December 27, 2012
Intensity cranking up for hoops Vols
The start of SEC play is still almost two weeks off but there's a definite sense around the Tennessee basketball team that the gears of the season are shifting and matters are getting more serious. Upcoming visits by Xavier (this Saturday) and Memphis (Jan. 5) close out the non-conference slate with a couple of 'name opponents,' and give the Vols a chance to start the New Year with some visible momentum.
It's not been entirely smooth sailing for Tennessee (7-3) to this point, especially on the offensive end at times. That fact was famously highlighted when the team failed to crack 40 points in consecutive losses at Virginia and Georgetown. Offense was also a serious problem in the Vols' only other loss, a 62-45 defeat against Oklahoma State earlier in the Puerto Rico tip-off.
No one is ready to suggest that Tennessee's completely turned the corner and put all the offensive issues in the rear view mirror. However, three straight home games and some extensive breaks in the schedule that have allowed for a heavy practice load seems to have had its benefits for the Vols.
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