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Tennessee Volunteers

1. Mr. and Mr.s Smith. If the NCAA tourney was played 3-on-3 hoop-it-up style and each team could only field players that had the same name, Tennessee would be considered the greatest college team of all time. Despite some broadcast announcers this season repeatedly insisting that there is a fourth Smith named Jamar, there are in fact three players that share the surname of Smith that are in the starting lineup for the Vols. Ramar starts at point guard, and he is the one the Vols turn to when they need someone to get some dribble penetration in the lane. Tyler, who transferred from Iowa last season, gives Tennessee some much needed help in the post. He leads the team in rebounding and assists and is their third scoring threat. The final Smith is JaJuan. He is an above average defender, leading the team in steals, and when he is on, he can shoot the three ball as well as anyone in the country.

2. Somebody call up House, M.D. Every team has to overcome injuries throughout the year. Tennessee has been relatively injury-free this season, but they have had to deal with an unusual amount of illnesses. First is the case of J.P. Prince. Originally at Arizona, J.P. went to get his wisdom teeth out and ended up in an induced coma. This obviously affected him on the basketball court as well and led to his transfer to Tennessee. He is now back to full strength and is their best option coming off the bench. Next to succumb to the health crisis was Duke Crews. As if Tennessee wasn't already struggling in the post, Duke Crews was forced to sit out for two months due to a heart condition found in a routine physical exam. He was cleared medically at the beginning of conference play, and although it is obvious that he is not as conditioned as the rest of the team, he has been giving the Vols the extra post player they have been waiting for. Coinciding with Crews' return to the court, the team began passing around a nasty flu. That didn't stop JaJuan Smith from playing with a 100 degree temperature against LSU or the several other players who have had to fight through it in other games. Tennessee finally has the bugs worked out, and now Tennessee fans are hoping that they can make it the rest of the year disease free.


3. Want a D-I scholarship? Keep playing video games. The Vols also got some help in the post this season from freshman Brian Williams. Fresh off becoming one of Time,/eM>'s 100 most influential people in the world, Brian Williams has given Tennessee some clutch minutes off the bench. This is remarkable considering how he found his way to campus to play basketball. Three years ago, weighing in at 370+ pounds, his brother convinced him to get off the couch and start playing basketball. Before that time, he had never really played organized basketball other than the kind that requires a controller. In fact, he supposedly learned how to play the real life game of basketball from playing basketball video games. Today, he is more than 100 pounds lighter and is a scholarship player on a top 10 basketball team. And since I don't have it in me to write up these capsules without mentioning them ... Bruce Pearl and Chris Lofton. There, now I feel better. — Matthew Payne

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