New assistants hit the floor at workouts

Harris, Williams 'anxious to work with these guys'

Tennessee assistant basketball coach Jon Harris

Photo by Wade Payne

Tennessee assistant basketball coach Jon Harris

Interview with new UT assistant basketball Jon Harris

Tennessee assistant basketball coach Kent Williams

Photo by Wade Payne

Tennessee assistant basketball coach Kent Williams

Interview with new UT assistant basketball Kent Williams

The attire worn by Tennessee assistant men's basketball coaches Kent Williams and Jon Harris provided a hint of what took place during the team's individual workouts on Monday.

Both the 29-year-old Williams and the 30-year-old Harris wore black workout shirts and white Vols' game shorts with all the trimmings, including the school's Power-T logo.

"I think it helps we're not too far removed from where they are,'' said the 6-foot-7 Harris, who played from 1998-2002 at Marquette, a run that included a season playing beside Miami Heat all-star Dwyane Wade.

"There's nothing the players will see that we haven't already been through ourselves as players,'' said Harris, who was hired March 28. "In practices, we'll get out there and mix it up with them, and I think that will also help build the relationships.''

The Vols had three individual workout sessions involving three players going for 30 minutes at a time on Monday.

Harris manned the so-called "pad," hitting players as they took shots, while coach Cuonzo Martin, a defensive stalwart during his playing career from 1991-95 at Purdue, jumped in and worked strip-and-rip drills.

Williams, 29, quickly will translate into a shooting coach. He led Southern Illinois in scoring all four years he played for the Salukis (1999-2003) and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2010.

"Shooting and scoring is kind of my thing, and being a playmaker, so I'm really anxious to work with these guys, breaking down their game, finding different areas they could take advantage of the defense,'' said the 6-2 Williams, who after his career at Southern Illinois played in the NBA Development League, leading the league in 3-point shooting percentage and 3-pointers made.

"Teaching them to take advantage of their strengths and hide their weaknesses, that's my favorite part of the job,'' said Williams, who accepted a position on the staff on Saturday. "We'll work with the players on the court from time to time to let them see what we expect.''

Both Harris and Williams were encouraged by what they saw out of the returning players on Monday.

"I think the guys are looking forward to something new; the energy level today was high, they played hard and they competed,'' said Harris, who captained Marquette to a 26-7 record and No. 9 national ranking his senior year with the Golden Eagles. "We're set up well to have success. We just have to put the work in.''

Martin, Harris and Williams all have an idea of what to expect from the Vols, having played them in November in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Thompson-Boling Arena. Williams has added insight, having studied UT for Missouri State's scouting report.

At Missouri State, Martin rotated the scouting reports between his three assistants, a practice he's expected to continue with the Vols, according to his assistants.

Both Harris and Williams, who served as Martin's assistants during his three years as the Bears' head coach, said they're eager to hit the recruiting trail.

The Vols had two signees in the Class of 2011 prior to Martin's hire on March 27, both guards. Over the past week, Kevin Ware of Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., has been released from his National of Letter of Intent, and Chris Jones of Melrose High School in Memphis has requested a release that's pending.

Martin said he will meet with both players later this week before moving forward on the signing class.

UT has between four and six scholarships available, depending on whether All-SEC junior Scotty Hopson and/or freshman All-America pick Tobias Harris return for another season with the Vols after making themselves eligible for the NBA Draft by April 24. The players have until May 7 to return to UT with eligibility, provided they do not sign with agents.

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Comments » 43

VolinCalif writes:

You know Tweet, I've got that feeling we are going to be a bunch of happy campers. I love BP and am not saying this group is better, HOW SO EVER this group are still playing age and have a lot of exp. They played on good teams and were coached well. I think a kid would be foolish not to want to mix with this group.

MidTennVol writes:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

shipperman#280095 writes:

And Bruce was in how many final fours? Idiot. Hamilton is going nowhere, so bye bye

orangegrass writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Bye.

pappyq writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

you're statement suggests that UT has been to the final four before.....why does everyone in the Vol Nation think that UT is an elite program in any sport (other than women's basketball)? it ain't! get over it and enjoy watching these kids in their pursuit of happiness.

heyitsme writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Doubt you will be missed. So long...

punkin writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Can I have your tickets?

easleychuck writes:

To those that want to throw the basketball program in the trash heap because Mike Hamilton is still the AD at UT....please enjoy whatever it is that you will be doing instead of watching and following UT sports this upcoming winter. The games will go on just fine without you.

The kids who wear orange are Volunteers. And that should be the primary focus of the fans. I will support those kids no matter who the coaches or AD are and whether they are winning as much as I would prefer. So take your ball and stay/go home because you don't like how things are going. By the way that's an absolutely wonderful way to go through life.

