Bench boosts Buzz's bunch

Tennessee's bench is providing more than points and rebounds this season; it's providing enthusiasm. That's a welcome change from years past and probably a contributing factor to the team's solid 12-6 record (4-3 in SEC play).

''I'll say this about the the guys on the bench; it's a big difference between this year and last year,'' head coach Buzz Peterson said. ''If you look during the game, you see (John) Winchester, (Justin) Albrecht, (Pee Wee) Gash -- everybody on that bench -- they're standing up. They're always nudging each other, knocking each other down when a big play happens.

''We always show those in our edit tapes -- how everybody reacts on the bench. Sometimes Winchester just leaves the picture. I don't know where he goes but he's out of there, then he comes back. And there's Albrecht (waving) his towel. That's part of growing up and playing on a team -- the excitement.''

The Vol bench will need to generate plenty of excitement Saturday, when the Big Orange tries to slow down 17th-ranked Georgia. The Bulldogs are 13-5 overall and 5-2 in SEC play. They beat Tennessee 81-76 in overtime Jan. 22 in Athens. The game will be televised by JP Sports with a 3 p.m. tipoff.

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