Chism practices, appears OK

Wayne Chism is OK. The senior center who hurt his knee Saturday in Athens returned to practice Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday's matchup against Vanderbilt.

Coach Bruce Pearl said that Chism will likely play against the Commodores since the trainers gave him the O.K.

Pearl did note, however, that Chism has not played at full speed since the Georgia game.

"He's OK. We didn't go live, but he looked all right," Pearl said. "He's a tough kid. He wants to play. It was a bang, a bruise. So it's sore, but it's tight."

With Chism nursing his knee, the Vols' already thinning depth chart was thin on Monday, Pearl said.

"It's tough to practice," he said. "You know, yesterday without Wayne I had Renaldo and Kenny at four and five, and (Steven) Pearl on the scout team to make that competitive.

"One of our challenges right now is how do we get better through practice when we are limited to how much we can practice and how can we get ourselves better when our body count is so low?"

Tuesday's practice mostly consisted of walk-throughs, individual drills and shooting drills. Pearl reviewed offensive plays and defensive looks with the team, touching up on team strategy rather than conditioning or playing live ball.

The team spent a 10-minute segment working on shooting 3-pointers. UT was 3 of 16 from 3-point range in Athens.

Scotty Hopson, Kenny Hall and Skylar McBee stuck around after practice at Thompson-Boling Arena to continue their shooting work.

UT is 6-2 against Vandy since Pearl took over the coaching reigns in Fall 2005 and 108-67 all-time.

The Commodores come into Knoxville boasting a 4-0 SEC record, tying the No. 1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats for first in the East.

In the paint, Vandy has the advantage over UT in terms of size. Center A.J. Ogilvy is six feet, 11 inches tall, a full two inches taller than Chism.

Forward J.P. Prince said that he's confident in Chism's ability to match up with the taller Ogilvy.

"I thank Wayne always takes a personal challenge to take on Ogilvy, so I'm not worried about him," Prince said.

Chism didn't match up as well near the basket in his last game. The center finished with six points, while Georgia's Trey Thompkins scored 21 at the post position.

Yet Chism isn't the only one on UT's roster who can score those points in the paint.

Freshman forward Kenny Hall has seen his minutes increase since center Brian Williams was suspended indefinitely. In the last six games, he's scored 52 points and had four games with 10 or more points.

Pearl did not give any word on when or if Williams might return.

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