Cuonzo Martin is 'sticking to the script' despite four-game losing streak

Cuonzo Martin on team's confidence level

Tennessee has lost four games in a row for the first time in nearly seven years, but men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin isn't pushing any panic buttons.

"We're sticking to the script,'' Martin said Monday. "I don't really talk about the losing streak; we talk about the next game.''

There's plenty to say about UNC Asheville, UT's opponent at Thompson-Boling Arena tonight (TV: SportSouth, 7 p.m.).

The Bulldogs (6-4) have won four straight, and the defending Big South Conference champions return four starters from a team that won its first-round NCAA tournament game last season.

The most familiar face on the UNC Asheville team is guard John Primm, a former Rocky Top League MVP and the Bulldogs' leading passer with 4.8 assists per game to go with his 13-point average.

"We know his game a bit, and he's a talented player,'' said UT sophomore wing Jordan McRae. "I think me, Trae (Golden) and Cam (Tatum) will all take our turn guarding him.''

Defense is a big part of the script that the Vols (3-6) need to follow to get on the winning track, according to Martin.

"The biggest key, we have to play hard from start to finish,'' Martin said. "We have to take pride, across the board, in

defending. If we play hard consistently, and we don't turn the ball over, we'll be fine.''

McRae, who has slowly emerged as the go-to player on offense, averaging 17.6 points over the past five games, said the Vols' are troubled by their recent setbacks.

"The losing streak adds fuel to the fire; the games we've lost were all winnable,'' McRae said. "The only good thing is that these losses are coming now rather than later in the season.''

Martin said from an Xs and Os standpoint, UT's focus will be to work the ball inside to junior center Kenny Hall and junior power forward Jeronne Maymon against the vertically challenged Bulldogs.

"Whether we're scoring or not on the blocks, we have to get the ball inside to get production and get to the free-throw line,'' Martin said. "The last game (last Wednesday at Charleston, 71-65 loss) we settled for too many 3-point shots (29) and didn't get the ball in the interior. It's a case of executing, keep moving, keep cutting, and not settling for shots.''

Golden, who will play tonight with a broken nose suffered in last Friday's practice, said the team has a sense of urgency.

"This is a huge game,'' Golden said. "We've lost four in a row, we're at home, and it's a must-win for us.''

The Vols have worked on more on their offensive sets against zone defense, which Charleston used to slow UT's attack.

"We usually kill zone defenses in practice,'' said McRae, who's shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. "For some reason against Charleston, we were hesitant.

"But if (UNC Asheville) plays zone, we'll be more than fine with it.''

Martin has said UT has been working at some zone defenses itself that it can occasionally throw at opponents as a change-up of sorts.

But Martin made it clear he's not about the change the identity he envisions for the program as it moves forward under his direction.

"It's a work in progress on both ends of the floor,'' he said. "We have the ability to score the ball, but I'd rather our identity be as a tough, hard-nosed, (man-to-man) defensive team.

"You make subtle adjustments here and there, but one thing about being an inexperienced team, you don't want to make wholesale changes...you stay consistent with what you're doing.''

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

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Comments » 93

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Need a win to get out our funk. Need a full 40 minutes, nothing less, because UNCA is no cupcake this year. In fact, nobody is a cupcake right now. Gotta win this game and the next few to rebuild some confidence, both for the players and fans.

underthehill writes:

Still have hope team will improve and be competitive in conference play. Local TV sports show commentators indicated they thought TN would win less than 6 conference games. I'm hoping for 8. Team has to improve defense and rebounding to make it happen. I give up on football..not ready to give up on basketball. I think Martin will get it done.

rockypop writes:

UT is as always, physically talented but mentally challenged. I have always personally believed that playing in the Rocky Top League every year aggravates that condition. Once you get into that undisciplined playground style, it's hard to recover.

