Hoop Vols to be different

More speed. More athleticism. More size. More strength. Tennessee's 2007-08 basketball team will have all of these attributes, which should produce even more wins.

The Vols won 22 games in 2005-06 and 24 in 2006-07. With eight of the top nine players back from last season – plus the addition of transfers J.P. Prince (Arizona) and Tyler Smith (Iowa) – Tennessee's players expect even bigger things in the season ahead.

So, how will this year's team be different from last year's?

"I'd say we'll be more physical and – believe it or not – we'll probably play at an even faster pace," sophomore post Duke Crews said. "And we'll play a whole lot better defense. We're more athletic and we've got more length, so we can do more things on the defensive end."

Senior wing JaJuan Smith also believes the Vols will play at an even quicker tempo in 2007-08 than they did in 2006-07.

"I think it's going to be different in a lot of ways," he said. "It's going to be more up and down in our style of play. We're going to be much faster and more exciting. It should be a real big, special season for us."

Adding four players – Prince, Tyler Smith, freshmen Brian Williams and Cameron Tatum – while losing just one (Dane Bradshaw) should give the Vols more depth than they had a year ago. And, with more weapons available, Tennessee won't have to rely on 40 points from Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith to win each night.

"We're deep," JaJuan Smith said. "When it's not two guys' night, the other seven guys can go out and hurt you. We're going to be a team that can really light up the scoreboard."

Sophomore point guard Ramar Smith believes the addition of the two long-armed transfers will put even more bite in Tennessee's feisty full-court press.

"When you've got great parts fitting into your program it's going to make a difference in our press," he said. "And I think we're going to run more. There's going to be a lot of different things this year."


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