisley now is eligible for limited membership on the Challenge Tour, which is the equivalent of the Nationwide Tour in the United States.

Paisley sparkled in 2011 on the Alps Tour, winning three times in only eight starts with one second- and one third-place finish to claim more than $37,000 in winnings. He also competed in 10 Challenge Tour events, making seven cuts and finishing 68th with money winnings of nearly $33,000.

The European Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/13)

Vols coach Cuonzo Martin held his weekly press luncheon on Monday which provided content for the following stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Cuonzo Martin hints at changes in lineup
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Are Vols up to a win streak?
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Cuonzo pointed on Golden evaluation

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/13)

On Monday, Tennessee announced Multiple Vols Underwent Successful Surgery. Read about that and more stories from the media including a feature on Florida's Marcus Jackson:

Paisley Fighting to Stay in Euro Q-School Finals

Former Tennessee golfer Chris Paisley needs a solid round Tuesday to stay alive at the 2011 European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage.

Paisley opened the scheduled six-rounds-in-six-days tournament with a 67 Saturday, but followed that start with rounds of 71 and 73 the last two days to fall into a tie for 74th place. That places the Newcastle, England, native just outside the cut line (top 70 and ties) for advancement to the final two rounds in Girona, Spain.

Paisley, who was a Vols team captain in 2009 and four-year letterman, advanced to the finals of Europe's Q-School by finishing fourth at his Second Qualifying Stage on Dec. 2-5 in Murcia, Spain. Paisley posted 9 under par after rounds of 72, 65, 70 and 68 against a field of 72 golfers.

Five days later, he was teeing it up with 156 contestants vying for spots either on the 2012 European PGA Tour or Challenge Tour, which is equivalent to the Nationwide Tour in the United States. The top 30 players plus ties at the final stage become eligible for Category 11 Membership on the European Tour, which usually translates into approximately 18 tournaments appearances.

Players who make the cut but finish below 30th place are eligible for Category 14 (limited) Membership on the European Tour and Category 7 Membership on the Challenge Tour. Players who miss the cut are eligible for limited membership on the Challenge Tour.

Paisley sparkled in 2011 on the Alps Tour, winning three times in only eight starts with one second- and one third-place finish to earn more than $37,000. He also competed in 10 Challenge Tour events, making seven cuts and finishing 68th on the money list with winnings of nearly $33,000.

The current European Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Dave Serrano Invites Vol Fans to 2012 Leadoff Banquet

Tennessee Head Coach Dave Serrano invites Volunteer fans to the 19th Annual Tennessee Baseball Leadoff Banquet on Wednesday, January 18, at the Knoxville Convention Center.

This year's guest speaker will be two-time World Series Champion manager with the Boston Red Sox and current ESPN analyst Terry Francona. Former Vol and current New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will also be inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame.

Tickets start at just $40 per person or $350 for a table of 10. They can be purchased online at www.UTTix.com/BaseballBanquet or by calling (865) 974-9001.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 12: Leslie Cikra, Cat Hosfield

Happy Birthday to volleyball junior Leslie Cikra and softball senior pitcher Cat Hosfield on Dec. 12.

Leslie Cikra  Cat Hosfield

Vols In NFL Update (12/12)

It was another busy weekend for former Vols in the NFL. Jerod Mayo had his second interception in as many weeks -- the first two of his career -- to save the game for the Patriots. Donte' Stallworth had his biggest game of the season for the Redskins. Here's a look at the former Vols.

The Patriots held on for a 34-27 win in Washington as Jerod Mayo intercepted Rex Grossman on a deflection with 20 seconds left to thwart the Redskins' rally (WATCH HIGHLIGHT). Mayo had a team-best nine tackles along with a quarterback hurry and a pass defended. Shaun Ellis had three tackles for New England. With the Redskins, Donte' Stallworth had four catches for 96 yards including a 51-yard catch (WATCH HIGHLIGHT).


Texans clinched a playoff spot with a 20-19 comeback win at Cincinnati. Arian Foster had 15 carries for 41 rushing yards along with four catches for 33 yards. On defense, Jason Allen had a tackle and pass defended for Houston. Gibril Wilson played for the Bengals, but had no tackles. 


