Lofton's big week

This is the biggest week of the season for Tennessee freshman Chris Lofton. Although he grew up in Maysville, Ky., he was overlooked by the Louisville Cardinals (who UT played on Saturday) and the Kentucky Wildcats (who UT plays tonight).

Lofton was so fired up for the Louisville game that he gunned in a team-high 12 first-half points. The Cardinals made an adjustment at halftime, however, and limited him to three second-half points on one-of-six shooting.

Naturally, Lofton would love to have a big game against the state university to show UK it made a mistake by not offering him a scholarship. The problem is: How can head coach Buzz Peterson keep Lofton from getting overly excited and pressing?

''I won't even talk to him,'' Peterson said. ''He knows (the danger of getting too pumped up). He's going to get a lot of heat from everybody but he's a mature freshman. He knows it's a big game, so I don't want to build it up even more to him.

''I want him to relax, do the things he's been told to do and execute on both ends of the floor.''

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