Vols out-muscle Carson-Newman, 73-52

Cuonzo Martin's debut 'wasn't pretty early'

Cuonzo Martin on Tennessee's win

It’s an old cliche that’s been used many times: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’’

Cuonzo Martin implied as much following Thursday night’s game, opening his first post-game press conference as Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach by saying: “It wasn’t pretty early but the guys managed to get it done.’’

The Vols missed their first six shots and four free throws before finding their groove in a 73-52 victory over Division II Carson-Newman in the Vols’ exhibition opener.

An announced crowd of 15,344 turned out at Thompson-Boling Arena to see Martin make his UT debut. He was hired on March 27 to replace Bruce Pearl, who was fired in the wake of an NCAA investigation.

Martin has preached high-energy defense from the time he was brought in while allowing his players to find their shots within his motion half-court offense.

UT, however, didn’t score until its sixth possession, when fifth-year senior Cameron Tatum drained a 3-pointer at the 16:33 mark to pulled the Vols within 6-3.

Some of the UT players later said it might have been a case of the nerves, but Martin had a more technical explanation.

“The thing that caught our guys off guard a bit was the zone (defense),’’ Martin said, referring to the hybrid 2-3 look the Eagles played. “To see a zone the whole game was an adjustment in itself. I think if it had been man (defense), things would have been a little different.’’

Sophomore Jordan McRae led the Vols with 17 points on 5-of-14 shooting, sophomore point guard Trae Golden had 14 points and five assists and junior power forward Jeronne Maymon recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Carson-Newman forward Antoine Davis led the Eagles with 13 points while Corbin Jackson pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.

The Vols took their first lead with 8:06 left in the half when McRae scored his 12th consecutive point on the game’s first dunk to make it 22-20.

UT closed the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 39-30 lead at halftime.

One of the issues Martin talked about in the preseason, interior scoring, stuck out in the halftime box score. Through the first 20 minutes, the Vols were 7-of-18 shooting from beyond the 3-point line and just 5-of-13 from two-point range. UT finished with only 18 points in the paint despite Carson-Newman not starting a player taller than 6-foot-5.

UT was still struggling in its half-court set midway through the second half, going more than eight minutes without a field goal. Tatum scored in transition at the 16:15 mark off a Renaldo Woolridge steal, and the next field goal didn’t come until there was 8:05 left when starting center Kenny Hall scored his first basket of the night on a put-back.

The good news for the Vols was the Eagles were struggling as well, making only two field goals over the final 17:50 and finishing 4-of-23 shooting in the second half.

“Several times tonight, we had two sophomores and three freshmen on the floor,’’ said Eagles coach Chuck Benson. “One of our most productive lineups was three freshmen and two sophomores.

“This was nothing but a positive for us, and we’ll build on it.’’

Martin made it clear his team has plenty of room for improvement, too.

“I’d grade our guys a C-plus on the defensive side of the ball,’’ he said. “We didn’t jump to the ball as well as we’d like, five guys didn’t box out consistently.’’

UT freshman Quinton Chievous was the only scholarship player not to see action.

“We got in a rotation, and all the sudden it’s five minutes, 10 minutes 15 minutes; he couldn’t get in the flow,’’ Martin said. “I didn’t think it would be right to put him out there like that.’’

Martin said he wasn’t sure if Chievous — who dressed out — would play in the second and final exhibition at 7 p.m. on Monday against Lincoln Memorial University in Thompson-Boling Arena.

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

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Comments » 110

Orangeblood13 writes:

Q the haters

Good game boys, little jittery, but good stuff

mocsandvolsfan writes:

what happened to the rest of the broadcast? I wanted to hear Martin talk.

bigdisbig writes:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

John_10065 writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

Silence infidel!

switcher76 writes:

Now why would he play everyone but one player. How crappy is that....I guess this dudes confidence is shot now.....poor guy!! It's going to be a long season. I'm glad the girls at least have a chance at doing something good this year. GO LADY VOLS!

thevoice writes:

Good start. Keep it up guys!

beartn#223846 writes:

It's kinda of strange with the "2 Star Martin" slam. We had potential probation and scholarship losses when this year's class was signed. Martin inherited a mess, but chose to come anyway. I think he can be successful here, but it will take a couple of years.

lemeshousomthen writes:

well why everybody cryn hell it was the same when we had talent

acworthdave writes:

THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Get a life folks. It is a exhibition game!