Jacksonville handled Tampa Bay, 41-14. With the Bucs, Albert Haynesworth had a tackle and quarterback hurry while Luke Stocker didn't have a catch as a back-up tight end. 

New Orleans rallied to beat Tennessee, 22-17 in a return to the Volunteer state for several former Vols. Robert Meachem had a catch for 15 yards with the Saints. On defense, Jabari Greer had three tackles and a pass defended. Aubrayo Franklin also had a tackle.

Philadelphia beat Miami, 26-10 as three former Vols played on defense for the Dolphins. Kevin Burnett had four tackles including a TFL, Tony McDaniel had two tackles including a 10-yard sack and a quarterback hurry and Marvin Mitchell saw action, but had no stops. 

The Jets blew out Kansas City, 37-10. With the Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt had seven punts for a 51.3 average with three punts inside the 20-yard line and a 61-yard long. 

Atlanta topped Carolina, 31-23 as Omar Gaither had a tackle with the Panthers. 

Arizona edged San Francisco, 21-19, with the 49ers Parys Haralson had a tackle for loss. 

Ravens kept the Colts winless, winning 24-10 as Morgan Cox, who was featured on UTSports.com last week snapped on seven punts and kicks fo Baltimore. 

Lions topped the Vikings, 34-28 and Anthony Herrera, who started at right guard for Minnesota.

Denver and Tim Tebow had another late rally to win, 13-10 in OT against Chicago. With the Broncos, Robert Ayers had three tackles. Britton Colquitt punted eight times for a 45.4 average with three inside the 20-yard line for Denver.

Green Bay stayed perfect with a 46-16 beating of Oakland with Scott Wells starting at center for the Packers. With Oakland, John Henderson had a tackle and two passes defended. Denarius Moore is still out with a foot injury. 

- In the Sunday night game, the New York Giants blocked a field goal to hold on for a 37-34 win over Dallas. Deon Grant had three tackles and a fumble recovery ( WATCH HIGHLIGHT) for the Giants.  With the Cowboys, Jason Witten had three catches for 12 yards. 

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/12)

Vols' head coach Cuonzo Martin will hold his weekly press luncheon on Monday as the team preps for a 7-1 College of Charleston team which UT will face on Wednesday (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Here is the latest on the team from the Knoxville News Sentinel: Cuonzo Martin: 'We have to play as a unit'.

Jabari Greer Featured In Knoxville News Sentinel

Former Tennessee defensive back Jabari Greer is featured in Sunday's Knoxville News Sentinel in this story by Andrew Gribble: Former Vol Jabari Greer's dreams coming true on the field, on his blog

Greer has been writing a blog for the New Orleans Time-Picayune which provides him a platform for his thoughts and ideas. 

"My ultimate dream would be to be in a writer's meeting and just spitting out ideas at 12 o'clock on a Wednesday for my next career," Greer said. "Just to be able to be funny and say, 'You know what would be funny? If this guy in a banana suit came in and farted.' Silly stuff like that and call that work. That would be a great next progression."

Read the full story: Former Vol Jabari Greer's dreams coming true on the field, on his blog

Prep Football Award To Honor Harry Galbreath

Former Vols offensive lineman, the late Harry Galbreath will be honored with an award in his name.

Galbreath, who died unexpectedly on July 27, 2010, in Mobile, Ala., always demonstrated the character of someone whose priorities were his family, community and charity work.

Galbreath's football reputation and charity work will forever be linked to Clarksville, and a special award in his honor -- the Harry Galbreath Lineman of the Year Award -- will be bestowed to an All-Area high school football performer on Jan. 10 as part of a community effort involving The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville Rotary Club, Clarksville Downtown Kiwanis Club and Charter Communications.

Read the full story in the Leaf-Chronicle.

Harry Galbreath

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/11)

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/10)

The Knoxville News Sentinel had two stories related to Friday's UT graduation ceremonies. Read the following stories on three members of the 2011 squad to get their degrees along with one who graduated 17 years after arriving at Rocky Top:

Saturday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/10)

The Vols face Austin Peay Saturday at 12 Noon in a game that airs on CSS. Check out these game previews from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols unluckiest power conference team?
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Hoop Vols' Tatum gets his degree

Happy Birthday - Dec. 9: Hannah Hut

Happy Birthday on Dec. 9 to senior soccer player Hannah Hut

Hannah Hut   

Former Vol Jason Witten Featured On Today Show

Former Vols star tight end Jason Witten was featured on the Today Show this morning as he spoke about his SCORE Foundation, which tackles domestic abuse. 

Fans know Jason Witten as a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, but his road to the NFL was a bumpy one. Now he's made it his mission to use his success to help other kids who've witnessed domestic abuse. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports:


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

KNS: Bryson's Long Road To Graduation

The Knoxville News Sentinel's Andrew Gribble has a nice feature on former Vol and NFL player Shawn Bryson, who is graduating from UT on Friday: Shawn Bryson reaches endzone

Here's a glimpse:

The commute never became routine. In the final weeks, with his ultimate goal finally in sight, it only grew more difficult.

For the past 15 Tuesdays, former Tennessee fullback Shawn Bryson would wake up at 3:30 a.m. in his Atlanta home and be on UT's campus by 8 a.m. Five classes and 12 hours later, the 35-year-old Bryson would check into a local hotel.

Wednesdays were spent exclusively at the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, where he'd spend hours with his tutors and rub elbows with current UT student-athletes. Thursdays were just like Tuesdays -- five classes, 12 hours, barely any time to eat -- only the three-hour drive came at the end of the day, bringing him back to his family and reminding him why exactly he was putting himself through this arduous grind in the first place.

Friday, nearly 13 years since he ended his UT career with a national title, Bryson will graduate with a bachelor's degree in political science.

"When you're on a mission to do it, it's not a big deal," Bryson said. "I've dedicated my time to get this done and out of the way.

"I'm on a mission to get it finished."

Read the full story in the Knoxville News Sentinel: Shawn Bryson reaches endzone

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (12/9)

The honors continue to roll in for the Tennessee football squad. On Thursday Four Vols were named to SEC All-Freshman Team. Here are some media stories on the honorees:

Happy Birthday - Dec. 8: Mary Pollmiller & Jake Rowland

On Dec. 8, we wish Happy Birthday to freshman volleyball setter Mary Pollmiller and freshman baseball outfielder Jake Rowland.

Tennesse

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/8)

The Vols are prepping for Saturday's game with Austin Peay, read up on senior Cameron Tatum, who graduates on Friday, a day before playing the Govs in the Vol Hoops Report: Dec. 7. Also read Cuonzo Martin's Press Luncheon Transcript from Wednesday.

Here are the media stories on the hoops team:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT's Jeronne Maymon looks to pick up rebounding
- Inside Tennessee: Tough row to hoe

Antone Davis' Blog On Making Biggest Loser Finals

'The Biggest Loser' final three are John Rhode, Antone Davis of Knoxville and Ramon Medeiros.

Former Vols football star Antone Davis has made the finals of the "Biggest Loser". Check out his latest blog entry on Knoxville.com where Davis made a return to Neyland Stadium. Davis was greeted by former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer and talks about how special the return to Rocky Top was. 

A Climb and a Cause

Former Vol and current New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January, in part to raise awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization that rescues and cares for women and girls in Mumbai who are at risk of being abused and exploited. 

Dickey will be occasionally posting updates and information about his upcoming trip in The New York Times baseball blog, "Bats."


Happy Birthday - Dec. 7: Briana Bass

On Dec. 7, we wish Happy Birthday to senior women's basketball guard Briana Bass.

Briana Bass

Stories on Jay Graham's Hiring As Vols' Assistant

Smith Upsets No. 4 Seed at Australian Open Playoffs


Former Vol John-Patrick Smith recorded the first upset of the Australian Open Playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals and continue his quest for a Grand Slam wild card.

With a late break in the first set and a strong tiebreaker in the second, Smith ousted fourth-seeded and world No. 257 Chris Guccione 7-5, 7-6 (3) at Melbourne Park on Wednesday morning.

