Brendan Quinn: Jordan McRae says Vols need a leader, and he is ready to take that step

Tennessee's Jordan McRae scores against Oakland at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 26.

Photo by Saul Young, 2012 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Jordan McRae scores against Oakland at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 26.

CHARLOTTSVILLE, Va. — Five days after leaving our nation's capital as a 37-36 loser at Georgetown, Tennessee men's basketball will return to the mid-Atlantic on Wednesday.

A date with Virginia, a 5-2 team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, is scheduled.

During Monday's pre-practice media availability back in Knoxville, UT coach Cuonzo Martin aptly reminded all that the Vols are "six games into a long season."

That said, though, if Tennessee (4-2) returns to campus late Wednesday with another loss stowed in its luggage, alarms will toll. Early-season losses still count at the end of the year.

Remember Austin Peay?

Swinging home for a few days of classes and practices early this week, the Vols are looking to find a key ingredient: a leader. Forward Jeronne Maymon remains out of the lineup and it's hard to determine whether UT misses him more as a leader or as a player.

Either way, his return isn't imminent and that makes for a predicament.

Scoring 36 points on 15 made field goals at Georgetown only magnified his void.

Junior guard Jordan McRae told the News Sentinel by phone on Monday that the Vols "need someone to step up and lead." He said he's ready to do so and added that some of his teammates are starting to take that step.

The Georgetown loss said otherwise.

Without Maymon, UT's offensive leadership duties fall by default to point guard Trae Golden. Relying on Golden to score, though, is a double-edged sword. The Vols are at their best when the junior is in pilot mode, not gunner mode.

Then there's Jarnell Stokes. No one misses Maymon more than the sophomore power forward. He took three shots in 29 minutes against the Hoyas. Most of that time was spent entangled by double-teaming defenders, a theme of November's Maymon-less action.

It's been proved that relying on Stokes to be the get-out-of-his-way offensive leader is easier said than done.

What about Skylar McBee, you might ask. The senior shooting guard has never scored more than 20 points in a game. If he's the top-flight catalyst, there are problems.

Then there is McRae.

"I believe I can be the leader as long as I don't settle for 3-pointers," he said. "I think you'll see that as the season goes on."

If UT fans aren't confident McRae can be the leader and gung-ho scorer the Vols lack, he certainly doesn't share the sentiment. He's scored 15 or more points six times in his career, but has yet to do so this season.

The average sits at 9.5 points per game this year.

McRae said he's the man for the job because he plans to stop relying on 3-point shots (he went 1-for-6 against Georgetown). Instead he intends to dribble, penetrate and "go dunk the ball."

That's music to the ears of a beleaguered offense, but doing and saying are two different things. McRae promised to be on the attack at UVA's John Paul Jones Arena on Wednesday.

That'd be a good thing. The Vols are hoping that Virginia is indeed for lovers and offers a much-needed hug for the offense.

Well, that, and a leader.

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

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Comments » 43

redskinvol1 writes:

ABOVE THE RIM!!THIS TEAM IS GOING PLACES!!

AHOUSE writes:

I will be there in my Tn orange.I hope for a better game and effort than the lady vols the last time they came to charlottesville. They played like they didn't want to be there and lost to a bad team. I believe coach will have the guys ready after the fight in DC last week.I have a Wahoo friend and he will have us good seats. Maybe I can yell at coach to get a little life on the beach and on the floor. I would like to teach some of them how to shoot free throws . I am just dreaming now so I will just yell like a do when I watch on TV. I get to see them live about once a year when I am back to K town or either team comes toward Richmond. No D C ---don't like anybody up there. Go Vols !!

Orangeblood13 writes:

whats up with Maymon already, we miss him

eb502us#225637 writes:

If those words came from someone else I might believe it, but coming from a player who hasn't improved since arriving on campus is laughable.

When Jordan McRae learns how to play at a consistent level I'll take notice. Until then, he's one of the main reasons why this team is offensively challenged. Other than run and jump, he does NOTHING well.

brod writes:

the first step to mcrae being a leader is hitting a big shot when needed. that didn't happen against georgetown.

SouthPaVol writes:

The chasm between "leading scorer" and "leader" is quite large. After the 30-something on offense, right now I'll take a scorer. Our team leader, like cream in fresh milk, will rise to the top. Go Vols!

