J.P. Prince Proud of Past

When No. 30 suits up Wednesday night and takes the court against the Arkansas Razorbacks, it will be for the last time as a Tennessee Volunteer. Originally a transfer from Arizona, senior J.P. Prince is ready to put a stamp on his memorable stay in Knoxville. Go "Inside" this special feature on Prince.

When No. 30 suits up Wednesday night and takes the court against the Arkansas Razorbacks, it will be for the last time as a Tennessee Volunteer.

Originally a transfer from Arizona, senior J.P. Prince is ready to put a stamp on his memorable stay in Knoxville, but not with the intentional flair that typically accompanies his high flying alley-oops or aerial dunks.

"I've had some great times," Prince said. "Won a lot of games, played a lot of great games in front of a lot of fans. You'll miss it one day but stuff like that doesn't hit me for years from now."

"It's your last time playing here, but you can't make more of it. That's just me."

A contributor on the court since 2007, Prince has been a part of 73 Volunteers victories, highlighted by his 13 point, eight rebound performance against Memphis in 2008, which included a pair of clutch free throws to seal the victory over the top-ranked Tigers.

Prince has posted some of his greatest games against the strongest opponents, again shown on Saturday when he led the team with 20 points against Kentucky.

"I think you just want to leave it in a better place than when you came in," Prince said. "I think coach has done a good job at that. I'm proud of what myself, Wayne and Bobby have done since we've been here."

Senior night at Thomson-Boling Arena will feature a visit from the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team the Vols squeaked by 74-72 in Fayetteville, Ark. last season on a late bucket by Bobby Maze.

"They're just a good, hard team," Prince said. "They match up well against us, they like to play a fast style as well."

It has been a strenuous February for Prince and the Volunteers, who went 5-3 in the month, capped off with a 74-65 home win over second-ranked Kentucky.

With road games to Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina all squeezed into one month, Prince still has a "business as usual" approach.

"Every year," Prince said. "Still the same grind. You got to get through it. I've been doing it for the past three years; it's just how it is. The SEC, night after night you're going to play a good team."

The finish line won't be any easier for the Volunteers, with a trip to western division leader Mississippi State on Saturday to conclude the regular season.

It will be the second consecutive Saturday that the Volunteers play the top team from an SEC division.

"You got to play everybody once anyways," Prince said. "So it really doesn't matter when you play them; you just got play well when you play them and learn from it."

But before that finale, the fans at Thompson-Boling Arena could be treated to a few farewell flights from the sneakers of No. 30.

Prince laughs at the notion of a drawn up alley-oop, or a signature dunk to adjourn his career at Tennessee Wednesday night.

"Hopefully I've done enough over my years that I don't have to do nothing too crazy," Prince said. "I've had enough dunks over my career; maybe I'll get just one, I'll be happy."

Aside from winning a national championship, there is one obstacle Prince will have one last opportunity to tackle; a feat no Volunteer team has accomplished yet under head coach Bruce Pearl. Win an SEC tournament.

The Vols fell to Mississippi State 64-61 in the championship game last season, squandering an opportunity to win their first conference tournament since 1978-79.

"It'd be nice," Prince said. "It's a tough thing you never know what's going to happen. Anytime it's a tournament format you never know what's going to happen. I just want to enjoy my last tournament, just have fun from here on out."


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