Kenny Hall earning trust; Jeronne Maymon debuts in third game of Vols' Italian tour

Hall earning back trust; Maymon plays

Vols do Tennessee Waltz in Italy

SAN MARINO — If not for a few new developments, the only thing Tennessee basketball would have gotten from the third game of its Italian tour would've been the view.

Playing in the tiny enclave of San Marino, nestled beautifully into a diving slope along the northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains, the Vols' brutal 126-44 beating of BC Zeta Golubovci on Sunday didn't match the serene surroundings.

Nonetheless, UT improved to 3-0 in its overseas exhibitions.

The game began with two question marks parked on coach Cuonzo Martin's bench.

Back on Friday, the night of Tennessee's second game in Italy, Kenny Hall came to a sobering realization as the minutes rattled off the clock.

He'd been benched.

Hall is no stranger to Martin's doghouse and he found himself curled up in it once again. Last season he was suspended indefinitely in February for conduct detrimental to the team.

After keeping the senior forward on the pine Friday, Martin hastily said, "Kenny Hall has to play harder."

Early in Sunday's first quarter, Martin called Hall's name. He hopped off the bench and out of the doghouse.

"(Martin) used (Friday) as an example to show that I don't need to be too comfortable or complacent with where I'm at right now," Hall said after scoring 11 points in the Vols win over Zeta Golubovci, a professional team from the Montenegro B League. "I need to play harder, be more vocal and be more of a leader."

Asked if he's regained the trust lost amid last year's suspension, Hall responded, "I'm still on the building block when it comes to that. It's nothing personal. He's really doing it for me at the end of the day. That's how I look at it. Nothing more, nothing less."

Hall checked into the game alongside, Jeronne Maymon, a fellow question mark. The Vols' lead

ing returning scorer hadn't played in either of UT's first two wins in Italy.

It was thought he was being held out as a result of offseason meniscus surgery. In fact, he sprained an ankle in a pickup game last week and was given extra time to heal.

Maymon played sparingly Sunday, but stepping on the court was a leap in the right direction. It was his first live action in months.

"I was more anxious than anything — seeing how I was going to respond and how I was going to play," said Maymon, who converted only one field goal, but moved well and appeared comfortable. "I haven't played against any contact in a while. I felt good out there. I've got fresh legs."

After carrying a 69-25 lead into halftime, the Vols asked for a running clock. Zeta Golubovci was happy to oblige.

Quinton Chievous led Tennessee with a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds.

Yemi Makanjuola scored 17 points, while Jordan McRae chipped in 16 to go with four assists and three steals. Armani Moore added 14.

Martin, an unwavering believer in man-to-man defense, used the second half to work on UT's zone defense. Subdued on the sideline throughout the Italian tour, he hollered directions on every possession.

"They did a solid job for us not spending a lot of time on it," Martin said. "I thought they did a better job than I anticipated or expected."

After starting the game with a lineup of Chievous, Moore, D'Montre Edwards, Skylar McBee and Makanjuola, his third different starting lineup of the trip, Martin used a variety of five-man rotations.

He sent five-in, five-out, on each substitution, like a hockey coach, rarely playing the same combination.

Brandon Lopez pulled down eight rebounds and dished out a team-high six assists.

After going scoreless in the first half, McBee hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 after halftime.

The final game of the Vols' trip comes Tuesday in Como against Amici del Campetto at 8 p.m. local time, 2 p.m. ET.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 17

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Good grief, was that the Helen Keller school of the blind @ Milan?? I can't remember such a beat-down in bb..GBO!!

AtopTheHill06 writes:

Whoa, ease up on them coach Zo, Italy is our friend.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

That's a whole lotta points for UT!

johnlg00 writes:

Hope there's no "RTL effect" from this trip! This mild derangement syndrome can afflict players and fans alike. Players begin to think they are as good as their stats and their margins of victory and fans begin to think they will play as well against SEC and national opponents. Remember, Vols, no matter what level of competition you are facing, do the right things, in the right way, at the right time, and do it EVERY time, and the exercise will be worth your while.

HarveyDent writes:

in response to AtopTheHill06:

Whoa, ease up on them coach Zo, Italy is our friend.

He did. A running clock only stops for injury, free throws or charged time outs. Supposed to end a blow out sooner.

lyafarre writes:

Sounds like this was against a Montenegran team, not Italian. Classy of Coach Zo to ask for the running clock.

Regardless their origin, this trip has gotten me pretty excited about the upcoming season! It's a huge benefit for Coach Zo to be able to experiment with different lineups against (mostly) quality competition, and get the guys into a competitive mindset this far in advance of the season.

I think this will be a banner year for the Vols in both Bball and Football!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Hope there's no "RTL effect" from this trip! This mild derangement syndrome can afflict players and fans alike. Players begin to think they are as good as their stats and their margins of victory and fans begin to think they will play as well against SEC and national opponents. Remember, Vols, no matter what level of competition you are facing, do the right things, in the right way, at the right time, and do it EVERY time, and the exercise will be worth your while.

I don't think so, remember CCM already stated he wanted UT to get tested at least once. He knew all along the teams UT would face are way below SEC standards and really just accepted this trip as a reward for hard work and the opportunity to practice way before Midnight Madness..GBO!!

richvol writes:

Although the competion is not great I am glad to see the newcomers playing well. Quenton's 22 points and eight rebounds looks promising. Good to see Maks scoring too.

volfan141life writes:

I am almost afraid that the Italy trip will hurt the Vols cause from the stat line and the pictures i have saw the opponents do not seem to be as good as some of the high school teams in the state of Tennessee'

volfan2002 writes:

Hopefully were gaining something from this trip as the basketball teams seem kind of weak. I guess it gives the younger guys a chance to play in a game atmosphere.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Was that the trainer I saw in uniform? Scored some goals?

budd#207344 writes:

The team they beat before this one had just beaten jawja a few days earlier

HtownVol writes:

I am thinking we are getting over Bruce Pearl sooner than most thought possible. I have zero doubt that Cuonzo Martin is a heck of a coach. We need to lock him up very soon before he is taken away.
If he can ever reel in a few top 15 recruiting classes he will get UT to a Final Four one day.

GO VOLS

eduardo writes:

This TEAM is gonna punish some people this yr.!

Sir_Spanky writes:

Those little fellas they put that beat-down on are a pro team?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

Those little fellas they put that beat-down on are a pro team?

They may get paid some, but I doubt players at that level can make a real living at it. Players get paid surprisingly far down the athletic food chain in Europe, but most of them get chump change except at the highest levels.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

They may get paid some, but I doubt players at that level can make a real living at it. Players get paid surprisingly far down the athletic food chain in Europe, but most of them get chump change except at the highest levels.

We have and have had a few lower tier leagues here that I think could have beaten this team. I'm not certain a coupla high schools around would lose. But it's all good. I'm sure these guys were a little awed at UT's athleticism...I know I am.

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