Rambunctious rebounder

He was perfect from the field (5 of 5) and perfect from the line (4 of 4) in his college debut, yet he wasn't perfectly happy with the result.

"I didn't get all of the rebounds I thought I should've gotten," Tennessee freshman Kenny Hall grumbled, looking back on a 14-point performance in Friday's 117-79 exhibition beat-down of North Alabama.

Clearly, this 6-9, 220-pounder from Stone Mountain, Ga., has lofty expectations. After all, he led the Vols in offensive rebounds (4) and total rebounds (7).

"It was cool for a debut," he said, softening his stance a little. "I'm proud of the fact I hit all of my free throws. I've really been working on my free throws - putting the time in before and after practice. But the seven rebounds ... I wanted a double-double."

Hall might've achieved a double-double if he hadn't fouled out in just 16 minutes. When asked if he might've been a little hyper in his college debut, however, he shook his head emphatically.

"No. That's just me being aggressive," he said. "I just play physical. I wish the refs would've let us play a little more physical. I actually talked to the refs. I was telling 'em 'We're playing in the post, and it's a battle down in the post. We're big men, and we like to play physical.' I wish they would've let us play more physical."

Most 6-9 guys dominate in high school while playing passively. There was nothing passive about Kenny Hall at Redan High School, however, and he insists there won't be at Tennessee, either.

"I've always been aggressive," he said. "I've always been a hard worker. I'm not looking at it as being more aggressive or less aggressive. I'm going at it just as hard as ever, pushing myself to the max every time."

Head coach Bruce Pearl said recently that Hall appears to be Tennessee's best offensive rebounder. That's quite a distinction for a freshman. So, what makes an effective offensive rebounder?

"Just hustle, crashing the boards," Hall said. "It's instinct, really, just natural instinct."

Thinking back on his college debut, Hall said it was about what he expected. Still, he admits learning one thing that will help him going forward.

"Getting lower," he said. "Just getting lower and in better position on them box-outs. That's it."

Maybe Hall will get better position on box-outs Wednesday night, when the Vols host Lincoln Memorial in their final preseason exhibition. Maybe he'll get that double-double he's seeking. And maybe - just maybe - he'll be more pleased with his second college outing than he was with his first.


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