Sir_Spanky writes:

1,000 free throws a day... Every one of them.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I wish you guys would support the basketball team like you support the sorry excuse of a football team. Yes this team lost but they play there butts off every game. You can't say that about the football team. They just need to learn how to shoot with confidence. No one out there trust their shot except Golden. McBee is a disappointment

samvol writes:

This coach is in charge of these players, he has got to create some type of an offensive game. He lets the players take bad shoots, turn over the ball and miss free throws and it seems without any consequence, and I say this because I see no improvement in those areas. You cannot just say “the player has to make plays” that comment makes no sense to me. I’m no basketball expert but I know what my eyes see and I see a coach letting his players do whatever they want. Each game you see the guards passing the ball back and forth on the perimeter, you see the bigs roaming around trying to defend guards instead of being set up for a play (no wonder why they turn the ball over), you see bad passes and the shot clock running down and then a bad shot. Every game…..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

I wish you guys would support the basketball team like you support the sorry excuse of a football team. Yes this team lost but they play there butts off every game. You can't say that about the football team. They just need to learn how to shoot with confidence. No one out there trust their shot except Golden. McBee is a disappointment

I agree with most of what you say but McBee has been far from disappointing..He does need to step up and hit shots when he is getting open looks but you have to consider most of them have been 3 pointers,which end up being what you would call low percentage shot selection..At face value it looks like he misses a lot of shots but he is shooting a respectable 40% and has yet to miss a FT..His biggest improvement is on defense!! He totally shutdown Oaklands top scorer and did a great job against a much bigger player at Gtown

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

If those words came from someone else I might believe it, but coming from a player who hasn't improved since arriving on campus is laughable.

When Jordan McRae learns how to play at a consistent level I'll take notice. Until then, he's one of the main reasons why this team is offensively challenged. Other than run and jump, he does NOTHING well.

I agree to a certain point..I've said it 100 times that McRae is the one player that could take the team to a new level...But like you said he just can't get over the hump in consistency..So far he has had 3 real good games and 3 bad games..To say he does nothing well is BS..He drives well to the basket and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and does a lot away from the ball..Something that doesn't show up in the stats..If CCM would have told him to drive to the basket in those last 5 possessions against Gtown we would have won the game..McBee and McRae spent a lot of time in the off season working on their shooting mechanics and although they miss you can see that both have stopped shooting those rainbow looking shots..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

1,000 free throws a day... Every one of them.

Like any team,Iam sure CCM spends time on FT but most coaches don't do a lot of changing of players FT mechanics unless he has an obvious flaw..I thought I would throw my TV when Richardson missed 2 big FT's coming out of a timeout..Totally inexcusable..Then Stokes did the same on the next possession..That's 4 points missed that would have won the game..One things for sure VA doesn't have a FT shooting problem

laraccoon writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

me like feisty , you seem to have a little built up tension yourself . want hang out and guzzle some beer ? or better yet i could bring a funnel and well butt chug .

maciste54 writes:

Practice....free....throws....a....lot !!!!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to brod:

the first step to mcrae being a leader is hitting a big shot when needed. that didn't happen against georgetown.

Actually, it did. The one three pointer he hit in that game was a very big shot.

johnlg00 writes:

I think BQ somewhat oversold his argument when he brought up Austin Peay. No question that loss was a killer when it came to NCAA selection time. It was at home and they came from a one-bid conference. UVA is a respectable program from a respectable conference and the Vols will be playing at their place. A loss won't help them, but it won't be nearly as bad as losing to APSU.

Like some on here, I think Jordan has the talent to do what he says, he just needs to seize on his opportunities without trying to force the action. That is a fine line to walk. All I would say to him is to stay focused on finishing the shot when he gets contact going to the hoop. Slim as he is, he can get whacked around a bit. However, if he stays focused on the finish, his slim build can be an asset. He can get through smaller creases than bigger players can, and he should be limber enough that contact on his body shouldn't cause him to spasm and not get off a controlled shot. One thing is for sure: they need SOME perimeter guy besides Golden to be a consistent scoring threat, whether from the three-point arc or off the drive. I thought in the early going that Richardson might be such a one, but now I'm not sure. In any case, the Vols had better develop a more effective plan for attacking zones or they won't have a chance this year against good teams.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to samvol:

This coach is in charge of these players, he has got to create some type of an offensive game. He lets the players take bad shoots, turn over the ball and miss free throws and it seems without any consequence, and I say this because I see no improvement in those areas. You cannot just say “the player has to make plays” that comment makes no sense to me. I’m no basketball expert but I know what my eyes see and I see a coach letting his players do whatever they want. Each game you see the guards passing the ball back and forth on the perimeter, you see the bigs roaming around trying to defend guards instead of being set up for a play (no wonder why they turn the ball over), you see bad passes and the shot clock running down and then a bad shot. Every game…..

