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INTERVIEW OF COACH PEARL BEFORE GAMES WITH ALABAMA AND ARKANSAS
Bruce Pearl

Bruce Pearl

Feb. 19, 2007

Coach Pearl talks to the media

1. How have conference-wide events strengthened your view that anything can happen in the SEC?

A - "I think there is terrific balance in our conference. It's an amazing season, with only Florida able to separate itself. When most games are played in the SEC, it's anybody's guess."

2. What is the primary lesson the Vols should carry with them from the loss at South Carolina?

A - "It was a lost opportunity. Give South Carolina credit. They played well. There are 10 teams in the SEC that are bigger and stronger than we are. South Carolina is not one of them. It's a lost opportunity in not beating a team that physically doesn't overwhelm us. South Carolina just outplayed us at every position."

3. How do the Vols match up with Alabama, the opponent Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena?

A - "We don't match up with them. They have tremendous size in the front line, and that includes their small forward. We've played big teams before. Alabama will try to go inside, and we will need to find a way to keep them out of there."

4. How important is Wednesday's game with Alabama to the Vols' NCAA tournament hopes?

A - "They are a nationally-ranked team, and it is another chance to build our resume. Right now we are tied with Alabama at 6-6 in conference play. When it comes to the tournament, and Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas, is it going to be Tennessee or Alabama? Is it going to be Tennessee or Arkansas? Is it going to be Tennessee or Georgia? We need to take advantage of the head-to-head if we can."

5. In the Vols' return to the road at Arkansas Saturday (1E), what will it take to post a victory?

A - "It's a tough matchup physically. We haven't finished the games on the road, even though we have played well except for the first half against Florida and the game against South Carolina. We need our most concerted defensive effort, and we need to keep Arkansas off the boards."

 

 

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