Vols get another Pearl

The head coach won't be the only Pearl on Tennessee's basketball team next season.

Steven Pearl, son of head man Bruce Pearl, plans to walk on with the 2006-07 Vols. The younger Pearl stands 6-feet-5 and averaged 21.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for Knoxville's West High School last winter. He shot 49 percent from the field and made some all-state teams.

When the possibility of coaching his son was first raised a few months ago, Bruce Pearl quipped: "Coaching my son doesn't concern me. Coaching MY WIFE'S son concerns me."

After announcing Steven's decision to spurn small-college scholarship offers and walk on at UT, Bruce Pearl told The Knoxville News-Sentinel: "I gave him two rules: Don't ever be late, and don't ever have me ask you to work harder. I'm satisfied he'll be able to do both.''

The Pearls appear to be a very tight-knit family. Bruce Pearl clearly is pleased by his son's decision to play for the Vols.

"To me, it's a blessing to have my son in my life for four or five more years,'' the elder Pearl told The News-Sentinel. "Steven has improved a great deal the past couple of years. He's good enough to practice for us, and maybe someday he'll be good enough to play for us.''

Steven Pearl is the second coach's son to play for Tennessee in recent years. Allan Houston played for Wade Houston from 1989-93. Allan was a High School All-American who starred at UT but played as a walk-on his senior year so Wade could give Allan's scholarship to freshman LaMarcus Golden.

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