Tennessee basketball - the Bruce Pearl way - returned to Thompson-Boling Arena for 14 minutes Friday night.
Most of the 20,421 on hand for the final exhibition game were on their feet, the pep band was blowing its horns and the student section danced to the tune of a 40-2 lead over Tusculum.
But the final 26 minutes served as a reminder the young Vols aren't close to where Pearl believes they need to be if they're to defend their SEC title.
Tennessee won 82-51 over the Division II Pioneers, but the score was academic. Teaching points - not margin of victory - were on Pearl's mind when he exited The Summitt court.
"Second-half defense ... the list is too long,'' Pearl said, asked where the Vols need to improve before next Saturday's home opener with Chattanooga. "We've got to get a lot better to beat Chattanooga.''
Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism posted double-doubles; Chism had 13 points and 10 rebounds while Smith had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Junior College point guard transfer Bobby Maze had six points to go with nine assists in 28 minutes.
But it was Tusculum's Kyle Moore, a preseason first-team All-South Atlantic Conference selection, who took game-high scoring honors with 23 points.
Moore, however, had just five points in the first half on 1-of-8 shooting as the Vols came out pressing through the first 15 minutes.
"What you saw, especially in the first half, was Tennessee basketball,'' Pearl said. "I thought we saw a lot of improvement.
"Obviously it was a tale of two halves. We played with great energy and passion in the first half.''
Pearl said he backed off the press because the Vols won't be able to press all their opponents, and the team's half-court defense needs work.
"The team has to learn to keep the tempo up without the press,'' Pearl said. "It exposes your half-court (defense) and that's what I wanted to do.
"When it came to a half-court game, we lost by six.''
The Vols were still without Daniel West (test accreditation issue) and Josh Tabb (team academic suspension), and sophomore post Brian Williams was a late scratch.
"He's (Williams) been battling tendinitis (knee) and he tweaked it pretty good in warm ups,'' Pearl said. "I don't know his status the rest of the week, but obviously not too good if he wasn't good to go.''
Pearl said there's a chance junior wing J.P. Prince (shoulder) could be ready to play by Saturday's opener, but West and Tabb remain questionable.
Freshman wing Renaldo Woolridge provided an early lift, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the opening 13 minutes after getting the start in place of Williams.
"I knew what I had to do,'' said Woolridge, who connected on 6 of 12 shots and got three rebounds in 20 minutes. "I had to step in and play with aggression.''
Freshman post Phillip Jurick saw his first action of the season but failed to score or get a rebound in his six minutes of action.
The Pioneers out-rebounded the Vols 43-41 and hit 16 of 22 free throws (72.7 percent) while UT connected on 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) from the free-throw line.