Vols focus, finish off Louisiana Monroe, 85-62

Martin: ' I think we're a good team'

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin signals to his players as they play Louisiana-Monroe at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.  The Vols won 85-62 over the Warhawks.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin signals to his players as they play Louisiana-Monroe at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The Vols won 85-62 over the Warhawks.

Josh Richardson on his 11-point effort in UT's win

The Tennessee players' travel bags were packed and shipped off for Hawaii on Wednesday afternoon.

For several minutes Wednesday night, it appeared the Vols allowed their minds to wander over the Pacific Ocean as well.

Tennessee reasserted itself in the second half, pulling away for an 85-62 victory over Louisiana Monroe before an announced crowd of 14,751 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"We probably got a little ahead of ourselves,'' said UT power forward Jeronne Maymon, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. "Our bags left today, and our mindset probably wasn't where it should have been. But we got it together after halftime.''

The Warhawks (0-3) led by four points early in the second half behind the explosive scoring of senior guard Fred Brown (18 points), a transfer from Kansas State.

Sophomore point guard Trae Golden led five Vols (2-0) in double-figure scoring, joining Maymon in the double-double club with 17 points to go with 11 assists. Skylar McBee hit five 3-pointers for his 15 points, Cameron Tatum had 13 points, and freshman wing Josh Richardson added 11.

The Vols travel to Hawaii this morning in preparation for an EA Sports Maui Invitational showdown with No. 6 Duke (3-0) at 5:30 p.m. on Monday (TV: ESPN2).

UT used a 16-3 run midway

through the second half to break open Wednesday's game. Golden sparked the rally with three free throws with 13:28 left to give UT a 49-48 advantage, a lead it would not relinquish.

"I was depressed about the first half; I had three turnovers,'' Golden said. "We had taken our foot off the pedal, and that's something we have to work on.''

The Vols jumped to a quick 8-0 lead, hitting three of their first four shots, and they extended the lead to 15-6 on a McBee 3-pointer at the 12-minute mark.

ULM, which opened its season with losses to Ole Miss (60-38last Friday) and Indiana State (71-59 on Monday), answered with a 10-0 run, taking its first lead at 16-15 on a Brown trey.

Four lead changes followed before Tatum (13 points) sank a pair of free throws with 41.9 seconds left in the half to make it 33-33 heading into the locker room.

"We get up 9-0, and the focus goes from putting the team away through our defense to let's get shots up,'' UT coach Cuonzo Martin said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy. At the end of the day, we were the better team, but you know anything can happen.

"The thing for me that was impressive, was we had just one turnover in the second half.''

The Vols had 10 turnovers in the first half and continued to struggle with interior scoring; both teams had eight points in the paint.

Martin made the adjustment to forgo size for quickness at the post, inserting 6-foot-8 transfer Dwight Miller for the 6-9 Hall, whose considerably longer than Miller despite what the modest height differential might suggest.

Miller responded by scoring all seven of his points in the second half while also pulling down six rebounds in his 15 minutes on the floor.

Richardson was another newcomer who emerged. Seeing minutes at point guard and on the wing, Richardson scored his 11 points in the second half.

"We were dead in the first half and just giving them whatever they wanted,'' Richardson said. "In the second half, we generated some energy, started talking to each other on defense, and it came together.''

Martin said freshman back-up point guard Wes Washpun didn't play on account of a leg injury, and he added that he doesn't plan any changes to the starting lineup.

"The thing I've learned is we have some pieces,'' Martin said. "But I think now it's about what our guys have learned and what they feel. I think we're a good team.''

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

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Comments » 92

volfanmatt writes:

Ha! How long till borntojerkit or westknoxjerk or numerous others has an exremely negative comment? Now I am not saying we will beat Duke or win the SEC, just that I support Coach Martin. Now I hope we play a good game and beat Duke but I am a realist. I have hope though. McBee for Three! (and please Skylar shave off the mustache. It's terrible.). Go Vols.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor like a couple things about this team..Golden has decided to have a great season..and they actually adjusted and stepped up the Defense in the second to create ops. Witch Doctor say they play hard, nobody there but Bruce proved if you start winning they will come. Go Vols.
Bones never lie.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

Bring on Duke!!! Maymon is a tremendous talent!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

It was an interesting game.Good to see Richardson and Miller play some good minutes. Maymon needs the ball more. Hall needs to play above the rim. McCrae is learning(we hope). Tatum finally gave us a lift in the 2nd half.
Honestly it looked as though we didn't have any energy or want to or intensity the whole first half. The bench brought the intensity back.

