Buzz alters travel plans

After lopsided road losses at Florida and South Carolina, Tennessee's head basketball coach is changing his approach.

Buzz Peterson will wait until gameday to take the Vols to Starkville for Wednesday night's game at Mississippi State. Previously, he took his team to the gamesite the day before.

''We're not going to leave until the day of the game,'' he said. ''We're going to stay here until noon, then fly down. We're going to try something different. We'll keep them in their own beds (Tuesday night).''

In doing so, Peterson is borrowing a page from his college coach at North Carolina, the legendary Dean Smith.

''When I was a player under Coach Smith, we wouldn't leave until the day of the game a lot of times,'' Peterson recalled. ''We're not even going to shoot at Mississippi State. We'll just fly in, get something to eat, then play the game. Hopefully, this will help our guys.''

Given the lopsided nature of UT's losses at Florida (95-57) and South Carolina (85-64), this move might appear to be an instance of making change just for the sake of change. But Peterson believes there is a logical reason for this move.

''I just think sometimes you've got too much dead time on the road -- sleeping and laying around,'' he said. ''I want to let 'em stay in, get up and go to class Wednesday morning, then leave here about noon for Starkville.''

Of course, the change in UT's travel itinerary won't matter if the Vols open the MSU game in the same zombie-like trance they showed at Gainesville and Columbia. Thanks to a lack of discipline on offense and a lack of hustle on defense, the Big Orange fell way behind early at both places and never recovered.

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