Can Vols slow down Gators?

The Vol basketball team's only chance to win tonight against No. 6 Florida is to turn the game into a Tennessee Waltz. If the game is played at a track-meet pace, the Big Orange will get hammered.

''Florida's one of the better teams in the country, and we've got to do a tremendous job of controlling the tempo of the game,'' UT coach Buzz Peterson said. ''How do you do that? You do that by your offense, really. You've got to really take the shots we want ... not the shots they want to force us into.

''I'm sure they're going to fullcourt press, put a lot of heat on our freshman point guard. I think that during the course of the game he'll adjust and do a fine job. Ole Miss (last Saturday) forced a couple of turnovers but we adjusted from then and did a great job after that.''

Although Tennessee's opponents are not shooting the ball well, the Vols continue to commit too many fouls -- putting their foes at the free throw line far too much.

''I've been pleased somewhat with our defensive effort, especially our first-possession defensive effort,'' Peterson said. ''But I'm not real happy with the way we're finishing our defensive possessions. When it gets down to eight seconds, that's when you've got to buckle down and play good defense. We've had a tendency the last three games to foul in that situation or give up the offensive board, giving other teams second and third opportunities.

''If we can do a better job with that -- make us a sound team defensively -- I like our chances throughout the conference.''

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