Cuonzo Martin using Vols' loss as painful lesson

'We have to play as a unit'

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players in the game against Austin Peay at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. UT lost, 74-70.

Photo by Adam Brimer, Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players in the game against Austin Peay at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. UT lost, 74-70.

Cuonzo Martin on Tennessee's loss to Austin Peay

Tennessee's young basketball team learned a painful lesson on Saturday in a n embarrassing home loss to Austin Peay.

"We have to play as a unit more than anything," UT coach Cuonzo Martin said in the wake of the 74-70 loss to the Governors (2-9). "We have to play with mental and physical toughness, not with a lot of arrogance, because that's when you get in trouble.

"We don't have the luxury of going one-on-one consistently; When the guy is open, pass the ball

and good things happen."

It sounds simple enough, but with four new starters and roles still being defined, players are still realizing their abilities and limitations.

As much as the Vols (3-5) learned on Saturday, they were in store for more of an education on Sunday as they began initial preparations for College of Charleston (7-1) on Wednesday (TV: ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

"We're going to come in (Sunday), watch the film, and we're going to get an earful," said UT post Kenny Hall, who was one of the few bright spots in the loss to Austin Peay with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven rebounds off the offensive glass.

"The way Coach is, he's going to keep rewinding it and rewinding it so that image of what we were doing wrong is going to stick with us."

Power forward Jeronne Maymon, who like Hall had a strong outing with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with nine rebounds against Austin Peay, echoed Martin's sentiments.

"You just have to play together as a team, have better chemistry and trust each other," Maymon said. "Every loss, you can take something from the game."

Shooting guard Skylar McBee, who leads UT in 3-point shooting percentage (13 of 26 for 50 percent), said it's important the team stay close.

"Nobody likes to lose, but we have to keep a positive mind-set," said McBee, who had nine points in his 21 minutes against Austin Peay. "You cannot be satisfied with losing, but you can't start blaming each other. We have to stay together. We have to continue to build our team chemistry."

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 86

MikeInTN writes:

I shutter to think about the KY, Vandy, & FL games!!

TrouserCough writes:

Oh, no the team is young. Can Dooley be sued for someone using his copyrighted phrase. Thanks mid-major Mike for your coaching hires. Down to Serrano.

SummittsCourt writes:

Somehow, i don't think the team gets it - not yet

WhyYouMad (Inactive) writes:

3-6 after wednesday.

kingofthevols writes:

Byrd is the word!

HtownVol writes:

The way Martin has this team getting worse every game there will be plenty of losses to learn from.

Sure wish the coach would stop accepting zero effort from players. I didnt see one time when coach got upset with the zero effort from players on Friday.

VOLtage writes:

We lost to a team who's fans favorite chant is "LETS GO PEAY,LETS GO PEAY"!

ACWLY writes:

Martin ...
Blah blah blah ... excuse
Blah blah blah ... we're young
Blah blah blah ... we will learn from this loss
Blah blah blah ... wonder what happened to the crowd?
Blah blah blah ... how did dooley cope with loses like this?
Blah blah blah ... anyone ever heard of the College of Charleston?

volistic writes:

The Vols had a bad game Saturday. They were a little over-confident, and played down to the level of the competition. This one game does not undo the good performances against Duke and Memphis. People blasting Coach Martin are clueless. Everyone was saying how this team was much better than expected. That doesn't change with one game. I think Martin has the team going in the right direction, but there will be some bad games. And, there will be some "fans" who will follow that great Tennessee tradition, and call for the coach to be fired after every bad game.

HtownVol writes:

At least Dooley has talent coming in by recruiting.

Martin appears to be bringing in Mizz State recruits.

At least the team seems to have the character of their coach. "we dont care", "why should we play hard?".

This stinks.

ACWLY writes:

in response to volistic:

The Vols had a bad game Saturday. They were a little over-confident, and played down to the level of the competition. This one game does not undo the good performances against Duke and Memphis. People blasting Coach Martin are clueless. Everyone was saying how this team was much better than expected. That doesn't change with one game. I think Martin has the team going in the right direction, but there will be some bad games. And, there will be some "fans" who will follow that great Tennessee tradition, and call for the coach to be fired after every bad game.

