Defending Scooter

A lot of fans are wondering why Tennessee's coldest shooter took the most shots in last Saturday's 62-59 loss at Auburn.

Scooter McFadgon, clearly off his game, jacked up 19 field goal tries against the Tigers. He sank just five of these, and that was a key factor in the Vols' loss. As a result, UT head man Buzz Peterson finds himself doing the same thing this week that Auburn did on Saturday ... defending Scooter.

''Scooter had a bad night,'' the coach conceded. ''But I've watched that tape twice, and he didn't take many bad shots. When you see a guy go 5 of 18 (actually 19), you think he took some bad shots. He really didn't take that many bad ones. He had some good looks. They just didn't go down for him.

''I guess you'd call it a slump.''

It's a slump, all right. McFadgon's stats for the past three games include 25.7 percent (9 of 35) from the field, 21.4 percent (3 of 14) from 3-point range and a mere 8.3 points-per-game scoring average.

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