If you know how to coach a D-1 team better than Martin, then apply for the job.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I think BQ somewhat oversold his argument when he brought up Austin Peay. No question that loss was a killer when it came to NCAA selection time. It was at home and they came from a one-bid conference. UVA is a respectable program from a respectable conference and the Vols will be playing at their place. A loss won't help them, but it won't be nearly as bad as losing to APSU.

Like some on here, I think Jordan has the talent to do what he says, he just needs to seize on his opportunities without trying to force the action. That is a fine line to walk. All I would say to him is to stay focused on finishing the shot when he gets contact going to the hoop. Slim as he is, he can get whacked around a bit. However, if he stays focused on the finish, his slim build can be an asset. He can get through smaller creases than bigger players can, and he should be limber enough that contact on his body shouldn't cause him to spasm and not get off a controlled shot. One thing is for sure: they need SOME perimeter guy besides Golden to be a consistent scoring threat, whether from the three-point arc or off the drive. I thought in the early going that Richardson might be such a one, but now I'm not sure. In any case, the Vols had better develop a more effective plan for attacking zones or they won't have a chance this year against good teams.

Your point about the idiot writer and Austin Peay is spot on.

However, I beg to differ with you about perimeter shooting. Golden is not a dependable three point shooter, although he is a threat, and I don't think McRae will ever be. McBee is the only one we have, and the fact that he couldn't get any open looks at the three point line is testimony that Georgetown understood that he is the only real three point threat we have. Golden couldn't get open shots out there either, due mostly to the size and length of the gtown defenders. They were content to let McRae shoot if he wanted to. If McRae is going to start driving and dunking, that means he might loosen up the defense for McBee and golden to get their open three point shots. As you say, he is built to be a penetrator, and THAT is what was missing against the Gtown zone.

samvol writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

If you know how to coach a D-1 team better than Martin, then apply for the job.

it will prolly become open in a couple years and i might just take up that offer. idiot!

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

I agree with most of what you say but McBee has been far from disappointing..He does need to step up and hit shots when he is getting open looks but you have to consider most of them have been 3 pointers,which end up being what you would call low percentage shot selection..At face value it looks like he misses a lot of shots but he is shooting a respectable 40% and has yet to miss a FT..His biggest improvement is on defense!! He totally shutdown Oaklands top scorer and did a great job against a much bigger player at Gtown

Hey has improved on his defense but he is going to have to drive the ball if his three point shot is not working. Most teams expect him to take it so why not fake and drive by them. He has the fundamentals to do it. I saw him do it in the Georgetown game once. They need to trust their abilities more. I tell you one thing posters, I like the way Coach is teaching these guys. What is the point of scoring 80 points a game when you give up 90. Defense first then offense. I hope the guys will drive more and don't care about getting their shot blocked. MOst of the times when that happens, someone on offense gets the ball and scores anyway

brod writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Actually, it did. The one three pointer he hit in that game was a very big shot.

he**. every shot hit in the georgetown game was a big shot. the most important shot of the game did not go in.

jack4444 writes:

Get the ball to Jarnell. In the post whatever it takes however you can. Inside out.

Get the ball to Jarnell.

wigmeister writes:

Jarnell won't be a factor because of the double and triple teaming, until the other players begin putting the ball in the hole with regularity. Until the other coaches can't afford to leave those other guys open, Jarnell will be trapped. Can't wait for Maymon to take the pressure off. These guys need to step up now. Recruiting dead eye shooters for next year would also help for the future!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Your point about the idiot writer and Austin Peay is spot on.

However, I beg to differ with you about perimeter shooting. Golden is not a dependable three point shooter, although he is a threat, and I don't think McRae will ever be. McBee is the only one we have, and the fact that he couldn't get any open looks at the three point line is testimony that Georgetown understood that he is the only real three point threat we have. Golden couldn't get open shots out there either, due mostly to the size and length of the gtown defenders. They were content to let McRae shoot if he wanted to. If McRae is going to start driving and dunking, that means he might loosen up the defense for McBee and golden to get their open three point shots. As you say, he is built to be a penetrator, and THAT is what was missing against the Gtown zone.

Last I saw, Golden was shooting around 40% from the 3-pt line, which I would call pretty dependable. His problem, as even CCM says, is that he is a natural shooting guard who is trying to be a PG.

