Sports Scene with Bill King and Bob Bell

Wednesday, February 14, 2001 at 1:00am

Bob: Hello, everyone, and Happy Valentine's Day from a couple of guys who love sports. Well, Bill, some thoughts on the Tennessee basketball team as the Vols get ready for their second big battle with Kentucky.

With the Vols in the process of losing all of their road games, you keep hearing the players say, "What we need in order to solve the problem is a home game." Here's a bit of news for the Tennessee players and coaches: SEC and NCAA tournament games are not played at home.

It's not the end of the world to lose a road game, but with this much talent, losing everything on the road is inexcusable. I don't know if the Vols will win against Kentucky. They probably will play well by feeding off the home crowd.

Of course, about a third of the crowd will be pulling for Kentucky. I don't pretend to have the answers to Tennessee's basketball problems, but I do believe that if Jerry Greene coaches for the next 20 years, he probably will not have this much talent on one team again. I know it's easy to blame coaching for the problems, but frankly, I don't know anywhere else to point right now.

When Tennessee calls a time out, I don't detect one bit of difference in their play when they return to the floor. I don't know what's said during those time outs, but it doesn't seem to involve offense or defense.

The worst thing that can happen to a college or professional team is for apathy to set in by the fans. I've talked to many Tennessee fans in recent weeks, and I no longer detect any anger. It's just simply, "I don't care anymore."

I think this presents a major, major problem for the Tennessee administration. This has been said a thousand times by everyone: Jerry Greene is a nice guy. Everyone wants to see him succeed. But right now, it's just not happening.

But hey, Bill, I'm a nice guy, too.

Filed under: City News