Smith now stands three matches away from earning a wild card into the Australian Open in January. He plays eighth-seeded Michael Look in the quarterfinals Friday.

Smith held his nerve facing break points while serving at 4-5 in the second set to eventually force a tiebreaker. From there, he laced several well-placed returns against Guccione, including a passing crosscourt winner to set up a match point opportunity at 6-3.

"He was serving bombs, and you know the main thing today was just to make a lot of returns and when the ball went in, to make sure he hit another volley," Smith told Tennis Australia on court after the match. "It was tough out there because the ball was bouncing pretty high and he gets a lot of movement off his serve. Just trying to take care of my service game and work on his."

Standing at 6-foot-7, the left-handed Guccione brought an obvious weapon to the match: his serve.  Taking advantage of second serves, Smith was able to break Guccione twice in the first set, including a critical one at 5-5.

"You can't really let his serve get too high on you," said Smith, who is currently ranked No. 441 in the world. "It has so much spin that it's going to be a tough shot to play. I made sure to hit it waist high. Any higher and I would have been struggling."

In his first six months as a professional player, Smith is looking for his inaugural appearance in a Grand Slam, either in qualifying or the main draw. He reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open junior competition in 2007.

On the other side, Guccione was no newcomer when it comes to major tournaments. He has appeared in the main draw of every Grand Slam, including the Australian Open six times. He reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 67 in 2008.

"I have a lot of respect for Gooch," Smith said. "He's a Davis Cup player. He probably didn't have a great day today. It's just like tennis always. It's just one match, and I'm sure he'll be ready for the summer."

IN THE NEWS

Smith's upset of the former top 100 Guiccione has generated headlines in Australia on Wednesday, garnering attention from Australia's Davis Cup manager Todd Woodbridge, who told the wire service he would not be surprised to see the former Vol rise to the top 200 in the next six months.

Townsville Bulletin: Smith an Open chance

Happy Birthday - Dec. 6: Rower Rachel White

On Dec. 6, we wish Happy Birthday to sophomore rower and Knoxville native Rachel White.

Rachel White

Smith Wins Opener at Australian Open Playoff


Former Vol John-Patrick Smith earned a straight-set victory at the Australian Open Playoffs to start his bid for a wild card into his home country's Grand Slam.

Smith brought an aggressive game to Melbourne Park on Tuesday morning, beating 19-year-old Maverick Banes 6-1, 6-3 to reach the round of 16.

The reigning SEC Athlete of the Year settled down quickly after getting broken in his first serving game, winning eight consecutive games to take the first set 6-1 and go ahead 2-0 in the second. He frequently approached the net when given the chance and kept Banes on the defensive behind the baseline.

"I'm always working on my game, trying to move forward a bit and transition better this year," Smith told Tennis Australia on court after the match. "Hopefully that will continue to go."

Smith literally has a tall task ahead of him in the round of 16 when he faces 6-foot-7 Chris Guccione. The big-serving lefty is the fourth seed in the tournament and is ranked No. 257 in the world.

Smith has beaten two top 300 players this year, both victories occurring in his November season finale at the JSM Challenger in Champaign, Ill.

"It was a good match, and I'm glad I get a chance at Guccione," Smith said. "Obviously, it'll be a tough match tomorrow, but I just gotta keep working hard and take my chances like today."

The winner of the tournament receives a wild card into the main draw of January's Australian Open. No Vol has played in a main draw of a Grand Slam since associate head coach Chris Woodruff made the round of 64 in the US Open in 2001.

Smith once again has the first match on court Wednesday. His meeting with Guccione begins at 10 a.m. local time, which is 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. Live streaming video of the match will be available on Tennis Australia's website here.

The tournament draw is here.

FEATURE STORY
Prior to the tournament, Tennis Australia ran this feature story about Smith's journey and tennis development through playing at Tennessee.

Prior to joining the Vols, Smith was among the most successful junior players in Australia -- and the world. He rose as high as No. 6 in the ITF junior world rankings, but Smith discusses how playing for the Vols prepared him for the pro circuit.

Smith Set for Australian Open Playoffs


Former Vol John-Patrick Smith starts his quest for a main draw wild card in the Australian Open tonight when he plays his first-round match of the Australian Open Playoffs on Tuesday morning at Melbourne Park.

