Posts Tagged ‘SEC Basketball’

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.

Read the rest of this entry

The Tennesseeum

The Tennesseeum | Gate 21

Note: The Tennesseeum is in its infancy, but I hope to eventually develop it into a virtual museum (hence “Tennessee-um”) of rosters, images, articles, and records pertaining to the Vols.  For now, however, it is little more than a landing page for current rosters and a few other items of interest.

If you have any content that you think belongs in a virtual museum dedicated to the Vols, feel free to contact me.

football 2009 Football Collection:


football Other Collections:

Tennessee Volunteers The Cumberland Wing:

Dedicated to the sights, sounds and history of that little collection of buildings along Cumberland Avenue known simply as “The Strip


Tennessee Volunteers The Tennessee Home for the Visually Offensive:

A virtual museum of some of the finest Farks (a/k/a “photoshopped”) images from the world of sports that the web has to offer including the following sub-collections:


This virtual museum is under construction.

New Collections Debuting Soon!!

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.

From One Rival To Another?

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

It’s finally a done deal. The delusion is going to be at an all-time high – and for Kentucky basketball fans, that’s saying quite a lot…

UNRELATED YET IMPORTANT UPDATE (1:20 p.m., March 31st): Georgia still needs a coach, and is trying to get Missouri’s Mike Anderson. I don’t see why Anderson, who’s also rumored in the potential replacing of Calipari at Memphis, would go to Georgia, but who knows. Calipari, Donovan, Pearl, Anderson, Stallings and Horn in the same division next year? Wow.

UPDATE 2 (12:15 p.m., March 31st): This little bit is just too interesting and kinda funny to pass up, from Geoff Calkins at the Commercial Appeal. Interesting because it’s not 110% believable and funny because the particular donut shop was/is a cool hangout place for my friends and I in high school and now over breaks and the like (after 11 p.m. you can get half a dozen donuts for $1).

UPDATE (6:25 p.m.): ESPN is now getting in on the fun, saying the reported deal is for 8 years at $35 million – still over the $4 million mark.

If you’ve been just about anywhere on the internet on a sports website today, you’ve probably seen the John Calipari-to-Kentucky news. It’s to the point now where it’s all but official

Some major sites like USA Today and SI.com are coming out in the last hour or so and saying the same thing. Good ol’ Channel 5 in Memphis says it’s a done deal, and the Tigers’ Rivals site says so as well. Interestingly, in that article, it says Kentucky is paying Calipari $40 million over six years. For those of us not good at math, that’s, oh, $6.67 million PER YEAR. I heard on the Sports Animal here in Knoxville about an hour ago Jimmy Hyams say he heard the same information in talking with Ron Higgins, who’s with the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

For comparison sake, Pete Carroll at USC and Nick Saban at Alabama make $4 million a year, give-or-take. Florida coach Billy Donovan is the nation’s highest-paid basketball coach at roughly $3.5 million.

Hey, can you blame me for turning down $6 million a year?

Again, I have seen nothing official on this as of 5 p.m. Eastern, so if this turns out to not be true, then all this commentary is obviously irrelevant.

Now this is not Tennessee news, but it’s certainly Tennessee-related and I would even say I care more than most being from Memphis and having the disdain for both the Memphis and Kentucky programs that I do. You have a coach that’s easy for us Vols to dislike, going from the in-state rival – and a rivalry that’s grown into one of the bigger basketball rivalries for Tennessee and Memphis the past four years – to the historic conference rival in big, bad Kentucky – one that at least has become much more competitive recently (thank you Bruce Pearl).

For me, it’s more reason to hate Kentucky. Yes, hate is a strong word. But much like the case with Alabama, Florida and Georgia in anything, if Kentucky lost every basketball game for their rest of time, I would enjoy it. Seeing them in the NIT and reading the thoughts of the crazier side of their fanbase on Rupps Rafters talk about being in the NIT? Loved it. Likewise, seeing Missouri eliminate the Tigers in the Sweet 16 last Thursday was enjoyable for me.

