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Coach Bruce Pearl Q&A



1. How have the Vols managed to overcome opponents' height advantage to win the battle for rebounds?

A - "We're bigger than we were the previous two years, especially with Wayne Chism playing some power forward. It hasn't received a lot of attention but Wayne plays two positions, so he's on the floor much of the time with Brian Williams or Duke Crews. With J.P. Prince playing some at the three spot, we have more traditional height. I think that has helped us do a better job rebounding."

2. Nearing the end of the regular season, comment on how well your player rotation system works.

A - "I think it's working out pretty well. The difficult part is deciding whether to play Brian Williams or Ryan Childress. That's been a real tough call. Other than that, the rotations have been good. Josh Tabb is giving us some help defensively off the bench. We're down to playing nine or 10 guys, and that has definitely helped."

3. Explain how the Vols can make plays built around their talent, like JaJuan Smith's steal vs. LSU.

A - "That was a senior stepping in, knowing we needed a big play made. JaJuan had 101 degree fever. Those are the kind of plays when you look back over a season if you win a championship, they take on great significance."

4. What should the Vols look for from Jeff Lebo's Auburn team, which comes to UT Wednesday (7:30E)?

A - "They've won two games on the road in the SEC and are one game out of second place. They play six guys. They could be competing for the West except for an injury and discipline with two of their top inside players. They are experienced with guys who have been there and done that. In their three wins, they've shot 50 percent or better from three. They aren't deep, but the six they put on the floor are very good."

5. What do you see as the keys for the Tennessee-Memphis game Saturday (9:00E) at Memphis?

A - "Memphis has the most talented team in the country. They have some of the best depth in the country, too. They have all the pieces of the puzzle, and they play hard. I don't see a weakness. Statistically, the only place they have not been great from is the foul line."


 

 

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