For the life of me, I'll never understand why Tenn. rejected Rick Byrd when looking for Pearl's replacement. Every year at Belmont, he takes marginally talented players and makes a real TEAM out of them. Even though he was against Belmont becoming a D-1 school, he accepted the university's position and proceeded to turn the team into a tough competitor - even for the biggest of programs. If UT was going to go under the radar anyway for their next coach, Byrd should have been the choice.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to decades_vol:

Need a win to get out our funk. Need a full 40 minutes, nothing less, because UNCA is no cupcake this year. In fact, nobody is a cupcake right now. Gotta win this game and the next few to rebuild some confidence, both for the players and fans.

You are right. No body is a cupcake except for us. We are very easy to date.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"'We usually kill zone defenses in practice,' said McRae, who's shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. 'For some reason against Charleston, we were hesitant.'"

Maybe you guys suck worse at zone defense than you do at scoring against the zone...just a thought.

born2ride writes:

Martin says he is "sticking to the script". I hope it is not same one he used against Austin Peay.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to rockypop:

UT is as always, physically talented but mentally challenged. I have always personally believed that playing in the Rocky Top League every year aggravates that condition. Once you get into that undisciplined playground style, it's hard to recover.

For the life of me, I'll never understand why Tenn. rejected Rick Byrd when looking for Pearl's replacement. Every year at Belmont, he takes marginally talented players and makes a real TEAM out of them. Even though he was against Belmont becoming a D-1 school, he accepted the university's position and proceeded to turn the team into a tough competitor - even for the biggest of programs. If UT was going to go under the radar anyway for their next coach, Byrd should have been the choice.

You're crying over spilled milk. Martin is our coach. Either get behind him or don't, but please stop looking back over your shoulder. Let's please just move on from here.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to born2ride:

Martin says he is "sticking to the script". I hope it is not same one he used against Austin Peay.

You don't get it.

Madkels writes:

Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Just asking.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

LMAO,this guy cant even spell coach...id stick to that script to if i was you martin and then talk about loosing streaks youll be known as loosing streak coach...pitful plumb pitful.Be glad when you time is up!!!

Highlands_Whisky writes:

Once this team fully buys into Martin's tenacious defensive philosophy (hopefully sooner rather than later), more productive offensive possessions should follow. McRae is the best player on this team and he showed it in spurts against CoC. Once he gains more confidence I think he can put up 20 points a night regularly.

Wishing thinking, I know, but I still wonder what this team would have looked like with Aaron Craft running the point. UT has not had a true good PG since CJ Watson left. Oh well, we roll with the Golden Child.

graphpro#231211 writes:

No need to push a panic button. I guess not he's a million dollar coach. Win, loose or draw... he's financially set.
What a country!

RoadTrip writes:

The script may need a rewrite before it's acceptable for prime time.

The next 4 games were scheduled to pad the win total before the SEC grind kicked in. If they don't win them all - and all opponents have losing records - the rewrite should be required by Mr. Hart.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Highlands_Whisky:

Once this team fully buys into Martin's tenacious defensive philosophy (hopefully sooner rather than later), more productive offensive possessions should follow. McRae is the best player on this team and he showed it in spurts against CoC. Once he gains more confidence I think he can put up 20 points a night regularly.

Wishing thinking, I know, but I still wonder what this team would have looked like with Aaron Craft running the point. UT has not had a true good PG since CJ Watson left. Oh well, we roll with the Golden Child.

Tenacious? Its the softest man defensive UT has played since Wade Houston. If our players are so challenged in man defense then either take them out or play zone. Coach martin sounds a little stubborn. Its not like we create any turnovers in the man defense and we know we are last in % defense so why not zone? I want to believe but I am starting to get that Buzz feeling.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

LMAO,this guy cant even spell coach...id stick to that script to if i was you martin and then talk about loosing streaks youll be known as loosing streak coach...pitful plumb pitful.Be glad when you time is up!!!

larn ta spell! Man you a real looser.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to underthehill:

Still have hope team will improve and be competitive in conference play. Local TV sports show commentators indicated they thought TN would win less than 6 conference games. I'm hoping for 8. Team has to improve defense and rebounding to make it happen. I give up on football..not ready to give up on basketball. I think Martin will get it done.