Blasting Martin for the WORSE LOSS in SCHOOL HISTORY means we are CLUELESS ...
WOW, SORRY, I guess you're right, every knowledgeable person should take a step back, then they can EASILY see this team is definitely headed in the right direction.
(On a trip with nowhere to go)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Guess all you fake fans will be around awhile till we start playing better. It's ok I don't really read trolls except long enough to ID you. It wasn't hard with most of the above Trollivity(like that word?). Uhh not you vollistic.

I liked everything they quoted Martin to say but I suspect he had a few more choice words privately with the team(I use the word team here with hope for the future).

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Look, UT, you shouldn't have lost to AP. I didn't like it any more than anybody else. Now get it together the next couple of days and beat Charleston. Period. Take your briefcases to Charleston, open them up for 40 minutes (longer if OT), and come back with a W. If you can do this, maybe you can quieten a few of our disgruntled fans. Coach Zo, you're the CEO. Let's come hungry for a change

VolMoment writes:

All you Pearl lovers and I was one. he didn't leave much talent. Underacheaving Tatum, no major offer McBee and attitude Hall is what Martin inherited. So get off Martin's back and be postive for the future when Martin gets some talent in. Are they screaming for Ohio State's coach neck since they lost by a large margin to Kansas.

1vavolfan writes:

I was a teenager during the Wade Houston era but still went to a lot of the games. Alan was fun to watch. If Austin Peay or UNC Greeensboro came to town the game could go either way. We appear to be headed down the same road. Next year we lose Tatum and Woolridge, which may not sound like much. The players that Martin has brought in are very similar to the ones Houston had, particulalry in his last season. Here are the players we have 4 years of scholarships tied up in:

Wes Washpun
Josh Richardson
Yemi Makanjoula
Quienten Chievous
Derek Reese (offered by Central Fl, James Madison, Jacksonville, and Ga Southern)
D'Montre Edwards (recruited by Texas A&M & Depaul but NOT offered by either)

None of these guys may be able to play on a consistent basis in the SEC. Washpun and Richardson could develop into servicable players but will any of these guys ever be able to average 10 points per game? It is highly doubtful. I am not being a troll, just realistic. I will continue to support the team, I drove down from Bristol to watch the Pitt game. It just looks like a long road ahead to me.

WhyYouMad (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolMoment:

All you Pearl lovers and I was one. he didn't leave much talent. Underacheaving Tatum, no major offer McBee and attitude Hall is what Martin inherited. So get off Martin's back and be postive for the future when Martin gets some talent in. Are they screaming for Ohio State's coach neck since they lost by a large margin to Kansas.

That was without Jared Sullinger.If he played, totallt different ball game.

WhyYouMad (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolMoment:

All you Pearl lovers and I was one. he didn't leave much talent. Underacheaving Tatum, no major offer McBee and attitude Hall is what Martin inherited. So get off Martin's back and be postive for the future when Martin gets some talent in. Are they screaming for Ohio State's coach neck since they lost by a large margin to Kansas.

That was without Jared Sullinger.If he played, totally different ball game.

bigdisbig writes:

Cuonzo keep saying the guys need to learn to play as a unit. How about you coaching them to play as a unit dude?? You sat on the bench like a toad the last 6 minutes of the game watching a 10 point loss dwindle away. These guys were playing with NO heart and you were coaching with NO heart. What were you thinking dude? Were you thinking of that huge payday each week that you get for doing NOTHING?
You must learn to be consistent Cuonzo. Your team played well against Memphis and Duke but YOU allowed them to slack against a HIGH SCHOOL TEAM! I put the blame entirely on you.
I could have coached this team to a win dude.

YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST STRIKE AGAINST YOU. 2 MORE AND YOU WILL BE GONE.