Smith faces fellow Queenslander Maverick Banes to start the 24-player tournament. The winner of the match faces third-seeded and world No. 254 Chris Guccione in the round of 16.

Because of the 16-hour time difference, the match actually begins Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern for any fans wanting to follow along. Free live video streaming with commentary will be available here. .

The tournament draw is available here.

Smith, currently ranked No. 441, last played the Australian Open Playoffs in 2009 after completing the best fall season of his collegiate career as a junior. With the singles and doubles trophies from ITA All-American in tow, Smith returned to Australia just a few days prior to the wild card tournament where he went 1-2 in round robin play. He did not play in 2010 because of his exam schedule.

Vols In NFL Update (12/5)

It was a another big weekend for former Vols in the NFL including Kevin Burnett of the Miami Dolphins, who had an interception return for a touchdown; Arian Foster of the Houston Texans, who had 111 rushing yards and TD as well as Robert Meachem of the New Orleans Saints, who had 119 receiving yards and a TD.

Miami routed Oakland, 34-14 as Kevin Burnett scored his third-career touchdown with an interception return for a 34-yard TD (Watch the video: Burnett pick 6). Burnett finished with four tackles including a sack for eight yards, a TFL and a quarterback hurry. Fellow former Vols on defense, Marvin Mitchell made two tackles and Tony McDaniel had a stop. With the Raiders, John Henderson had a season-best seven tackles and a quarterback hurry. Denarius Moore continued to be sidelined with a foot/ankle injury. 


Houston continued to roll, beating Atlanta 17-10 as Arian Foster gained 152 total yards with 111 rushing and 41 receiving. He also scored his eighth TD of the season (Watch: Foster's 1-yard TD run). Jason Allen had his fourth interception of the season (Watch: Allen gives Ryan his second INT) as he had two passes defended along with two tackles for Houston.


Houston Texans cornerback Jason Allen celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFL football game in Houston December 4, 2011.

New England kept the Colts winless with a 31-24 victory as Jerod Mayo had his first interception of his career (Watch: Mayo picks Orlovsky) along with seven tackles and two quarterback hurries. Shaun Ellis played for the Pats, but had no stats. 


Carolina handled Tampa Bay, 38-19 as Albet Haynesworth started for the Bucs at defensive tackle and made a tackle. Luke Stocker also played for Tampa Bay, but had no stats. Omar Gaither continues to be sidelined with a knee injury for the Panthers. 

Denver edged Minnesota, 35-32, on a late field goal. Robert Ayers had two tackles in a start on the defensive line for the Broncos. Britton Colquitt punted six times for a 48.8 average with three punts inside the 20-yard line. Anthony Herrera continued to start for the Vikings at right guard.

Pittsburgh crushed Cincinnati, 35-7 as Ramon Foster started at right guard for the Steelers. With the Bengals, Gibril Wilson had two tackles. 

New York Jets rallied late to beat Washington, 34-19. Donte Stallworth had a catch for 14 yards with the Redskins. 

Baltimore beat Cleveland, 24-10 as Vols saw action on both sides. Morgan Cox snapped nine times on punts and kicks for the Ravens. Montario Hardesty (calf injury) returned to action with the Browns, but played just three snaps and had no stats. 

Green Bay stayed perfect at 12-0 with a 38-35 win in New York. Scott Wells started at center again for the Packers but Chad Clifton continued to be sidelined, as he is now out with a back injury. With the Giants, Deon Grant made two tackles including a TFL. 

Arizona won in overtime vs. Dallas, 19-13. Jason Witten had five catches for 47 yards for the Cowboys. Dan Williams is sidelined with the Cardinals with a broken arm.

San Francisco blanked St. Louis, 26-0 as starting outside linebacker Parys Haralson had a tackle and a quarterback hurry for the 49ers.  

Kansas City battled Chicago in a 10-3 win as Dustin Colquitt punted 11 times for a 40.6 average with the winning Chiefs. 