PGs are like QBs in football; the responsibilities are similar, and it takes a certain mindset to play those positions which not everybody has. He is constantly having to balance his instinct to make a play himself with his responsibility to run the team.

McRae has consciously tried to remake a naturally atrocious shooting motion; when he remembers to keep his right elbow under the ball rather than letting it fly out to the side, he can make threes, but, like you, I would like to see him use his quickness and explosiveness to drive the basket more.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

Hey has improved on his defense but he is going to have to drive the ball if his three point shot is not working. Most teams expect him to take it so why not fake and drive by them. He has the fundamentals to do it. I saw him do it in the Georgetown game once. They need to trust their abilities more. I tell you one thing posters, I like the way Coach is teaching these guys. What is the point of scoring 80 points a game when you give up 90. Defense first then offense. I hope the guys will drive more and don't care about getting their shot blocked. MOst of the times when that happens, someone on offense gets the ball and scores anyway

Several good points here. It sometimes takes awhile for players to learn down deep what is and what is not a good shot for them. Once a player really gets this, shooting is a reflex; until they learn it, they doubt themselves and miss even the shots they should make.

I also agree completely about the phobia most players seem to have about getting their shots blocked. It may come from playground ball, where a guy gets cut down just as bad for getting a shot blocked as he does for getting dunked on. The attitude has to be, "Well, you'd better block 'em all, 'cause otherwise, it's going in!"

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols journey to the geeks arena. Remember, when they play the "Good old song" at JPJ, the words are "we come from old Virginia, where all is bright and gay.........." I know, the rest is "let's all join hands and give a yell, for the dear old U Va."

Seriously, Virginia playing at home in football and/or basketball, is very very tough. I could almost walk from here to the game literally speaking, but tried that last year with the girls, and we know how that went.

It might be sold out, I don't know. I hope we can hit some shots, make more than 30% free throws, but continue to play suffocating defense..........and we will definitely have a good chance of winning. Virginia did win at Wisconsin I believe, so it'll be a tough game.

Go Vols

lomas98 writes:

Hopefully they have practiced against the zone defense. They will see it ALOT this season based on that Georgetown performance.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to brod:

he**. every shot hit in the georgetown game was a big shot. the most important shot of the game did not go in.

In a close game EVERY shot is important. Just because he took the last shot didn't make that the most important shot. He was off balance and too far out of his range on that shot through no fault of his own. It was a hail Mary shot. Not his fault to miss that one. But he missed too many others. His plan to attack the rim from now on is the right plan. Is he a leader? No. He has improved his defense a lot. He needs to step up offensively by driving the ball. The reason he didn't in the Gtown game, I am speculating, is that he was intimidated by the size and strength and talent of the people defending him. He needs to get over that, too.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Several good points here. It sometimes takes awhile for players to learn down deep what is and what is not a good shot for them. Once a player really gets this, shooting is a reflex; until they learn it, they doubt themselves and miss even the shots they should make.

I also agree completely about the phobia most players seem to have about getting their shots blocked. It may come from playground ball, where a guy gets cut down just as bad for getting a shot blocked as he does for getting dunked on. The attitude has to be, "Well, you'd better block 'em all, 'cause otherwise, it's going in!"

There need to be more posters like yourself that sits back and evaluate this team and other Tennessee teams. I am not sure if players or coaches look at blogs but if I am a player and I look at some of the junk these people post, I would shake my head to most of it.

brod writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

In a close game EVERY shot is important. Just because he took the last shot didn't make that the most important shot. He was off balance and too far out of his range on that shot through no fault of his own. It was a hail Mary shot. Not his fault to miss that one. But he missed too many others. His plan to attack the rim from now on is the right plan. Is he a leader? No. He has improved his defense a lot. He needs to step up offensively by driving the ball. The reason he didn't in the Gtown game, I am speculating, is that he was intimidated by the size and strength and talent of the people defending him. He needs to get over that, too.

georgetown focused heavily on mcbee in the last possession. he was not going to get off a good shot. someone has to step up and knock down shots outside for this team to succeed. mcrae can drive against anyone if he can avoid the steal because he can outleap anyone defending him and get off a good shot. being a leader isn't always about getting in your teammates face, it sometimes is about taking a shot and knocking it down.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

In a close game EVERY shot is important. Just because he took the last shot didn't make that the most important shot. He was off balance and too far out of his range on that shot through no fault of his own. It was a hail Mary shot. Not his fault to miss that one. But he missed too many others. His plan to attack the rim from now on is the right plan. Is he a leader? No. He has improved his defense a lot. He needs to step up offensively by driving the ball. The reason he didn't in the Gtown game, I am speculating, is that he was intimidated by the size and strength and talent of the people defending him. He needs to get over that, too.