CaliVOL2 writes:

Congratulations Coach and team!!

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And the early returns are in from Moron County. Given when Pearl was fired and Martin was hired, we're lucky Martin was able to pick up any players at all. But you already know all there is to know, so why waste my time.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Twenty point win from a TON of youth. This means... absolutely nothing. Good chance for them to run some sets and settle in before the games start counting.

Didn't make it to this one, but looking forward to the season. As long as they play hard and smart I'll enjoy watching.

1986sugarbowl writes:

Kentucky played Vampire collage tonight also. There is a reason they are called exibition games people. We have a winner with Martin. I was a huge Pearl fan, but this guy can actually coach. If you can't hold judgment yet about the guy then stay off of these post.

tennrich1 writes:

Men, Men, Men you are falling into the trap of responding to trash....WHY PRAY TELL WOULD YOU ACT LIKE A NANNY, NANNY BOO BOO 3RD GRADER AND RESPOND TO SUCH ABSURDITIES....

carbonzip writes:

I would recommend holding practices in TBA. Maybe open a few practices to public so they get used a crowd, lighting, and background distractions.

totoiv writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am not sure what his recruiting will be but this team still boast 6 players who were rated in the Top 100, a few in the Top 50. Those would be 4 stars. They all regressed under Pearl in his last year as he was only worried about his job and not developing players. If Martin can accomplish one thing - to coach up these players they should win at least 15 games. I would go slightly higher except they play a brutal schedule.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to lemeshousomthen:

well why everybody cryn hell it was the same when we had talent

Yep! We lost an exhibition game last year and it wasn't even close. Way too soon to gripe.

mikkim writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

I can picture you now...sitting back in your 13 year old suede recliner from Aarons rents drinkin a PBR talkin about how them boys gonna suck this year!!! I am sure you are one talented athlete who can definately speak on the abiltiies of these young me on their first game under a new coach. Here is my salute to you....YOU SUCK and DONT WATCH..You should not waste your time since they are only going to win 15. You should be watching your family on Jerry Springer or THE BIGGEST LOSER. This post is for the 15 guys that are sweating their butts off to try to represent the UT VOLS!

osbymartin75 writes:

in response to acworthdave:

THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Get a life folks. It is a exhibition game!

Yeah no kidding...and I seem to remember getting beat in one last year...indianapolis i do believe...i think they will be okay...funny how a little bit of success makes everyone so impatient...i can understand the impatience with fball because of the tradition hut it makes no sense being so impatient with bball...

pvtoe writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

0 and 0....not a real game.

veinsoforange writes:

in response to beartn#223846:

It's kinda of strange with the "2 Star Martin" slam. We had potential probation and scholarship losses when this year's class was signed. Martin inherited a mess, but chose to come anyway. I think he can be successful here, but it will take a couple of years.

You are so right and I respect Martin to the fullest. He is a good man & coach.

However, we will NEVER see the winning seasons like we did during Pearl's tenure. It's just simply not going to happen.

All-American caliber prospects are just NOT going to choose Tennessee now.

Ernie and Bernie show + 30yrs = Pearl era + 30yrs = 2041 = UT again on national radar

budd#207344 writes:

The team played hard and defense was good. If they continue to respond to coaching they will be ok. A couple of the freshman showed real skill and I think we may see the real deal out of a couple of the returning players. Biggest disappointment was the size of the crowd and the fact that the only time they got off their fat A** was to try and get a free t-shirt. Hopefully some of the VFL I keep hearing about will show up and support the new coach and his players.

westknoxrepub writes:

It's going to be a long long year. He relied heavily on Pearl's guys, and he's not bringing in quality players to replace them. Knock the star system all you want, but apparently other quality coaches felt the same way.

LSG410EC83 writes:

Was actually there, unlike many on here trashing the Vols. Yes they looked cold at first. Once all of the adjustments to the defense about halfway through the first half, our defense looked good and saw more hustle out of the team as a whole than I did last year. At least they did not hold on to the ball like they were lost until 5 seconds were left and then decide they needed to get on the ball. The most pitiful thing I saw was not the play or the coaches. It was the typical fan exodus with about 7 minutes to go. Boy, that is the way to back your team and also show support for the new coach. As always, I stayed like the other true fans till the end and the playing of the Waltz. I forgot, most of you that leave have no idea that is what happens at the end of the game. By the way, I dont live 20-30 minutes away from the stadium either. I live 1.5 hours away. Love my Vols and will continue backing them through thick and thin. Come on people, lets give this team and the coaches a chance. It is not like Coach Martin walked into paradise. He walked into a mess much like Coach Dooley did. Oh well, will continue pulling for the Vols as I have for the past 40 plus years. Go Big Orange and Yes, IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. CONGRATS ON THE WIN.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to mikkim:

