Because of a quirk in the SEC scheduling the Vols are playing both Ole Miss and Alabama just two weeks after their first matchups.
The Vols lost to both the Rebels, 92-74, and Crimson Tide, 68-65, in the first week of conference play, putting Tennessee in an early hole.
Forward Jarnell Stokes is excited about the opportunity to play two teams they have lost to on a quick turnaround.
"It gives us a great chance to make up for some of the things that we did and improve our game," Stokes said. "We're back on the road so this is a chance to turn the seasons around."
Tennessee currently sits at 1-3 in conference and hope to close the gap on the 4-0 Rebels and 3-1 Crimson Tide with wins this week.
According to Josh Richardson, it is payback week for the Vols.
"It's payback week. We lost two games to these guys (Ole Miss and Alabama). These next two games are going to be big for us," Richardson said.
Tennessee will travel to face an Ole Miss team that is on a seven-game win streak and are focusing on slowing down the hot-hand of Marshall Henderson.
"He had a good game and hit a lot of shots," Richardson said. "We just have to do everything in our power to slow him down this game."
"He's a very crafty basketball players," head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "He's 6-foot-2 with a slight frame but he knows how to get in and get you off your feet with his shot fake."
The Vols will also be concerned about the inside presence of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner.
"They put themselves in position to get lots of offensive rebounds," Martin said. "They have two of the best bigs in the country (Holloway and Buckner) who average four offensive rebounds a game in league play which is an amazing stat."
Tennessee will host Alabama on Saturday but the team is trying not to look past the week's first game.
"Both games are important, but obviously you can only win one game at a time," Armani Moore said. "Ole Miss is the first one up so we have to take care of things there."
It is a make-or-break week for Tennessee who has the chance of jumping back to .500 in league play or falling to 1-5.
"They are a pretty good team, but we have a great chance because they are 4-0," Stokes said. "We definitely don't want to go 1-4. We feel like we can beat them; we feel like we can beat anybody."