Cuonzo Martin dons orange, hits recruiting trail

Cuonzo Martin has recruited in Georgia for years, but prior to Friday, the new Tennessee men's basketball coach never had done so while wearing orange.

As one might expect, Martin's Vols gear turned plenty of heads.

"I love this Tennessee orange, and I'm going to wear it everywhere,'' said Martin, who played his high school career at East St. Louis (Ill.) Lincoln in orange and black colors. "I've told our staff, we've all got to be wearing orange when we go out anywhere.''

The one place Martin couldn't wear orange on Friday was into the home of former UT signee Kevin Ware, of Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga.

Martin said he discovered that UT has exhausted its NCAA-allotment of off-campus visits with the shooting guard, who asked for and was granted a release from his National Letter of Intent last week.

"We might see if we can file for a waiver, since we're a new coaching staff,'' Martin said. "I've talked with Kevin's parents by phone.''

It would be permissible under NCAA rules for Ware and his parents to come to the Knoxville campus for a visit. Ware is in Florida on spring break, so the earliest that could happen would be April 16-17.

Martin visited many coaches and prospects, though many top Georgia recruits that UT has targeted had left to play in AAU tournaments.

Martin did see 6-3 guard Derrick Henry of Newman High in Covington, Ga., a three-star prospect with offers from Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond.

On Thursday, Martin toured the Memphis high schools, including Melrose, where, according to coach Jeremaine Johnson, Martin "connected" with Vols signee Chris Jones.

"I think Coach Martin and Chris have been down the same path, raised by single mothers, coming from tough backgrounds,'' Johnson said. "Chris needs a good leader that he respects and will be on him and show him tough love.

"Just sitting down with Coach Martin and hearing his story, it sends a message to players how hard they'll have to work to overcome obstacles.''

UT assistant coach Jon Harris has been busy the past two days, too.

Harris was in Middle Tennessee on Thursday to see Class of 2012 wing Alex Poythress, a 6-7 prospect at Northeast High School in Clarksville. Poythress, ranked No. 35 by Rivals.com, also is being recruited by Vanderbilt, Florida, Georgia, Marquette and Memphis.

Jalen Lindsey, a 6-6 rising star in the Class of 2014 at the Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, is another player with whom UT is keeping up.

The Vols are working on setting up a meeting with Class of 2011 center Lekan Ajayi, a 6-9, 230-pounder out of the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"Coach Martin said he wanted to come see me so we could talk,'' Ajayi said. "When I spoke to my coach, he said Tennessee would come see me, but I don't know when.''

The current contact period expires at midnight Sunday. A dead (no-contact) period then kicks in through April 14. The spring national signing period begins Wednesday and runs through May 18.

In addition to meeting and greeting, Martin and Harris are looking at setting up some official visits.

Josh Richardson, a 6-4 guard out of Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., has a standing scholarship offer and is expected to visit UT on April 15-16. Richardson is ranked No. 121 in the Class of 2011.

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Comments » 57

scvols writes:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

FWBVol writes:

I like that Cuonzo was aware of the fact that Pearl's staff had already used up all the visits with Ware and didn't walk into another violation. This is the kind of careful attention to detail that will pay dividends in improving UT's image with the NCAA.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

Yep! I think this group is very happy to get to a big time program where they can really show their stuff. I loved BP but as we all know there is always someone else behind you. I just have that felling that this group of Coaches are going to get it done.

thevoice writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

Out class, out recruit, out coach. Bruce who? I think Zo will bring the type of guys we'd be proud of, with talent too. Seems like the Pearl electricity ran out when his inherited players left. Besides Tobias and Chism, Pearl gets a big goose egg on recruiting. He struggled recruiting the 1, 2, and 5 spots.

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I like that Cuonzo was aware of the fact that Pearl's staff had already used up all the visits with Ware and didn't walk into another violation. This is the kind of careful attention to detail that will pay dividends in improving UT's image with the NCAA.