- In the Sunday night game, New Orleans marched past Detroit, 31-17. Robert Meachem had two fantastic catches as he had three receptions for 119 yards including a 67-yard TD catch. (Watch highlights: WK 13 Can't-Miss Play: Meachem 67-yard TD, Meachem 38-yard reception). On defense: Jabari Greer had six tackles and TFL and Aubrayo Franklin had a tackle for a TFL. 

Happy Birthday - Dec. 5: Andrea Ferri, Daniel Hood

On Dec. 5, we wish happy birthday to junior runner Andrea Ferri and redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Daniel Hood.

Andrea Ferri  Daniel Hood

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/5)

New UT coach Cuonzo Martin knows the numbers are what they are, with the Vols sitting at 3-4 heading in Saturday's home game with Austin Peay.
  

But Martin's not hitting any panic buttons or changing the game plan.

"I thought it was great for our guys to go against some of the best teams in the country,'' said Martin, whose Vols lost to top 10-ranked teams Duke and Memphis prior to Saturday's 61-56 defeat against No. 17 Pittsburgh (7-1) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"In the first seven games, to play teams of this caliber, it's good for our guys because you have to learn how to move forward.''

Read the full story on the Knoxville News Sentinel: Martin focused on process, not record.

Oh Earns Full LPGA Membership; Pettitt Climbs into Contention

Angela Oh capped a steady week of golf by shooting an even-par 72 Sunday and tying for ninth at the LPGA Final Stage Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The former Tennessee golfer (2006-08) earns full LPGA Tour membership for the first time in 2012. Oh played in 10 LPGA events this past year, making one cut.

Meanwhile in La Quinta, Calif., Philip Pettitt fired his second 6-under-par 66 in the last three days and jumped to a tie for 53rd place heading into Monday's final round at the PGA's Q-School event.

Both of Pettitt's rounds of 66 have come on the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, along with another score of 75 Thursday. Monday's final round for the UT alum (2004-08) is back on the PGA West Stadium Course, where his scores thus far are 74 and 76.

Pettitt is at 3-under-par 357 for his five rounds.

The top 25 players and ties receive PGA Tour cards for 2012. The next nearest-number-to-50 earn fully exempt Nationwide Tour cards for the first 10 events of 2012, with the remainder receiving conditional Nationwide Tour status.

Television coverage continues Monday on The Golf Channel from 3:30-7 p.m. Eastern time.

The current PGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

For her five rounds at LPGA International headquarters, Oh shot 70-75-72-74-72 for a 363 total that was 3 over par. A field of 139 players started this week's event and the top 20 finishers earned full membership status for 2012.

The current LPGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/4)

The Vols had a valiant comeback in the final minute but lost to #17 Pitt, 61-56 on Saturday. Check out the Highlights and read the latest stories below:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols fall to No. 17 Pitt
- Inside Tennessee: Heart to heartbreak
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Pitt defeats Tennessee 61-56

Q-School Tournaments: Day 4

Angela Oh is 18 holes away from returning to the LPGA Tour on a full-time basis.

The former Lady Vols golfer resides in 11th place through four of the five rounds being played this week at the LPGA Final Stage Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla. The top 25 finishers earn LPGA cards for 2012.

Oh, who played for Tennessee from 2006-08 and made 10 LPGA Tour starts in 2011, carded a 2-over-par 74 Saturday with 16 pars and just two bogeys. She stands 3 over par for the tournament heading into Sunday's final round.

A former UT teammate of Oh's, Nicole Smith, was on the wrong side of the cut line and finished her Q-School final stage at 13 over par. Smith tied for 77th place after posting scores of 75, 76, 75 and 75 over her four rounds.

The current LPGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Philip Pettitt shot 76 Saturday at the PGA Final Stage Qualifying Tournament in La Quinta, Calif.

The former Vols golfer (2004-08) is 3 over par and in 108th place with two rounds remaining, one each on the Nicklaus Tournament and Stadium courses.

The PGA Q-School's top 25 players and ties receive tour cards for 2012. The next nearest-number-to-50 earn fully exempt Nationwide Tour cards for the first 10 events of 2012, with the remainder receiving conditional Nationwide Tour status.

Television coverage continues Sunday on The Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. Eastern time.

