The Tennessee men's basketball team was all business Tuesday afternoon in Thompson-Boling Arena.
There wasn't much yelling, and there was no horseplay.
Just sneakers squeaking and coach Bruce Pearl teaching.
"We're already back up because it's a new season,'' junior forward Tyler Smith said. "It's the tournament, and it's time to stay focused.''
Pearl said the ninth-seeded Vols (21-12) have a lot to learn about their first-round NCAA tournament opponent, eighth-seeded Oklahoma State (22-11), in a short amount of time. Friday's game in Dayton, Ohio, tips off at 12:25 p.m. (TV: WVLT).
"This is a tough scout,'' Pearl said. "They do a lot of good stuff, and they have counters to everything they do.''
Junior Wayne Chism said the pain from last Sunday's 64-61 loss to Mississippi State in the SEC tournament championship game is gone.
"I couldn't sleep on that plane ride home because we just wanted to win it so much, and I think that led to us trying too hard,'' Chism said. "But once I got home, I could look ahead.
"We saw Oklahoma State and Pitt in our bracket, and we knew it was time to get ready to play some ball.''
Pearl tutored the Vols on the intricacies of the Cowboys' four-guard offense, noting Oklahoma State's toughness and athleticism.
"In (Terrel) Harris and (James) Anderson, you have two guys like Tyler (Smith) and J.P. (Prince) who are great athletes and great shooters,'' Pearl said. "(Byron) Eaton at point guard is an extremely tough cover one-on-one.''
So tough that what worked for the Vols against SEC star guards Devan Downey (South Carolina) and Nick Calathes (Florida) might not apply.
"We've been in situations with a guy like Calathes where we could switch (defenders),'' said Pearl, who had posts Brian Williams or Chism switch out at times. "I don't think you can switch on Byron Eaton.''
Eaton, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior, averages 14.1 points and 5.5 assists per game. A hard-nosed competitor, Eaton is clearly the Cowboys' emotional leader.
"He's much more mature, and he's really running that team,'' said UT point guard Bobby Maze, who played against Eaton before transferring out of Oklahoma. "They depend on him much more now than then.
"He's their go-to guy and he's definitely a better all-around player than when I played against him.''
Smith said he's just eager to get back on the floor and compete again.
"We don't feel anything about that (Sunday) loss because it's time to play,'' Smith said. "We're not worried about seed or who we're matching up with or might match up with. We're just focusing on ourselves and trying to get better.''
Pearl cut Tuesday's practice shorter than normal because the Vols have had just one off day since playing three games in three days in Tampa, Fla.
"(Lady Vols) Coach (Pat) Summitt always talks about keeping them fresh and furious,'' Pearl said, "so that's what today was about.''
The Vols will bus to Dayton this morning and practice at Wright State this afternoon.
Pearl in Ohio: Tennessee is 5-3 in the NCAA tournament under Pearl.
Pearl is 4-0 all-time in NCAA tournament games in Ohio: 2-0 in Cleveland (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and 2-0 in Columbus (Tennessee).
Cowboys Return: Oklahoma State is making its first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2004-05 season when the Cowboys advanced to the Sweet 16.