Skinny Kenny

Skinny Kenny

If you were designing the ideal inside player for Tennessee's transition offense he'd have a lanky build, long arms, fast feet and remarkable stamina.

In other words, he'd be just like Kenny Hall, the Vols' lone scholarship freshman of 2009-10. At 6-9 and 220 pounds, Hall appears too thin to match up with the 250- and 260-pounders he'll face at the college level this fall. But he does. Just ask his teammates.

"Kenny is tough to rebound over because he's so long," 6-9, 245-pound Wayne Chism said. "He's learning pretty fast. It's going to be great playing with Kenny out there. He's going to make it difficult for some players to get shots off in the paint."

Hall also has the seal of approval from All-America forward Tyler Smith.

"Kenny is going to be a great player here," Smith said. "He runs the floor well and he shoots the ball well from inside 15 feet. He's also got a great post-up game."

When Hall saw Tennessee's offense it was love at first sight. He knows he will be a perfect fit for it.

"I feel that way," he said. "That's the way my high school team played - getting the rebound and pushing the ball up the floor."

Quickness and stamina are vital in Bruce Pearl's system, and few big men possess the quickness and stamina of Kenny Hall.

"It's a fast-paced style and a lot of teams don't like to run," Hall noted. "A lot of big men, especially, don't like to run. With me liking to run, going against big men that don't like to run, there's a lot more I can do against them."

Hall, who hails from Stone Mountain, Ga., weighed just 210 pounds when he played in the Rocky Top Summer League last June. One memorable matchup saw him go head-to-head against Vol junior Brian Williams, a bruising 6-10, 270-pounder. Williams used his heft to outscore Hall 23-11 in guiding his team to a 130-123 victory. Clearly, Williams' 60-pound weight advantage made him a tough guy for the wiry Hall to guard.

"Man, it's still hard," Hall said, shaking his head. "It was a lot harder then, though, because I was a lot weaker. A lot of it is strength but a lot of it is mental also ... just saying, 'I'm not letting him get this position.' That's how you stop somebody - by not letting them get position. And that's how they kill you - by getting position."

Hall believes he's far better at establishing and maintaining position now than he was in June. He says he's added 10 pounds of much-needed muscle since playing in the Rocky Top League.

"That's helped a lot," he said. "I already had a lot of confidence but the extra weight has given me a little swagger."

Although he was signed to play power forward, Hall is likely to play some post now that Emmanuel Negedu will miss the 2009-10 season due to a heart condition. No problem, Hall says.

"It doesn't even matter," he said. "It's not about me. It's about the team. Team first, me second. I'm just going to have to master both positions. If he needs me to push the 1 (play point guard), I'll push the 1. I'm just a soldier."

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