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Friday
Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017, 10:00 AM
Orange Throat
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Basilioville:

Random musings as we celebrate the beginning of the college baseball season and hope for a fun and easy win over Missouri tomorrow:


A.D. OR BUST FOR D.B.? John Brice went strong with a story this week on GoVols247 that referred to several sources saying it is not in the cards for David Blackburn to become Phillip Fulmer's deputy, if Fulmer becomes athletics director. We're sure Brice has great sources telling him that but we think the issue invites more questions ... such as:

Does Fulmer want Blackburn as his right hand man? Why wouldn't he, especially given the departure of Dave Hart's deputy, Jon Gilbert?

The GNB's (Guys with Names on Buildings) obviously cooled on Blackburn and elevated Fulmer to the lead position over the past couple of months. We're hearing that Fulmer is receiving zero encouragement from the power guys to put Blackburn in his cabinet. Why?

Coming Soon to Cumberland Ave!
Blackburn is obviously telling people behind the scenes he's not interested but UT could give him a substantial raise and put him in the catbird seat to succeed Fulmer in a few years. Insiders tell us Blackburn would take it if he were approached in the proper fashion.

Does new UTK chancellor Beverly D. Davenport pull the rug out from the GNB's and pick Blackburn as her A.D., and then Blackburn gives Fulmer a Spurrier type role? Such a decision would be applauded by many inside the Power Tower and would be more than acceptable to most donors and fans.

OR, have some of the GNB's already cooled on Fulmer and given BDD the go ahead to get an outside candidate and bring all kinds of thunder down on the new chancellor? Insiders say the Turnkey search firm is working fast behind the scenes and the star-studded search committee may be pressed into action within the next week. Our best guess is to make Fulmer the 65% favorite and the rest of the field (including Blackburn) at 35%.


ARKANSAS WIN HURTS, BUT ... Arkansas' road win at South Carolina solidifies the Razorbacks for the fourth NCAA berth from the SEC, at least for the moment. Obviously, our Basketball Vols can't lose to Missouri at home tomorrow or Vandy next Wednesday. Then, you have a big opportunity at South Carolina a week from tomorrow. Certainly, the NIT is looking more realistic right now, but the tough schedule Rick Barnes lined up has the Vols high in the RPI and other rankings, versus their won-lost record.



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LADY VOL BASKETBALL SLIPPING AWAY: The number one concern coming out of last night's game is the health of Diamond DeShields after being carried to the hospital after a nasty collision in the first quarter at Alabama, a game the Lady Vols lost, 65-57. This is UT's third loss in the last four games and the Crimson Tide is one of the worst teams in the SEC. Next up Arkansas on Sunday at The Thommy.



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PLAY BALL! Dave Serrano's make-or-break season as UT's baseball coach kicks off this weekend in Memphis in a three-game set with the Tigers. This is a very winnable series and the Vols then go west for some more winnable games ... Our 5-0 Lady Vol softball team is in Las Cruces, NM for a five-game round-robin starting on Saturday. The 14th-ranked Lady Vols' toughest competition will be on Sunday against 37th-rated Oregon State.


Orange Throat
IGYTF




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Don't Sleep on Mizzou: Actually DO sleep on Mizzou. They are absolutely terrible. And I mean TERRIBLE. The last time out Mizzou combined with Bama to shoot 36 of 103 shots. Bama managed to win at Mizzou despite having only 8 points 16 minutes into an SEC Basketball game. I'm talking all time bad. Both teams combined to shoot 9-39 from 3 point range. Go to a pick up game at your local YMCA. That's less than 25%. How can scholarship players in a revenue league at the D-1 level be this bad? I don't know but this league manages to reach new lows.



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Hubbs Where The Heart Is: If Hubbs can get healthy down the stretch, Tennessee could find their stride late and perhaps sneak into the back of the field. If Hubbs continues to hobble, Tennessee could lose to anybody left on their schedule including that wretched Mizzou team. Mizzou is actually 2-2 in their last four SEC games. At 7-18 they've yet to win on the road period this season. Scratch what I've been saying this week. Tennessee rolls tomorrow.



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Adams Commeth: John Adams joins us today on the show as it's officially on with the UT AD search. It should be interesting discussing his latest column today. Beverly Davenport officially is on the job now and is confronted with a few inconvenient truths. This deal is going to get really interesting before it's over.




Tennessee Sports In A Word: Today on the show we'll ask you this question.....In one word, describe the past 10 years when it comes to sports here with UT.




