March 19, 2012

Vols look to keep playing

Tennessee gets another shot at extending its season tonight, welcoming MTSU to Knoxville for a second-round NIT match-up. If the Vols are going to keep playing deep into the month of March, they'll have to take care of business against an in-state rival that would love nothing more than to punctuate their own postseason with an upset.

The health of junior Jeronne Maymon will almost certainly have a large impact on the Vols' chances tonight. The second-team All-SEC selection sat out last Tuesday's game with Savannah State with a sore knee that Cuonzo Martin said had troubled him since the Vols' win at LSU on Feb. 29.

Without the player who led them in scoring and rebounding in SEC play, Tennessee had some tense moments in the opening round before pulling away in the second half.

Fortunately, the vibe surrounding Maymon's availability vs. the Blue Raiders was good on Sunday evening. Martin said that Maymon was able to practice with the team on Sunday afternoon afternoon and 'if he feels fine on Monday' he's expected to play.

His presence will likely be needed against an MTSU squad that had very legitimate NCAA tournament hopes of their own. Those hopes were derailed when the regular-season Sun Belt champs were upset in the quarterfinals of their conference tournament.

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