Here's what coach Bruce Pearl needs to do Saturday to ensure that Tennessee beats Mississippi State at Thompson-Boling Arena:
Load the Vols on a bus and drive them around for about three hours prior to tipoff.
For whatever reasons, Tennessee has played better on the road this year than at home.
The big non-conference wins against Villanova and Pittsburgh came away from Knoxville. In SEC play, the Vols are 4-3 on the road, only 3-3 at home.
"I talked to the team about that today,'' Pearl said Thursday.
"I think it's focus. I think it's the discipline to understand it's us-against-them. We play better as a team.''
Noted senior Josh Bone, "We're very aware of it, and hopefully we can overcome it.''
The Vols (17-11, 7-6 SEC) are fresh off a huge road win at No. 18 Vanderbilt and need to sustain their momentum against the Bulldogs (14-13, 6-7) in a 6 p.m. tipoff Saturday (TV: ESPN).
Short of moving the game to Starkville - where UT won 75-59 last year on Mississippi State's Senior Day - the Vols have to translate their focus to a friendly environment.
"We have a sense of urgency on the road,'' said junior Scotty Hopson. "Sometimes we get nonchalant at home.
"It's always good to get road wins, they're sweet. But we've got to bring it home. This is where it counts, representing Tennessee basketball at home.''
Statistics support that UT is more efficient on the road in SEC play.
In conference games, the Vols shoot 43.4 percent on the road, only 41.3 at home.
From 3-point range, UT hits 32.2 percent on the road, 29.2 at home.
At the free-throw stripe, the Vols shoot 66.3 percent away, 64.3 at home.
Of the three SEC road losses, Kentucky was the only one the Vols didn't have a chance to win or tie on the last possession.
The numbers haven't escaped Pearl.
"Cameron Tatum is the only guy on the team that plays consistently better at home,'' Pearl said.
Hopson joked that it's Brian Williams' fault the Vols are better on the road. But it's really no joke.
In SEC road games, Williams averages 10 points and shoots 70.5 percent. At home, he averages 5.7 points and shoots 36.1 percent.
"It's just something about that orange jersey that I love,'' Williams said. "Ever since I've been here I've always played better on the road. I like it being my team against the world.
"And,'' he added with a laugh, "I like people talking bad to me. As much as people talk bad about me here I can't hear 'em and I can hear 'em on the road.''
No Distractions: Athletic director Mike Hamilton dropped by practice Thursday but neither he nor Pearl would address the NCAA investigation.
"It's no distraction,'' said Bone. "It's been going on all through the season so we're over it.''
Added Hopson, "There's so much going on on the basketball court it's hard to think about what's going on off the basketball court.''