These new assistants, along with Coach Martin seem to be jumping right in a great way. So it appears it will be up to the players to work harder just to keep up with these guys.

twhite#364344 writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

I will buy your season tix. How many do you have.

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

In that case, I hope to never hear from you again....

GBOEngineer writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can go away now. You are just an poorly-informed, inarticulate bore.

Bigger_Al writes:

Looks like we got a Shot Doctor now. I hope so. I loved the old staff, but I hated seeing Jordon Howell and Cam Tatum completely lose their shooting confidence.

BillyVol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

A true Vol.

volinlouisiana writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

OK? BP never got us to the Final 4, so where is that standard coming from? Before BP we were just lucky to be in the final 64. I wouldn't wait by the phone.

hueypilot writes:

It is all about putting the ball in the basket and in our worst moments this year and a few times last year,we looked woefully inept at that. Not quite as bad as Butler did for an entire game last night, but we all saw us hit that point for a 7-10 minute period in every game we lost last year, where we couldn't throw it in the ocean if we were standing in the boat. In years past we had Lofton, even Chism who could hit a big shot to stop a scoreless skid or counter an opponents run. This year, once savvy teams learned how to stop Harris, we were done, witness Michigan debacle. Hopson would continue to try the dribble drive against a stacked deck, and lose the ball.
Looking for improvement here in the are of shooting

gwills228#231210 writes:

you know....coach martin might turn out to be a good hire after all,time will tell. but, anybody can get up in front of the press and say all the right things" WE WON'T BE OUTWORKED,WE WON'T BE OUTCOACHED,and so on... but,if he was such a great hire,as cheek repeated more than once,then why hadn't any other major college who was looking for a new coach didn't hire him before we came along?

orangevoltrain writes:

It does not matter what team you like you have to support them through the good times and even the bad times,just to call yourselves fans. What I'm saying is if you love the VOLS you will support them no matter what goes on the good and bad.How many VOLS fans stuck with the football when they started off 0-6 that year, But finished 5-6. JUST SUPPORT THE VOLS THAT IS A TRUE FAN!!!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor sure more than reported.
Bones never lie.

VolinBoro writes:

RockyTopRenegade & orangevoltrain... both your posts are right on the money!
Thank you.

Digger writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

You're so "done" with this program that you took the time to read this article. Go away, please. We don't want fair-weather fans on our side anyway. We want real UT fans only!

GrandmaVol writes:

Hey, whatever happened to PearlMustGo? Exhibited such passion about getting rid of Pearl. What? No comments on the new guys? Must have been a very strongly opinionated plant....

paradisetaxi writes:

in response to easleychuck:

To those that want to throw the basketball program in the trash heap because Mike Hamilton is still the AD at UT....please enjoy whatever it is that you will be doing instead of watching and following UT sports this upcoming winter. The games will go on just fine without you.

The kids who wear orange are Volunteers. And that should be the primary focus of the fans. I will support those kids no matter who the coaches or AD are and whether they are winning as much as I would prefer. So take your ball and stay/go home because you don't like how things are going. By the way that's an absolutely wonderful way to go through life.

These new assistants, along with Coach Martin seem to be jumping right in a great way. So it appears it will be up to the players to work harder just to keep up with these guys.

AMEN !!!!!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

I realize that MH is a very hated man right now and he's not exactly my favorite person in the world right now either..And for the record, I think he should be fired, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse not to support the men's athletics programs, whether it be football, basketball or whichever..That is just silly..I don't think you will be getting any phone calls from any of us because you and your attitude certainly will not be missed.

And Smokey is still on the prowl..

Razzle writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Old boy, I must say the 'feel good hype' sure does beats your lip-dragging drama.

LittleJohnny writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Ok, back to your day job.... the toilet in stall 3 is overflowing and you need to go dump the trash.

BensonVol writes:

Given this staff's previous playing experiences and accomplishments, I could see our player development being a lot better than it was under CBP and his staff. Maybe they can teach a player how to dribble within three or four years (Hopson). I just hope they can recruit at or above the level that the previous staff was able to. Only time will tell. GBO!

bison_vol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Fabulous! Good riddance! Don't want your kind anyway.....Hoo-ray!!!!

Prostar writes:

ATTENTION - we have a BB coach and asst. coaches as well. Up until last night Brad Stevens was unapproachable. He ain't coming here, get over it. Support this team and its coaches. If Jones and Ware don't come here, so what. They're not the last two players on earth looking for a scholly. We're going to be fine, why I'll bet these coaches have a couple of guys in mind anyway that would like to come here and play. I really don't care whether Jones gets his ego stroked or not, we may actually be better off without him.

thevoice writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Way to support the Vols, pal. Guess you supported Pearl in similar fashion? Until the final whistle from the NCAA, Hammy's going nowhere.

orangecountyvols writes:

KCHSAlum and Prowlin and Growlin,

Remember friends, this is the season when a lot of the ones you have addressed come in with new user names. Some have been removed, others just want to create a new name to change the pace.

