COMO, Italy — Tennessee basketball can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It's shining over the Alps.
The Vols arrived in Como on Monday afternoon and unpacked their bags one last time. The team's 10-day, four-game whirlwind tour of Italy has reached its final destination.
Upon arrival, sophomore Brandon Lopez wrote on Twitter, "Lake Como is real life hot."
We think that's a good thing.
On Wednesday it will be over. Back to Knoxville. Back to reality.
Before that, though, one last test awaits on international soil. The final game of the Vols' trip abroad comes Tuesday against Amici del Campetto at 8 p.m. local time, 2 p.m. ET. The matchup will follow UT's boat tour of Lake Como.
Arkansas, another SEC team meandering through Italy, beat Amici del Campetto, 129-87, on Sunday.
Coach Cuonzo Martin and the Vols are expected to arrive back stateside on Wednesday afternoon.
Reese Status: Although details have not been released, the News Sentinel has learned that Tennessee freshman Derek Reese suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder — his shooting arm — prior to the team's trip abroad. Asked for comment, Martin said, "Nothing until it's final. Allow the docs to see him and we go from there."
Reese will be reevaluated after the Vols return to Knoxville. The extent of the tear and the need for surgery won't be known until then.
The injury occurred after Reese returned from playing for the U19 Puerto Rican National Team in the Nike Global Challenge in mid-July. It's believed Reese suffered the tear while lifting weights, but he didn't realize something was wrong until attempting jump shots later at practice.
The labrum, thick tissue in the shoulder socket, can heal on its own, according the Cedars-Sinai Hospital Sports Medicine Program website. The site says when surgery is required, however, tennis and baseball players can sometimes take up to five months to be fully healthy to perform because of the nature of their sports.
According to the Johns Hopkins Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the two types of surgeries carried out on labrum tears are either performed with an incision on the front of the shoulder or via arthroscopic techniques.
Vols To Scrimmage Georgia Tech: Martin revealed that UT will face Georgia Tech in a closed-door preseason scrimmage at Chattanooga on Oct. 28.
The scrimmage will be held at UTC's McKenzie Arena. Only team personnel and three referees will be permitted inside.
Georgia Tech finished 11-20 and 4-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Brian Gregory's first season as coach.
UT director of basketball operations Houston Fancher said the teams agreed to meet in Chattanooga so that each could treat the scrimmage as a road game. UTC falls directly between the schools' campuses in Knoxville and Atlanta. The game's officials will be from the SEC, according to Fancher.
The NCAA allows teams to play either two closed-door scrimmages against other Division I programs, two exhibitions against non-DI teams that are open to fans and media or a combination of the two.
The Vols will host Victory University from Memphis in an open exhibition on Nov. 5 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Judging the Competition: The team UT beat last Friday in Monsummano Terme, BC Atletas Kaunas from Lithuania, proved itself to be a valid test.
Just ask Georgia and Purdue.
After beating the Bulldogs last week in Venice, Atletas beat the Boilermakers 82-79 in Montecatini on Sunday.
The first and third opponents of UT's four-game Italian tour were little more than international doormats. All Star Italy was beaten by 51 last Wednesday. BC Zeta Golubovci for Lithuania was beaten by 82 on Sunday.
The Vols' three-game average margin of victory is a stout 49.0 points per game.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn