Cuonzo Martin had some encouraging stats to ponder Thursday on Tennessee's long flight to Maui — and at least one nagging concern.
Three of the holdovers Martin inherited from former coach Bruce Pearl put up impressive numbers in an 85-62 win over Louisiana Monroe on Wednesday night.
Skylar McBee's career-high 15 points and five 3-point baskets helped the Vols weather the storm on a slow-starting evening.
Trae Golden, the sophomore point guard, notched his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. The assists bettered his previous career high of nine in the opener against UNC Greensboro.
Golden's 11 assists were the most since Bobby Maze had 11 against Chattanooga on Nov. 15, 2008.
Jeronne Maymon, a junior forward, also registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. In two games and two exhibitions, Maymon has recorded three double-doubles.
However, Martin and his staff need to get junior center Kenny Hall up to speed.
Tennessee faces No. 6 Duke on Monday (TV: ESPN2, 5:30 p.m.) in the Maui Invitational. The Vols have to get more production from Hall.
Hall has yet to play more than 20 minutes in any of the four outings, primarily due to early foul trouble. Counting both exhibitions and games he's averaging 4.75 points and 6.25 rebounds.
Hall was 1-of-5 shooting against ULM and played only 17 minutes. But it wasn't because of foul trouble.
Martin said Dwight Miller and Renaldo Woolridge got more minutes because they can guard
perimeter players and ULM used a small lineup.
Miller made the most of his opportunity with seven points and six rebounds.
The explanation on defending ULM also accounted for why freshman post Yemi Makanjuola did not play.
Good Finish: The Vols left town feeling better about the second half than the first.
From a 42-42 halftime tie, Tennessee outscored ULM 52-29 in the second half and improved its field-goal shooting from 31.3 percent in the first half to 57.1 percent in the second.
After making 10 first-half turnovers, UT had only one in the second.
"Coach Martin told us to be patient,'' said Maymon, "let the offense develop and let everything come to us.
"I think that really helped us.''
Maui History: The Vols played in the 2004 Maui Invitational. They beat Stanford, then lost to North Carolina and Texas.