I like Martin. I like what he did at his previous school. I think that eventually his players will beat teams like Austin Peay and Charleston with regularity. I think that if he was able to get four and fiver star guys then he could compete for championships, BUT... I just don't think that he is recruiting well enough to ever be competitive. Martin SEEMS to be a coach whose wins will be a direct reflection of the quality of the players he recruits. He doesn't seem to be a guy that can "do more with less" and if you think he's getting elite recruiting commitments...you need to pick a different sport. He's recruiting some solid all around guys, but they are not elite. Sorry, but that's the truth.

I really hope I'm wrong, because Martin is a nice guy, moral guy. But nice and moral don't get you very far in college athletics. Look at the last NCAA championship.

Whatever...he's got the next three years to prove me wrong.

1vavolfan writes:

I would take this bet right now, Bruce Pearl will be back in basketball and will return a team to the NCAA tournament before any coach does so at Tennessee.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Highlands_Whisky:

Once this team fully buys into Martin's tenacious defensive philosophy (hopefully sooner rather than later), more productive offensive possessions should follow. McRae is the best player on this team and he showed it in spurts against CoC. Once he gains more confidence I think he can put up 20 points a night regularly.

Wishing thinking, I know, but I still wonder what this team would have looked like with Aaron Craft running the point. UT has not had a true good PG since CJ Watson left. Oh well, we roll with the Golden Child.

Your right about McRae;One of the few players that shows some emotions;instead of laying down..He caught fire against CofC but not till the last 6 minutes.Too little too late..Craft is definitely having his share of struggles at OSU

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

UNCA is yet another good mid major with a nothing to lose mind set and a 4 game win streak..All these teams seem to bring their "A" game to TBA..Martins motion offense looked great at times against CofC but Crimmins zone forced our guards to make shots from the perimeter and they spent 8 minutes shooting bricks..Once again we have a chance for Maymon and Hall to have huge games;zone or whatever..It's high time for this team to put both feet on UNCA's neck and not let up!!We had CofC on the verge of a first half blow out but let Wiggins and the home town refs take the game back..Enough is Enough!!!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

"The last game (last Wednesday at Charleston, 71-65 loss) we settled for too many 3-point shots (29) and didn't get the ball in the interior. It's a case of executing, keep moving, keep cutting, and not settling for shots.'' Martin is saying the same thing I've been saying. We are not a good 3 point shooting team. Need to get it inside like we did against Duke and Memphis. Get the ball inside to Maymon and Hall.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"'We usually kill zone defenses in practice,' said McRae, who's shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. 'For some reason against Charleston, we were hesitant.'"

Maybe you guys suck worse at zone defense than you do at scoring against the zone...just a thought.

Would explain why Martin sticks to a man to man.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Count__Itsvan_Teleky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like Packer_Park has changed her name again

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Giving a team too much too soon to learn might just be the problem here. It may explain some of the slow movement? Our defense is not instinctive at this point( no pun intended toward Golden). Our offense just hasn't been confident at the perimeter and we obviously have not learned instinctive passing!! That's why the other teams get a hand or a foot on the ball when we pass. We somewhat "telegraph" our passes(to use an old expression). For you young guys we "text" our passes. We send a signal to the defense basically. It's (at least on tv) easy to anticipate what we're doing when you go around the key too often (imho). But I suspect the coach will have more inside play THROUGHOUT the game tonight. I hope that will also include second half and the last 5 minutes. BECAUSE even if Golden or McRae get their 15-30 points or one man gets a lot of points we may still lose if we don't share the ball (without the defenders touching it).
That said I don't think it's selfishness(I hope) but learning what the coach is teaching them. I hope he spent some time on spacing and screening this week.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

The script may need a rewrite before it's acceptable for prime time.

The next 4 games were scheduled to pad the win total before the SEC grind kicked in. If they don't win them all - and all opponents have losing records - the rewrite should be required by Mr. Hart.

