Oakland game a glimpse at how Vols might fare in SEC

Kampe liked what he saw from Tennessee

ROCHESTER, Mich. — Oakland coach Greg Kampe believes Tennessee compares favorably to Alabama and Arkansas in men's basketball, despite the fact his team lost to those schools and beat the Vols.

The Golden Grizzlies (4-2) beat Tennessee (3-3) on Monday night, 89-81, winning their fourth consecutive game this season. Oakland opened the season on the road with losses at Alabama (74-57) and at Arkansas (91-68).

"(Tennessee) is as athletic as Alabama and Arkansas, and I think they shoot the ball probably better than either of those two teams shoot it,'' Kampe said following Monday night's game. "I don't know if they are as good defensively as Alabama; I think Alabama might be one of the best defensive teams in the country, although they play at a slow pace.

"The difference between (Alabama and Tennessee) is JaMychal Green. I don't see one of those guys on Tennessee's team.''

Kampe said that venue and the stage of the season the games were played affected the outcomes.

"One of the things is we played Tennessee here and not there,'' Kampe said. "We've played a few games now, and those games (Alabama and Arkansas) were our first two games of the year. The makeup of our team has changed ... it's a work in progress.''

Kampe said Green was clearly the best player among the three teams, and he believes the Razorbacks' loss of forward Marshawn Powell to a season-ending knee injury is "gonna really affect them.''

Kampe said he respected Vols coach Cuonzo Martin for not buying out the road game with Oakland, and praised the coaching job Martin has done after losing four starters from last season's team.

"I think Tennessee is going to be a tough out at home because they can really shoot the ball,'' Kampe said. "I think Cuonzo Martin is doing a really good job for them.''

Late Night Vols: The UT team arrived at the Detroit Metro airport at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday after its game with Oakland only to discover its charter flight was not there.

The team did not take off for it's 80-minute flight to Knoxville until 3 a.m. with a day of classes ahead.

"They all made it to class,'' Martin said Tuesday night. "This is what you do, it's what you have a scholarship to do, to play at the highest level. You have a lot of resources at the University of Tennessee. The teacher's not clapping their hands because you showed up on time, that's what you're supposed to do.''

Martin and his staff made use of the delay by watching game film at the airport.

No Excuse: UT guards Trae Golden and Jordan McRae didn't want to hear any talk about jet lag from Hawaii possibility affecting the team's performance at Oakland.

"It wasn't any of that; that's not an excuse,'' said McRae, who matched his career high with 25 points. "They played better than us. The game is over, we can't do anything about it. We're going to watch the film and prepare for Pitt.''

Golden agreed.

"Jet lag isn't an excuse; we play basketball, we travel the world, and we should come in and be ready to play every night, and we didn't get ourselves ready for tonight,'' he said after Monday's game. "We'll get back to the gym and work on what we need to work on. I don't think we hang our heads on this; it's a long season and it was a rough night for us, but we'll bounce back.''

Follow Mike Griffith at http://twitter.com/Mike Griffith32

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Comments » 45

underthehill writes:

The players saying "no excuses" is a reflection of what they're hearing from Coach Martin.

jakethevolguy writes:

You can do eeet! No reason this can't be a tournament team if they work hard and keep their heads on straight.

SandySpringsVol writes:

I like what I'm seeing here. Coach Martin and staff watching film during an airport delay. Players all make it to class despite getting in just before daybreak. No excuses from Golden and McRae -- "They played better than us."

No whining about player quality. No complaining about how we're just too young and inexperienced. Another UT program could learn something from this.

vol64 writes:

Considering that this is only the 6th game a very green UT team has played with a new coaching staff and loss of its two best players(well Hopson was a best player some of the time) they are playing much better than I anticipated before the season started. Even at this early stage of they season they seem better coached than last years team and I believe they are going to surprise some people before this season is over. GBO round ballers.

FiftyOne writes:

If they give an effort every game it is better than what I have been watching from the football team. I hope this team exceeds expectations. I know that I for one did not see this team making the field of 64 (65) before the season started.

ClemCash writes:

Is this "year zero" for Martin?

SmokeDog1972 writes:

in response to FiftyOne:

If they give an effort every game it is better than what I have been watching from the football team. I hope this team exceeds expectations. I know that I for one did not see this team making the field of 64 (65) before the season started.

