Tennessee Loses to Division II Indianapolis
Pearl's Volunteers (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) lost to a Division II team, the University of Indianapolis, Monday night, 79-64.
Indianapolis coach, Stan Gouard, was on Pearl's 1995 Division II national championship team at Southern Indiana. His players used Pearl's trademark style, full-court pressure to force 25 turnovers.
"He thought we did a great job of controlling the game," Gouard said. "I owe a lot to him. I told him also that this was the toughest win I have ever had, because I could not get too excited. I felt like I was beating my dad. He is like a dad to me. I have tremendous respect for him."
Darius Adams led the Greyhounds with 27 points. Tennessee led by as many as 10 points in the first half but never looked on key. The Vols missed 13 free throws (14 of 27) and were a woeful 7-for-29 from three point range. Scotty Hopson and Skylar McBee, two of the Vols' top scoring threats, fouled out with just under six minutes to play.
Adrian Moss, who had 20 points, hit a jumper with 11:33 to go to kick the Greyhounds' lead to 58-43. They never looked back.
Pearl already has his own issues. He is currently under investigation due to his staffs recruiting practices, including hosting a recruit at his home, Aaron Craft, a violation of NCAA rules. It's probably safe to say a loss to a DII team was a tough way to start the season.
The Vols lost three stars from last season: Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince, and Bobby Maze.
"Obviously, we're disappointed with the progress we've made, or lack of progress," Pearl said. "What you saw Indianapolis do to us was using our system -- taking the fast break, being patient in the halfcourt and then breaking it down in the end. They were patient. They had a purpose out there. They had chemistry. They were better coached. They knew exactly what they wanted to do and how to execute their game plan."
A embarrassing exhibition loss actually isn't unprecedented. A handful of Division I teams have lost to lower division teams in recent years and still went on to have successful seasons. Last year, Syracuse, then No.25 in the country, lost an exhibition game to LeMoyne 82-79. The Orange received a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Butler in the Sweet 16.
Still, the loss does put a blemish on the Vols resume.
"Mostly it's embarrassing," guard Melvin Goins said. "I think that's the one word that wraps it up. Just an embarrassment to ourselves and to our fans."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.