Amen.

murrayvol writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Time for you to visit the corner.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

GO BIG ORANGE! It's looking great for UT. Great new coaches. Great orange color that will soon dominate again!
I still don't understand this green the mocs are talking about?? But I have to pull for them in their league! Go Green and Gold! Go big Mocs!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

PS: BR and VD are bitter people! It's very sad.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I like that Cuonzo was aware of the fact that Pearl's staff had already used up all the visits with Ware and didn't walk into another violation. This is the kind of careful attention to detail that will pay dividends in improving UT's image with the NCAA.

That's the job of the compliance department. Same thing happened regarding Tyler Smith when Pearl first became coach. Peterson's staff had already used up their allotment of visits.

myvols2002 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I like that Cuonzo was aware of the fact that Pearl's staff had already used up all the visits with Ware and didn't walk into another violation. This is the kind of careful attention to detail that will pay dividends in improving UT's image with the NCAA.

Just wondering why he didn't visit Ware before he let him out of his letter. Then if Ware still wanted out then he could release him. I wouldn't think it would be against NCAA rules to visit him before he was let go.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Talking about uncivil. You bring up the orientation and race of coaches as if they were issues. Maybe if YOU stayed off campus these cotton ball and banana type incidents would cease.

jimr07 writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You have been drinking way too much rum. Sober up and smell the coffee.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say "walt"(and 15 of your other personalities on here)type so many words that say absolutely nothing. Witch Doctor say you are proof less IS better.
Bones never lie.

orangepeel writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I do not feel that there is a good environment at UT in men's athletics. This bad environment is directly related to Mike Hamilton. UT seems more interested in making the next dollar than being competitive in men's athletics. Much like Kiffin I do not believe that Coach Martin will work out at UT. I do hope that I am wrong though. Mike Hamilton needs to be fired. Bad decisions,bad hires, and stupid ill-timed comments dot his leadership at UT. Until Hamilton is gone I will not ,give money to UT, go to games or buy UT merchandise. If all UT cares about is money this is the only way to get their attention. If enough UT fans do the same thing it will make a difference.

orangecountyvols writes:

Tweet and UAVol, plus other legit Vol fans,

A suggestion here regarding the obnoxious rum head.

Let him rant and spill out the same negative
and over bearing repetition.

Just recognize the name, know what you're going to get if you read his stuff..............

and ignore him. Scroll onto something worth reading.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Pearl's incoming class was based on having Harris and Hopson still on the team;He went after the 2 best shooting guards that he had built a relationship with over 1 or 2 years..Things have changed drastically and Now it's very late in the recruiting game with most good recruits committed long ago..Bruce made a huge mistake not getting a quality post player 2 years ago!!!I really don't understand how he saw the glaring need and addressed the problem with Maymon and Fields..Instead he continued adding hit or miss guards..Now Martin is behind the 8 ball..I still think Martin will land either Ware or Jones;everything else is up in the air..I know nothing about Ajayi but if he's 6'9 he is now priorty 1 !!! Iam guessing there is still a diamond in the rough on Martins list..Iam not expecting big things for this years class but once the smoke clears recruiting will be better..On a good note I think Hall will do okay replacing Harris..He has worked hard and the Vols will soon reap the benefits

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

YES !!! GO Coach ZO !!!
GO VOLS !!!

winVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say "walt"(and 15 of your other personalities on here)type so many words that say absolutely nothing. Witch Doctor say you are proof less IS better.
Bones never lie.

hahahaha,, your are so right,you just hit the nail on the head ,,,GBO

VOLDoll writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

First of all Pearl was a damn good recruiter but the problem was that he did not know how to develop that talent. His ego stopped him from hiring a coach that knew how to develop talent or that could draw up a game plan.
But thankfully his sorry cheatin asz is gone and now we will start a new era.

