Mike Strange: Vols stuck in mid-major status for now

Mike Strange
Jordan McRae of Tennessee goes to the basket against College of Charleston during Wednesday's game in Charleston, S.C.

Photo by Patrick Murphy Racey/UTADphoto

Jordan McRae of Tennessee goes to the basket against College of Charleston during Wednesday's game in Charleston, S.C.

Antwaine Wiggins on career high night against Tennessee

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The students poured out of the stands, storming the court to celebrate.

Escaping the bedlam, a solitary figure in an orange jersey plodded down toward the locker room. Jordan McRae put his hands over his head and let go with an anguished groan that resonated in the empty hallway.

Welcome to mid-major hell.

Tennessee was a loser here Wednesday night, 71-65, taken down by the College of Charleston.

It wasn't necessarily an upset, not like the night the Cougars knocked off No. 9 North Carolina here at TD Arena nearly two years ago.

The Vols are vulnerable these days, even to the mid-majors of the college basketball world. Aside from Pittsburgh, Tennessee's four-game losing streak has been administered by Oakland, Austin Peay and now Charleston.

Before you pile on new coach Cuonzo Martin, remember Bruce Pearl's last season? About this time last December the Vols were falling to Oakland, Charlotte and these same Cougars.

That's who Tennessee is these days.

"It was a good game,'' said UT coach Cuonzo Martin. "They found a way to win.''

He was right. It was a good game.

The Vols opened with great heart and toughed out a 13-point lead. Then Charleston dug in and chipped away.

The Cougars exploited UT's old nemesis, porous defense, scoring on eight of their final 10 possessions in the first half to close to 37-33.

Then they shot 65 percent in the second half. Not as good as Austin Peay's 72-percent second half last Saturday but in the same ballpark.

"It was a dogfight,'' said Charleston coach Bobby Cremins. "I was afraid we were going to be embarrassed there for a little bit.''

Cremins has lived in both ends of the basketball spectrum. He made his bones at Appalachian State then spent 19 seasons in the big leagues at Georgia Tech.

Now in the twilight of his career, he's enjoying another good run at Charleston.

Cremins was quick to thank the Charleston fans and just as quick to thank his counterpart on the Tennessee bench.

"I want to thank Cuonzo Martin,'' Cremins said. "He honored the contract that we made with Bruce Pearl.

"I appreciate them coming here. They brought a great atmosphere. It was a great win for us.''

Martin does deserve credit for not buying out of the Oakland and Charleston games. I can imagine some new coaches, realizing wins will come at a premium, would have sought a non-conference path of least resistance. The Vols have enough problems without coming to snakepits – very nice snakepits – like this one.

And it's not like Tennessee is the Lone Ranger when it comes to SEC teams with mid-major blemishes.

LSU has lost to Coastal Carolina and South Alabama. South Carolina has been knocked off by Elon and Tennessee State.

It's not just the bottom-feeders. Vanderbilt has lost at home to Cleveland State and No. 17 Mississippi State at home to Akron.

Strange things happen in December. Memphis got taken down at home by Murray State.

But the fact remains, even though it's painful for Tennessee fans to hear, there isn't much difference between the Vols and a decent mid-major these days.

The best player on the floor Wednesday night was Antwaine Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 wing forward from Greeneville, Tenn. He wasn't wearing orange, by the way.

After scoring 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting, Wiggins was talking about how much the game meant to him since he grew up wanting to play for the home-state Vols.

"You weren't good enough,'' a grinning Cremins interjected.

That drew laughs from everyone, including Wiggins.

I don't know what he looked like coming out of Greeneville, but by Wednesday night he was plenty good enough.

Cremins also mentioned that on Charleston's behalf he recruited Skylar McBee, who did, of course, end up at Tennessee.

Which again underscores that there isn't much difference between UT and the decent mid-majors. It's Martin's job to change that.

