Pearl seeks perfect fit

Tennessee's head basketball coach is taking his time replacing Scott Edgar, and assistant coach Jason Shay is glad.

Edgar recently left the staff to become head man at Southeast Missouri State. Shay, who followed Bruce Pearl from Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Tennessee last year, says teamwork and chemistry are just as important among coaches as they are among players. That's why it's vital that Pearl find the right guy to join Shay, Tony Jones and Ken Johnson on the 2006-07 Vol staff.

"Most of us have been together now for quite a while, and he (Pearl) doesn't want to bring anybody in who might mess up our chemistry," Shay said. "That (chemistry) is why we've been successful as a staff and as a program."

Jones and Shay have spent the past five years working for Pearl. Johnson just completed his seventh year with the Vol boss.

In addition to finding the right fit in terms of chemistry, Pearl must find an aide capable of supplying the benefits Edgar did. That is no easy task.

"We learned a lot from Coach Edgar ... bringing his up-tempo philosophy he learned from being with Nolan Richardson, Mike Anderson and Billy Tubbs," Shay said. "Scott's a great family person, too, and that's what Coach (Pearl) is looking for in his new assistant.

"Coach Edgar's going to be missed. He's a tireless worker, as a coach on the court and as a recruiter off the court. And his ties in the South helped put us in the position we're in right now."

That "position" is an enviable one. The Vols are coming off a 22-win season and eagerly awaiting the enrollment of a top-five recruiting class.

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