I bet that UT is the only school around where anyone even knows the AD's name. But so-called fans think putting thoughts of firing our coach will make it easier to beat us I suppose. I personally would never go to another team's site to insult the coach nor any of another team's players. I KNOW there are some UT fans who probably do. I really don't have a problem with it other than having to sift through all the garbage to get a real opinion of the way a team plays. NOW however thanks to you and me someone will have to sift through this garbage we both participated in.
Anyhow we don't need Hart at this point in football nor bball. We DO need Heart.lol I made a pun!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I like Martin. I like what he did at his previous school. I think that eventually his players will beat teams like Austin Peay and Charleston with regularity. I think that if he was able to get four and fiver star guys then he could compete for championships, BUT... I just don't think that he is recruiting well enough to ever be competitive. Martin SEEMS to be a coach whose wins will be a direct reflection of the quality of the players he recruits. He doesn't seem to be a guy that can "do more with less" and if you think he's getting elite recruiting commitments...you need to pick a different sport. He's recruiting some solid all around guys, but they are not elite. Sorry, but that's the truth.

I really hope I'm wrong, because Martin is a nice guy, moral guy. But nice and moral don't get you very far in college athletics. Look at the last NCAA championship.

Whatever...he's got the next three years to prove me wrong.

If you can't be "moral" and if you can't be "nice" then you don't need to be coaching kids. Or even around them in any way. If these attributes are the ONLY things Martin brings then we already have a winner.
The "quality" of the players is usually up to the players themselves and the coach has to bring out those qualities in the game settings.

That said, I feel Martin knows very well that he needs to recruit a mix of 3,4, and 5 star players. Tonights his 10th? game of his first season. I don't visit other sights but I'm guessing that even Mikey K. has his doubters. That's ok with me to say you doubt coaches and players because that's what makes this site run maybe. BUT don't equate morality and winning games. Morals will always win. btw I wish my morals were a little better.
A person is not made by the # of stars he or she has by their name nor by their title or position.
They are made by the talk on ESPN....just kidding!!

T-villevol#1387593 writes:

Why do you guys come on here and bash the team you supposedly cheer for? Give a break! (I understand ther's gonna be trolls) Makes me not even want to read the comments anymore. I used to love it, some even would make me chuckle.

I'm sticking by Martin, I like his attitude and hard-nosed philosophy.

Marry Christmas everyone!

oldorange writes:

I suspect that it would have been close to the same W-L stat had Pearl stayed. We lost a lot of players last year that has hurt us. I hope that this team gets better soon. I understand that quite a few people really enjoy coming on here to piss & moan about anything, because that's their style. Why do you think we have so many people on the talk show circuit who foster this kind of talk? People love to do this.

BolivrBob writes:

The Bulldogs are tough. Two of their losses were to UConn by 10 and NC St by 9. If I'm them, I'm definitely playing zone for much of the game.

DarkGable writes:

in response to rockypop:

UT is as always, physically talented but mentally challenged. I have always personally believed that playing in the Rocky Top League every year aggravates that condition. Once you get into that undisciplined playground style, it's hard to recover.

For the life of me, I'll never understand why Tenn. rejected Rick Byrd when looking for Pearl's replacement. Every year at Belmont, he takes marginally talented players and makes a real TEAM out of them. Even though he was against Belmont becoming a D-1 school, he accepted the university's position and proceeded to turn the team into a tough competitor - even for the biggest of programs. If UT was going to go under the radar anyway for their next coach, Byrd should have been the choice.

Actually CM was the hottest up and coaching coach in college basketball, how we stole him from better schools I'll never know. But of course you're some sort of basketball expert who can predict the future of the program. What are the numbers this week, expert.

DarkGable writes:

in response to born2ride:

Martin says he is "sticking to the script". I hope it is not same one he used against Austin Peay.

Yeah he should just change his philosophy because an expert like you said so. Zo should read these comments, he would be the greatest coach in college basketball with advice like yours. Expert.