I can picture you now...sitting back in your 13 year old suede recliner from Aarons rents drinkin a PBR talkin about how them boys gonna suck this year!!! I am sure you are one talented athlete who can definately speak on the abiltiies of these young me on their first game under a new coach. Here is my salute to you....YOU SUCK and DONT WATCH..You should not waste your time since they are only going to win 15. You should be watching your family on Jerry Springer or THE BIGGEST LOSER. This post is for the 15 guys that are sweating their butts off to try to represent the UT VOLS!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

Was actually there, unlike many on here trashing the Vols. Yes they looked cold at first. Once all of the adjustments to the defense about halfway through the first half, our defense looked good and saw more hustle out of the team as a whole than I did last year. At least they did not hold on to the ball like they were lost until 5 seconds were left and then decide they needed to get on the ball. The most pitiful thing I saw was not the play or the coaches. It was the typical fan exodus with about 7 minutes to go. Boy, that is the way to back your team and also show support for the new coach. As always, I stayed like the other true fans till the end and the playing of the Waltz. I forgot, most of you that leave have no idea that is what happens at the end of the game. By the way, I dont live 20-30 minutes away from the stadium either. I live 1.5 hours away. Love my Vols and will continue backing them through thick and thin. Come on people, lets give this team and the coaches a chance. It is not like Coach Martin walked into paradise. He walked into a mess much like Coach Dooley did. Oh well, will continue pulling for the Vols as I have for the past 40 plus years. Go Big Orange and Yes, IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. CONGRATS ON THE WIN.

I will refer you to the posts I made after Pearl was fired about having to hire a salesman to replace Pearl in order to keep fan interest alive. Even when we were winning with Green, fan interest wasn't there. You need a personality to sell the fans on Tennessee Basketball, Mears did it, Pearl did it, everyone in between failed to do it. I predict small crowds, regardless of the record or opponent (except Kentucky, but it won't be Tennessee fans in the seats).

osbymartin75 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

It's going to be a long long year. He relied heavily on Pearl's guys, and he's not bringing in quality players to replace them. Knock the star system all you want, but apparently other quality coaches felt the same way.

Come on now..could that be because all but 5 scholarship players are pearls guys..and as for quality replacements..you know that all the big name 4 and 5 star players were already taken when Martin was hired but you conviently left that part out..not sure what the last part of your comment even means...

budd#207344 writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

oh what a witty comment.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

You must've forgotten the exhibition we lost last year. Please, go die somewhere.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

Was actually there, unlike many on here trashing the Vols. Yes they looked cold at first. Once all of the adjustments to the defense about halfway through the first half, our defense looked good and saw more hustle out of the team as a whole than I did last year. At least they did not hold on to the ball like they were lost until 5 seconds were left and then decide they needed to get on the ball. The most pitiful thing I saw was not the play or the coaches. It was the typical fan exodus with about 7 minutes to go. Boy, that is the way to back your team and also show support for the new coach. As always, I stayed like the other true fans till the end and the playing of the Waltz. I forgot, most of you that leave have no idea that is what happens at the end of the game. By the way, I dont live 20-30 minutes away from the stadium either. I live 1.5 hours away. Love my Vols and will continue backing them through thick and thin. Come on people, lets give this team and the coaches a chance. It is not like Coach Martin walked into paradise. He walked into a mess much like Coach Dooley did. Oh well, will continue pulling for the Vols as I have for the past 40 plus years. Go Big Orange and Yes, IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. CONGRATS ON THE WIN.

Ditto. WHY can't I ever sit by THIS guy, instead of the guy eating his hat and wanting to fire the coach every 3 seconds.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You two positive thinkers may have some favorable attributes, gray matter between the ears is not one of them. Do the rest of the fans a favor and stay home.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ole fat Charlie still around, dude u have 0 life
Pathetic

HarveyDent writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

It was a better performance than our exhibition loss to Indianapolis last year.

