Instead, Peterson is commemorating "Senior Night" by starting all five seniors. That's a heart-warming gesture, of course, but two of the seniors -- walk-ons Zach Turner and Drew Clemmons -- have scarcely left the bench during their careers.
Obviously, the head man will immediately pull Turner and Clemmons if they turn the ball over or give up easy baskets in the game's opening minutes. But former Vol coach Ray Mears always preached that the first five minutes of each half are crucial. And, given UT's fragile psyche', you have to wonder: If the Vols incur another early deficit, will they be able to recover?
And here's a sobering thought: If you're Mississippi State, wouldn't you open with a fullcourt press to put Turner and Clemmons on the hot spot right away?
If the Vols start well and win, everything will be peachy. If they start poorly and lose, Buzz may be open to some second-guessing.
Slay needs three points to become the 14th player in Vol history to score 1,500. He could get them on his first made basket, although he went just 1 of 7 from 3-point range vs. LSU. In addition, Slay committed more turnovers (8) last Saturday than the entire Tiger team (6). He must play better if the Vols are to beat Mississippi State.