The last time Tennessee met up with Lincoln Memorial University on the basketball floor, a seasoned Vols team ran away with a 124-61 exhibition-game victory two seasons ago.
UT coach Bruce Pearl expects a much more competitive game when the teams meet at 7:30 tonight at Thompson-Boling Arena in the Vols' final exhibition tune-up before their Nov. 13 season opener with Austin Peay.
Indeed, much has changed since the Railsplitters last took the floor in Knoxville.
This year's UT team has yet to approach the continuity and consistency of the Chris Lofton-led Vols that rose to No. 1 in the rankings and captured an outright SEC regular-season championship in 2007-08.
"We'll use this game to learn and grow,'' Pearl said. "But I also know the intensity and passion Lincoln Memorial will play with against us.
"Their coach, Josh Schertz, has done an excellent job, and they will be prepared for everything we do.''
Schertz doubled the Railsplitters' win total in his first year as head coach at the Division II program, leading them to a 14-14 finish last season. LMU is projected to finish third in the South Atlantic Conference this season.
As Pearl alluded, it's a big game for the Railsplitters: A poll on the school's athletic Web site asked fans what game they looked forward to most, and more than half voted it's tonight's game with the Vols.
UT sophomore shooting guard Cameron Tatum said he's aware the Vols need to play with intensity.
"Two of their guys played on my Rocky Top (Summer League) team,'' Tatum said. "And I know a couple of them from the Atlanta area pretty well, and they've been talking about this game all summer, that they will be ready to play us.
"We can't take them lightly.''
Pearl said he'll change the Vols' starting lineup, with Tatum inserted for J.P. Prince as Pearl continues to evaluate different rotations.
"I'll play 12 again, just like I did last time,'' Pearl said. "I want to see us do a better job not turning the ball over at a faster pace as well as handling our defensive rebounds.''
Tatum has enjoyed a strong fall camp, but Friday night's 117-79 exhibition victory against Division II North Alabama was not one of his better performances.
Tatum scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, but he turned the ball over six times.
"Some of them were my fault, some of them were unavoidable,'' Tatum said. "I know I'm still going to make some mistakes, but I'm not reading into anything. It's whatever I can do to help this team, whether I come off the bench or start.'''
Rocky Top Railsplitters: LMU's Brandon O'Brien and Justin Allen were teammates of Wayne Chism on the Rocky Top League champion HT Group team.
Cam Carden and Brandon Armstrong played with Tatum, while Rob Sikes averaged 11.5 points playing alongside Bobby Maze on the First Tennessee team and D'Mario Curry scored seven points an outing for Richardson Construction.
Tobias Still Looking: Tobias Harris, the No. 5 national prospect in the Rivals Class of 2010 top 150, said UT is still a candidate for his services after his recent visit to Louisville.
Harris, a 6-foot-8 forward from Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills, N.Y., said he still has visits to Georgia Tech, Maryland and West Virginia. He has looked at Syracuse and Kentucky.
The fall signing period runs Nov. 11-18.