February 23, 2009
Vols Have Backed Themselves Into Corner
Over the course of the last week Tennessee (16-9, 7-5) went from a rock-solid NCAA tournament team to a stumbling and slumping squad now firmly on the proverbial 'bubble'. The transformation came as the result of two SEC road losses that were so ugly Bruce Pearl took the gloves off and publicly lambasted his squad after Saturday's meltdown at Rupp Arena.
By Monday Pearl had calmed a little bit, backing off of a bit from his comments on Saturday when he disparaged his team as having 'quit' in the second half.
"I used the word quit the other day. I mean quit on themselves, quit on what we do, quit on playing with purpose and focus. It's not that the effort isn't there and it's not that they don't want to win," Pearl clarified on Monday.
But what the head coach couldn't sugarcoat--and didn't try to--is the suddenly precarious position his team's postseason chances currently appear to be in.
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