'Rested' Vols face Georgia Tech

To say the Tennessee basketball team is well rested heading into Sunday's 4 p.m. tipoff against Georgia Tech might be the understatement of the year. The Vols have played just one game in 20 days due to the Thanksgiving break and final exams. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

''It's not too good for me,'' senior forward Ron Slay said. ''But I'm getting old a little bit, and I'll take advantage of it and get a little rest.''

The Vols have played just three games to date, winning twice at home (Gardner-Webb and VMI) before losing at Texas A&M. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has played five times, winning four and losing by a point in a road game at Minnesota.

Oddly enough, whereas Tennessee has slowed the pace of its schedule, the Vols have stepped up the pace of their offense a bit this year. Blessed with more backcourt quickness than last winter, the Vols are scoring a little more in transition this season.

''We just play at our pace,'' Slay said. ''The teams we can press, we press. The teams we can play slow ball against, we play slow ball.''

However the Vols play Georgia Tech, they'd better play well. The Yellow Jackets are a balanced team that features four double-figure scorers -- forward Chris Bosh (17.2 ppg), guard B.J. Elder (14.3 ppg) and guard Jarrett Jack (10.0 ppg). Marvin Lewis provides instant offense off the bench.

Notably, Tech averages 80.2 points per game, compared to UT's 75.0. The Jackets are hitting 44.4 percent from the field, significantly better than UT's chilly 39.4 percent.

''Georgia Tech is a very good team,'' Vol head man Buzz Peterson said. ''They had that slow start last year -- I believe they were 1-7 in the ACC and 5-13 overall. Ever since then they've kind of turned the corner.

''Elder and Lewis are very good shooters. You've got to watch out for them, make sure they don't get their rhythm. And the thing about Bosh is, he can step out, face up and hit some shots.''

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