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Bosse part of Vol ‘hoopla,’Pearl ‘mania’


University of Tennessee’s meteoric rise to success in men’s basketball this season —and the resulting “Bruce Pearl mania” and booming fan interest — has a locker room, on-court Farragut perspective.

And 6-foot-7-freshman walk-on Ben Bosse, a former Farragut High School standout post, said he’s loving every minute of it.

“It’s pretty crazy, it’s something unexpected, but it’s a lot of fun, I’m enjoying it,” said Bosse, whose main role is scout team duties for the top-10 nationally-ranked Vols, who were 19-4 overall, 10-2 in the SEC heading to Gainesville, Fla. versus the Florida Gators Wednesday (after press deadline).

“It’s pretty crazy coming in. You know Tennessee’s basketball tradition hadn’t been great, and coach Pearl coming in and pretty much changing things around, it’s pretty exciting.”

About coach Pearl, “He’s twenty-four/seven, he’s going all the time,” Bosse said of the 45-year-old first-year Vol skipper’s energy supply. “That’s his thing.”

Of Tennessee’s first 20 games, Bosse dressed out for all but one and has played in seven, scoring two points.

A Dec. 7 trip to Austin, Texas, was among two that stood out, a 95-78 victory against the top-5 nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns that stunned many in the college basketball world.

“Texas was a lot of fun because we went in and did something that nobody expected us to do,” Bosse said. “And then the Florida game (80-76 win in Knoxville Jan. 21) was a lot of fun, too.”

While saying those big victories were “emotional,” Bosse adds that Pearl doesn’t want his team to get “too high or too low” after a game.

“I’m proud of the guys who go out there and do a majority of the work. I’m glad to be a part of it, making them better. It’s something pretty neat, especially being from Knoxville, it’s pretty cool.”

Adjusting to major college basketball is “a gear shift ... the speed,” Bosse said. “Going from playing against guys that aren’t much bigger than me to Major [Wingate, 6-foot-10 junior] ... big fellas, you’re a small fish in a big pond.”

However, the 19-year-old business major and 2005 FHS graduate said there’s no longer any intimidation factor going against the Vols’ best players.

“It’s just coming out and playing,” he said.

 

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