"That guy,'' Cremins said of Martin, "is going to do some recruiting and they're gonna be good.''

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 60

underthehill writes:

I agree with Cremins..Martin will get the job done..just don't have the talent right now..Vols did have much better effort than the Peay game.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Martin is quickly showing himself to be a typical Mike Hamilton hire. Unlike Dooley, whose personality I have never really liked, I actually do like Coach Martin as a person. I hope he turns it around, but all signs point to him being in over his head.

At this point, all fans should be asking themselves this question: Cuonzo recruits mid-major kids and loses to mid-major and sub-major schools. Why should anyone expect him to beat top-tier schools if he recruits top-tier players?

Orange_Pants_Buy_One_Get_One_Free writes:

in response to cliffjumper50#205931:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's also the Men's sports at utk.

SummittsCourt writes:

Another great gift from the Hamilton era. Thanks hammy for screwing up the men's sports at UT.

So... When's first pitch?

Classof72 writes:

"Which again underscores that there isn't much difference between UT and the decent mid-majors."

Difference? How about more wins than losses? The Vols are a long way from a decent mid-major. They're just a bad basketball team right now, like Dooley described his football team.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to cliffjumper50#205931:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That will be the sound in Neyland next year right after the Florida game unless by miracle it's won.

woodcutter writes:

Football & basketball seem about the same....

Dobervol writes:

in response to cliffjumper50#205931:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So which is the, ahem, "modern" UTK sports fan's motto? "We're with ya all the way, as long as ya win"? "Win now or I'll take to an internet forum to angrily demand winning or else fire all the coaches"? Or "My happy a** is only showing up if we're winning"? Or is it "D": All of the above?

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to underthehill:

I agree with Cremins..Martin will get the job done..just don't have the talent right now..Vols did have much better effort than the Peay game.

Wait, we all agree that this year is going to be a bad year. Next Year's recruiting class is made up of players nobody else wanted, and they're going to be Freshman. This year's class is also made of players nobody wanted, so next year isn't going to be any better. We're not on the board for anybody signifficant the year after that, and we'll have been a losing program two years in a row. How exactly is he going to get the job done when everybody in the SEC is out recruiting him?

westknoxrepub writes:

Martin's not beating mid-major programs, he's going to have a BAD mid-major record, and he's recruiting kids even the mid-major programs don't want. You can't win in the SEC on the talent he's recruiting, in three years we're going to be looking for a new basketball coach.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

The real problem with being "Stuck in mid-major status" is they aren't winning those games. Playing half a game is not going to win many games. Poor decision making is probably the hardest thing to overcome but combining that with poor ball skills and no clutch shooters is a recipe for continuing disappointment. However on the bright side I’m no longer expecting them to win every game.

brod writes:

depressing. very depressing.

BIGSKYVOL writes:

Other SEC programs should be thanking UT's past AD for putting men's sports at UT at the bottom of the SEC. When will the people of Tennessee and the UT administration take the bull by the horns, clean house and start over with better coaches? If no action is taken now, Neyland and Boling arena will have few attendees next year. And there will be even fewer TV viewers. Pat Summitt's program continues to be the only conference and nationally competitive program at UT. UT's downward spiral began with UT's hiring of MH. Personally, MH is a nice man but he was in over his head just like the current men's FB and BB coaches.

wsmows writes:

Huge Vol fan here,always watch every time the Vols are on TV or attend the games,heard Crimins interviewed yesterday ,listen to sports talk all day everyday,completely fogot they played last night, maybe becoming disinterested (:

AlpharettaVol writes:

It's amazing that all the opposing coaches and the expert TV commentators (former players) seem to go out of their way to praise Coach Martin and talk about what a bright future he has. I guess they don't know nearly as much about basketball as the anonymous posters here.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

It's amazing that all the opposing coaches and the expert TV commentators (former players) seem to go out of their way to praise Coach Martin and talk about what a bright future he has. I guess they don't know nearly as much about basketball as the anonymous posters here.

