'Buzz kill'

You can make a pretty good case that if Corey Brewer were a member of the University of Tennessee basketball program, Buzz Peterson would be, too.

Peterson was fired last March after four undistinguished seasons as the Vols' head basketball coach. Basically, he didn't measure up in the past, present or future.

His past consisted of a 61-59 record and zero NCAA Tournament bids. His present (as of last March) consisted of a program coming off a 14-17 disappointment and looking to replace two double-figure scorers (Brandon Crump and Scooter McFadgon). His future was built around one quality freshman (Chris Lofton) and one quality recruit (Tyler Smith).

Peterson tried to convince UT athletics director Mike Hamilton that the Vols were going to sign a bunch of in-state prep stars and turn things around overnight. Hamilton wasn't buying. If Peterson was such a great recruiter, why did he lose verbal commitments Joey Cameron and Jarvis Hill to Auburn? Why did he lose the Delk twins to Mississippi State? Why did he lose in-state standouts Lee Humphrey (Maryville) and Corey Brewer (Portland) to Florida?

Heading into Saturday night's game at Tennessee, Humphrey is averaging 11.5 points per game. He leads the SEC in 3-point percentage (51.9) and ranks third in 3-pointers per game (3.7).

Meanwhile, Brewer is having a terrific season. The versatile 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He registered the first triple-double in Gator history earlier this season, burning Jacksonville for 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

"Probably the biggest thing that has helped Corey is going through a season of basketball as a freshman," Florida coach Billy Donovan said this week. "He started every single game last year and got a chance to play with some really good players and see what it's all about…. Corey really does other things besides scoring to help you win."

If he were doing those things for UT instead of Florida, Buzz Peterson might still be around.


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