UT dissatisfied

The good news: Tennessee's basketball team played well in tough road losses at Vanderbilt (82-81) and Ohio State (68-66) last week. The better news: The Vols aren't content with just playing well. They want to win. They EXPECT to win.

Tennessee's players remain especially disappointed that they fell one play short in last Saturday's loss to the fifth-ranked Buckeyes.

"The team responded appropriately to the loss," head coach Bruce Pearl said on Monday. "They took it hard and don't feel better about it days later. They care, and that's important for the next time they go out."

That would be Wednesday night at Auburn.

Like his players, Pearl is not into moral victories, although he admits being "pretty much" pleased with the road performances at Nashville and Columbus.

"Road wins are sweet and hard to come by," he said. "We've been in all the games and had a chance to win. But we need to make the transition from having a chance to win to actually winning."

One way to accomplish this would be for the Vols to make more free throws. They went just 6 of 15 against Vandy and 5 of 11 against Ohio State. Pearl says getting to the foul line and making the shots is one of Tennessee's top practice priorities.

"The volume of shots is something we work on," the coach said. "One thing we can do is get to the 10-foul (double-bonus) penalty earlier, so we get two shots.

"As a coach I can get them to go inside more and to drive more. That way, when the whistle blows it will be more than just one-and-one."


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