Probably we just haven't gelled. Well we definately haven't and it IS early. Good to win though.

johnlg00 writes:

Looks like the Vols started the night looking forward to Hawaii. They eventually got into the groove, wore down a thin team, and won easily. Liked what I saw of Richardson and Miller tonight. Hall still in a funk; don't know what it will take to get him going offensively, though his rebounding and defense were marginally better than last game. Skylar's shooting looks really confident right now. Golden and Maymon continue to amaze. McRae still too herky-jerky, but better than the last couple of games overall. Still LOTS of work to do, and I'm not really looking forward to seeing them against Duke, but still grounds for optimism the rest of the season.

murrayvol writes:

in response to volfanmatt:

Ha! How long till borntojerkit or westknoxjerk or numerous others has an exremely negative comment? Now I am not saying we will beat Duke or win the SEC, just that I support Coach Martin. Now I hope we play a good game and beat Duke but I am a realist. I have hope though. McBee for Three! (and please Skylar shave off the mustache. It's terrible.). Go Vols.

Answer: Not long.

Belmont took Duke to the wire last week. Doubt they've improved that much in seven days. GBO

kjneel#238751 writes:

Bring on the Daisy Dukes!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to volfanmatt:

Ha! How long till borntojerkit or westknoxjerk or numerous others has an exremely negative comment? Now I am not saying we will beat Duke or win the SEC, just that I support Coach Martin. Now I hope we play a good game and beat Duke but I am a realist. I have hope though. McBee for Three! (and please Skylar shave off the mustache. It's terrible.). Go Vols.

The way Skylar is shooting it this year, I don't think I would mess with a thing! Remember how Samson lost his strength when Delilah cut his hair(;-P)! Maybe Hall needs to grow one.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor like a couple things about this team..Golden has decided to have a great season..and they actually adjusted and stepped up the Defense in the second to create ops. Witch Doctor say they play hard, nobody there but Bruce proved if you start winning they will come. Go Vols.
Bones never lie.

Golden says he's in better shape than last year. What happened to Bruce's conditioning regimen?

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Looks like the Vols started the night looking forward to Hawaii. They eventually got into the groove, wore down a thin team, and won easily. Liked what I saw of Richardson and Miller tonight. Hall still in a funk; don't know what it will take to get him going offensively, though his rebounding and defense were marginally better than last game. Skylar's shooting looks really confident right now. Golden and Maymon continue to amaze. McRae still too herky-jerky, but better than the last couple of games overall. Still LOTS of work to do, and I'm not really looking forward to seeing them against Duke, but still grounds for optimism the rest of the season.

I've come to accept the fact that Hall will never get it going offensively. I'll settle for quality minutes of defense and rebounding.

I am looking forward to Duke. At least we'll have a frame of reference.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Answer: Not long.

Belmont took Duke to the wire last week. Doubt they've improved that much in seven days. GBO

I would like to think the Vols have a chance against Duke, murray, but they are SO MUCH bigger than we are. I don't think we have anybody who can defend Rivers, Dawkins, and Curry, either. I have to think that Duke was maybe a little flat and Belmont was jacked up. I suppose it is possible that the same combination could come up for the Vols, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Golden says he's in better shape than last year. What happened to Bruce's conditioning regimen?

Witch Doctor say team seems little more loose than last season. Witch Doctor say this team could resemble Bruces second season...? Witch Doctor say a very very good showing in the Maui(tall order yes) could make for an interesting season.(after Lofton Bruce never had a guard that could score consistently)
Bones never lie.

GerryOP writes:

A good win. 2-0 baby....

A couple of those no name no * recruits showed up well tonight. Very nice recovery in the 2nd half.

Is ULM Duke or UK? No, but don't count Zo's Vols out!

HtownVol writes:

Duke then Michigan or Memphis.

This will be 2 straight games in which I fear UT will be dominated in the paint.

UT has no size and each of those teams has plenty of size to push UT around inside.