Still don't see us in the tournament. They may be tough and disciplined, but short on talent. I am also convinced the outside shooting is streaky at best. Hope I am wrong, but I think the post-season alludes the Vols in football and basketball. Sucks, doesn't it?

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to ClemCash:

Is this "year zero" for Martin?

No, but it is year zero for your posting career.

SunshineVol writes:

When watching Golden I get flashbacks from last year. McRae is the future.

acworthdave writes:

I have a hard time believing we will see a guard that fills it up that that guy last night. He hit shots from everywhere. We would have run them out of the gym last night if someone could have guarded him. I thought Flounder outcoached CM last night. We should have double-teamed him off the screen and forced him to give up the ball. if the other guys on the team beat us, so be it. I do agree with the players that there were no excuses. They are college kids who are in great shape. They dont get tired becasuse they rode around on a plane. They actually probably got some rest. I am glad they aren't using that as an excuse.

I wish Oakland the best. I don't think they are as good as last year but I hope they make the tournament.

DSmith1669 writes:

in response to ClemCash:

Is this "year zero" for Martin?

Nope - CDD was brought into a much more difficult situation than CCM. BBall was a tough situation with the departure of pearl and the 'black cloud'/NCAA that is gone now but nothing comparied to being the 3rd coach in 3 years 12 days before signing day...

Prostar writes:

I'm impressed that other coaches are impressed with our coach and players. They don't have to say nice things about our team and it is good to hear what opinion they have of us. "We're going back to the gym and work like heck", I couldn't help it, just slipped out.

born2ride writes:

We will see how support Martin has after the Vols finish at the bottom of the SEC.

rockypop writes:

The bad news here is that Oakland lost to both Alabama and Arkansas by serious double digits.

scvols writes:

I didn't like the glimpse, we couldn't make stops. Oakland is not a top 50 team and after our Duke and Memphis outing, I thought we were.

Nunshalpass writes:

in response to rockypop:

The bad news here is that Oakland lost to both Alabama and Arkansas by serious double digits.

As Kampe said though, it was the first two games of their season and the team has changed a lot since then... plus this was a home game for them. Home rims are friendlier.
Having watched us in several games now, this looked like our poorest performance so far. I thought that Maymon still looked stiff or hurt. You could tell it when he was missing free throws (which he hasn't done all season until then). We made several unforced TOs in the first half especially.
I wouldn't put too much stock into the point spreads on those first two games Oakland had.

lomas98 writes:

in response to rockypop:

The bad news here is that Oakland lost to both Alabama and Arkansas by serious double digits.

Oh boy. When will people learn this scenario isn't reality. team a beats team b and team b beats team c, so team a will definitely beat team c. I know what glimpse we will get of Tennessee in the sec, when they start playing sec teams!!! That seems fair.

Let's see, vandy beats ky in football, tn beats vandy, so tn will of course beat ky. Oh well, maybe players do believe in your theory.

redskinvol1 writes:

You are only as good as your record.2 and 3 is not good.Chaminade doesn't count.12 to 14 wins max.No one on the team can shoot very well.

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to untimed_vols_ghost:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RPI means nothing if you got a losing record.

Ironcity writes:

in response to untimed_vols_ghost:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not to rain on your parade but Harvard beat UConn and Fl State. Redskin obviously hasn't watched UT because if he had he would know that we are in the top 20 in the country from the three point line. In fact I think this may be the best shooting team we have had since Lofton left.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

The team plays defense and shoots well part of the time, not good enough to be in the running for anything. Like last year's team just less talent. I'm not a Martin fan but from what I've seen he's not the problem.

GerryOP writes:

It's not their record so far this season that counts. What counts is what have they've learned so far and what adjustments are made to overcome the mistakes made.

Don't forget, 9 months ago most of these kids didn't even know each other, most of the kids had never played together, and Coach Zo had never met most of these guys. For you dudes and dudettes demanding instant gratification, you're going to be disappointed. Progress is the only measuring stick this year.

I'm still betting that our basketVols win more than they lose this year.

writer#358485 writes:

GerryOP, I think you put you finger on the problem on these boards--too many people seeking instant gratification. Sadly, it's the nature of our society these days. Patience seems to be a lost virtue.

The Vols will be back in football and basketball, but it will take a bit of time. I guess at 65, I just tend to have a bit more patience. However, I think people denigrating (bashing) our coaches before they've really had a chance to prove what they can or can't do gets very tiresome. Go Vols!