Slystone writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point BB, there is a whole lot of talent in the Bluff City and Coach Zo is the new flavor. One thing you and I know is if you have a great relationship with the HS coaches there you may be able to get a few recruits out of there. With Mike Anderson at ARK you know he will be beating the bushes there also. Pastner will get his and I think Calipari has pretty much burnt his bridge in Memphis as he was booed at a Grizz game as he was in town for the Finch Funeral. But he can recruit other places though. Bottom line is going to be on the style of play Coach Zo displays on the floor. If it's what kids like then they will come. He is going to have to compete in the SEC,but he and his staff realize this and they now have better resources to recruit, compete and win than what he might have had at Mizz State.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Tweet and UAVol, plus other legit Vol fans,

A suggestion here regarding the obnoxious rum head.

Let him rant and spill out the same negative
and over bearing repetition.

Just recognize the name, know what you're going to get if you read his stuff..............

and ignore him. Scroll onto something worth reading.

Point taken.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Pearl's incoming class was based on having Harris and Hopson still on the team;He went after the 2 best shooting guards that he had built a relationship with over 1 or 2 years..Things have changed drastically and Now it's very late in the recruiting game with most good recruits committed long ago..Bruce made a huge mistake not getting a quality post player 2 years ago!!!I really don't understand how he saw the glaring need and addressed the problem with Maymon and Fields..Instead he continued adding hit or miss guards..Now Martin is behind the 8 ball..I still think Martin will land either Ware or Jones;everything else is up in the air..I know nothing about Ajayi but if he's 6'9 he is now priorty 1 !!! Iam guessing there is still a diamond in the rough on Martins list..Iam not expecting big things for this years class but once the smoke clears recruiting will be better..On a good note I think Hall will do okay replacing Harris..He has worked hard and the Vols will soon reap the benefits

Do you think Kmart had a clearance sale on bigs and BP just decided to sleep in that morning? For whatever reason, he couldn't convince any quality post players to come play his style. Or would you have liked him to accept second rate?

uT_grad_08 writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Someone needs to give this guy a grammar lesson.. imho

jg611 writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

all schools, all the way down to the NAIA level have NCAA rules classes for athletes and coaches. mandatory. inform yourself before you spew BS everywhere.. BTW, i know lots of girls who like bacardi..

VolGrad writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need to get back on your meds, imho.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bicard
I didn't think anyone could put their head A hole deep into a Jraft. Live and learn, I guess.

ctownvol writes:

There is no Newman High in Covington. It is Newton High. Trust me. I went there, and so did UT great Dale Carter.

SilasDogooder writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How much Bicardi have you already had today? Too much, or not enough?

michael7777 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VOLSMAN1999 writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. It is already getting to the point where UT fans can't make jokes about Vanderbilt but Hammy is leading UT to the point that we will be the butt of all jokes and laughing stock of the SEC. Are the leaders at UT so incompetent at sports that they can't see that Hammy doesn't have a clue or blinded with the money that he supposingly raises that they don't care? No wonder MTSU has become a the biggest campus in Tenn

carbonzip writes:

Consider a real problem in college sports. After orally committing to Louisville, Jeremy Tyler skipped his senior year of high school to play professional basketball in Israel. He went there for $140,000 but it didn't work out. He is coming home.

On leaving high school, Fran Fraschilla, of ESPN asked "What's the big deal? I think it is a calculated gamble on his part, but I like it."

"First of all, the cynical side of me says that he is not making this decision based on the money, because he could be financially taken care of had he not taken this route, whether by an unscrupulous agent or by a college program before he earns the real money as an NBA first-round pick"

Makes me wonder how much is known about pay in college sports and how extensive it is. UT seems pretty clean compared to this.

GONAVY writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was funny!

flatrock writes:

in response to myvols2002:

Just wondering why he didn't visit Ware before he let him out of his letter. Then if Ware still wanted out then he could release him. I wouldn't think it would be against NCAA rules to visit him before he was let go.

UT had spent all its allowable visits PRIOR to hiring Coach Martin. An appeal might allow this staff a visit- but do not hold your breath on the NCAA giving UT a break. Thanks Bruce and Hammy.

Jesus1Family2Career3Vols4 writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

Great minds think alike. Yes, I do believe this staff can recruit! Sounds like CCM has hit the ground running. The fact that Chris Jones and he has all ready connected is great news! Just imagine where this program could go if- they could just recruit Memphis. We would be a consistent Top 10 Program if U.T. could simply recruit two cities- Memphis and Atlanta. Off to a great start!