DarkGable writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

No need to push a panic button. I guess not he's a million dollar coach. Win, loose or draw... he's financially set.
What a country!

Yeah thats what he did. This former NBA player took the job strictly for the money not to coach at a high level and development this team with his man to man philosophy. With all your stereotyping tell us what you really think about Brother Zo. You basketball expert.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Lot's of teams have been upset already... Vanderbilt on at least 2 occasions, and Davidson took down KU in Lawrence last night... Guess they should mail it in. Upsets happen, just hopefully no more for UT. Once again, some on this site give the new coach absolutely NO margin for error whatsoever...glad they aren't coaching anywhere.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to DarkGable:

Yeah he should just change his philosophy because an expert like you said so. Zo should read these comments, he would be the greatest coach in college basketball with advice like yours. Expert.

LOL...I agree completely. I'm sure CDD and CCM consult this board daily for coaching advice.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

If you can't be "moral" and if you can't be "nice" then you don't need to be coaching kids. Or even around them in any way. If these attributes are the ONLY things Martin brings then we already have a winner.
The "quality" of the players is usually up to the players themselves and the coach has to bring out those qualities in the game settings.

That said, I feel Martin knows very well that he needs to recruit a mix of 3,4, and 5 star players. Tonights his 10th? game of his first season. I don't visit other sights but I'm guessing that even Mikey K. has his doubters. That's ok with me to say you doubt coaches and players because that's what makes this site run maybe. BUT don't equate morality and winning games. Morals will always win. btw I wish my morals were a little better.
A person is not made by the # of stars he or she has by their name nor by their title or position.
They are made by the talk on ESPN....just kidding!!

Funny!

LSG410EC83 writes:

Looking forward to this game. I feel that last weeks game was one of the best learning experiences for these guys. Had a good long week of getting to watch video and working on what they did wrong. This team will be ok. Just need to put everything together as and play as a team and not indiviually. Will be there watching my VOLS with bells on and will stay til the buzzer (unlike many that think 6 minutes left is the end) Come on fans, lets get behind these guys tonight and make some noise. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE.

BruisedOrange writes:

in response to rockypop:

UT is as always, physically talented but mentally challenged. I have always personally believed that playing in the Rocky Top League every year aggravates that condition. Once you get into that undisciplined playground style, it's hard to recover.

For the life of me, I'll never understand why Tenn. rejected Rick Byrd when looking for Pearl's replacement. Every year at Belmont, he takes marginally talented players and makes a real TEAM out of them. Even though he was against Belmont becoming a D-1 school, he accepted the university's position and proceeded to turn the team into a tough competitor - even for the biggest of programs. If UT was going to go under the radar anyway for their next coach, Byrd should have been the choice.

I share your misgivings about the RockyTopLeague. The upside (and evidently coaches feel it's worth it) must be that players get a feel for their new Vol teammates' strengths, weaknesses, style, and preferences. At this level, guys play differently (than in pick-up games) if there are fans in the stands and stripes behind the whistle.

I also shared your interest in Byrd as Pearl's replacement. But remember how Pearl went away from a lot of those "lower-talent compensation schemes" (elaborate traps, full-court pressure, etc.) when he began to recruit better players? ...even after his first team did so well using those tactics?

I wonder if it's impossible to coach 4-5 star players to do the things, to be as disciplined, as say Byrd's Belmont players? Pearl's first team had some 4 star talent, but they had underachieved previously, had prepared accordingly in the off-season, and followed Pearl with unquestioning attitudes like you find with lower division and mid-major recruits. Those players didn't have to be convinced that they could not be successful doing things the way they had previously.

But once Pearl started signing top talent, his teams got away from the things that brought previous success. So did the players change, or did the coach change? Maybe coaches who aspire to be champions DETEST having to employ all those "tricks" to remain competitive using less talented players. Maybe top level coaches dream of playing "real" basketball with top level talent.

