Buzz expects more zone

Given the way Tennessee fizzled against Alabama's 2-3 zone in the second half of last Saturday's 83-70 loss in Tuscaloosa, it's a safe bet the Vols will see a heavy dose of it in Wednesday night's game against Ole Miss.

''I woud imagine so,'' head coach Buzz Peterson said.

Tennessee led 41-35 when Bama went to the 2-3 zone; the Tide promptly outscored the Vols 18-6 to grab a 53-47 advantage. One reason the 2-3 worked so well was that Tennessee became passive, shooting jump shots over the zone instead of working the ball inside to 6-foot-10 Brandon Crump. After attempting just three 3-point shots in the first half (making all three), the Vols attempted 15 second-half 3s (making four).

''The first one (3-point try vs. the zone) went down,'' Peterson noted, ''but then we stopped getting the ball to Brandon and settled for outside shots.... With 10, 12, 15 seconds (on the shot clock) we had some decent looks but those are looks that you've got to turn down, because you can probably get that same thing towards the end of the shot clock.''

Peterson loves for the Vols to play ''inside-out'' -- working the ball in to the post, then passing it back outside when the defense collapses to produce open jump shots. The Vols stopped working the ball inside once Bama went to the zone, however. Instead, they passed the ball around the perimeter, then fired from long range. As a result, playmaker C.J. Watson did not record an assist the entire second half. This was largely because he became tentative against the zone.

''We've got to get C.J. penetrating,'' Peterson said. ''He needs to use the dribble a lot more against the zone defense. It sounds weird, but I believe a lot of dribbling against the zone is good if it's going to the basket.''


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