I think it was Amy the Spartan above who defiantly said that McRae is right to have the "leadership" desire. I agree. He needs to go to the basket. I also think Golden could go to the basket a little more. But as Master Johnlg says that he might as well shoot if he's going to leave his feet going in. He better know who and where he's passing if he passes.

Your point about a fear of the size of kids guarding is valid. But Georgetown was not only lengthy, but strong and fast...at least on defense. They didn't overpower us too much on offense as we saw.

Also UT isn't playing as a team on offense. I believe it's starts with the point in most offenses. However ours doesn't seem to depend on Golden so much once he gets it to our side of the court. Basically if you can't get it to one of the bigs on the first pass you have two other guards. If they're playing a man or if they're playing a zone you either try the shot yourself or pass to the other two options. Whatever we do they have to react!! Dang I guess whoever has the ball has the "leadership". hehe This passing around the circle doesn't require a lot of response for the other team. My point is it's better to drive at some point in the possession to get some kind of response. The results might be positive! Heck it might even take one of those double "teamers" of STOKES away from him.

You're correct in other words. He!! ! Let him drive. McRae, or somebody.

My guess is that Martin talked at length with the players about this "perimeter" play.

That said let's play ball AND great defense.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to brod:

georgetown focused heavily on mcbee in the last possession. he was not going to get off a good shot. someone has to step up and knock down shots outside for this team to succeed. mcrae can drive against anyone if he can avoid the steal because he can outleap anyone defending him and get off a good shot. being a leader isn't always about getting in your teammates face, it sometimes is about taking a shot and knocking it down.

I don't see anything wrong with what you said here. But like it was stated every shot in a game like this Georgetown game can be a difference maker. If we made the last shot we win. If we scored the same and make one more free throw we go into overtime. We lost by one point whether in the 30s or 90s. Yep it's more fun to watch the ones in the 90s for most people but for me I enjoyed the game up until the last shot.lol

Basketvol writes:

in response to ANYONE_BUT_LIBS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

. . . or a good way to take accountability for one's own actions.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to brod:

georgetown focused heavily on mcbee in the last possession. he was not going to get off a good shot. someone has to step up and knock down shots outside for this team to succeed. mcrae can drive against anyone if he can avoid the steal because he can outleap anyone defending him and get off a good shot. being a leader isn't always about getting in your teammates face, it sometimes is about taking a shot and knocking it down.

Agree.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I think it was Amy the Spartan above who defiantly said that McRae is right to have the "leadership" desire. I agree. He needs to go to the basket. I also think Golden could go to the basket a little more. But as Master Johnlg says that he might as well shoot if he's going to leave his feet going in. He better know who and where he's passing if he passes.

Your point about a fear of the size of kids guarding is valid. But Georgetown was not only lengthy, but strong and fast...at least on defense. They didn't overpower us too much on offense as we saw.

Also UT isn't playing as a team on offense. I believe it's starts with the point in most offenses. However ours doesn't seem to depend on Golden so much once he gets it to our side of the court. Basically if you can't get it to one of the bigs on the first pass you have two other guards. If they're playing a man or if they're playing a zone you either try the shot yourself or pass to the other two options. Whatever we do they have to react!! Dang I guess whoever has the ball has the "leadership". hehe This passing around the circle doesn't require a lot of response for the other team. My point is it's better to drive at some point in the possession to get some kind of response. The results might be positive! Heck it might even take one of those double "teamers" of STOKES away from him.

You're correct in other words. He!! ! Let him drive. McRae, or somebody.

My guess is that Martin talked at length with the players about this "perimeter" play.

That said let's play ball AND great defense.

Some people say that leadership is situational - that in a vacuum of leadership someone with experience will step up. If this theory is true, McRae could indeed turn out to be a leader.

Others say leaders are born to and aspire to be leaders. These people have a track record of being leaders by the time they are McRae's age and experience in basketball. These people are charismatic, command respect, etc. I don't see McRae as a natural born leader.

If McRae becomes a leader on this team, it will be by his example of his hard work and success on the court, not by the force of his will on others. Many other posters have said the same on this thread.

VictorKruger writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

There need to be more posters like yourself that sits back and evaluate this team and other Tennessee teams. I am not sure if players or coaches look at blogs but if I am a player and I look at some of the junk these people post, I would shake my head to most of it.

johnlg is The Man when it comes to basketball comments. I think Seth Davis of SI stole from him a couple of years ago when writing about one of Pearl's teams.