If UT can find a way to win either of those two games then I will never doubt Coach Martin. Not that I do now, I just do not see UT fairing well against teams with size.

GO VOLS

johnlg00 writes:

in response to murrayvol:

I've come to accept the fact that Hall will never get it going offensively. I'll settle for quality minutes of defense and rebounding.

I am looking forward to Duke. At least we'll have a frame of reference.

If Hall will accept defense and rebounding as his MISSION and stop the silly cheap fouls, that could be enough. He just doesn't look "into it" this year for some strange reason. He always brought a certain energy in his brief stints previously; this year, not so much.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Let's see now, 85-62=23. Not bad. 2 wins, 0 losses. Not bad. Go Volunteers!!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Whats wrong with Wes Washpun and Yemi something?

westknoxrepub writes:

Wow, after that performance people are already thinking we stand a chance to beat Duke. We have no bench and we will get killed in the paint. It's going to be a long season.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to volfanmatt:

Ha! How long till borntojerkit or westknoxjerk or numerous others has an exremely negative comment? Now I am not saying we will beat Duke or win the SEC, just that I support Coach Martin. Now I hope we play a good game and beat Duke but I am a realist. I have hope though. McBee for Three! (and please Skylar shave off the mustache. It's terrible.). Go Vols.

The Vols will beat Duke!

1986sugarbowl writes:

Don't get too excited because Duke beat Belmont by one, and really should have lost the game. Duke will be a different team, and the Vols is going to have to play smart and big!! I love what I see!!!

FWBVol writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The funny thing is nobody remembers what you do in November if you have a strong February and March.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

The Vols will beat Duke!

I think you put a little too much Jack in your koolaid my friend. Cuonzo doesn't have very much to work with and Duke is loaded. I hope you are right but I sorta doubt it.

westknoxrepub writes:

I think alot of you skipped over this part of the article:
"The Warhawks (0-3), short three scholarship players as a result of APR penalty, didn't draw closer than eight for the game's remainder."

We struggled to beat an 0-3 team with three scholarships below the limit in our home arena. . .we're not beating Duke, Michigan or Memphis.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

The Vols looked sluggish in the first half,like they were just going thru the motions..Coach Martin lit a fire under their buttocks and they came out a different team in the 2nd half..Nice to know we have a coaching staff that makes the necessary adjustments to get his team rollin'..As much as I liked Pearl, he was not good at making halftime adjustments.

Anyway, off to Hawaii and hopefully we will be able to keep it within 30(just being realistic) against Duke..Knowing Coach K, he will not let his team take the Vols lightly even though he knows he has the better team.

IMO, From what I saw tonite, Josh Richardson is our best freshman of the bunch..He's a pretty good shooter and looks in control plus his long arms is an advantage for him.

Smokey says it's gonna be an interesting season..

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

30-5 was last season. 2 losses were to Tennessee, 1 to Vandy and Wisconsin beat them in the 1st round.
Now THIS YEARS team lost to Duke and Memphis. So whats your point???

carbonzip writes:

I liked the second half lineup with one big man. Richardson played very well and Tatum came to life.

hikerdude writes:

I'm still thinking we're going to be better than most people think, and that Golden is going to be the point guard we've needed since C.J. left. But Hall and McCrae need to quit stinking it up.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I think alot of you skipped over this part of the article:
"The Warhawks (0-3), short three scholarship players as a result of APR penalty, didn't draw closer than eight for the game's remainder."

We struggled to beat an 0-3 team with three scholarships below the limit in our home arena. . .we're not beating Duke, Michigan or Memphis.

Why are you even on here if you feel this way? Pick another team and go away.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

Why are you even on here if you feel this way? Pick another team and go away.

Being a fan doesn't mean being blind to reality.

born2ride writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Being a fan doesn't mean being blind to reality.

I agree. People need to realize we beat UNCG and the Warhawks. Of course we looked good.

The Vols will find out in the Maui how they match up against Duke and Memphis/Michigan.

With our lack of experience and depth it does not look good this team.

bigdisbig writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

Why are you even on here if you feel this way? Pick another team and go away.