Alot of former players and other coaches said the same thing about Buzz Peterson when he was hired. One look at Martin's recruiting classes should tell you all you need to know about his future as coach of Tennessee. We're in the SEC, he needs to start recruiting SEC calibur players.

arkyvol writes:

"Which again underscores that there isn't much difference between UT and the decent mid-majors."

er, are we talking b-ball or football?

arkyvol writes:

in response to BIGSKYVOL:

Other SEC programs should be thanking UT's past AD for putting men's sports at UT at the bottom of the SEC. When will the people of Tennessee and the UT administration take the bull by the horns, clean house and start over with better coaches? If no action is taken now, Neyland and Boling arena will have few attendees next year. And there will be even fewer TV viewers. Pat Summitt's program continues to be the only conference and nationally competitive program at UT. UT's downward spiral began with UT's hiring of MH. Personally, MH is a nice man but he was in over his head just like the current men's FB and BB coaches.

whether hammy was nice or not is beside the point. he wasn't paid to be nice, he was paid to be competent. instead he became the gold standard for incompetence. the only good thing that can be fairly said of his miserable tenure was that he didn't get his greasy fingers on the lady vols b-ball program.

wigmeister writes:

2011 - Football--Very Sad; Golf -- Good; Baseball -- Sad; Tennis-- Good; Volleyball -- Good; Lady Vols-- Good; Track -- Fair; Swimming and Diving -- Fair; Men's Basketball-- Very Sad; Cross Country-- Good; Softball--Good; Soccer-- Good. Australian Rules Football-- ?. Except for Ladies Basketball, all our major sports are closer to mid major. It is sad to see all the major men's sports fall so far so fast. Hopefully the coaches can start recruiting the players necessary to turn this around, and hopefully the coaching staffs are good enough to coach that talent to better heights!

HadMyPhil writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

It's amazing that all the opposing coaches and the expert TV commentators (former players) seem to go out of their way to praise Coach Martin and talk about what a bright future he has. I guess they don't know nearly as much about basketball as the anonymous posters here.

Hard to say what the future will bring...but I know that basing my judgements on what color commentators think of the coaching staff won't provide any insight. These are the same guys that say things like "He's got them going in the right direction" about 2-10 Football teams. C'mon, you won't ever hear anything negative from these guys, especially a former player. It seems that we will have to experience 3 years of ugliness before we get a real coach in here.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Come on KNS lets get these articles on down the line. Well not the articles so much but the posts from after a loss. These guys are INVADERS! Remember "Space Invaders"? Sorta like that. You keep clearing the screen and they just keep coming in NEW invasions. But I guess that's good for the website. It makes it hard though for readers who like to read bball and not hate gossip.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to HadMyPhil:

Hard to say what the future will bring...but I know that basing my judgements on what color commentators think of the coaching staff won't provide any insight. These are the same guys that say things like "He's got them going in the right direction" about 2-10 Football teams. C'mon, you won't ever hear anything negative from these guys, especially a former player. It seems that we will have to experience 3 years of ugliness before we get a real coach in here.

wha? what? WHAT!!!! Man you must have been asslleep lately! Where were you last year when the media went wild? AND you can be sure that they'd happily do the same to Martin if the tiniest bit of gossip surfaces. We'd see it every day for years(PennST deserves it though).
The only ugly I see is the constant barrage of fans who love the idea of changing coaches like changing a coat. You guys need to see a therapist.lol

FearlessFreep writes:

The Vols have turned out to be exactly what most thought they'd be heading into the season. The cupboard was bare. It's not as though you can fault Martin - his recruits do appear to be good solid building blocks for a future team. Add a couple of high-profile kids and this team will look much different.

