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Posted: Friday, February 24th, 2017, 7:39 AM
Orange Throat
'Tony B Nation:

Random musings as we consider a situation so bad we're looking forward to Tennessee's baseball season:

"TENNESSEE GUYS" NOT STANDING UP FOR THE TENNESSEE GUYS: Our long, national joke of an athletics director vacancy is winding down to a predictably whacky ending. Insiders tell us that new chancellor Beverly D. Davenport is not getting any real consensus in behalf of David Blackburn or Phillip Fulmer from the GNBs and Peyton Manning, and is thus going in the direction of an outsider to replace outsider Dave Hart. Davenport is thought to favor Mike Bohn from her old school (Univ. of Cincinnati) and he is likely to get a finalist interview. Some insiders think North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham can have the job if he wants it and the Notre Dame graduate might want to jump to a school and conference that favors football. Manning appears to lack the conviction of many of his fellow lettermen that the school needs a VFL to heal various wounds, and it is an open question whether he will stand up for either Blackburn or Fulmer. In fact, it appears he has already gone along with Blackburn being eliminated.

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TOMORROW NOW CRITICAL FOR NCAA HOPES: After Wednesday night's ugly display against Vandy, Rick Barnes' basketball team goes to South Carolina desperately in search of an upset win. The Gamecocks are reeling but an NCAA tourney bid still looks safe for Frank Martin's team. The Vols were straight garbage against the Commodores and would have been blown out of their own building if Vandy had shot better than 36% from the field. Once again, UT's guard play was wretched and Vandy 7-footer Luke Kornet shut down Grant Williams. Shembari Phillips, Josh Bone and Lamonte Turner combined for 4 of 23 shooting from the field.

JONES GETS ANOTHER UPGRADE OPPORTUNITY: Butch Jones got an unexpected bonus opportunity to continue the upgrade of his coaching staff when WR coach Zach Azzanni took his talents to the Chicago Bears. Bad break for us that it didn't happen sooner as Josh Malone might have returned for his senior year. Receivers routinely underachieved under Azzanni in his four years at UT, so this is a real opportunity. Hearing several names but we don't believe Kippy Brown will come out of retirement in Nashville. Former Kentucky HC Joker Phillips, now at UC, would be an interesting choice.

OLE MISS FOOTBALL GOING INTO THE DEEP FREEZE: The NCAA informed Ole Miss of severe violations on Wednesday, including lack of institutional control and a "failure to monitor" on HC Hugh "Hakeem" Freeze. Ole Miss' administration promptly gave up a bowl possibility for 2017, which is laughable since the 2016 team failed to qualify for a postseason game with a 5-7 record. The Rebel leaders are now in a very tough spot. Freeze is probably facing a sizeable suspension and the school won't go in front of the infractions committee until the summer. Can Freeze and the Ole Miss football program be viable in recruiting on the other side of a multi-game or season-long suspension? Is there a rule in the NCAA bylaws that says you get an automatic penalty if you beat Alabama two years in a row at Ole Miss?

Orange Throat

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Hakeem The Fleeting Dream: Working our way invertedly through your submission, it seems that all the prayer candles and incence in the continent of Africa couldn't buy Hakeem Freeze any more time. Soon he won't have to work. He'll be counting his money banging on his Djembe drum all day. I'll give Hakeem this...The man's an enterprising coach. He was creative during his time in Oxford. Oh, and you're right. When he beat St Nick The Miserable twice in a row and had the testicular fortitude to lead him 14-0 in the 3rd encounter, his days were numbered.

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Jones Versus Jones: Which Butch Jones will emerge in the chase for a WR coach? The Jones that overthinks things or the one that has been upgrading his staff with alacrity since the end of the season? I'm inclined to think the most warm bodies are going to be an upgrade over ZA. It's a shame this didn't happen sooner because Josh Malone may have come back if he knew he was getting a new WR coach. Timing is everything. It shouldn't be hard to attract quality candidates as Tennessee has a cadre of fine young wideouts.

Critical Columbia Trip:
You're on that Throaty. Tennessee is walking into an interesting spot tomorrow. I'm inclined to agree with Keith Hatfield's assessment on the postgame show after Vandy that Tennessee either hammers South Carolina or they get hammered. Either Carolina has packed it in or they're going to choke out the Vols tomorrow. I have a funny feeling we're going to see a one sided basketball game one way or another.