The current PGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Simmons Secures Second Olympic Trial Time

Tennessee junior Caroline Simmons swam her second Olympic Trials qualifying time Saturday at the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta.


Two days removed from posting a qualifying time 50-meter freestyle, Simmons clocked her Olympic Trials cut in the 100 freestyle time trial at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. She swam the long-course race in 57.01 seconds.


Former Lady Vol Christine Magnuson also swam an Olympic trial cut, finishing the 100 freestyle in 56.09 and ending the race in 15th.


Sophomore Courtney Ciesielski finished the 200 butterfly in 2:18.56.


For the men, current graduate assistant Mason Norman swam the 100 freestyle in 51.61. Former Vol Mattias Kahlin swam the 200 breaststroke in 2:29.88.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 3: T.J. Thornton

On Dec. 3, we wish Happy Birthday to left-handed pitcher T.J. Thornton
T.J. Thornton

Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/3)

The HTC Big East/SEC Challenge comes to Knoxville on Saturday as the Vols host #17 Pitt at 5:15 p.m.

Check out these preview stories on the match-up:

- Inside Tennessee: Remember me?
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Repayment plan
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Pitt freshman likely to start

Tennessee Competes in Day 2 of Winter Nationals

Several current and former Tennessee swimmers competed Friday at the AT&T Winter National Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.


For the women, junior Abbie Alton touched the wall in the 50-meter freestyle time trial in 26.88 seconds, .05 seconds faster than her time the day before. 


Fellow junior Caroline Simmons was scheduled to race in the 200 freestyle but did not compete. Simmons and Alton are both scheduled to swim the 100 freestyle, and Courtney Ciesielski will race in the 200 butterfly.


For the men, former Vol Mattias Kahlin same the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.41.


Current graduate assistant Mason Norman swam the time trial in the 50-meter freestyle and improved his time to 23.60. 

Q-School Tournaments: Day 3

Angela Oh vaulted back into the top 10 and Philip Pettitt jumped 55 places in the standings thanks to a pair of solid performances for the former Tennessee golfers on Day 3 of their respective tour qualifying tournaments.

Oh fired an even-par 72 and improved from 15th place to ninth at the LPGA Q-School event in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Baltimore native, who played for UT from 2006-08, is 1 over par for the tournament following rounds of 70, 75 and Friday's 72.

Another former Lady Vols golfer, Nicole Smith (2005-09), is tied for 78th place. Smith is at 10 over par after rounds of 75, 76 and a Friday card of 75. Smith was a finalist on The Golf Channel's Big Break Ireland this summer and finished 32nd on the Futures Tour in 2011.

Two rounds remain for the top 25 players to earn LPGA cards for 2012. The rest of the 139-player field earns full Futures Tour privileges.

The current LPGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Pettitt posted a sizzling 6-under-par 66 on the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. His round came one day after shooting 75 in high winds on the same track, and two days after opening with 74 on the Stadium Course.

The Murfreesboro native carded seven birdies Friday against a single bogey, and improved from 145th place to a tie for 90th.

Three rounds remain for Pettitt, who won his second stage qualifier two weeks ago to advance to the finals for the first time. Pettitt finished third this year on the NGA Hooters Tour, and was a member of the UT men's golf team from 2004-08.

The PGA Q-School's top 25 players and ties receive tour cards for 2012. The next nearest-number-to-50 earn fully exempt Nationwide Tour cards for the first 10 events of 2012, with the remainder receiving conditional Nationwide Tour status.

Television coverage starts Saturday on The Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. Eastern time.

The current PGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Update On Peyton Manning's Recovery

Legendary Vol Peyton Manning received positive news regarding his neck surgery and his recovery is on course.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks to reporters in the locker room at the NFL football team's practice facility in Indianapolis, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. The four-time league MVP gave reporters his latest medical update Friday, saying his workouts will increase and that the next phase of rehabilitation process will include throwing the ball.

On Friday, Manning met with the media and was candid with his answers. Read the stories here:


Here are some stories on the UT great:

- Indianapolis Star: Manning gets good news, now what?

Q-School Tournaments: Day 2

All three former Tennessee golfers competing in Q-School finals Thursday posted higher scores at their respective tournaments in California and Florida.