Get your act together and motivate these clowns into a team.

eduardo writes:

the pg better get his head on straight or Coach is going to let a frosh run the show. I dont understand after finals and being off for a week how you can come out and look like that. Heck Tatum just graduated no school just bball..just embarrassing. Thats an embarrassment we can do without!

clarksvillevol writes:

Austin Peay beats this team 6 out of 10 times if they played.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, did you not watch the game? They lost to AUSTIN PEAY man. They lost because they didn't have a coach who knew how to coach them up. Clownzo sat on the bench the last 6 minutes of the game and did nothing. He could have called a time out and jacked these clowns up.
Every great coach in the country gets emotional and coaches. He looks like a guy who really does not care.

basevol31#584179 writes:

Its so funny to see all these "UT fans" that probably never played a college or pro sport or coached a team in their lives talk about what Coach Martin should have been doing or should be doing. He has done a fantastic job with the players he has inherited. He can't go out there and suit up himself. Rome wasn't built in a day. And sometimes, loses like this have to happen for players to wake up and take their job/game seriously. We didn't get blown out, It was a 4 point loss. Yes it was a loss, but Austin Peay just wanted it more that day. We tip our hats to them, learn from it, then move forward.

scvols writes:

Being that I live in Charleston, I looked forward for a year for Wednesday. I found some tickets for $100 apiece and was going to take my daughter. No way am I going to pay that to watch this team, I don't know if I can watch it on TV.

spankymbc writes:

Martin is the guy for this program and I think people need to get off his back. He is taking a hand that was given to him with the shelf half empty. Two weeks ago everyone was singing his praises when they took Memphis to 2OT and give Duke a great game. This team will be in the NCAA at the end of the Season. Their figuring out who they are. Wednesday they will show you all that!!!! Go Vols!

Sir_Spanky writes:

in response to spankymbc:

Martin is the guy for this program and I think people need to get off his back. He is taking a hand that was given to him with the shelf half empty. Two weeks ago everyone was singing his praises when they took Memphis to 2OT and give Duke a great game. This team will be in the NCAA at the end of the Season. Their figuring out who they are. Wednesday they will show you all that!!!! Go Vols!

In the NCAA at the end of the season? That's a very interesting take.

DroopyDrawers writes:

The rest of the team is playing keep away from McBee. WHY?

seaplane#216536 writes:

After watching what's been going on for the last several years, the football and basketball programs don't need new coaches or new athletes. What we need is an exorcist.

brod writes:

martin needs to quit coaching team togetherness, and start coaching team defense. no excuse for the loss saturday. what a pathetic game plan. it's like buzz peterson all over again. how did this happen. all this over having a kid over for a hamburger. why bruce!!! why!!!

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GONAVY writes:

No real dog in the fight (did put two through UT) but in case anyone needs a quick history lesson, C of C is coached by Bobby Cremins and this team came into TB Arena last year and beat Pearl. They have already knocked off Clemson at Clemson and are 7-1 this year and are awaiting the arrival of Martin's Vols to their place. Mid-Majors can no longer be looked upon as patsies used as scrimmage dummies by the bigger schools (see VU vs Cleveland St. earlier). There are a lot of good Mid-Majors out there and their numbers have been growing for years. C of C won the Southern Conference Championship last year. They have 2 kids selected preseason All So. Con. voted by the coaches. Should be a good game.

volistic writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Blasting Martin for the WORSE LOSS in SCHOOL HISTORY means we are CLUELESS ...
WOW, SORRY, I guess you're right, every knowledgeable person should take a step back, then they can EASILY see this team is definitely headed in the right direction.
(On a trip with nowhere to go)

Are you actually referring to yourself as a "knowledgeable" person? Now that is funny.

volistic writes:

in response to basevol31#584179:

Its so funny to see all these "UT fans" that probably never played a college or pro sport or coached a team in their lives talk about what Coach Martin should have been doing or should be doing. He has done a fantastic job with the players he has inherited. He can't go out there and suit up himself. Rome wasn't built in a day. And sometimes, loses like this have to happen for players to wake up and take their job/game seriously. We didn't get blown out, It was a 4 point loss. Yes it was a loss, but Austin Peay just wanted it more that day. We tip our hats to them, learn from it, then move forward.