Basketball is different from football in that a program can turn one way or another very quickly. Year two will tell the direction that UT's hoops is headed.

kwcoach writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Wait, we all agree that this year is going to be a bad year. Next Year's recruiting class is made up of players nobody else wanted, and they're going to be Freshman. This year's class is also made of players nobody wanted, so next year isn't going to be any better. We're not on the board for anybody signifficant the year after that, and we'll have been a losing program two years in a row. How exactly is he going to get the job done when everybody in the SEC is out recruiting him?

I truly believe Tennessee fans will get behind a team that plays hard and smart. This group can't do that. When Martin gets his kids in here, they may be below 5 star recruits, hopefully they will give effort for 40 minutes. These guys don't have the mental or physical capacity to do that.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

The Vols have turned out to be exactly what most thought they'd be heading into the season. The cupboard was bare. It's not as though you can fault Martin - his recruits do appear to be good solid building blocks for a future team. Add a couple of high-profile kids and this team will look much different.

Basketball is different from football in that a program can turn one way or another very quickly. Year two will tell the direction that UT's hoops is headed.

How are his kids solid building blocks? They might be solid building blocks in the Altantic Sun, Missouri Valley or Big Sky conferences, but not the SEC. His recruits are awful.

SouthernBoiNOLA writes:

I have a couple of issues with this team.

1. There is no way Martin should have let Scotty Hopson leave. I dont think there was anything he could have done about Harris, he was gonna be a 1st rounder. But with Scotty, he wasnt going in the first round (and as it turned out, the 2nd round either), and he could have stayed, and been the main go to guy for this team...they sorely need one. Martin should have been begging him to stay instead of trying to play it cool.

2. UT is not situated in a recruiting hotbed. There arent many future NBA players in East TN who dream of playing for the Vols since birth. Recruiting in TN requires either a big personality, or a recent history of big wins. UT needed to build on Pearl's wins. Last year was bad, but at least they made the NCAA's. High level recruits live off of Sports Center highlights, and when you dont see the team that is recruiting you on TV alot, then they tend to go to the back of the pack. Everytime UT looses to the Austin Peay's and College of Charleston's of the world, the chance to land big time recruits lessen. That is why it is EXTREMLY important for UT to get Stokes next year. He is about the only high level recruit for the next couple of years that has some connection to UT. If he signs somewhere else and UT doesnt at least make the NCAA's next year, UT basketball will be in the cellar for at least 5 years.

3. As much as I like McBee, he has no reason to get as much time as he does. He is to slow on "D", and he can not create his on shot. This isnt a knock on McBee. On another team, McBee could really contribute, but on this team, with its lack of a player that would draw double teams, McBee's skills are underutillized, and his lack of foot speed is a detriment.

4. Point guard play - I feel for Golden. He really wasn't a true point in high school, and he didnt get that much experience last year. Martin missed the boat on trying to get maybe a CJ watson to come in and work with Golden during the summer and during the lockout, or hiring Dane Bradshaw to work with the guards.

The next year will be very important for UT. This year Martin has a pass, but if he doesnt make a major improvement for next year either through recruitment or finding a diamond in the rough on the team now, UT will be in for some dark days ahead.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

It's amazing that all the opposing coaches and the expert TV commentators (former players) seem to go out of their way to praise Coach Martin and talk about what a bright future he has. I guess they don't know nearly as much about basketball as the anonymous posters here.

90% of the people watching the game are Tennessee fans. What do you think they will say? Wow this guy sucks what was UT thinking hiring this guy? They said the same thing about Buzz and Houston.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Alot of former players and other coaches said the same thing about Buzz Peterson when he was hired. One look at Martin's recruiting classes should tell you all you need to know about his future as coach of Tennessee. We're in the SEC, he needs to start recruiting SEC calibur players.

"Martin's recruiting classes"...Do you realize this is his first year, and he was hired too late for the main recruiting season last year? Good grief you stammer on and on about his recruiting classes, when he's only had one and it wasn't a full year of recruiting, and claim you can predict the future based on it.