Philip Pettitt has opened 74-75 over his first two days at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., and is in 145th place. Angela Oh also shot 75 Thursday after her opening-round 70 and dropped from fifth place to a tie for 15th at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Nicole Smith has carded 75-76 for her first two rounds and is in a group tied for 77th place.

Four rounds remain for Pettitt, who won his Second Stage Qualifying Tournament two weeks ago to advance to the finals for the first time.

The top 25 players and ties receive PGA Tour cards for 2012. The next nearest-number-to-50 earn fully exempt Nationwide Tour cards for the first 10 events of 2012, with the remainder receiving conditional Nationwide Tour status.

Pettitt finished third this year on the NGA Hooters Tour. He was a member of the UT men's golf team from 2004-08.

The current PGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Oh played in 10 LPGA Tour events in 2011 but made only one cut. She was a winner on the Futures Tour in 2010, when she claimed six top-10s and finished sixth on that circuit after earning $50,156. Oh played for the Lady Vols from 2006-08.

Smith was a finalist on The Golf Channel's Big Break Ireland this summer and finished 32nd on the Futures Tour after a 40th-place showing in 2010. Smith was a Lady Vols golfer from 2005-09.

Three rounds remain for both Oh and Smith. The top 25 players earn LPGA Tour cards for 2012, with the rest of the 139-player field earning full Futures Tour privileges.

The current LPGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Former Vols Swim First Day at Winter Nationals

A former Vol and Tennessee's current graduate assistant competed in the 50-meter freestyle Thursday at the USA Swimming's AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta.

Barry Murphy, a swimmer for Ireland's national team, swim the long-course race in 23.42 seconds, good for 37th place.

Graduate assistant Mason Norman finished in 23.93, tied for 72nd.

Q-School Tournaments Underway

Former Tennessee golfers Angela Oh, Nicole Smith and Philip Pettitt are competing this week at their respective tour qualifying tournaments with hopes of landing membership cards in the major leagues of golf for the 2012 season.

Oh turned in the best opening day of the threesome by firing a 2-under-par 70 that left her in fifth place after the first of five rounds being played at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Smith shot a 3-over 75 and was tied for 74th place in the 139-player field. The top 25 and ties earn full LPGA status for next season.

Oh played for the Lady Vols from 2006-08 and Smith from 2005-09.

The current LPGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Pettitt opened with a 2-over-par 74 for the first of six rounds scheduled for PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The former Vols golfer (2004-08) is tied for 146th place. This week's top 25 finishers earn full PGA Tour status for 2012, while places 26 through 75 earn membership on the Nationwide Tour.

Competing this week among the 172-player field are four past major championship winners -- Rich Beem (2002 PGA), David Duval (2001 British), Lee Janzen (1993 and 1998 U.S. Opens) and Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA).

Pettitt just finished his third season on the NGA Hooters Tour and was third on the money list. He advanced to the Q-School finals after winning the Second Stage Q-School tournament two weeks ago.

The current PGA Q-School leaderboard can be found here.

Happy Birthday - Dec. 1: Creekmore, Hetland, Summers

As we start the month of December, we wish Happy Birthday to freshman runner J.R. Creekmore of the cross country and track teams, sophomore swimmer Oystein Hetland and redshirt freshmen tight end Dakota Summers of the football team. 

J.R. Creekmore  Oystein Hetland  Dakota Summers

Lady Vols Start at USA Swimming Winter Nationals

Abbie Alton, Caroline Simmons and Courtney Ciesielski are competing at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals this weekend in Atlanta.

Alton and Simmons both start action Thursday with the 50-meter freestyle. 

Simmons is competing in the most events with three. In addition to the 50 free, she is racing in the 200 free on Friday and the 100 free on Saturday. Alton is entered in the 100 free as well. Ciesielski is in one event, the 200 butterfly on Saturday.

Several former Vols are scheduled to compete as well.

Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (12/1)

The Vols held their weekly Press Luncheon on Wednesday. Check out video of head coach Cuonzo Martin and players Jordan McRae and Dwight Miller as they talked about the upcoming game with Pitt.

Here are stories from the media:

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