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Rocky Top Talk Feb 16, 2015

Torn ACL for Isabelle Harrison

Everything is terrible. Yesterday against Kentucky, with 19:01 to go in the second half, Isabelle Harrison's knee buckled very awkwardly in a sideways direction when a Kentucky player rolled into her leg during a rebounding scrum.  Izzy's scream, obvious pain, and the sheer silence and tears from the crowd and players gave prelude to the news that we all new was coming.  Just a few minutes ago, UT announced that Harrison has a torn ACL and is likely* done for the season. This ends the career of a phenomenal college center with the height plus athleticism to dominate in the paint.  She...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 15, 2015

Harrison Down: Tennessee Lady Vols 72, Kentucky 58

A 70-56 win against Kentucky was marred by Isabelle Harrison re-injuring her knee and a Jordan Reynolds injury. Okay, so that one thing we weren't going to talk about--what happens if anyone from the Lady Vols goes down--happened. Isabelle Harrison re-injured her knee early in the second half. This was the same knee (and MCL) that kept her out of a few games earlier in the season, and the thing you don't want to happen occurred. She got caught coming back down from a rebound attempt by a Kentucky defender who had established position underneath her. More importantly, she had established...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 15, 2015

Lady Vols vs. Lady Wildcats, Round 2 of 2 (or 3)

It's the return leg of the Tennessee-Kentucky matchup, this time at 3 PM EST in Knoxville. TV: ESPN2 and 65 ads for H&R Block ESPN2 Radio: you've got to where Mickey knows your name Neither TV nor radio: I've been waiting on UT to realize we're ignoring their Gametracker Since this isn't the first time the Lady Vols have faced Kentucky, we're not going to spend as much time on who they are. If you're too lazy to click on the link: high-pressure defense team who can only kind of shoot coached by a guy whose hair I'll make fun of in a few hundred words. There! You're all caught up. Tennessee...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Massacre: LSU 73, Tennessee 55

You need: a sloppy road performance and Tennessee to play out of their mind. You get: the opposite, save one 13-0 run. This is what it looks like when things don't go well against a talented team. LSU played out of their minds in the first half, went into the break up 47-20, and that was that. LSU is bigger, deeper, and more talented than this Tennessee squad. This wasn't exactly a surprise, more of a known defect. These things are going to happen. Should they happen right before a far more talented, far deeper, and somehow even bigger Kentucky squad walks in? It's probably not good, but it...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 14, 2015

Tennessee Vols vs. LSU Tigers: game thread

Tennessee hosts a very good LSU team this afternoon on Rocky Top. Big game at Thompson Boling today as the Vols host the 17-7 LSU Tigers, a team that just missed a buzzer-beating three-pointer against undefeated Kentucky Tuesday. Things have been a little tough at home for the good guys, but let's hope that they can break that bad mojo like they just broke the close-game-bad-mojo against Vandy on Wednesday. Go Vols! Tip: 4:00 PM ETTV: SEC NetworkRadio: Vol NetworkOnline: WATCHESPNLive Stats: Gametracker
Rocky Top Talk Feb 13, 2015

Tennessee Vols at FIU Panthers Weekend Series Thread

It is Opening Day, and the Vols have escaped the cold weather thanks to a trip to Miami. The Tennessee Volunteers travel to Miami to open the baseball season against the FIU Panthers. The last we saw of the Vols was during the SEC tournament at the end of last season. Tennessee finished with a 31-23 record, and was 12-18 in SEC play.  As we discussed earlier this week, the biggest question for the Vols this season is in regards to the pitching rotation and bullpen.  Bret Marks and Drake Owenby begin the year in the weekend rotation, a role neither has had before, and we will get an...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 13, 2015

Tennessee Football 2015: Why the Vols will win at least 9 games

Earlier this week, Michael wrote that about why you should be wary about lofty preseason expectations for the 2015 Volunteers. Today, we're looking at why you should put on your finest orange and break out the moonshine for the best Tennessee season since 2007. The 2014 Volunteers were better than they had any right to be We all know that Tennessee finished the 2014 season with a bang, thoroughly dominating a poorly prepared Iowa team in the former Gator Bowl, but the Vols were far better than they had any right to be all season. The Vols finished with a winning season for the first time...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 13, 2015

Tennessee vs LSU Preview

A whole lot of talent and the fastest pace in the league come to Knoxville, where Donnie Tyndall's Vols look to make it two in a row. Happy Valentine's Day weekend, where you want to give your heart to Donnie Tyndall but your momma keeps telling you to guard it.  His Vols made a little Memorial Magic of their own late Wednesday night, ending a four-of-five slide and instilling confidence that this team can play winning basketball in the final minutes.  At 14-9 (6-5), Tennessee still has a reasonable chance to win enough games to make the NIT.  To do that, I think they'll need to be at...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 12, 2015

Lady Vols at Ole Miss, 7 PM EST

Come for the fouls, stay for the collapse. Eye bleach: SECN+ / online here Ear bleach: Callin' out refs by name Mind bleach: You know where to find it now. Perhaps it's easiest to just explain up-front how this game is going to go:  Ole Miss will play surprisingly well to start and perhaps even stake out a lead.  But they'll foul like bandits throughout the first half, get in deep trouble on account of it, and collapse in the second.  If that sounds a bit presumptuous, it's only because it's the exact pattern they've always followed in every game I've noted them in this year.  (Not...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 12, 2015

Tennessee 76 Vanderbilt 73 (OT) - Our State

An improbable finish in regulation and clutch play in overtime gives Donnie Tyndall's orange blazer a huge win in Memorial Gym. If you play the last 30 seconds of regulation ten times, Vanderbilt wins nine of them. After breaking Tennessee's press for a Jeff Roberson dunk, the Commodores led 64-60 with 30 seconds on the clock.  Josh Richardson missed a three, the Vols fouled Luke Kornet with 15 seconds left, and we all started lamenting another close loss, including yours truly.  Unlike late misses at Arkansas and Georgia, Tennessee had lots of chances to take the lead in the final five...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 11, 2015

Tennessee Vols at Vanderbilt Commodores: game thread

The Vols head to the funhouse hoping for a win against the 'Dores. Tennessee travels to M.C. Escher Memorial Gymnasium this evening to take on a Vanderbilt team that has recently found its footing. Expect a game between burglars and sentries as the Vols excel at creating turnovers while the Commodores are 12th in the nation in assist percentage. Who's better at what they do? Find out tonight. Go Vols! Tip: 9:00 PM ETTV: SEC NetworkRadio: Vol NetworkOnline: WATCHESPNLive Stats: Gametracker
Rocky Top Talk Feb 11, 2015

Tennessee at Vanderbilt Preview

Tennessee's pressure defense meets the team sharing the ball better than anyone in the SEC. NCAA, NIT, or just an above-.500 season, Tennessee needs wins to finish off the successful season Donnie Tyndall and this young squad starting building back in December.  The Vols have lost four of five, including a pair of just missed opportunities on the road at potential NCAA Tournament teams in Arkansas and Georgia.  Tennessee is competing its butt off, but the results have turned to close losses instead of surprising wins. Vanderbilt was 11-3 after an SEC opening win over Auburn.  Then the...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 10, 2015

Cornerstone Recruiting: The Importance of Butch Jones' First Two Months

Freshmen and sophomores will account for most of the recruiting stars on Tennessee's 2015 roster, but four of the Vols' most important players will be juniors Butch Jones held or acquired during his first two months on the job. The mood on Butch Jones' first signing day, February 6, 2013, was colored greatly by one name:  Vonn Bell.  It seemed like the Vols had him, and then in the final moments he went with Ohio State instead.  Butch Jones missed on his five-star and missed on a chance to win the fanbase. It didn't take long for that to change:  five weeks later Jones landed...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 10, 2015