THAT'S WHERE CCM IS DIFFERENT: what he coaches he played at the top level, and as an assistant coach he's watched it succeed at the top level. There are only two reasons CCM might consider deviating from the plan: if his current players have reached their potential in his system, and if the AD begins emailing how many seats were empty in TBA the night before.

As for Vol fan expectations... don't show up at the building site, look at your house being framed, and complain that it won't keep your family dry. It's December--we've only started building, and the contractor is mostly using workers he didn't choose and materials delivered for another house.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

"Basket Case?" The headline on another story about Coach Sunnitt today. Maybe the worst headline ever written....Come on....You're better than this...

FearMyMohawk writes:

Did anyone see LSU defeat 10th ranked Marquette last night? Correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't LSU predicted to finish close to last in the conference? We will be lucky not to finish in the bottom of the SEC with this group.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

I would take this bet right now, Bruce Pearl will be back in basketball and will return a team to the NCAA tournament before any coach does so at Tennessee.

Put your money where your mouth is. I will take that bet you are talking about. $100 says that coach Martin leads us to the NCAA tourney before Pearl leads any other team.

Dont give me any excuses. You were the one who proposed the bet. Let's see if you can walk the walk or if you are just like any other troll on here.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to T-villevol#1387593:

Why do you guys come on here and bash the team you supposedly cheer for? Give a break! (I understand ther's gonna be trolls) Makes me not even want to read the comments anymore. I used to love it, some even would make me chuckle.

I'm sticking by Martin, I like his attitude and hard-nosed philosophy.

Marry Christmas everyone!

I agree with your post.

Except for the last part. I am already married, and I dont even know who Christmas is. And how can everyone marry her?

VOL1972 writes:

Maybe CCM is just off to a bad start, but if he can't win with five 4 star players starting, how is he going to win win all he has to put on the floor are 3 star players.

With all the 4 star players he has, you can't say the cupboard was bear when he got there.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to FearMyMohawk:

Did anyone see LSU defeat 10th ranked Marquette last night? Correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't LSU predicted to finish close to last in the conference? We will be lucky not to finish in the bottom of the SEC with this group.

...and as I said before, it's too freakin' early to judge how the season's going to go. KU's loss to Davidson can't be indicative of how the Jayhawks are going to do the rest of the season. Neither can UT's loss to AP.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to VOL1972:

Maybe CCM is just off to a bad start, but if he can't win with five 4 star players starting, how is he going to win win all he has to put on the floor are 3 star players.

With all the 4 star players he has, you can't say the cupboard was bear when he got there.

I agree, you can't say the cupboard was bear, b/c that makes no sense... now, on the other hand, saying the cupboard was "bare" is a little more logical.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

I agree, you can't say the cupboard was bear, b/c that makes no sense... now, on the other hand, saying the cupboard was "bare" is a little more logical.

volzrock54 writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

The Bulldogs are tough. Two of their losses were to UConn by 10 and NC St by 9. If I'm them, I'm definitely playing zone for much of the game.

I'm just glad you made the team huckleberry, we need the help..lol "I'm definitely playing zone for much of the game."

brod writes:

according to you clowns every mid-major that tennessee plays is tough. even the 1-9 mid majors that we play are tough. look, tennessee should manhandle unc ashville. this game is in knoxville. if they don't, then something is not right and need to be righted.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to decades_vol:

Need a win to get out our funk. Need a full 40 minutes, nothing less, because UNCA is no cupcake this year. In fact, nobody is a cupcake right now. Gotta win this game and the next few to rebuild some confidence, both for the players and fans.

That's definitely the approach this team needs to take.. If the AP game wasn't a wakeup call, then nothing will be.

volzrock54 writes:

in response to FearMyMohawk:

Did anyone see LSU defeat 10th ranked Marquette last night? Correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't LSU predicted to finish close to last in the conference? We will be lucky not to finish in the bottom of the SEC with this group.

The only reason we wont finsih any lower than last is because last is as low as we can go.

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