Cuonzo Martin said he couldn't help but notice the scores of blue-clad Kentucky fans in Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday.
"Yeah, it concerns you,'' Tennessee's men's basketball coach, who had a handful of Kentucky fans sitting behind his team's bench, said Monday at media day. "We see 21,000 there, but we'd like to see the 21,000-plus in orange, especially when you say you're going up against a rival.''
The Vols' 65-62 loss to the No. 2-ranked Wildcats represented UT's first sellout crowd of the season, with 21,678 packed into the arena.
"If the upper bowl is not packed (with orange), it's one thing,'' Martin said. "But you have the lower bowl ...
"There was not a lot of red in that lower bowl when Indiana came to the gym at Purdue.''
Martin played at Purdue 1991-95 and coached there as an assistant 2000-08.
Tennessee (8-9, 1-2 SEC) is averaging 16,639 per home game this season, which based on last year's figures would rank in the nation's top 10 in attendance.
Kentucky coach John Calipari implored the Wildcats' following to buy up unsold tickets weeks before the Tennessee game.
Media at Saturday's game estimated Kentucky fans made up 25 to 35 percent of the crowd. Some who watched the game on television said they could distinctly hear the Wildcats' fans chanting "Go big blue.''
Martin said what's done is done.
"Now, I'd like to see a lot of orange in Lexington (Ky.),'' he said.
The Vols' next home game is Saturday (TV: WVLT, 4 p.m.) against defending national champion Connecticut. UT plays at Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31.