Six Questions for Tennessee Baseball

Fresh off a trip to the SEC Tournament, Tennessee baseball is looking for even more success in 2015. It is now just three days until Tennessee baseball kicks off their season in Miami, Florida with a series against Florida International.  The team will then return home to Knoxville for six games before heading out west to take on one of Coach Dave Serrano's former teams, UC Irvine, who are coming off of a trip to the College World Series.  Serrano is entering his fourth season at Tennessee, and with his contract ending next summer he is looking to earn an extension by leading the Vols to...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 9, 2015

Tennessee Baseball Television Schedule

The BaseVols will be featured on television 11 times this season, all on the SEC Network. With baseball season kicking off this coming Friday, it is a good time to look ahead at which games Tennessee will have televised this season. Last season, the Vols played 9 regular season games across ESPNU, CSS, Fox Sports Network, and CBS Sports Network. This season they bump that number up to 11, all of which are on the SEC Network (which will be hosting 80 total SEC baseball games this season). An additional 23 games will be streamed online as SEC Network+ events on WatchESPN.com and...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 8, 2015

Lady Vols at Florida Gators, 2 PM EST

Hey, remember when this game used to be close and interesting? Road games: still a thing, but a less scary thing (why is this game on ESPNU while UK-Tennessee was on SECN?) May not: say good grief enough to drive a man to drink a lot Be horrible? amazingly you won't be (try the Gamecast link, avoid the auto-play radio feed) The Lady Vols have three major games before the end of the regular season: vs. Kentucky, at South Carolina, and at Georgia. Those of you who noticed the opponent they're playing today will also notice they're not on that list. We're RPI hawks at Rocky Top Talk this year...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 7, 2015

Georgia 56 Tennessee 53 - A Little Too Ugly

Getting almost nothing from its best player, Tennessee still took Georgia to the wire in Athens with pressure defense and lots of turnovers. The space between what each team did well and what they did poorly was a chasm today.  Consider: Josh Richardson averages 16.2 points per game and had 30 against Mississippi State on Tuesday.  He didn't score until the final minutes, going 1 of 13 against great man-up defense from Georgia.  His previous season low was eight.  If you're going to get just a deuce from your best player on the road, you should expect to get crushed. But...the Vols...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 7, 2015

Tennessee Vols at Georgia Bulldogs: game thread

The Vols look for another road win, this one against Mark Fox's Georgia Bulldogs. The Vols travel to Georgia this afternoon to take on the Georgia Bulldogs at noon on ESPN2. The game kicks off the all-important back nine for a Tennessee team looking for a bit of consistency. And hey, Josh Richardson makes his 100th career start for the Vols today. Woo for him. Go Vols! Tip: 12:00 PM ETTV: ESPN2Radio: Vol NetworkOnline: WATCHESPNLive Stats: Gametracker
Rocky Top Talk Feb 6, 2015

Tennessee Basketball: The Back Nine

After surprising wins and disappointing losses in the first half of SEC play, the Vols prepare to face a much more difficult schedule in their final nine games with the season's ultimate fate still up in the air. Donnie Tyndall's Vols entered SEC play winners of six of their last seven non-conference games, including W's over Kansas State and Butler.  The Vols played Arkansas twice in front nine, winning in Knoxville and falling valiantly in Fayetteville.  The other seven games came against teams picked to finish no better than seventh in the preseason SEC media poll. We know better than...
Rocky Top Talk Feb 5, 2015

DeBord it is for Vols

According to Volquest, Tennessee has hired Mike DeBord as offensive coordinator. DeBord has been the leading candidate since very early in the search, and we've already talked about whether he is the right choice this time around. Debord has been out of coaching for a couple years now but has a long track record as a coach, spending time as an offensive line coach at Michigan and in the NFL and spending five years as an offensive coordinator at Michigan sandwiched around an unsuccessful run as a head coach at Central Michigan, where Butch Jones was on his staff. There are plenty of things...

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