I hope you realize that common sense and rational thought are not very well received on this site. People will now start the name calling.

brokendownoldvol writes:

I wouldn't do anything but run killer drills this week until the the dope gets flushed out of their system.

richvol writes:

in response to basevol31#584179:

Its so funny to see all these "UT fans" that probably never played a college or pro sport or coached a team in their lives talk about what Coach Martin should have been doing or should be doing. He has done a fantastic job with the players he has inherited. He can't go out there and suit up himself. Rome wasn't built in a day. And sometimes, loses like this have to happen for players to wake up and take their job/game seriously. We didn't get blown out, It was a 4 point loss. Yes it was a loss, but Austin Peay just wanted it more that day. We tip our hats to them, learn from it, then move forward.

Agree completely...Peay wanted it more and does anyone believe that they will shoot 72% again this year,or any other. Everything they threw up went in.

Now Golden did hurt us with his selfish play in the second half and Tatum is worthless at times and should be benched in favor of an underclassman who will grow as the season progresses. Tatum is never going to improve. He had his chance.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I commented on the game re-play that I'd never watch it. That's true! But I will watch every game I can! I love to watch basketball and we have a pretty decent team to watch (considering we're a NEW team). Coach Martin has shown some good things on the sideline. Patience is one. You can't change bad habits in one game. They have to be repeated over and over and over in gamelike practices. We just lose it at the final 6-10 minutes. They seem to be forgetting things and reverting back to their old selves as the pressure is on.
Our defenders in some cases are slow but that maybe be to not understanding their jobs completely. If you take a second or 2 to decide where you need to be then you're LATE. We (I THINK just need to stay with the ball better. Watch there eyes some and stay in front. Plus (IMHO) stay with the ball on defensive rebounding. Block out yes but you also have to watch the ball. But that may just be the baseball player in me.

dcap8424 writes:

in response to VolMoment:

All you Pearl lovers and I was one. he didn't leave much talent. Underacheaving Tatum, no major offer McBee and attitude Hall is what Martin inherited. So get off Martin's back and be postive for the future when Martin gets some talent in. Are they screaming for Ohio State's coach neck since they lost by a large margin to Kansas.

Yes, because the UT situation is almost exactly like Ohio St.....? You realize Sullinger didn't play, right? No one expected the buckeyes to win. Especially playing in the hardest place to play in college basketball (THE PHOG).

UT should beat a 1-9 Austin Peay at home with no effort. They showed no effort and lost, however. I just wish Martin would let the players know how poorly they are playing. Pearl wasn't afraid to get after the players and yank them for poor play and effort. I've never seen Martin raise his voice. Is he scared? Won't say anything to the refs either. Maybe he's unsure how to act. I'd like to see him get fired up and get a technical. Maybe it would light a fire under his underperforming team.

brod writes:

in response to untimed_vols_ghost:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

amen brother.

wigmeister writes:

Thought the Hopson effect was over. Guess not!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

We are getting mostly EXTREME comments on here. It's like POLITICS. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground with fans, KNS, whoever (me too at times I suppose).
I don't think Pearl was as bad as some make him to be. NOR his son. I expect that he wasn't as good as others make him. I couldn't stand Clinton and thought him to be the lying cheat that VollDoll Called Pearl all the time. But history has shown him to be a middle ground type president. Well whatever! The point is most of you just come on here to EXTREMES and don't really look for anything but an argument (I love a good debate). But the truth is usually more complicated than what any of us see. Probably not as bad and probably not as good. I do enjoy reading all this and don't want (especially ) to be a wet blanket. But seriously I think there are some CRAZY people posting on here. CRAZY!
not me though

westknoxrepub writes:

It should be noted Murray State defeated Memphis. . .our best win is over a Division II team.