Also it is hard to get in a rhythm when the other team is constantly fouling you. I dont know if you noticed but they hit the 10 foul mark in each half before the actual 10 minute mark. I think the officials just started to let them play because if they didnt Carson Newman may not have had enough guys left to finish the game.

HarveyDent writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We know what it buys those two. Probation and vacated seasons.

STLVOLS writes:

There is an incredible amount of negative thinking on here. Our STL Cardinals were 10.5 games out late August and won World Series.

Yee of little confidence and patience.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fist of all,what a stupid screen name............probably fits you to a T.

Next and finally, what a a whiny, over bearing
loser. Typical of all the trolls here.

volfandave writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

abdul,you must not keep up with what is going on in vol country if you did you would know that coach martin was part of the usa team that had a couple of kentucky's stud players on that team.i would also like to add that they had ALOT of good things to say about martin......

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to mikkim:

I can picture you now...sitting back in your 13 year old suede recliner from Aarons rents drinkin a PBR talkin about how them boys gonna suck this year!!! I am sure you are one talented athlete who can definately speak on the abiltiies of these young me on their first game under a new coach. Here is my salute to you....YOU SUCK and DONT WATCH..You should not waste your time since they are only going to win 15. You should be watching your family on Jerry Springer or THE BIGGEST LOSER. This post is for the 15 guys that are sweating their butts off to try to represent the UT VOLS!

everyone is entitled to their opinion of the game. What makes you right and everyone else wrong? Did you ever think you may be wrong?

I agree that they want win 15 games against this schedule without a really big improvement.

I saw little wrong in the coaching,but a lot wrong with the talent level.

Here is my salute to you ^.

ClemCash writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

20 of 40 from 3-point range? Holy cow! I knew their guards would be good but that's ridiculous shooting against anyone.

Go_Big_O writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is that you CantStandSaban? Different sport, same ole drivel.

VOL1972 writes:

Probably should wait until December to evaluate the team don't you think?

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Most frustrating show of a UT team against a glorified high school. These guys won't win 15 games this year.

I agree with ya 110% this will be the worst mens basketball team Tenn. has EVER put on the floor...BRING PEARL BACK,BRING PEARL BACK.Lets start a petition

STLVOLS writes:

Quite frankly, as a UTK grad, if you don't like what you see, don't watch and quit your complaining. Some of the comments on here are so far juvenile. If you are not a grad, or cannot post an intelligent comment, stay off and away.

D60 writes:

This coach is as big a joke as Dooley

STLVOLS writes:

in response to D60:

This coach is as big a joke as Dooley

Then get a life and don't watch.

ROCKYTOP10ECVOL writes:

We will need a better showing against LMU. They are #2 nationally in Div. 2, they are upperclassmen & they are polished. Very dangerous team.

macon_volfan writes:

in response to 1986sugarbowl:

Kentucky played Vampire collage tonight also. There is a reason they are called exibition games people. We have a winner with Martin. I was a huge Pearl fan, but this guy can actually coach. If you can't hold judgment yet about the guy then stay off of these post.

Not Vampire College..Transylvania University, the oldest college west of the Appalachian Mountains...and my alma mater.

Transylvania means 'across the woods' in Latin......

STLVOLS writes:

in response to ROCKYTOP10ECVOL:

We will need a better showing against LMU. They are #2 nationally in Div. 2, they are upperclassmen & they are polished. Very dangerous team.

Due to the misery caused by the trauma viwed in posts, a suggestion would be to not care.

Geez, I am a huge Vol fan but most of you folks have entire self identity tied up in how UT sports teams do. Does anybody on here have a life outside UT sports? Vacation today.

Have some personal objectives.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to osbymartin75:

Come on now..could that be because all but 5 scholarship players are pearls guys..and as for quality replacements..you know that all the big name 4 and 5 star players were already taken when Martin was hired but you conviently left that part out..not sure what the last part of your comment even means...

So I guess all of the top recruits for next year are taken too. . .and the last part of my comment which applies to both sets of recruits, is that no other coach who took a team to the NCAA tournament last year offered any of them a scholarship, so either Martin has the greatest eye for undiscovered talent in the history of college basketball, or we're not going to be going to the NCAA Tournament any time soon.

stumpyb writes:

I Am A Tenn Fan No Matter WHAT. But Wheter The Football, Basketball Team's Win Or Lose Is Not Going To Help Me One Bit In Life. It's Just A Game. It's Entertainment So Those Of You Who take This So Seriously....GET A LIFE.

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