Now throw in Mr. Calipari, who’s dislike of and disrespectful attitude toward Tennessee and Pearl was a major reason for my dislike of the Tigers, joins Kentucky. As if they shouldn’t already be, you have to put Kentucky now as Tennessee’s biggest basketball rival now, right?

I don’t see much of a change recruiting-wise. The Memphis-area will still be hard for the Vols to recruit, like it is for both football and basketball. Calipari recruited nationally at Memphis (not many players from Memphis on the roster), and he will do that at Kentucky as well. So that doesn’t change.

And finally, I’ve read that Tennessee needs Kentucky to be good, because a strong Kentucky makes the SEC look stronger and more respected. I think that’s garbage. Kentucky is a rival. How can anything that’s good for them – and this is certainly excellent for the Wildcats – be good for Tennessee? If Tennessee keeps playing a tough schedule and wins 25 games and sweeps the SEC regular season and tournament titles in a given year, they’re going to get a high seed regardless of Kentucky or the rest of the league. (Signed, Memphis and C-USA).

On one hand, this hire by UK is scary – Calipari was their ultimate dream hire, and his recruiting ability and style has much more of a probability of success than failure. On the other hand, I say bring it. Bruce Pearl vs. John Calipari twice a year (or more) now? I can go for that…

About Home Sweet Home... … to me.


Images Courtesy of: AP/ Daylife

Is Billy Clyde out at Kentucky?


update» Updated: 27 March 2009 — 4:25pm

Apparently, Gillispie’s firing became official about 5 minutes after I posted this.  At least I was a little bit ahead of the curve…

update» Updated: 27 March 2009 — 4:42pm

Now, as his comment below points out, HSH has discovered an even more interesting development: perhaps Billy Donovan is going to Kentucky.


Well, friends and neighbors, it’s not like it is unexpected, but it appears that Billy Gillispie is out at Kentucky.  This comes from WHAS TV in Louisville.  Seemingly in response to this report, the Kentucky athletic department issued a public statement which—paraphrased—amounts to their complete refusal to make a public statement.  It read,  “UK mens basketball coach Billy Gillispie has not been fired. There have been no meetings between Gillispie and UK officials today and there is no scheduled press conference tomorrow.

I think a simple “no comment” would have sufficed.

Either way, this does seriously change the dynamic in the SEC East.  Hooper over at RTT has an interesting article on why this prospect scares him as a fan of SEC and Tennessee basketball.  The uncertainty at Kentucky will definitely add confusion to recruiting, but what if Kentucky actually gets a “good” coach?  With rumors flying about as to who will replace Gillispie, it stands to reason that Kentucky Mitch Barnhart will be trying to save his neck by getting a coach who is a little better fit for the Wildcats this time around than was Billy Clyde.  According to the guys at Team Speed Kills, however, that new coach will not be Billy Donovan (or will it?).

In the meantime, I suppose we will all be guessing…

Read the rest of this entry

The Blazer Chronicles: A “Quotetastic” Look at the SEC

Well, after failing to get my Oklahoma State preview up in time for the game, and given the quick end to the BasketVols‘ run in the NCAA Tournament, I really haven’t had a lot to offer these past few days.  Of course, when you set the bar very low—which has always been the policy of Gate 21—it takes extra effort to fail in grand style.  I guess I am running behind in my running behind…

In the meantime, here’s a little something that is worth giving a look.  I’m a bit behind in getting this up, but this is pretty funny if you ask me (which I realize you didn’t).

Here is a pretty hilarious look at the various coaches of the SEC in a way that I don’t think I have ever seen before.  As always, this comes courtesy of VolzRChamps and BlazerChronicles.com, with a Tennessee All-Sports Update.

The Blazer Chronicles: A “Quotetastic” Look at the SEC

That Bobby Johnson quote is simply priceless…

– So it goes …About Lawvol


Video Courtesy of: VolzRChamps / You TubeBlazer Chronicles

Flashback: CBS Sports and the NCAA Tournament

Flashback | Gate 21

Yes, friends and neighbors the NCAA Tournament is upon us.  Thus, we all get ready for the mayhem that accompanies that grand old tradition.  For what seems like forever, that has included watching endless hours of basketball courtesy of CBS Sports.  Now, generally, I am a huge fan of CBS Sports, and I favor their web presence when it comes to sports content on the internet. **

All that said, last year’s NCAA tournament almost drove me mad.  Actually it wasn’t the tournament, but the way that CBS covered the tournament on television.  That led me to fire off at the mouth a bit.  Since it is that time again, I figured it would only be appropriate to take a stroll down memory lane and look back on what I had to say about CBS’s coverage.  I do this for two reasons.