If everyone who posted here agreed with each other it would be a very boring site. For those of us who refuse to accept mediocrity or less helps you who are blind supporters to see the light. The board of trustees at the University of Tennessee decide who to hire in coaching changes. The past few years they have decided to go cheap on coaching hires. From Raleigh to Dooley they have cheapend the UT athletic program. Like it or not its the truth. The jury is still out on Cuonzo Martin. He inherited some 2nd tier guys who none would start on the Duke team. What he does with this team will determine how good a coach he is. This year is a bust if you ask me. I expect them to win no more than 12 games. How he recruits will determine next year. Lets hope he does better than Dooley whose days are numbered.

jamgod writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

The Vols will beat Duke!

UH, no they won't! Hall looks like a slow, unreacting gorilla! That guy I am afraid is a washout! LIke the one poster said....after this week TENN will be 2-3! But, just suppose we do beat Duke and Mich/Memphis...look what happened last year....we go 7-0 and then stink up the rest of the year....this is a different team and we don't have an all-hype, overated player like Hopson on the team but, I still don't think we have the neccessary size to hang with those guys to win...we may not get blown out but you can pretty much bet we ain't gonna win....but, GO BIG ORANGE!!!

jamgod writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

If everyone who posted here agreed with each other it would be a very boring site. For those of us who refuse to accept mediocrity or less helps you who are blind supporters to see the light. The board of trustees at the University of Tennessee decide who to hire in coaching changes. The past few years they have decided to go cheap on coaching hires. From Raleigh to Dooley they have cheapend the UT athletic program. Like it or not its the truth. The jury is still out on Cuonzo Martin. He inherited some 2nd tier guys who none would start on the Duke team. What he does with this team will determine how good a coach he is. This year is a bust if you ask me. I expect them to win no more than 12 games. How he recruits will determine next year. Lets hope he does better than Dooley whose days are numbered.

I hate to say it...I mean really hate to say it because I don't like you or at least your postings....always so negative with everything but, just because you don't spend big money on coaches doesn't mean they can't win however, and I really hope you are wrong...I fear Dooley's days are numbered if he doesn't win at least 8-9 games next year...Martin at least has a few years to see what he can do and I really hope we are all pleasently suprised!! GO BIG ORANGE!!

Stepchild_nFL writes:

in response to volfanmatt:

Ha! How long till borntojerkit or westknoxjerk or numerous others has an exremely negative comment? Now I am not saying we will beat Duke or win the SEC, just that I support Coach Martin. Now I hope we play a good game and beat Duke but I am a realist. I have hope though. McBee for Three! (and please Skylar shave off the mustache. It's terrible.). Go Vols.

Sklar you keep that mustache. We don't care if you are ugly or pretty. You just keep shootin.

jt45 writes:

UT looked bad in the first half and the crowd wasn't into it either, I hope they show more energy against the Duke I saw beat Michigan St. Im glad they got the win, it was touch and go for awhile. Their defense is what concerns me the most, they stood flat footed and let LA Monroe take way too many easy shots. Hall doesn't seem to be playing very hard and to be blunt these guys are gonna have a hard time when they meet a team with some strong inside play.
Golden and Skyler are playing well, the others aren't at that level yet. Maymon could be a force to reckon with once he learns to control the paint AND the ball better.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

We just may have us a coach and some hungry players here. They're gonna fool some folks. I was only able to watch the game on Gamecast but I could feel the emotion. It sure was a lot more fun than listening to all you negative drolls. Its gonna be an entertaining season. Go Vols.

Twelvethirtyone writes:

The Negatives... both opponents so far are weak opponents. Duke, on paper, should beat Tennessee handily. Down year for over all talent on the team and so-so first half tonight. The Positives... Building confidence to start the season, Games aren't played on paper (see MTSU and Loyola Marymount v.UCLA, Kent State v. West Virginia, Cleveland State v. Vanderbilt and Long Beach State v. Pittsburgh), Trae Golden running the offense is exciting to watch (23 ppg, 10apg, 4.5rpg, 2.5 TOpg) through 2 games so far, and Coach Martin made some great half time adjustments.

If the football team could have a second halves like the basketball team had tonight, they would have a much better record. Duke should give us a pretty good idea of where we stand and what to expect this season. I am curious to see how this team performs against a big dog... Go Vols!!! :)

Volumnus writes:

in response to johnlg00:

The way Skylar is shooting it this year, I don't think I would mess with a thing! Remember how Samson lost his strength when Delilah cut his hair(;-P)! Maybe Hall needs to grow one.

