Two heads are better than one

Appearances to the contrary, the University of Tennessee basketball team didn't neutralize Kentucky's 6-11, 259-pound Randolph Morris with two freshmen Tuesday night. The Vols did it with two FRESH men.

By rotating rookies Duke Crews and Wayne Chism, UT coach Bruce Pearl kept a well-rested player on Morris all night long. And, in this case, two fresh men proved to be better than one weary junior.

Crews hit 7 of 10 floor shots and finished with 18 points. Chism hit 7 of 11 and finished with 16. As a tandem they outscored Morris 34-14, and that was a key aspect of the Vol victory.

"Wayne and Duke worked together, they stayed fresh. It was like they was double-teaming Morris," Tennessee guard JaJuan Smith said with a laugh.

It was exactly like that. Moreover, keeping Crews and Chism fresh was instrumental in keeping Morris off the offensive glass. He finished with 12 rebounds but only one came on the offensive end.

"It was just keeping a body on him, keeping him off the boards," Crews said. "It's about not caring if we get the rebound or not because our guards will come in and scrape the rest of ‘em up."

He has a point. While Crews and Chism grabbed just 3 rebounds each, their ability to keep Morris at bay enabled Smith to lead UT with 7 rebounds.

Although Chism and Crews weren't productive in terms of rebounds, they certainly were in terms of points. The obvious question: Why?

"Everybody was moving," Chism explained. "Wasn't nobody standing still, so we got our shots."

The officials allowed an awful lot of contact Tuesday night. Incredibly, Morris didn't pick up his first foul until 90 seconds remained in the game. Chism had to adjust to the "anything goes" style of play. He succeeded.

"It was real exciting to see him not whining or nothing," Smith said. "He was just banging with ‘em."

Chism made a huge defensive play with about a minute left and Tennessee clinging to an 84-81 lead. When Kentucky tried to work the ball inside to Morris, Chism muscled his way around him and forced an errant pass that was intercepted by Dane Bradshaw. Smith found that awfully encouraging.

"Wayne's going to go hard at whoever's in front of him," the Vol guard said. "He's not scared of nobody. If it's a little dude or a big dude, he's going at them 100 percent."


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