Questions With Coach Pearl Before The Vandy & Ohio State Games

1. Describe UT's play in notching two wins, one on the road, to inaugurate SEC competition.

A - "You got to play them when they schedule them. So we started out with the defending Western Division champion, Ole Miss, an undefeated team. To be down four points with a couple of minutes to go, then win that game was a great way to start the conference season. You need a win like that at home, basically holding serve. And then to win at South Carolina, where historically we have not played well, it's just great to start 2-0."

2. With Chris Lofton's scoring touch slow to develop, explain how the senior helps defensively.

A - "Chris has improved on defense tremendously. And on offense, the fact he commands so much attention opens the floor to the rest of the team. They always have to account for Chris. They never leave him. It gives opponents one less help defensively."

3. What is the situation regarding 6-7 Duke Crews, sidelined with a heart-related problem?

A - "His status is unchanged. Last week he underwent his third and final test to determine if he can come back this year. The numbers are consistent with the results of tests he took in Atlanta a few weeks ago. They will try to determine if has an athletic heart, a condition in which the heart is bigger and pumps more slowly, or if it's something we should be more concerned with. Their findings will determine if Duke can return to play this year or will need to be redshirted."

4. How can the Vols cope with Vanderbilt's scoring duo of Shan Foster and A.J. Ogilvy Thursday, 7:00p On ESPN/ESPN2

A - "Those two guys lead the league in scoring. They have a terrific team. Foster is the most dangerous outside shooter in the league. Ogilvy as a freshman is one of the most dominant players in our league. They have a great inside-outside combination."

5. Tell about Ohio State, which plays here Saturday, 3:30p on CBS & Volunteer TV, only two days after the Vanderbilt game.

A - "The scheduling is not good since we have only a day and a half to come back from the Vanderbilt game. The preparation will be challenging. They've added a dominant freshman big man. They have four or five NBA-caliber players on the roster. They are the biggest team we've played so far. Teams with all that size bother us the most."

Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information

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