Pearl expects Lincoln Memorial to bring 'intensity'

Railsplitters offer Vols final tuneup

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.

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Comments » 9

wayoutwill writes:

Did the Vols win?

cdonsbach writes:

in response to wayoutwill:

Did the Vols win?

The game is Wednesday, November 4, at 7:30pm.
Go Vols!

wayoutwill writes:

On Wednesday?Ain't that,like a day after Tuesday?Or day before Thursday?I would never have thought they'd be playing on church nite,oh well,another sign of the apockalips(sic?).yuck,yuck,(Bobby just made a joke)>GO VOLS!

eduardo writes:

Tobias needs to forget Syracuse after that debacle last night!!! Stay focused Vols just ask the Orangemen!!

NCVOL09 writes:

Lets not take this lightly after 'Cuse choked against their neighborly DII school last night. The last thing we need is to put a bad impression in people's mouths before the season starts.

Orangeblood13 writes:

Give Steven Pearl the green light tonight, I think we will be ok

bill#1374014 writes:

It should be free to everyone who wants to attend this laugher. Vols by 50 or more.

PennVol writes:

Syracuse should've worn their black jerseys.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to scknowsit:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once again, you add to the mountain of evidence that you know NOTHING worthwhile about sports. This is an E X H I B I T I O N--I spelled it slowly so you could keep up--game. It does NOT count in the regular-season schedule. EVERYBODY plays them. Syracuse, a perennial top-10 team, LOST one of them the other night. You are more BS artist than, well, anything else. In any case, because the purpose of this type of game is to see where one's own team is before doing it for real, the scores in such games are irrelevant. You know, sort of like your every post.

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