Tennessee freshman Derek Reese hasn’t played on the Vols’ trip to Italy, and the reason is he injured his shoulder before the team left Knoxville.

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin isn’t commenting about Reese’s status until the Vols return to Knoxville later this week, but some media reports have said the injury is a torn labrum.


The labrum is a cuff of cartilage that stabilizes the shoulder joint and makes possible a wide range of movement. It is susceptible to tearing after trauma to the joint.

If Reese’s injury is a torn labrum, some recent examples of the same injury to other college basketball players would suggest he’ll be out for a while. Curtis Washington, a 6-10, 245-pound forward, tore his labrum last fall while on former Tennessee coach Kevin O’Neill’s USC team and had to sit out the season. He subsequently transferred to Georgia State.

Kris Dunn a top-25 recruit who signed with Providence, suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder, underwent surgery and will be sidelined for at least five months, if not the entire season.

The good news for Tennessee is that if Reese does undergo surgery and is forced to take a medical redshirt, the Vols are deep at shooting guard and the two forward spots with 6-5 junior Jordan McRae, 6-6 sophomore Josh Richardson, 6-5 redshirt freshman Quinton Chievous, 6-6 junior college transfer D’Montre Edwards, 6-3 senior Skylar McBee and 6-5 freshman Armani Moore.

Even barring injuries, that kind of depth suggested that Martin might redshirt at least one player for the 2012-13 season.

Vols to play in Chattanooga: Don’t get too excited, though. If someone happened to sneak into the UTC Arena during Tennessee’s Oct. 28 scrimmage against Georgia Tech, they’d have to be shot on sight.

Not really, but the scrimmage is closed to anyone but essential personnel, and that ban includes the media.

NCAA rules allow for teams to play two exhibition games, or they can also choose to play one exhibition and a scrimmage. More and more coaches are finding that a scrimmage against a Division I team-which includes three game officials-is much more beneficial than a meaningless exhibition played against (usually) inferior competition.

Vols on TV: Nineteen of Tennessee’s 2012-13 games will be televised by CBS, the ESPN family of networks or the SEC Network this season, but not many in the non-conference portion of the Vols’ schedule.

The first two games of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off-against UNC Ashville on Nov. 15 and Akron or Oklahoma State on Nov. 16-will be televised on ESPN. ESPN2 will carry the Tip-Off championship game.

The entire tournament will be available on WatchESPN.com.

It’ll be a long dry spell between ESPN- or CBS-televised games after that-the next one is Jan. 4 when Memphis comes to Knoxville.

That game could turn out to be special. It’s the last in seven-year contract that has produced some epic games over that span. But Memphis coach Josh Pastner wants to end the series, which Tennessee leads, 14-9.