At least have the character to stop misleading people by suggesting that he has brought in "recruiting classes" plural. You might even go so far as to admit that you don't have enough evidence to know what his recruiting is going to be yet.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to SouthernBoiNOLA:

I have a couple of issues with this team.

1. There is no way Martin should have let Scotty Hopson leave. I dont think there was anything he could have done about Harris, he was gonna be a 1st rounder. But with Scotty, he wasnt going in the first round (and as it turned out, the 2nd round either), and he could have stayed, and been the main go to guy for this team...they sorely need one. Martin should have been begging him to stay instead of trying to play it cool.

2. UT is not situated in a recruiting hotbed. There arent many future NBA players in East TN who dream of playing for the Vols since birth. Recruiting in TN requires either a big personality, or a recent history of big wins. UT needed to build on Pearl's wins. Last year was bad, but at least they made the NCAA's. High level recruits live off of Sports Center highlights, and when you dont see the team that is recruiting you on TV alot, then they tend to go to the back of the pack. Everytime UT looses to the Austin Peay's and College of Charleston's of the world, the chance to land big time recruits lessen. That is why it is EXTREMLY important for UT to get Stokes next year. He is about the only high level recruit for the next couple of years that has some connection to UT. If he signs somewhere else and UT doesnt at least make the NCAA's next year, UT basketball will be in the cellar for at least 5 years.

3. As much as I like McBee, he has no reason to get as much time as he does. He is to slow on "D", and he can not create his on shot. This isnt a knock on McBee. On another team, McBee could really contribute, but on this team, with its lack of a player that would draw double teams, McBee's skills are underutillized, and his lack of foot speed is a detriment.

4. Point guard play - I feel for Golden. He really wasn't a true point in high school, and he didnt get that much experience last year. Martin missed the boat on trying to get maybe a CJ watson to come in and work with Golden during the summer and during the lockout, or hiring Dane Bradshaw to work with the guards.

The next year will be very important for UT. This year Martin has a pass, but if he doesnt make a major improvement for next year either through recruitment or finding a diamond in the rough on the team now, UT will be in for some dark days ahead.

I disagree about Hopson. Hopson was a huge problem last year, which is part of the reason we played like we did. That being said, Martin's biggest problem is that he's not giving UT fans any hope. This year would be excused if he was bringing in top level guys for next year, but by all accounts, next year's team isn't going to be better than this years. His recruiting HAS to improve, because if it doesn't he's not going to be our coach in three years.

murrayvol writes:

The conversation will change if Stokes joins the Vols and I think there's a good chance he will.

Pearl left the same carnage behind him as Fulmer/Kiffin.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

wha? what? WHAT!!!! Man you must have been asslleep lately! Where were you last year when the media went wild? AND you can be sure that they'd happily do the same to Martin if the tiniest bit of gossip surfaces. We'd see it every day for years(PennST deserves it though).
The only ugly I see is the constant barrage of fans who love the idea of changing coaches like changing a coat. You guys need to see a therapist.lol

no need to try Mocs, this dumping on by the trolls, makes em feel important, didn't you know that? "Look at me, I can post on a message board and boast"

Tennessee will be back, gona take a lot of patience I am afraid

Pipe_Down_Otis writes:

I think what upsets people the most on here, is that overall feeling about UT.....except for the women's team, we're just not relevant any more. We're just so-so in both football and basketball now. You never see stories about us on Sportscenter anymore...we just don't matter. And it's hard to take, after years of being in the National sports picture....but it's where we are.

kantanuuv writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Martin's not beating mid-major programs, he's going to have a BAD mid-major record, and he's recruiting kids even the mid-major programs don't want. You can't win in the SEC on the talent he's recruiting, in three years we're going to be looking for a new basketball coach.

