Barnes played four years and coached eight years at Ole Miss, giving him a strong background in Southeastern Conference basketball. He also is a defensive-minded coach, and halfcourt defense was a problem area for Tennessee in 2005-06. Because of these attributes, Barnes was viewed as a leading candidate for the Vol vacancy.
With the search for Edgar's successor now in Week 5, though, Barnes is no longer part of the candidate pool.
"I interviewed Rod and liked a lot of things about his candidacy,'' Pearl told The Knoxville News-Sentinel. "There were just a lot of things I liked about him, but I'm still in the process of looking for the best fit.''
In addition to Barnes, Pearl has interviewed four other candidates for the Vol opening -- Kent State assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer, former Iowa State aide Damon Archibald, Bob Sundvold of the ABA's Kansas City Knights and former Texas-San Antonio head coach Tim Carter.