Williams' wake-up call

With Tennessee's hopes of repeating as SEC East champ fading fast, perhaps it's time for the Vols to awaken the sleeping giant.

That would be 6-foot-10, 270-pound Brian Williams, who has been sleep-walking through the 2009-10 season thus far. The towering junior accomplished very little in November and December, then missed all of January due to a disciplinary suspension. Since being reinstated three games ago, he has scarcely played.

If the Vols are to avenge a 15-point Jan. 23 loss at Georgia in Wednesday's rematch at Thompson-Boling Arena, however, they may need a "sizable" contribution from Big Brian. The Dawgs dominated the earlier meeting on the inside, slamming home nine dunks and thrashing Tennessee 35-24 on the backboards. The Vols had no answer for 6-foot-10, 247-pound Trey Thompkins, who recorded 21 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks while limiting UT's Wayne Chism to 6 points and 6 rebounds.

With the 6-foot-9 Chism battling ankle and hip injuries, Williams may have to play a critical role Wednesday night.

"We'll give Brian Williams a really good look in practice today, whether Wayne can practice or not," head coach Pearl said. "Brian's not gotten a lot of time (since returning from the suspension). It takes a little time to get him back; he'd been off for more than a month.

"I think we'll look hard at Brian today in practice, give him more repetitions and see how close he is to being able to help us.

"He certainly could help us against the imposing size that Georgia presents, so it'll be a good opportunity for Brian."


Georgia native Cameron Tatum, slowed by an ankle injury, is questionable to play Wednesday vs. the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-6 sophomore wing sprained his left ankle with 1:01 left in the first half of Game 22 vs. South Carolina and did not play last week in Game 23 at Vanderbilt or Game 24 at Kentucky.

Asked about Tatum's status for Wednesday night, Pearl replied: "As of yesterday, it was doubtful."

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