Three years? But many of the kids on campus have already soaked their mattresses with gasoline.

dans49er writes:

in response to BIGSKYVOL:

Other SEC programs should be thanking UT's past AD for putting men's sports at UT at the bottom of the SEC. When will the people of Tennessee and the UT administration take the bull by the horns, clean house and start over with better coaches? If no action is taken now, Neyland and Boling arena will have few attendees next year. And there will be even fewer TV viewers. Pat Summitt's program continues to be the only conference and nationally competitive program at UT. UT's downward spiral began with UT's hiring of MH. Personally, MH is a nice man but he was in over his head just like the current men's FB and BB coaches.

Totally agree with you. I am very surprised and disappointed that Dooley has virtually made no coaching changes.I think he needs to clean house to instill a winning philosophy. We are certainly in a vulnerable position. i really could care less about the basketball team. We are after all, a football school, or once was . Total shame to lose a football game to a basketball school.I mean we lose to Kentucky. Are you kidding me? Thank you Mike Hamilton, and you also, Jimmy Cheek.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to SouthernBoiNOLA:

I have a couple of issues with this team.

1. There is no way Martin should have let Scotty Hopson leave. I dont think there was anything he could have done about Harris, he was gonna be a 1st rounder. But with Scotty, he wasnt going in the first round (and as it turned out, the 2nd round either), and he could have stayed, and been the main go to guy for this team...they sorely need one. Martin should have been begging him to stay instead of trying to play it cool.

2. UT is not situated in a recruiting hotbed. There arent many future NBA players in East TN who dream of playing for the Vols since birth. Recruiting in TN requires either a big personality, or a recent history of big wins. UT needed to build on Pearl's wins. Last year was bad, but at least they made the NCAA's. High level recruits live off of Sports Center highlights, and when you dont see the team that is recruiting you on TV alot, then they tend to go to the back of the pack. Everytime UT looses to the Austin Peay's and College of Charleston's of the world, the chance to land big time recruits lessen. That is why it is EXTREMLY important for UT to get Stokes next year. He is about the only high level recruit for the next couple of years that has some connection to UT. If he signs somewhere else and UT doesnt at least make the NCAA's next year, UT basketball will be in the cellar for at least 5 years.

3. As much as I like McBee, he has no reason to get as much time as he does. He is to slow on "D", and he can not create his on shot. This isnt a knock on McBee. On another team, McBee could really contribute, but on this team, with its lack of a player that would draw double teams, McBee's skills are underutillized, and his lack of foot speed is a detriment.

4. Point guard play - I feel for Golden. He really wasn't a true point in high school, and he didnt get that much experience last year. Martin missed the boat on trying to get maybe a CJ watson to come in and work with Golden during the summer and during the lockout, or hiring Dane Bradshaw to work with the guards.

The next year will be very important for UT. This year Martin has a pass, but if he doesnt make a major improvement for next year either through recruitment or finding a diamond in the rough on the team now, UT will be in for some dark days ahead.

Several good points here, but I have a few quibbles. First, the only thing Martin could have gained by begging Scotty to stay is the humiliation of a public put-down. Scotty was convinced by self-serving hangers-on that he was going to be a first-round NBA draft choice. Didn't everyone call him a "one-and-done" when he came out of HS? He would have been a high-maintenance pain in the butt that Martin didn't need. If Harris could have been convinced to stay--which the REAL draft experts said he didn't need to do--he could have been the leader this team needs, but that just wasn't going to happen.

As for McBee, I would agree with you, except that this team is filled with one-dimensional players, and when he is clicking on what he does best, no one does it better.

As for Golden, I agree that he could have used some real mentoring by someone who could teach him the PG role. He can still be an effective PG if he can only learn to push the ball more in come-back situations and learn when he doesn't have a clear lane to pass the ball inside.

I also agree with your point about the influence of SportsCenter highlights on the way young players see the game. It is WAY too much to expect the ENTERTAINMENT and Sports Programming Network to point out sound fundamentals in its broadcasts and commentary. The only "no-chance" passes you ever see on there are the few that work; you get no sense watching those highlights what a huge percentage of them DON'T work, but again, that is what makes the highlights entertaining.