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to born2ride:

We will see how support Martin has after the Vols finish at the bottom of the SEC.

How "much" support Martin has at the end of the season shouldnt matter to you. It only matters to Vol fans, and we know for a fact that he already has our support.

No thanks for playin. Now back into your basement...momma just prepared your breakfast for you.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to ClemCash:

Is this "year zero" for Martin?

Don't know but do know that you are a ZERO

hueypilot writes:

I'm much more encouraged by what's happening on the hardwood than what happened in football. We are competitive with good teams in basketball. We are not in football.

writer#358485 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

How "much" support Martin has at the end of the season shouldnt matter to you. It only matters to Vol fans, and we know for a fact that he already has our support.

No thanks for playin. Now back into your basement...momma just prepared your breakfast for you.

I think borntoride was nailed in an earlier post: "It sucks to lose, but I'll trade some of those over wins against Harley Davidson School for Drunken Middle Aged Fat Bikers (free case of oil provided with each scholarship!!!)"

He's either a grad of the Harley school, or, as you suggest, another one where they haven't yet taken the training wheels off. Either way, he has a lot of trouble staying upright;-)

kazoo writes:

Good grief: Good basketball starts with tough,hard-nosed defense, and you don't need to play with guys or a coach for months to do that. This team's defense is fairly weak. We gave up nearly 100 points to Memphis--granted it was OT or double OT--but that is still too many points, and 89 last night. Good teams do not give up anywhere close to 89 points--and you certainly aren't going to beat anybody when you do.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to rockypop:

The bad news here is that Oakland lost to both Alabama and Arkansas by serious double digits.

That's not bad news at all when properly understood...home court advantage is what 10 points or so...and there was NO DOUBT about it...this was the biggest game EVER in their arena...and they played like it...man, relax just a little and let this team find themselves...we are 5...FIVE...games into CCM's career at Tennessee and if we were all honest we would be afraid of being 0-5 right now...gonna be a long, arduous season with ups and downs...buckle up and enjoy the ride if that's possible..

tennrich1 writes:

in response to kazoo:

Good grief: Good basketball starts with tough,hard-nosed defense, and you don't need to play with guys or a coach for months to do that. This team's defense is fairly weak. We gave up nearly 100 points to Memphis--granted it was OT or double OT--but that is still too many points, and 89 last night. Good teams do not give up anywhere close to 89 points--and you certainly aren't going to beat anybody when you do.

Who, pray tell, said we are a GOOD team???????

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Not to rain on your parade but Harvard beat UConn and Fl State. Redskin obviously hasn't watched UT because if he had he would know that we are in the top 20 in the country from the three point line. In fact I think this may be the best shooting team we have had since Lofton left.

On the three point issue I think I would agree!

SneakyPete writes:

in response to untimed_vols_ghost:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Show me a player that was coached up enough to make the NBA. Not Hopson. Tobais came in as he left. Chism would be in the league if he'd been at UConn. Selby is....actually, I don't know what Selby is. And Craft would not be the player he is if he'd been mentored by Pearl.
Truth is, many games would have been won, but NBA.....naw! Craft chose well.
Has anyone asked the question as to why The Crafts made that photo public? Fact is....and I hate it....Tennessee players who have the potential coming in...don't progress enough to make the NBA. I see it and I think they did too.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FiftyOne:

If they give an effort every game it is better than what I have been watching from the football team. I hope this team exceeds expectations. I know that I for one did not see this team making the field of 64 (65) before the season started.

Actually, it was a field of 68 even last year, which may slightly improve the Vols' chance of making it this year. I have seen some holes in the squad, which I expected, but I have also seen significant improvement in some of the guys who didn't play much last year. It also seems that several of Martin's much-maligned first recruiting class will be serviceable players this year; Washpun, Makanjuola, and Richardson in particular have already shown they can help the team this year and they will only get better.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to untimed_vols_ghost:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure Washpun has the offensive ability this year to be a full-time PG, though some pretty good teams have had non-scoring PGs. Biggest problem moving Golden to the 2 spot is that that is one of the deepest positions on the squad and it will only be deeper next year. Golden looked pretty good in some of the early games, and once he learns to play PG the way it is supposed to be played and not get caught up in trying to do it all himself, he should be pretty good the rest of the way. We have both harped on the fact that the perimeter defense and the defensive rebounding needs MAJOR improvement.

