Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
But, now, coach Pearl has moved on from his horrid off-season to become the best coach in the SEC, or possibly the nation, right now.
The Tennessee Volunteers (7-0) entered the season without many expectations. That notion was decreased once the Vol's fell to Indianapolis, a Division II program.
However, those expectations only grew after an early win over then-No. 7 Villanova 78-68 that moved the Vol's inside the top-20 at No. 17.
After running over Middle Tennessee 86-56, the Vol's received another chance to make a statement over the No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers.
During the game, junior guard Scotty Hopson had a career night scoring 27 points, on a night where he was 10-of-13 from the field. Remember, Pitt has one of the best defense in the nation.
Tennessee defeated two top-10 opponents, and Pearl's picks up his seventh win over top-5 opponents, and is the only Tennessee coach to be plus-500 on highly ranked teams.
Freshman Tobias Harris has emerged as a consistent contributor for coach Pearl. Harris averages 15.2 points, and six rebounds, which ranks among the top of all freshman.
However, the true explanation as to why the Vol's are continually getting better is the man pacing the sidelines. Coach Pearl has scheduled tough, and his guys have responded.
This is the second season in a row where Tennessee was able to defeat a top-5 opponent. Last year it was No. 1 Kansas, this year Pitt.
Coach Pearl has the Vol's inching closer to being one of the top teams in the nation. Despite adversity, Pearl has kept his composure and willed this squad to the best start (7-0) during his tenure at Tennessee.
Last years coach of the year is very similar to coach Pearl. Jim Boehim of Syracuse, led his team to the No. 1 ranking, and inside the top-5 for most of the year after barely being inside of the top-25 before the season started.
Pearl has a shot at becoming a two-time coach of the year recipient; depending on whether or not the suspension will affect his chances.
He has a great team led by young star Harris, and Hopson. The Vol's have five more ranked opponents on their upcoming schedule. The Vol's have the talent, and passion to continue their dominance on the basketball court.
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