I read a very entertaining book many years ago called "The In-Your-Face Basketball Book", about the world of playground basketball. The author said that the main goal of playground players was "not merely to win, but to win and BE BEAUTIFUL[original emphasis]." If a guy made an incredible move that worked ONCE, he would have a life-time reputation in his circle, no matter how many times he screwed up other things. The only value winning AS SUCH had in that milieu was the right to keep the court for the next game.

Much of that same attitude has seeped into the AAU system. Oh sure, teams often play for some kind of "championship", but the MAIN goal is to catch the eye of apparel manufacturers, college coaches, and pro GM's. It is not a fertile field for team-oriented coaches like Martin, who NEED to keep their players for more than a year or two to fully instill a team-first attitude toward winning.

Instead, the modern game, sadly, seems to emphasize getting the best possible individual players who can overwhelm the opposition with sheer talent, often only for a year or two, and then constantly replace them when they inevitably move on. This is an inherently insane treadmill that will, if not curbed in some fashion, destroy the game of college basketball.

ms_allvol writes:

It sure it hard being a Vol fan these days. Maybe our new AD should consider moving to a mid-major conference. Were not a SEC team anymore and the future don't look very bright for football or basketball.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Different subject:

We're 6th in attendance in Football. Alabama is 3rd. They averaged 101k. We did 94+.....

TommyJack writes:

in response to shoalcreekvol:

"Martin's recruiting classes"...Do you realize this is his first year, and he was hired too late for the main recruiting season last year? Good grief you stammer on and on about his recruiting classes, when he's only had one and it wasn't a full year of recruiting, and claim you can predict the future based on it.

At least have the character to stop misleading people by suggesting that he has brought in "recruiting classes" plural. You might even go so far as to admit that you don't have enough evidence to know what his recruiting is going to be yet.

Shoal, the facts never matter with this group. Once they decide to hate, facts become immaterial.

born2ride writes:

Martin was a terrible hire like Dooley. He was not ready for the SEC.

But if Martin can land Stokes (which is looking likely) he can save his job for another year or two.

Martin's other recruits are not SEC caliber players.

Go Big Orange!

notorange writes:

Bobby sure has a way with words, he should run for something..LOL

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

It's amazing that all the opposing coaches and the expert TV commentators (former players) seem to go out of their way to praise Coach Martin and talk about what a bright future he has. I guess they don't know nearly as much about basketball as the anonymous posters here.

Let's not forget that Martin is a young coach who doesn't have the years under his belt as most any SEC coach or a guy like Crimmins..I think it's obvious that Martin is learning some valuable lessons as the season goes..Our offense and motion in the first half was the best Ive seen it all year and he finally started using time outs when things had gotten out of hand..His mistakes were not pairing up Miller and Maymon at the same time while leaving a useless Hall in the game..Secondly he did not prepare the team for the zone;one Pearl didn't do well either.The game was lost when the team shooting went ice cold for almost a full 10 minutes..No coach can control that!!Golden and McRae's stupid turnovers didn't help but 60% of turning Golden into a point guard is the job of the assistant coach who has played the position well and coached it his whole career.That is HIS job more than Martin!! Was Martin a great hire;probably not; but I didn't see many top tier coaches lining up to face a total rebuild while facing possible major sanctions..Honestly I had Crimmins near the top of my list but Vol fans laughed; Nobodies laughing now! If the players continue to buy in and work hard this team will be respectable come mid Feb.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Martin had no control of Hopson staying. Pearl would most likely have lost him as well. What Coach Martin has been left with is NOTHING. Remember if Bruce had not Broken the rules, Cheated and then LIED about it, he would still be the coach at UT. Then at least all this coach bashing would be directed at Pearl. As it is none of the bashing is directed at him. How quickly we forget. Same with our economy. The war in Iraq has cost our nation more like 4 trillion dollars than the one and one-half admitted to, but no one wants to deal with reality when it goes against their need for immediate satisfaction. Win now. One coach gets run-off for cheating and lying and you just go to the coaching cupboard and get another one who, by the way, must be even better than the cheater who had to leave. Get real people. Give Martin a chance. You saw some signs of improvement in the C of Charleston game. allow him a little more time before you bash him. Remember, Bruce, who many of you referred to as God's gift to UT, came from the mid-major level. Only difference as far as UT was concerned is that he had plenty of talent to work with...GET REAL,GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!

