Blog Entry

You remember Syracuse from last season, right?

Posted on: November 9, 2010 8:40 am
Edited on: November 9, 2010 8:51 am
 
Tennessee lost an exhibition to Indianapolis on Monday night.

Indianapolis is a Division II school.

So now the folks who talk about college basketball in November -- and that number isn't nearly as high as I'd like it to be -- are making predictable and sweeping generalities, apparently forgetting how another school that wears orange suffered a similar embarrassment a year ago last week.

"Hopefully we can learn from this and move in the right direction," Syracuse's Wes Johnson said after last preseason's exhibition loss to Division II Le Moyne. He then proceeded to learn from it and move in the right direction, i.e., the direction of a Big East title and No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Which is why Bruce Pearl shouldn't be overly concerned.

Granted, there's a chance what happened Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena will ultimately prove to be the first sign that the off-the-court drama surrounding the program will have an on-the-court effect that'll cause the Vols to fall short of expectations. But it's just as likely that this defeat means absolutely nothing, which is pretty much what I told a distraught Syracuse fan who emailed after the Orange's loss to Le Moyne last November and proclaimed his favorite team's season "just ended before it ever began."
"This isn't going to be as bad as you think or as bad as it was Tuesday night. I can't find proof right now (I've been looking for 15 minutes), but I believe UMass lost an exhibition in the 1995-96 season, then went on to make the Final Four. Grand Valley State famously beat Michigan State in an exhibition two years ago, and the Spartans still made the Sweet 16. So losing a game like this isn't necessarily a prediction of what's coming."
Those were my words filed within 24 hours of Syracuse's loss to Le Moyne.

My levelheadedness served me well.

So while I do wonder if the Vols will miss Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince and Bobby Maze more than most anticipated, the reality is that I've seen Pearl win with rosters much worse than the roster he has now, and I'll still be shocked if Tennessee isn't a borderline Top 25  team that competes for the SEC East title and makes the NCAA tournament. In other words, Monday's development didn't change my opinion of the Vols one bit. My guess is that they'll bounce back Friday and open the regular season with a double-digit win over Chattanooga, just like they were always going to do.
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Oct 24, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:30 pm
 

You remember Syracuse from last season, right?

I didn't see nay comparison between Goins and Turner. He said "Ask Evan Turner."



Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:19 pm
 

Did he just say what I think he said??

Did you just compare Melvin Goins to Evan Turner?? Did he just say what I think he said??



Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:17 pm
 

You remember Syracuse from last season, right?

You know that Tennesse isn't very good when fans have to talk about Steven Pearls defensive skills. You don't want any part of Syracuse and you know it. Have fun scraping together wins in that pathetic conference.



Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:53 pm
 

You remember Syracuse from last season, right?

Disagree completely here.  We definitely have the talent and also have the depth.  Cam Tatum can light it up.  Brian Williams showed what he can do last yr in the NCAA tourney.  Melvin Goins is showing improvement, and he can shoot the ball as well.  Ask Evan turner.  As for Tobias Harris, he just looks like a monster on the court.  He will only get better the more games he plays.  I could go on.  Hell, even Steve Pearl shuts down good point guards.  You dont have to like it, but you do have to live with it.  So what, we lost to a DII school.  Alot of teams normally do.  Dont hate.  Look at Syracuse just as Gary says.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, and im not being an SEC homer here, the VOLS have a talented team with Depth.  Which will mean alot come March.  We will be there.  Hopefully we can play Syracuse and show CUSEYOURSELF that us VOLS are for REAL!  GO BIG ORANGE, THE REAL ORANGE, TENNESSEE!  BOO to The Haters!



Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:50 pm
 

You remember Syracuse from last season, right?

My guess is that they'll bounce back Friday and open the regular season with a double-digit win over Chattanooga, just like they were always going to do.

That will make the Volunteer fans stand up and volunteer again. 

As a SU fan, I did make it through the game.  There must have been some stuff going on in the locker room, because Coach B immediately went to the media and said he played man to man on purpose to prove a point.  I do not believe JB threw the game, but winning wasn't on the fore front of the game plan.  Learning...or teaching something seemed to be.

I am not so sure that was the case with last night. 



Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:02 pm
 

Bad Comparison

I understand where you're trying to go with this comparison but lets look at this realistically. I agree that an exhibiton loss to a D2 team is not the end of the world but it should be much more worrisome to the Vols than it was to Cuse. Syracuse played primarily man in that game and treated that game as if it were just that, an exhibition game. Last year's Syracuse roster was flooded with talent. This Tennesse roster does not have that talent. Scotty Hopson is a good college player and Tobias Harris should be very good but besides tha this team flat out lacks talent. This Tennessee team won't be in the Ncaa tournament this season...


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