How 'bout them Vols?

VolinCalif writes:

KNS
I have no idea who this card is (BicardiRum) but for the sake of manners you should get him off this site. No one should be allowed to use this site to just bedevil others. It isn't as though they are voicing an opinion or entering into a discussion, they are rude,insulting and very anti public relations. Flat out they are S... and you should flush them.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

I'm thinking if Martin can pull Chris Jones back into wanting to play at UT, he's all right w/ me.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor summerize last 40 of your "walts" post
Waa
Waa
Waa
waa
Waa
Waa
Witch Doctor say Bicardiwalt drinks too much as your spelling of words shows.
Bones never lie.

Rockytop38 writes:

I'd love to see us get some big guns in the 6-9 range that can move and shoot. Something similiar to the Parsons kid at Florida. What is he? 6-10?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor summerize last 40 of your "walts" post
Waa
Waa
Waa
waa
Waa
Waa
Witch Doctor say Bicardiwalt drinks too much as your spelling of words shows.
Bones never lie.

Witch Doctor freely admit he smoke too much magic herb
*summarize
BNL

VolQB writes:

Did i miss something? In my lifetime (north past 40) i have never knew a new coach not have ties to a network or recruits.

Does he not have prospects from his previous job or location? i agree with securing Pearl's recruits but dang none of your own?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to VolQB:

Did i miss something? In my lifetime (north past 40) i have never knew a new coach not have ties to a network or recruits.

Does he not have prospects from his previous job or location? i agree with securing Pearl's recruits but dang none of your own?

Witch Doctor say Martin best seal up everything Pearl had because it better than anything he had. Witch Doctor say little late in recruiting...NCAA stinks on the timing of BBall signing day. Witch Doctor ask if you remember Ryan Childress (?) lol
Bones never lie.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you say something?

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor freely admit he smoke too much magic herb
*summarize
BNL

hahahahahaha

CoverOrange writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yet you sent your son there.

You do know how those rankings are made, right? The BCS polls are just as scientific.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vols swept Candy last season bwahahahaahaa

dlravol2 writes:

Talent level fell as Buzz's recruits left.Hoping this staff can bring in some talent and teach some fundamentals.

VolNExile writes:

@BicardiRum

* yawn *

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BicardiRum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NEVER trust national rankings on anything!? Even football and basketball. It's all a game to see who can get federal funding or grants of some sort...tho 4__(?)(whatever) doesn't sound good at all I know many of the grads from UT and they are just fine and brilliant. (I'm an UTC grad, and have no idea of it's rank and don't really care).
UT puts out a lot of pros in all areas of learning and I bet has more grads in nursing and and medical degrees than Vandy(maybe I guess).My brother who is twice as smart as me is an UT grad.! My sister has a masters from UT. She's too liberal for me but I have to admit very smart.
IMHO your #'s mean nothing really except that UT doesn't care about satisfying the powers that be as much as other schools...
I rank UT #2 in academics...I'm a teacher of sorts I can do that. #2 because I HAVE to rank UTC #1. Since I have lived in Nashville area a bit I'll put them as #3. OK? Bicardibum and canstandanything?

kazoo writes:

in response to scvols:

Is it possible that this coaching team could out recruit our last one?

Much as I loved Pearl, his recruiting fell off the last two/three years. Harris was a major coup, and Hopson was a blue chip, Goins was decent, Golden might improve--but our overall talent level was weak, which was reflected in the season we had. At a minimum, you need four guys--guards and wingers--who are good ball handlers and can shoot fairly well. You can do a lot with that kind of core--as the mid-majors show us in the tournament every year.

jomo11 writes:

Funny how now that Martin goes to see Derrick Henry, that Henry turns into a "3-star" prospect. Rivals has him as a 0-star.....without offers from VCU and Richmond, in fact Henry just got turned down for a scholarship to UT-Chattanooga

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