With no seniors lost from last year's team and only one signee added, Tennessee basketball would seem to be standing still. Not so. The Vols will have a new look in 2004-05.
Gone from the 2003-04 team are two players (John Winchester, Boomer Herndon)
who elected to transfer. Joining the active roster are the afore-mentioned
scholarship signee (Chris Lofton of Maysfield, Ky.) and two players who sat
out last season -- UCLA transfer Andre Patterson and 2003 signee Jordan Howell. All three of the newcomers could have immediate impact.
''As a coach, you always hope you'll get plenty of impact from your new
guys,'' Vol head man Buzz Peterson said during a Southeastern Conference
teleconference earlier today. ''Andre and Jordan have been with us a year,
practicing and everything, and that helps.''
Patterson should have considerable impact. The 6-foot-7 forward started as a
freshman at UCLA and could provide some much-needed scoring punch around the
''Andre can help inside or step out and hit the 12-footer,'' Peterson said.
''His last year at UCLA he led the Pac 10 in field-goal percentage, and he
did that by taking high-percentage shots.''
Howell, who missed last season while recuperating from mononucleosis, is
looking to regain the form that enabled him to shoot 47 percent from 3-point
range as a high school senior.
''Jordan is probably a little inconsistent as an outside shooter right
now,'' Peterson noted, ''but he can roll off three or four in a row for
Although Lofton has not yet practiced with his Big Orange teammates, he has
impressed the head man with his play in all-star action.
''Lofton has had a tremendous spring,'' Peterson said. ''He had 41 points in
one (Kentucky vs. Indiana) all-star game. He loves to play the game and has
tremendous heart. We're excited about those three additions to our
Lofton, in particular, fills a glaring need for the Vols. Scooter McFadgon
was just about Tennessee's only outside scoring threat last season, and some
opponents shut him down via a box-and-one defense. Lofton may be able to
provide another long-range scorer, thereby taking some pressure off of
McFadgon. In addition, Lofton is a hardnosed player.
''It's hard when you try to measure how much desire and will they have, how
much heart they have,'' Peterson said. ''Here's somebody who can fill it up
from outside and has tremendous heart. We're excited about Chris and we're
ready for him to get on campus.''
Although the 2003-04 Vols limped home 15-14 after suffering a first-round
lossto George Mason in the NIT Tournament, Peterson is optimistic about the
''I'm excited about this year,'' he said. ''Even with Winchester and Herndon
leaving, 90 percent of our scoring and rebounding return. The question is:
Who's going to step up and be our leader? The coaching staff hopes C.J.
(Watson) will give our team great leadership on and off the floor.''
The head man said he also hopes to get leadership from a pair of seniors --
McFadgon and 6-foot-10 Brandon Crump.
Buzz Likes New Look
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