Lots of storylines in play for tonight's Tennessee vs. Kentucky contest. Bruce Pearl makes his return to the sideline after sitting out eight conference games due to suspension. The Vols were 5-3 in his absence with the three losses by margins of 3, 6 (OT) and 5 (OT). Of Tennessee's eight losses on the season, only one was by double-digits (vs. College of Charleston). Kentucky returns home after losing back-to-back road games to Ole Miss and Florida. Following Saturday's loss in Gainesville, UK head coach John Calipari wasn't shy about describing the current situation as a "crisis". In fact, Calipari used the word
during a recent press conference. Lastly, UT guard Scotty Hopson (16.5 ppg) is listed as questionable. Pearl has always been discreet in what he tells the media. He doesn't say much regarding Hopson's status
(fast forward to 26:00) though ambiguously says "we won't be more comfortable playing without him [Hopson] at Kentucky."
"When you lose in this sport it's a crisis," Calipari said. "It doesn't matter if it's one half-court bank shot, it is a crisis. And if you play for me, you'll understand it's a crisis."
"A crisis brings about change," Calipari said. "Meetings, individual meetings, they're a waste of time. Team meetings, they're a waste of time. Crisis will bring about change unless you really don't care. And if you don't care, everybody's going to see it. I think these guys care."