flatrock writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Alot of former players and other coaches said the same thing about Buzz Peterson when he was hired. One look at Martin's recruiting classes should tell you all you need to know about his future as coach of Tennessee. We're in the SEC, he needs to start recruiting SEC calibur players.

And, yet, Buzz' players (Lofton, Smith, Bradshaw, etc.) grew up to be some of the most entertaining players in UT hoops history...You clowns need to get a life and let Derek Dooley and Cuonzo Martin build their programs the way they have learned from the top-tier coaches that they assisted...!

arkyvol writes:

i'm willing to bet that the vols end up dead-*ss last in what is shaping up to be a very mediocre conference.

any takers?

arkyvol writes:

i've felt since i was a student at dear ole u.t. that there was way too much emphasis on athletics. mike hamilton cured that.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to shoalcreekvol:

"Martin's recruiting classes"...Do you realize this is his first year, and he was hired too late for the main recruiting season last year? Good grief you stammer on and on about his recruiting classes, when he's only had one and it wasn't a full year of recruiting, and claim you can predict the future based on it.

At least have the character to stop misleading people by suggesting that he has brought in "recruiting classes" plural. You might even go so far as to admit that you don't have enough evidence to know what his recruiting is going to be yet.

I believe eventually many in here will regret the things they have said or will get selective amnesia. I understand the frustration with Dooley in his 2nd year going into his 3rd. But my goodness Martin isn't half way through the schedule of his 1st year and people want him out. The Vols played a great 1st half, just made too many turnovers and poor shot selection in the 2nd half. A real knowledgeable Basketball enthusiast knows Martin can Coach, he needs the right players. It's going to get better.

VolAirForce writes:

Oh, how I only wish that we could rise up to mid-major status in some men's sport!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

THIS site has a LOT of posters that disrespect Mid-Majors. I understand that the App Sts aren't supposed to beat the Michigans in football. I understand that the small schools don't have as much money for recruiting or as many alumni and that it's few and far between that a major school loses to a mid major or even a small college. Even this year most will consider it a huge upset if UTC beats UT. AND it would be.(maybe will be lol).
HOWEVER some of these schools have big budgets. Some of them have a lot of students(MTSU). Some of them expect to beat the University schools.

I really have NO idea where this is going. ???

DarkGable writes:

Its a shame arrogant vol fans dont have the patience to understand that we are rebuilding and that there is no talent on this team. BP left this talent but blame Zo for it. We deserve what we get until we learn patience and allow Zo to get in here and get the recruits necessary to win. Instead spoiled fans just wanna fire everybody when they cant have their way. No wonder recruits dont want to come to big orange country. All we do is put them down and ridicule. Vol fans are some of the most spoiled, nacissistic, and occasionally racist fans in the south. GBO..

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Wait, we all agree that this year is going to be a bad year. Next Year's recruiting class is made up of players nobody else wanted, and they're going to be Freshman. This year's class is also made of players nobody wanted, so next year isn't going to be any better. We're not on the board for anybody signifficant the year after that, and we'll have been a losing program two years in a row. How exactly is he going to get the job done when everybody in the SEC is out recruiting him?

I agree 100% martin wouldnt make a pimple on a Sec's coaches behind,get this fruitloop out of Knoxville

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