brod writes:

the only thing in the tank is your brain. this was austin peay. not even a good austin peay team. yes, last year's team just couldn't get it done. they were better on the road than at home. but this is inexcusable. the team was not ready to play. yes, screaming at players is necessary at times. i've seen tom izzo, coach k, and other great coaches all do it. you are one of these fans who thinks being patient after inexcusable losses will pay off. i have news for you. it does not. there is no excuse for bad basketball at the university of tennessee. then again, you probably don't know what bad basketball is.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

btw we had a pretty good team last year till the media blew Pearl all out of proportion. jmho I did not like Pearl's lying but he was under a lot of pressure. NOW this site seems to be after Martin? At least some so-called fans are. Any thing to get people to post and any thing for a story that sells. ALL our media is gone CRAZY!! It's not about the people in the story as much as what will sell GOSSIP! 'Course I, just like everyone on here, still reads the stuff! Well not the trolls though.

kwcoach writes:

in response to volistic:

The Vols had a bad game Saturday. They were a little over-confident, and played down to the level of the competition. This one game does not undo the good performances against Duke and Memphis. People blasting Coach Martin are clueless. Everyone was saying how this team was much better than expected. That doesn't change with one game. I think Martin has the team going in the right direction, but there will be some bad games. And, there will be some "fans" who will follow that great Tennessee tradition, and call for the coach to be fired after every bad game.

I think people just wan,t and will get behind, a team that plays hard. Last year's group didn't play hard. This year's team has until lately played like winning was important. They still don't play smart but I would take hard.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to brod:

the only thing in the tank is your brain. this was austin peay. not even a good austin peay team. yes, last year's team just couldn't get it done. they were better on the road than at home. but this is inexcusable. the team was not ready to play. yes, screaming at players is necessary at times. i've seen tom izzo, coach k, and other great coaches all do it. you are one of these fans who thinks being patient after inexcusable losses will pay off. i have news for you. it does not. there is no excuse for bad basketball at the university of tennessee. then again, you probably don't know what bad basketball is.

The truth is the PLAYERS will adjust to the coaching style. If Martin is uncomfortable yelling then why should he? There are ways to make a point without ever raising your voice. If you are a person who gets loud easily then ok. You can still make the point. It imho has little to do with the volume of the coaches voice. "Bad basketball" is not commuincating with each other and not playing as a team. The truth is in our case there are plenty of excuses for the play this early in the season with basically a new team and a new coach. Coach Martin has NOT under any viewpoint had proper time to build this team. so basically you sir are an IMPATIENT fan or a plant or a troll. Actually I liked a few things you said. Just not the screaming thing. That is NOT good educational technique. (However as a teacher I have raised my voice several times over the years, it just didn't do the students any good and they usually just laugh). Consequence IS by far the best teacher. I for one hope to see Martin sit some players out quicker when they "misbehave".

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

It should be noted Murray State defeated Memphis. . .our best win is over a Division II team.

Murray State has always played good basketball. Memphis is overrated and and lost to an undefeated team(last I heard).

brod writes:

i have news for you. i have played basketball and football. i was yelled at a few times. as long as you know the coach is not being unfair to you, it doesn't bother you. these kids are not thin skinned. look, a loss to a 1-9 austin peay team cannot be tolerated at this school. martin came into the program saying that he "was going to play a little defense". his defense sucks. no excuse for this louzy play. no excuse for not being ready to play. i'm sick of all the optimism from all of you ut fans. there is no optimism. it's time to start winning games, if we can't beat austin peay, then we can't beat anybody. if we can't beat anybody, then we need to make some changes.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

Pearl is a better coach than Martin, however most of this is not Martin's fault. These players did the same last year; often no effort and shooting that is unpredictable.

rbwusa writes:

Whoa! Gotta say living downhere in Florida and keeping up with my Vols I was shocked to see that one however they really are young and unexperienced and have what I believe is a Great Coach I hope this will be a lesson that in College as in the Pros You Can't Let Up! Now Go get-em!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

I wouldn't do anything but run killer drills this week until the the dope gets flushed out of their system.

Probably take more than a week.

volboy81 writes:

apparently we have mis-assessed Martin. I think our players heard the final buzzer go off with about 5 minutes to go in the game, because thats when they stopped playing.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features