Tennessee's Pearl a Tough Act to Follow

Tennessee's Pearl a Tough Act to Follow

Martin seems like a genuinely good person who will do all the right things.

But he's no Bruce Pearl.

Look, Pearl is a tough act to follow. For all the NCAA entanglements that have surfaced, Pearl made things fun. He made UT men's basketball relevant on a national level with his personality and salesmanship.

When the impending NCAA sanctions expire, they should hang Pearl's orange blazer from the rafters of Thompson-Boling Arena as a tribute to the resurrection of Vol Ball that he oversaw.

Meanwhile, many are concerned that Martin's coaching philosophy — based on the principles taught by his old college coach, Gene Keady — will be a turn-off to UT's fan base. The spike in attendance, not to mention the refurbishing of the arena, came when Pearl was entertaining fans by reeling off victories with a pressing defense and an offensive high-wire act.

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