Vols look to land first punch

Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson proved the value of landing the first punch last weekend against Clifford Etienne, knocking out his foe in 49 seconds with a thunderous overhand right.

Buzz Peterson must've taken note of that outcome because he's talking in fight terms as his Tennessee basketball team prepares for Wednesday night's struggle with No. 2 Kentucky. Asked the importance of a quick start vs. the homestanding Wildcats, Peterson replied without hesitation.

''Against Florida (8-0) and South Carolina (9-0) we got outscored 17-zip (to start) those two games,'' he said. ''I look at it as, 'Who's the more aggressive ballclub right now? Who's delivering the first punch? I don't think we've delivered the first punch in a long time.

''I think we've been content to sit back, let people come at us a little bit. We've got to get to the point where we're going at folks a little more. That's important Wednesday. It's important from here on out. We've got to deliver the first punch.''


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