GerryOP writes:

in response to writer#358485:

GerryOP, I think you put you finger on the problem on these boards--too many people seeking instant gratification. Sadly, it's the nature of our society these days. Patience seems to be a lost virtue.

The Vols will be back in football and basketball, but it will take a bit of time. I guess at 65, I just tend to have a bit more patience. However, I think people denigrating (bashing) our coaches before they've really had a chance to prove what they can or can't do gets very tiresome. Go Vols!

Thanks writer! I'm a couple of years older than you (UT '65) and try to believe I am more patient. It's probably more likely that as we get older we tend to not waste time and energy ranting and raving about stuff we can't do anything about!

This to shall pass. To paraphrase ol' Jake Hess, "Things will get better, get worse, or remain just about the same. And there's nothing we can do about it!"

budd#207344 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

You are only as good as your record.2 and 3 is not good.Chaminade doesn't count.12 to 14 wins max.No one on the team can shoot very well.

How well do you expect college kids to shoot? You have had at least three players in double figures every game. Their wins will depend on their D not a 30 point shooter that cannot defend (Hopson)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to budd#207344:

How well do you expect college kids to shoot? You have had at least three players in double figures every game. Their wins will depend on their D not a 30 point shooter that cannot defend (Hopson)

30 point??? Not too often. He did well to get 17 or 18...but that 's not a bad contribution.

However you made an excellent point. Go D!!! We need to NOT let a player like Hamilton drive the lanes the way he did.
Also we need to box out inside,as another poster reminded me.Our bigs have to play better D without fouling too much. But better to foul as a group than to stand there and allow layups and short jumpers. Hamilton was hot but half his shots were inside 10 feet and he'd get the rebounds.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not sure Washpun has the offensive ability this year to be a full-time PG, though some pretty good teams have had non-scoring PGs. Biggest problem moving Golden to the 2 spot is that that is one of the deepest positions on the squad and it will only be deeper next year. Golden looked pretty good in some of the early games, and once he learns to play PG the way it is supposed to be played and not get caught up in trying to do it all himself, he should be pretty good the rest of the way. We have both harped on the fact that the perimeter defense and the defensive rebounding needs MAJOR improvement.

I really like Washpun's D. He's quick enough for most other points AND he's still learning. I agree Golden IS our point this year but I can see him getting plenty of rest with Washpun and maybe Richardson in the game. If he's off he tends to be really off but not like Maze who was really to me a shooting guard. He was not there against Hamilton. At times it was embarrassing to see Hamilton fake Golden out of his shorts. I don't know what was wrong but Golden just look slow against him. PLUS he got no help when Hamilton would blow by him.
I'm guessing most of these problems are adjustments that we'll get as we go.

redskinvol1 writes:

Lay up drill anyone?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I really like Washpun's D. He's quick enough for most other points AND he's still learning. I agree Golden IS our point this year but I can see him getting plenty of rest with Washpun and maybe Richardson in the game. If he's off he tends to be really off but not like Maze who was really to me a shooting guard. He was not there against Hamilton. At times it was embarrassing to see Hamilton fake Golden out of his shorts. I don't know what was wrong but Golden just look slow against him. PLUS he got no help when Hamilton would blow by him.
I'm guessing most of these problems are adjustments that we'll get as we go.

Again, much I agree with here. The point about Golden not being able to keep Hamilton in front of him is well-taken. However, with respect to my good friend, Untimed_Vols_Ghost, good defense is not just a matter of being tougher than the guy you are guarding; in fact, the best defenses are not one-on-one at all. Sure, you have to be tough and quick and determined and all that other stuff, but a good defense takes all five guys working off the same understanding of what an opponent is trying to accomplish and having a plan to deal with that. THAT part of the process can well take more than a couple of months of practice to perfect.

For example, you study an opponent to determine whether he prefers to shoot 3's, work for mid-range shots, or take it to the rack. Every player naturally PREFERS to do one or the other of those things. You have to know whether a guy is right- or left-handed. You have to know how willing he is to pass the ball. Many of these things can be figured out in the course of a game, once you develop the habit of seeking systematically to learn those things. Once you DO know those things, you overplay to prevent him from doing what he wants to do. Even if he is a skilled player who can do all those things reasonably well, you play him so as to prevent him from doing AT LEAST ONE OF THEM.

The next step is for EVERYBODY ELSE on the team to know those tendencies and how the primary defender plans to play him so they are especially alert to situations where they need to provide help defense.

