Vols' Pearl throws down challenge

December 09, 2009

Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl says his Volunteers have been letting their opponents set the game tempo a little too much lately.

"It's not been as up as I'd like," he said. "The one good thing is we've been able to win games playing slower as well as playing faster."

That could change as the schedule gets tougher for the ninth-ranked Vols (6-1). So Pearl wants his players to be more in charge, starting Friday when they face Middle Tennessee State (3-4) on a neutral Nashville Arena court in the Sun Belt Classic.

Pearl isn't sure if his team is playing to the level of their early season opponents like College of Charleston and East Tennessee State, two surprisingly close games. He does know travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam tournament, a busy game schedule and exams haven't helped.

"I did feel like prior to going to the Virgin Islands we had great practices, very intense practices, knowing what was ahead," Pearl said.

• Iowa coach Todd Lickliter was released from an Iowa City hospital after undergoing a procedure to repair a tear in his carotid artery.

Lickliter spoke about the operation to stent his carotid artery for the first time on a radio show Tuesday. He had been hospitalized Friday.

Lickliter says he was having headaches in late November. Doctors discovered the beginning of a tear in his carotid artery - which is a vessel that supplies blood to the brain - and performed the procedure Saturday.

Greg Monroe had 24 points and 15 rebounds as No. 15 Georgetown (7-0) defeated No. 22 Butler 72-65 in New York.

AP

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