Can Vols win on road?

There's no place like home. Just ask Tennessee's basketball team.

Heading into Saturday's game at South Carolina, the Vols' 10-2 overall record shows a 9-0 mark at home but a 1-2 record on the road. Moreover, UT's road performances have been far worse than the 1-2 record suggests.

One game after hammering Texas A&M 108-84 at home, the Vols were thrashed 77-62 by a half-decent Nebraska team on the road.

They shot a mere 25 percent in the first half, then had to rally furiously to nip a mediocre UMass team 74-66 on the road four days before hammering Georgia 89-65 at home.

Three days after beating Georgia, the Big Orange went on the road again and suffered a 95-57 annihilation at the hands of the Florida Gators. The Vols returned to the homewood four days later, though, and beat No. 23 Vanderbilt 76-66.

The question is: What can UT do to become as efficient on the road as it is at home? Basically, the Vols must be flexible enough to play several different styles. That way, they can adapt to the tempo of the game, whatever it might.

''We've got to adjust how we're going to play,'' head coach Buzz Peterson said. ''Can we go in there and run a transition game? Or do we use a zone, try to make it a halfcourt game? Those are some decisions our staff is going to have to make.''

Whatever it takes, Buzz knows his team must play better at Columbia than it did at Nebraska, UMass and Florida.

''We've got to put a better performance out there than we have the last three road trips,'' he said, ''because South Carolina's a very good ballclub.''

The Gamecocks are 15-2 overall and 2-1 in SEC play. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. with television coverage by Fox SportsNet.


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