Archive for the ‘College Basketball’ Category

HLL: “Leave You Like Kiffin”

Video:  Leave You Like Kiffin

The Newest from SwiperBoy:

HT HT / via: Rocky Top Talk

I’m loving that:  “Never leave you like Kiffin…”   That’s a keeper.

Tobias Harris is all Vol

Tennessee BasketballSelby who?  Bruce bounced back by getting the #3 PF, #7 player in the country to go with the #6, and #35 SGs in the country.  Billy Donovan’s day just got so much worse.

I have the honor to be, the VolAmbassador | Gate 21

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…


bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

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Headlines, Links & Lies: “Yes I Can” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

This really requires no explanation…

Video: Yes I Can: SwiperBoy

• HT to:  Rocky Top Talk

Friends, I think we may have new motto in Big Orange Country…

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

This week marks the second edition of the 2009 version of the Big Orange Roundtable and is hosted by the guys over at 3SIB..

Week 2

1)  We will start with an easy one.  Last week, our beloved Rock was relocated across the street to make room for a new building on campus.  What are your thoughts on the Rock’s relocation?

bullet HSH: Being a student, I actually have the slight advantage of seeing the change.  I drove by as the crane was lifting the behemoth out of the ground, and I’ve only seen it once since it’s been moved.  I have to say it’s going be to a little odd driving through the stoplight next to Stokely Athletic Center and the Thornton Athletic Student Center (where all the UT athletes get their school on), looking to my left and not seeing the Rock.  It might take a little bit of time to get used the change come the fall.

For me, it’s just another aspect of a common theme of my years here as a student.  Here’s what’s changed or been built since I came to Knoxville in the fall of 2006: all the recent renovations to Neyland Stadium, the makeover of Thompson-Boling Arena, Pratt Pavilion, a new soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, the brand new aquatic center.

And that’s just the changes on the athletics side of campus.  There’s also been the total change in the old Glocker Building, which has now become Haslam Business Building where all the business majors do their thing.  The Baker Policy Center was risen up on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, replacing the parking lot where my family parked for every game I came to up until I graduated from high school.  Those are two major projects, that I’ve seen started and completed in my days as a student.

Back to the Rock, my only contact with actually came before I was officially enrolled.  I had two of the more enthusiastic Orientation leaders, and late one night during the two-day event we got together and painted the thing.  I would have visual evidence to prove it, but my computer erased my hard drive awhile, thus I have nothing…


The Rock in its new Home

The Rock in its new Home

bullet Lawvol: First of all, I am glad that the Rock did not unceremoniously disappear from campus as a result of the new Student Health Center that is being constructed.  The worst thing imaginable would have been for the university to simply blow the thing up or what have you and cart it off.  I realize the process of relocating the Rock was both onerous and expensive, but I have to give a little credit to university administration (a/k/a “The Big Orange Screw”) for making the right call and preserving this tradition for future generations.

All that said, the last time I painted the Rock was 1997.  I say “painted”—my involvement actually centered more on leaning up against the Rock in a near catatonic state as drool fell from my gaping mouth and I uttered various slurred obscenities at my cohorts.  You see, I was completely pissed drunk overcome by a multitude of circumstances at the time and my recollection of that particular evening of frivolity is fuzzy to say the least.  Still, the Rock does have a special place in my mind due to its tradition of announcing great events, lurid innuendo, and Gameday proclamations.  Considering it is directly across the street from where it used to be located, I doubt there will really be all that much difference.

Of course, I do wonder whether some students may be confused by the relocation—in particular, those suffering from the same … mental confusion … that afflicted me the last time I painted the Rock.  If so, the university may be faced with a long road of maintenance as the drunken masses repeatedly paint the front of the new Student Health Center.

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Tyler Smith Staying

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

It’s a rainy and stormy afternoon here in Knoxville, but Tyler Smith is brightening the day for Tennessee hoops.