First, this seems relevant as we all get ready to become couch potatoes for a month.  This may be minimized a little bit due to the fact that CBS will be broadcasting all games online free of charge once again, but the fact remains a big flat screen is infinitely better than even the best computer monitor.

Second, I have been so busy that I haven’t yet gotten a chance to finish up my thoughts on the Oklahoma State Cowboys…

Thus, without further adieu, we go back in time to my post entitled simply:

CBS = Complete Bull Sh*t


BANNER%20-%20RANTS

I intentionally waited a few days before airing this complaint, mainly because I didn’t want my vitriol to be mistaken as nothing more than “sour grapes” over the BasketVols loss to the Louisville Cardinals.

Trust me, this has nothing to do with Tennessee, Louisville, or any other specific team…

CBSFor the past … well, it seems like quite a long time, now … CBS has been the exclusive home of the NCAA Tournament. I vaguely remember ESPN covering first and second-round games during the 1990s, but CBS is all we have had for a while. Either way, CBS has held a stranglehold on the Final Four since Billy Packer conned James Naismith himself into signing over the rights some time during the 1920s — back when Billy Packer was in his 50s.

First of all, I do want to applaud CBS Sportsline — CBS Sports’ internet division — for their ambitious decision to broadcast every tournament game for free on the web. Similarly, the CBS “Game Center” on the internet for each game — displaying myriad stats and information in real time — is amazing. It is as artful as it is impressive. Any fan can get up-to-the-second information on every facet of the game — including points, fouls, assists, shooting trends, whether a player is taking bribes to throw the game, which boosters the cute little cheerleader next to the basket is sleeping with, and so much more — via one of the best interfaces I’ve ever seen for statistical information of that kind.

Despite the minor fact that the bandwidth draw for the “March Madness on Demand” service has been so obscenely high that it has — at times — nearly crashed massive trunk lines on the web, I salute these efforts of CBS’s internet division. For reasons which will become clear in a second, in the future I may choose this as the only way I’ll watch the tournament — even if it is in a 5″ x 5″ low resolution streaming window.

Continue Reading >>


**Disclosure: While lawvol is a voting member of the CBS Sports Football Blog Poll and the CBS Sports BasketBlog Poll, neither this site, its editor, nor publisher receives any payment or other compensation of any type or kind in return for participation. Furthermore, neither Gate 21 nor lawvol received any benefit of any kind for this article, which was neither requested nor solicited by CBS Sports. This article represents the actual opinion of the author (for what that is worth) and was in no way influenced by any other person(s).
Support Gate 21
Search the Gate
Categorically Speaking…
As if you cared…
Subscribe
Follow
Share
subscribe
twitter
facebook

Some of the Best!



Support Gate 21


HLL... LIVE!

HLL - LIVE!
Some of Lawvol's Favorite Links from across the web!

Tennessee FanDome

Tennessee Fandome:
Football | Basketball
Our Humble Gate…
Subscribe to Gate21.net:
Subscribe to Gate 21

Enter your email address to receive Gate 21 via email:


We will NEVER use your email address for ANY purpose.
Powered by FeedBurner


YardBarker

Awards & Nominations

2007 CFBA Nominee: Best Looking Blog
2007 CFBA Nominee: Best New Blog

Support Gate 21


SporstBlogs.org
Best Football Sites
Powered by MyPagerank.Net

Gate 21 Graphics


Like Gate 21? Gate 21 is free to read, but costs a great deal to publish. Feel free to donate securely via PayPal:
paypal
Search the Gate
Older Ramblings
Videoification

Tennessee Videos

Lawvol's Funnies

Support Gate 21

Networkin’

Yardbarker Network

YardBarker