Dinosaur Jr? The Jurassic model of the football coach turned AD is only in play one other place in our country, at Wisconsin. Barry Alvarez is 71 years old so he's got a few years on Coach Fulmer. In all credit to Alvarez, Wisconsin is super healthy in both major sports. Paul Chryst has the Badger football team living in the Big 10 Title game annually. Of course they are in a weak division in a lessor league (in recent years) than the SEC. In Hoops, Wisconsin is 21-4 overall and thought to be a team potentially headed for a special season. I guess what I'm saying is that while I'm a David Blackburn guy, honestly it's worked out very well for Wisconsin. I thought it would bear pointing out here in the spirit of fairness.



What's in a record? Butch Jones is 30-21 in his 4 year tenure in Knoxville. He's had some ups and downs but has things settled down at least.

Phillip Fulmer in his last 4 years in Knoxville was 29-21. Included in that mark was a 7-1 versus Vandy/Kentucky. Fulmer actually went 10-15 versus everybody else in the league during his final four seasons here.



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Winning Culture??:
Phillip Fulmer won 2 SEC Titles in 17 years in Knoxville. Tennessee hasn't won an SEC Title since 1998. That's going on 20 years. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Are the two titles worthy of bragging by Fulmer to Davenport and that committee? At most schools the answer would be no. Around here with the way it's gone lately, he might get another street named after him.



Hatfield's Nine
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Tony,

All Star Weekend is here. New Orleans will host a festival of professional basketball while college hoops inches closer to its regular season finish line.

1. Tennessee must take a workmanlike approach tomorrow. This group isn't good enough to beat much of anyone if they are unfocused.

2. I will give Missouri credit for continuing to show fight during another lost season. That's more than can be said about a lot of teams out there.


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3. VCU at Richmond tonight will be a slugfest. The Spiders get a chance to put a serious dent in their crosstown rival's league title hopes.

4. Middle Tennessee is just steamrolling the field in C-USA. The Blue Raiders have the look of a Sweet 16 sleeper.

5. Kansas can remove any suspense from the Big 12 race with a win at Baylor. The Bears need a win to maintain their status as a contender for a top regional seed.


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6. Maryland travels to Wisconsin Sunday for a game with huge Big Ten title implications. A win at the Kohl Center might get the Terps the trophy.

7. Oregon is rounding into the national contender they were expected to be. The Ducks are incredibly versatile.


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8. It's amazing to think how close to dead the NBA in New Orleans was a few years ago. It's a credit to everyone involved that the franchise survived.

9. The trade deadline should be fascinating this season. More marquee players than usual in the discussion.


Click to Sapphire!

Sapphire is Knoxville's premier nightspot. Stop in for a taste of the high life this weekend.


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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is the perfect option for your family gatherings. Stop in and pick up a full feast.

Plenty of exciting news about the Blankenship Field renovation project will be coming soon. Go to blankenshiplegacy.org to donate.

Keith

@rkeithhatfield




DON'T FALL ON YOUR SWORD YET, TONY WHAT'S THE WORD I'M LOOKING FOR....?
VITELLO AND ALL KINDS OF BASEBALL
Posted: Thu, Jun 15th, 3:34 PM
by Beano
PROMOTIONS TIME @ THE OLE BALLPARK
Posted: Sat, Jun 24th, 8:04 PM
by Doink
Happy Father's Day
Posted: Sun, Jun 18th, 10:14 PM
by Alison
FREE THOUGHT FRIDAY

SLOW THE SHAME TRAIN: Tony may have been prematurely critical of Rick Barnes -especially in the tone and relentless nature of his complaints- but now I believe hes become too contrite....

JAY BILAS FINDS THE TERM:

WHAT COACH FULMER CAN DO:

VOL HOOPS:

LOOKING BACK:

GEORGIA:

-Ive seen very few individual performances by an opponent in TBA as good as J.J. Frazier put on against the Vols Saturday....

@KENTUCKY

LOOKING AHEAD:

vs MISSOURI (Sat 1 pm)

vs VANDERBILT (Wed 6:30 pm)...[more]










Honesty...Such A Lonely Word:
How much non-Tennessee related SEC Basketball have you watched thus far this season? When you get past the first 4 teams in this league, it's nearly impossible to watch SEC hoops.




I'm Really Trying: I really tried to watch Vandy and A&M last night. Tennessee gets Vandy Wednesday in Nashville. I believe Tom Hart was calling last night's game in Nashville. If bad basketball was hazardous to one's health, Hart would've assumed room temperature. BTW, Vandy beat A&M with a late push. Vandy hits the weekend 12-13 overall and only 6-7 in the SEC.




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Thank You!!! As I remind you that we'll be live with you SmartWay Garza Law Firm Tennessee Basketball Overtime, I want to thank you for helping us double our reach from 2/15/16-2/15/17. We've doubled this audience in one year. Tell your friends about us today and help us continue to grow. This is a labor of love and we love you.



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TB




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