Smith announced he’s going to stay for his senior season. Obviously this is good news, because Tyler’s the best player on Tennessee’s team. Additionally, Smith will be the fifth senior Vol for next year, alongside Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince, Bobby Maze, and Josh Tabb (walk-on Quinn Cannington is also a senior). A nice senior core for the Vols as they look to add a second SEC Title in four years. At this point, your way early SEC favorites have to be (in no particular order) Kentucky with the Jodie Meeks-Patrick Patterson combo and influx of studs, defending champs LSU with Tasmin Mitchell (who’s been at LSU since Stromile Swift) and Marcus Thornton, and Tennessee.

Welcome back, Tyler

A couple of other notes: first, a shout-out to bosgap at Losers With Socks who called this 9 days ago. Now I wouldn’t say they were going too terribly far out on that limb, but kudos to those guys scooping this, adding another feather in their hat of breaking news well in advance.

Secondly, a shout-out of thanks and best wishes to Philip Jurick, who is transferring and thus providing a way for Tyler to come back by opening up a scholarship. I saw Jurick play a little bit at last year’s Rocky Top League, and while I saw some promise, I also saw a project of sorts. He showed some really positive inside defense but his offensive game was very lacking. With Tyler’s return and the addition of Kenny Hall to the Chism-Brian Williams-Emmanuel Negedu platoon, I highly doubt Jurick would have been able to break into the big-man rotation next year.

Speaking of the Rocky Top League, last year I took upon myself the task of “covering” it using the start I started out with – “The View From The Hill.” I went every night and took some video and some pictures and mental notes and observations, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately I won’t be able to do that this year, as I won’t be able to go every night and I’ll miss the first week of it. That said, if you’re in Knoxville on a Monday or Wednesday the next three weeks, do head over to Bearden High School and watch some games.

Sure, there’s no air-conditioning and outside of the Tennessee players the other competitors are small college or high school players, but it’s a cool experience. Of course it’s glorified pick-up basketball with referees and clock, and the defense is highly lacking, but nowhere else will you get this close to the Vol players. If you’ve got kids, I can almost guarantee you will get autographs from the entire team, as well as some other former Vols like everybody’s favorite Dane Bradshaw, and a couple of my personal favorite former Vols Ron Slay and C.J. Watson.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the best part…IT’S FREE

About Home Sweet Home... … to me.

Can’t Beat ‘Em? Take Their Players

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

I normally don’t post about individual commitments or recruiting updates in general, but I think this is fairly important. Tennessee got another defensive lineman – tackle, specifically – to join the group for 2010 in the form of John Brown.

This is important for two reasons. First, Brown is transferring from the University of Florida to Northeast Mississippi Junior College in the fall to likely an early enrollee at Tennessee in December or January (he says he will sign with the Vols as soon as he can).

Secondly, Brown was a pretty highly-touted recruit coming of Lakeland High School in Florida in 2007. Yet, for lack of a better term, was a bust in Gainesville, barely seeing the field in two seasons due to injury, academic and motivation issues (or so I’ve read).

So are Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin taking a slight risk with this offer and pickup? To an extent, yes. But you have to think Brown has some level of potential left after being a 4-star (5-star on Scout) guy out of high school. Obviously his time at Florida was unremarkable, but hopefully a change in scenery may give him the kick in the pants he might need to put it all together on the field.

And hey, considering the well-documented issues Tennessee will have along the offensive and defensive lines following this season, you probably should just take what you can get and be happy.

On another quick note, as most of you know Tennessee is conducting football and basketball camps this week here in Knoxville. I have yet to see any of it except for the local news coverage on TV and the internet, but by all accounts it seems to have gone very well on the football front. As for basketball, I think it’s pretty cool Chris Lofton is back in town. I have an incredible amount of respect for #5 (that jersey is on the wall of my room) and he’s going to be an all-time favorite. He also has a tryout with the Memphis Grizzlies later next week, so hopefully he makes the most of that opportunity, because he deserves a shot to make the NBA. And of course what better team than my hometown Grizz? I have no idea what his chances are of sticking around with the team for the summer, but I wish him luck.

In other basketball Tyler Smith news, despite Tyler’s discussion of playing in Europe, I don’t see that happening given him having his son Amare. And Losers With Socks says he’s coming back, and they have been correctly ahead of everybody else on a couple of these type things, so take that for what it’s worth.

That’s it for now, hopefully some concrete QB recruiting news will come out soon – we’re all waiting for it.

About Home Sweet Home... … to me.

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