Howell unlikely to play

Apparently, Jordan Howell's contributions to the Vol basketball team this season will be limited to the practice floor. That word came earlier today from head coach Buzz Peterson.

Howell, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Auburn, Ala., withdrew from school in September to recuperate from a bout with mononucleosis. He originally planned to sit out the basketball season, then enroll in time to begin his career in 2004-05. Howell made a rapid recovery, however, and now says he hopes to regain his strength, work his way into shape and possibly see game action in January, February and March.

His coach believes that plan may be a bit unrealistic, however.

''Jordan just got back on Friday, and I would be very shocked if he played this year,'' Peterson said. ''The two of us haven't gotten together since he got back from the break but I would anticipate that this will be a year when he'll sit, work on getting stronger, developing his body and getting ready for next season.''

Most likely, Howell will serve as a practice player, learning the Vol offense and defense while honing his skills for the 2004-05 season. This is the same role being played by Andre Patterson, who is sitting out this season as a transfer from UCLA.

While Howell and Patterson won't be playing this season, they are benefitting from their participation in UT's practices.

''One thing we've got to do about those guys is make sure we work with them every single day on their individual skills, getting them better,'' Peterson said.

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