March 3, 2010
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl:
"I think how you feel a lot of times has to do with expectations. I was pleased to win the game, but I was hoping we could build on how we played Saturday against Kentucky. And we did not. We had good balance offensively and we shot a good percentage, but we did not play basketball like you need to play basketball in March. We did a good job of chasing their shooters off the line. I was just hoping we could play better and I was expecting to play better. I was not too happy with the team after the game. I am really pleased with 10 wins, considering how competitive the SEC is - how many good teams there are in the league. I thought the guys did a pretty good job emotionally, getting ready to play. Arkansas has played people close on the road this year. I was expecting more. I did not think we were particularly sharp. We were not aggressive. We were not taking it to contact. There was too much standing around. I did not think we were playing with energy and passion.
"Obviously I was upset at that point and that is why I got a technical foul. We may have picked up our energy, but that is not what should have happened from the beginning. We are trying to play well together, so I should not have to jump-start them like that. I thought Scotty Hopson was real sharp. Cameron Tatum played more, and he played better. It is great to have him back. We turned over the ball 17 times. I just do not know how many were forced. Turnovers stick out. Our willingness to compete and take it to contact, to be the physical aggressor, sticks out.
"I do not want to reflect on careers right now because we have a long way to go. This team comes ready to play every night. This was not a letdown, but I expect more. Tonight's play does not win in the SEC Tournament. That play does not win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament."
ARKANSAS HEAD COACH JOHN PELPHREY:
"I thought we competed very well in the basketball game. The defensive numbers say they scored quite a bit in terms of the percentages, although it seemed like they got a lot of those points off plays that really put us in harm's way with our transition defense. "We knew coming into this basketball game that Tennessee is really capable of scoring a large number of points in transition on a small number of turnovers. I do not know how many they had tonight, but that hurt us. Transition plays that we were not able to defend hurt us.
"I thought we had some very good opportunities on the offensive side, whether it was layups or dunks. We had some nice opportunities from the 3-point line and we did not convert those chances. To win on the road in this league against an outstanding opponent like we had tonight, those have to be converted. But we competed and had some chances to really challenge down the stretch. We just did not make our shots."
Tonight is the first win for the Vols in SEC play where they scored 80 or more since Auburn (Jan. 14, 81-55).
Seniors Wayne Chism and Quinn Cannington have recorded 98 wins during their careers, tying last year's four-year seniors (Ryan Childress, Tanner Wild, and Justin Jackson) for most wins during a Tennessee career.
UT improves to 170-33 in games in Thompson-Boling Arena since the 1998 season; they are 70-8 under Pearl.
The Vols climbed to 80-24 against SEC opponents at home over the last 11 seasons, finishing 15-1 this season.
Tonight's attendance of 20,139 marks the 40th time during the Pearl era the Vols have played in front of a home crowd of more than 20,000 fans, and the 7th time this season.
UT is now 70-6 when scoring 80 more points under Pearl, who recorded his 120th win tonight.
Five Vols scored at least 10 points. It was the sixth time this season and the first time the Vols have accomplished the feat since defeating Auburn 81-55.
The Vols have won 9 of the last 12 games against Arkansas. UT improved to 8-2 against the Razorbacks in games played in Knoxville.
Brian Williams recorded a career-high 5 assists to go along with his 5 rebounds and 4 points.
Chism finished with 14 points and became the 15th Vol to surpass the 1,500-point barrier.
Chism is already the UT career leader with 134 games played.
With two blocks, Chism surpassed Doug Roth (1986-1989) for second on the all-time blocks list with 147.
The Vols are now 12-4 this season when a player records five assists.
J.P. Prince is a consistent high-flying threat during his Tennessee career, recording 86 dunks in 87 games.
Scotty Hopson led the Vols with 15 points, marking the 11th time this season he has led the team in scoring.