To mention a specific situation, say the guy you are most worried about is a great outside shooter who nevertheless likes to go to his right when he does drive. The primary defender should play tight up against him to prevent or contest the outside shot. The help-side defender should shade to the on-ball defender's left shoulder so the first thing the opponent sees when he fakes the outside shot and starts to drive is another defender who will at least force him make another move he hadn't planned on. If he comes on anyway, you have a ready-made double-team opportunity. If he IS the other team's main guy, you want to force him to get rid of the ball and make someone ELSE beat you.

Needless to say, all this is easier to state than it is to execute, and of course there are many OTHER situations that could arise and need attention, but that is why it often takes longer to build a really good defense than it does a reasonably proficient offense.

BTW, Moc, please don't be offended if your posts often provoke these tirades of mine. I'm not by ANY means knocking your knowledge of the game. In fact, you often raise points that MANY fans don't understand from the inside, as it were, so you give me a launching-pad to fire my verbal volleys. All the rest of you, forgive Moc also, and blame it all on me, an old man who rarely has the opportunity to address such an audience these days.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

LOL! I wasn't aware I needed forgiveness John.? I agree with you 99% of the time.My observations are more instinct than knowledge of the game. I do not get offended on strategy or bball knowledge others show me. I like your posts because they're informative and you express yourself well.
I haven't said any thing I thought offensive(lol)
I just say what I think(right or wrong) and if it offends any one then they can try to correct me. Most of us are just "blowing off steam" so to speak anyhow and don't take these posts that seriously.(well most times)

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to ClemCash:

Is this "year zero" for Martin?

what kind of dum-@zz question is this?

it's his first year. when martin makes it to his hire anniversary, he will have completed year 1.

by the way, the bright dot in the sky is call a "sun."

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to SneakyPete:

Show me a player that was coached up enough to make the NBA. Not Hopson. Tobais came in as he left. Chism would be in the league if he'd been at UConn. Selby is....actually, I don't know what Selby is. And Craft would not be the player he is if he'd been mentored by Pearl.
Truth is, many games would have been won, but NBA.....naw! Craft chose well.
Has anyone asked the question as to why The Crafts made that photo public? Fact is....and I hate it....Tennessee players who have the potential coming in...don't progress enough to make the NBA. I see it and I think they did too.

Well, Pearl recruited players with NBA potential. . .Martin's recruiting players who have YMCA rec league potential. So I'll take Pearl's recruiting over Martin's because the talent drop off from Pearl's guys on this team to Martin's guys this year and next year is wider than the grand canyon.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to writer#358485:

GerryOP, I think you put you finger on the problem on these boards--too many people seeking instant gratification. Sadly, it's the nature of our society these days. Patience seems to be a lost virtue.

The Vols will be back in football and basketball, but it will take a bit of time. I guess at 65, I just tend to have a bit more patience. However, I think people denigrating (bashing) our coaches before they've really had a chance to prove what they can or can't do gets very tiresome. Go Vols!

I don't see how you can expect to get better in basketball when the guy's your bringing in are not SEC calibur players. . .the goal would be to recruit better or equal talent to what you currently have, not guys who are getting offers from small schools with losing records. . .Basketball will be back when UT decides it wants to field a team year in and year out that makes the NCAA tournament, you know, like we did the past six years. At this school you need a salesman and a showman ortherwise people don't care, you're not on TV, playing in front of nobody and being ignored by top teir players. Football might be back the year after next when Dooley is fired, the evidence at this point suggests that Dooley has lost control of the program, and I don't see how he's going to get it back. I only hope Hart can make a good hire.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

LOL! I wasn't aware I needed forgiveness John.? I agree with you 99% of the time.My observations are more instinct than knowledge of the game. I do not get offended on strategy or bball knowledge others show me. I like your posts because they're informative and you express yourself well.
I haven't said any thing I thought offensive(lol)
I just say what I think(right or wrong) and if it offends any one then they can try to correct me. Most of us are just "blowing off steam" so to speak anyhow and don't take these posts that seriously.(well most times)

No, no, Moc, I was begging YOUR forgiveness for my tendency to hang my tirades on all your posts! I DO NOT want you to think that I think I have to "correct" you all the time! You just often bring up points that sometimes put me in my no-doubt occasionally tiresome "professor mode". Your "instincts" about the game are usually spot-on, and you should trust them more. In my convoluted fashion, I am trying to show how RIGHT you often are.

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