Hatfield's Nine
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An anticlimactic NBA trade deadline is behind us. Time for both pro and college hoops to begin their stretch runs.

1. Tennessee just had no bounce in their loss to Vanderbilt. If they lack fire tomorrow at South Carolina, they'll get hammered.

2. The performance of Pat Adams and Doug Shows Wednesday night was a disgrace. They were a walking advertisement for the need to make officials more accountable.

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3. The assistant coaching exodus at UT will make or break Butch Jones. The only real constant now is him.

4. The athletic director search at UT now appears to be widening. That doesn't bode well for the candidates with UT ties.

5. Rick Pitino giving a lecture on class is comparable to Kim Kardashian giving a speech on chastity. He should just shut up and be glad he still has a job.

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6. The Bulls waived the white flag by trading Taj Gibson. The inmates are now fully in charge of that asylum.

7. It'll be interesting to see how the Paul George situation plays out in Indianapolis. The Pacers may have missed an opportunity by not shipping him to Boston now.

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8. It'll be interesting to see how Florida performs on the big stage in Lexington with the SEC regular season title on the line. This could be a defining moment for Michael White.

9. Rhode Island hosts VCU in a game that could punch the home team's NCAA ticket. Kingston should be rocking.

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Sapphire is Knoxville's premier nightspot. Make it a priority to stop in and try a signature cocktail this weekend.

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Tennessee on Tennessee Crime: I've been hearing all week that David Blackburn has completely fallen out of favor in the AD race. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't even get an official interview in Knoxville. Meanwhile, Phillip Fulmer has now lost his leader status in the race to become UT's next AD. It seems whoever has the lead in that deal closes like our basketball Vols. Both Blackburn and Fulmer had double digit leads. Both guys at various times in this topsy turvy leaderless search looked like locks. Now both guys appear locked out. Is Tennessee really going to proceed without even interviewing David Blackburn after all is said and done? Do they realize how much of a facial this is to the rank and file common fan? Do they care? Do fans even matter?

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In all my quarter century of being on the air the treatment of David Blackburn by our alma mater is one of the more disgraceful episodes I can recall. He deserves better. DB has been disgraced and dragged through the mud in this process. For what? To not even get an official interview? If that happens it will be all time piss poor. I would say that Tennessee's leadership is better and brighter than this but truth is this would be par for the course. I'm hearing Bubba Cunningham is the man to beat as of this Friday! Bubba Cunningham. What an awesome name that is.

Hubba Bubba! Bubba Cunningham aka Lawrence R Cunningham is North Carolina's AD. He's done a really nice job of steering UNC around the NCAA apparatus in light of the blight of the academic scandal on that campus. Cunningham's initial maneuvering had the NCAA dump the onus for the entire scandal on the women's hoops program. That's my guy!!!!

Donna The Buffalo? Yesterday on the Tony Basilio Show was Dave Hart Appreciation Day! Well Dave Hart created the monster that is Donna Thomas. He picked her from the bunch when he blew up the Women's Athletic Department (consolidated departments). Donna Thomas made a hot mess of UT's inaugural combined Hall of Fame. Now it looks like she's throwing her weight around internally on this AD search. How did she get all this power? Repeat after me...Dave Hart....Coach Hart is the gift the keeps on giving.

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@LSU (Wed 7pm)






T Mail Of The Year..
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'Hey Tony,
I love your show! Some of my college buddies (we all graduated from Tennessee in 1998) let me know about your show a couple of years ago. I listen all the time!

Anyway, I live in KY now, so your show keeps me entertained and in the know with all things UT sports related.

So, I have a suggestion for the new Athletic Director. Since the Los Angeles Lakers fired Mitch Kupchak we should hire him. His last name is a perfect fit for our university.

Keep up the awesome work!


Posted: Thu, Feb 23rd, 1:28 PM
by Beano
Posted: Sun, Feb 26th, 9:33 PM
by Doink
Number One in the World
Posted: Thu, Feb 23rd, 8:47 AM
by Alison
Andrew: Drop the mic....


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