Sklyar is getting "TOUCHES", good "TOUCHES", high and in his hands and TIMELY. IF this continues, he could have a very good season! What a difference a true TEAM point guard can make! So far I am impressed.

Londonjohn writes:

So far, really impressed with the second half adjustments. Contrary to the prognosticators, this does not look like the worst team in the SEC. Hanging with Duke will be a challenge and I doubt we keep it close past half time, if only because our boys will be incredibly nervous and we really don't have the size or the depth to compete evenly. Just the same, I know it's crazy early, but I'm beginning to think the NIT could be a real possibility this year, which would be a considerable victory considering the folks and recruits we lost at the end of last season.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I honestly don't think we should compare CCM to CDD. At least CCM had a winning record at the school he was at plus his team showed improvement. CDD had a losing record at his school.

thevoice writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say team seems little more loose than last season. Witch Doctor say this team could resemble Bruces second season...? Witch Doctor say a very very good showing in the Maui(tall order yes) could make for an interesting season.(after Lofton Bruce never had a guard that could score consistently)
Bones never lie.

He never recruited a good point guard either. Looking forward to a fun season.

clvolfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

The way Skylar is shooting it this year, I don't think I would mess with a thing! Remember how Samson lost his strength when Delilah cut his hair(;-P)! Maybe Hall needs to grow one.

Funny you mentioned Samson-that's what my devotion was about just half an hour ago.

volfanmatt writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We may not beat Duke but I beleive we CAN beat Duke. There is NO way we loose by 25. Not going to happen man. After the game I'm going to call you out on your asinine comment. I know asinine is a big word for your tiny mind so you might want to look it up.

volfanmatt writes:

WestKnoxJerk, I am a realist. As I have said I don't expect the Vols to beat Duke but I beleive they CAN beat Duke and it will be close. You are a negative Nellie. Not a negative Ned. A Nellie. The conotation that you are a Nellie and not a Ned should be clear.

GerryOP writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I think alot of you skipped over this part of the article:
"The Warhawks (0-3), short three scholarship players as a result of APR penalty, didn't draw closer than eight for the game's remainder."

We struggled to beat an 0-3 team with three scholarships below the limit in our home arena. . .we're not beating Duke, Michigan or Memphis.

Struggled? What game were you watching? If they "struggled," does that mean the win doesn't count or they put a "(S)" next to the score? 2-0 baby... Already far exceeding the expectations of you doom and gloomers!

skm writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I think alot of you skipped over this part of the article:
"The Warhawks (0-3), short three scholarship players as a result of APR penalty, didn't draw closer than eight for the game's remainder."

We struggled to beat an 0-3 team with three scholarships below the limit in our home arena. . .we're not beating Duke, Michigan or Memphis.

what is "alot?" i have no idea what you're talking about. a lot of your posts make no sense.

GerryOP writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Being a fan doesn't mean being blind to reality.

Reality is that our basketVols are 2-0 baby... Are you blind to that?

brod writes:

i hear a lot of conversation about maui and playing duke. duke is not a good game to measure this team. the next game will be.

TennesseeFab5 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Being a fan doesn't mean being blind to reality.

How can you have "reality" if it has not occurred yet? I know that is a deep thought for your tiny brain. It is a deep thought for my tiny brain. There is two things I do know: 1. I am not saying we will beat Duke, but I am also not saying we will lose to Duke. That is why they play the game. We do not know at this point. This game will be a good indicator where we are at currently. I am certainly not going to come on here and say all kinds of negative things because the true "reality" is that we don't know yet how good or bad this team will be. 2. I will support them if they win and I will support them if they lose which is more than some including yourself can say! Go Vols!!

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Londonjohn:

So far, really impressed with the second half adjustments. Contrary to the prognosticators, this does not look like the worst team in the SEC. Hanging with Duke will be a challenge and I doubt we keep it close past half time, if only because our boys will be incredibly nervous and we really don't have the size or the depth to compete evenly. Just the same, I know it's crazy early, but I'm beginning to think the NIT could be a real possibility this year, which would be a considerable victory considering the folks and recruits we lost at the end of last season.

The NIT is not a victory. . .the NIT means your program is in bad shape and needs work.

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