Anyway, nice to see the true Vols here such as you two. And yes, thanks to the other Vols, too many to mention. ( Not going to waste time mentioning the "others.")

Too bad about Kelley Cain not coming back. We still have plenty of depth though.

tenecvol4 writes:

Vol fans -- I live about 3 miles from Oak Ridge Military Academy and know the coaches who handled Jones -- he of course "left Oak Ridge" He is a big pot of trouble and we really dont want him at UT -- he will be biggggg problems

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

These coaches is a nightmare,Tennessee will never have a winning record with these coaches

jimr07 writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

These coaches is a nightmare,Tennessee will never have a winning record with these coaches

wow. i love loyal supporters like you. is it that time of the month for you?

BankerVol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

If you are done til Hamilton is gone then stop reading and posting. You come across like a six year old brat. Good riddance.

Razzle writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

These coaches is a nightmare,Tennessee will never have a winning record with these coaches

Who told you that? Was it John Wooden or Red Auerbach?

Razzle writes:

in response to Razzle:

Who told you that? Was it John Wooden or Red Auerbach?

Seriously, I'd really like to know what you're basing your opinion on.

STLVOLS writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

These coaches is a nightmare,Tennessee will never have a winning record with these coaches

Obviously, Big Orange Smoker is not in a management position. He is simply "stirring the pot" with no empirical evidence of his comments.

These types should be ignored. Don't let the door hit you on the way out Smoker.

kantanuuv writes:

Vole fans should feel very positive about this coaching staff. To my knowledge, no coach has ever taken this kind of approach. "We'll mix it up with them," "build relationships," "shooting is my thing," "take advantage of their strengths," "play hard and compete," "put the work in."

This stuff is radical philosophy. I see what the buzz is about!

rockytopjc22#1360044 writes:

First off let me say I loved CBP! I'm still a little sad he's gone (even though I think it was a move we had to make) Maybe just maybe he was a victim of his own success? It seems when we started landing the "TOP RECRUITS" we started going away from the style of play that attracted all of us to start filling the stands in the 1st place. Instead of recruiting players for our system we were getting guys just because we could. I think ZO and these guys are gonna get guys who fit their style of play & players who will be proud wear the T. Vol fans we have alot to be excited about! These are young guys who have played the game at high levels come from great coaching backgrounds and definitely have something to prove! This could very well be a big blessing!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Keeping Hopson and Harris should be our main priority.

Good Luck Coaches! GO VOLS!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

Nothing against these coaches, but call me when we're in the Final Four. Then I might care. I'm done with this program until Hamilton is gone.

Then WHY for heavens sake are you even here posting...don't be offended but that's like the kid who holds his breathe until he gets what he wants...however, suit yourself...

tennrich1 writes:

in response to BankerVol:

If you are done til Hamilton is gone then stop reading and posting. You come across like a six year old brat. Good riddance.

BankerVol didnt read your post until after I posted responding to MidTennVol....man, we're on the same page...see above response by Tennrich1

hueypilot writes:

in response to rockytopjc22#1360044:

First off let me say I loved CBP! I'm still a little sad he's gone (even though I think it was a move we had to make) Maybe just maybe he was a victim of his own success? It seems when we started landing the "TOP RECRUITS" we started going away from the style of play that attracted all of us to start filling the stands in the 1st place. Instead of recruiting players for our system we were getting guys just because we could. I think ZO and these guys are gonna get guys who fit their style of play & players who will be proud wear the T. Vol fans we have alot to be excited about! These are young guys who have played the game at high levels come from great coaching backgrounds and definitely have something to prove! This could very well be a big blessing!

Agree Rocky. Put me in the loved Bruce camp, from way back when I was in Evansville and he broke in at Sou Ind U. But looking at it objectively, there are a lot of kids on a lot of teams that went much farther than we did this year, with no Hopson,'s, Harris' Jones' or Ware's. And not many that got blown out by 30. Calipari has yet to win it all with, arguably, the best talent year in, year out of anybody. BB can take a star, some role players and some lunch bucket guys and mold a heck of a team. I think BP got a little away from his strengths and got a little too enamored with future NBA guys. Neither of the two future pros on this team played good defense, in fact Hopson was the defensive achilles heel in my view, followed by Harris. Maybe Martin can build their d skills, if he get a chance to.

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