Buzz looking for 'meat'

Now that Tennessee's basketball team is getting into the meat of its schedule, Buzz Peterson may be going with some ''meat'' of his own. The Vol head man is toying with the idea of pairing 6-10, 250-pounders Brandon Crump and Major Wingate in an effort to get more heft and a greater defensive presence on the floor in tonight's game at Georgia.

''The advantage is we get more size in there,'' Peterson said. ''I call it the meat -- getting some thickness in there -- and those guys bring that to us.''

Crump and Wingate were on the floor together for several minutes in last Sunday's 83-51 blitz of Coastal Carolina. They probably will be working together even more tonight, since the Bulldogs are expected to start 6-10, 240-pound Dave Bliss and 6-9, 230-pound Steve Newman.

''We did that a lot last year during conference play -- those two playing together,'' Peterson said. ''We need for them to give us more size inside against some of our league opponents.''

When Crump and Wingate are on the floor together, 6-7, 210-pound Andre Patterson moves to the bench. Patterson is a better scorer and rebounder than Wingate but lacks the heft to match up with some of the SEC's bigger post players on the defensive end. Crump and Wingate, meanwhile, have plenty of heft.

''They're pretty solid defensively,'' Peterson said. ''Andre is a little more active and a little better rebounder than Major but he's not as good a defender inside. I just like that size in there. It makes it a little more difficult to score in the post on us with Major in the lineup.''

Although Patterson seems destined to spend more time on the bench than usual tonight, Peterson emphasized that he is quite happy with the progress the UCLA transfer is making.

''He's really come a long way of late,'' Peterson said. ''He has a bad problem -- and he knows this -- that he plays sometimes to the level of the competition. His mindset's got to be different. But he's really stepped up lately.''

Tonight, though, he'll probably step to the bench while Buzz throws the ''meat'' at the Bulldogs.

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