My hope is that the frustrated football fans redirecting their anger towards basketball will go away once the new coach is announced. I don't post very often, but I do read nearly every basketball comment, and I've noticed a ton of new basketball posters lately. There's a marked lack of perspective about how short-handed the team is right now with all the injuries, and how they came within 2 points of beating the #15 team in the nation on their home court.

Stick with it - there are some really knowledgeable people that comment on the basketball articles. If you use Firefox or Chrome and want something to block the trolls, check this out:
https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/...

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

johnlg is The Man when it comes to basketball comments. I think Seth Davis of SI stole from him a couple of years ago when writing about one of Pearl's teams.

My hope is that the frustrated football fans redirecting their anger towards basketball will go away once the new coach is announced. I don't post very often, but I do read nearly every basketball comment, and I've noticed a ton of new basketball posters lately. There's a marked lack of perspective about how short-handed the team is right now with all the injuries, and how they came within 2 points of beating the #15 team in the nation on their home court.

Stick with it - there are some really knowledgeable people that comment on the basketball articles. If you use Firefox or Chrome and want something to block the trolls, check this out:
https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/...

You are correct, Vic. I hope those making unkind remarks about this team and coach will notice that Gtown beat Texas tonite by 23 points on a neutral floor, holding Texas to 41 points using a man-to man defense, mostly. Texas features very large players, an inside game, and a good outside shooting team. We almost beat G-town in their own gym. What a great defensive effort our undersized and outmatched team gave them.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

johnlg is The Man when it comes to basketball comments. I think Seth Davis of SI stole from him a couple of years ago when writing about one of Pearl's teams.

My hope is that the frustrated football fans redirecting their anger towards basketball will go away once the new coach is announced. I don't post very often, but I do read nearly every basketball comment, and I've noticed a ton of new basketball posters lately. There's a marked lack of perspective about how short-handed the team is right now with all the injuries, and how they came within 2 points of beating the #15 team in the nation on their home court.

Stick with it - there are some really knowledgeable people that comment on the basketball articles. If you use Firefox or Chrome and want something to block the trolls, check this out:
https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/...

I agree. I think this team will get better as the season moves foward. I really like the direction this team is going in.

Basketvol writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

You are correct, Vic. I hope those making unkind remarks about this team and coach will notice that Gtown beat Texas tonite by 23 points on a neutral floor, holding Texas to 41 points using a man-to man defense, mostly. Texas features very large players, an inside game, and a good outside shooting team. We almost beat G-town in their own gym. What a great defensive effort our undersized and outmatched team gave them.

I watched this game and noticed the same thing. Also worth mentioning that the last 8 - 10 points for Texas came during "garbage time" when Georgetown let off the gas and was really just playing keep away. I don't think this makes any sort of definitive statement about UT basketball, but it certainly is a positive indication.

Also, I agree with all those complimenting johnlg for his posts. I often learn from his posts and enjoy reading them. They are a lot more valuable than the name-calling and assumptions that are all too common here and elsewhere on the net.

Still waiting to hear from our UK friends. Why don't they want to talk basketball anymore? Truth is, UT and UK have comparable teams THIS season. But don't worry UK fans, that won't be the case for long.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Some people say that leadership is situational - that in a vacuum of leadership someone with experience will step up. If this theory is true, McRae could indeed turn out to be a leader.

Others say leaders are born to and aspire to be leaders. These people have a track record of being leaders by the time they are McRae's age and experience in basketball. These people are charismatic, command respect, etc. I don't see McRae as a natural born leader.

If McRae becomes a leader on this team, it will be by his example of his hard work and success on the court, not by the force of his will on others. Many other posters have said the same on this thread.

Very well said. That was the essence of my comment about the similarity between PGs and QBs. I spent a number of years in the military and have studied organizational theory in school. There just IS an innate difference between leaders and everyone else, which, as you said manifests itself early in life. Like you, I don't see McRae as a stereotypical "rah-rah" type of leader, but as one of the more experienced guys on the squad, he does have a responsibility to show the way by playing to his considerable potential.

johnlg00 writes:

Aw, cut it out, guys, I'm blushing(;-P)! I have loved basketball since I was at least eight years old--66, now--and have played, coached, studied, read, and watched as much as I could for all of that time. I find it to be a beautiful game with paralells to many other areas of life. I think the UT program is in good hands. I only wish I lived closer so I could go to more games. I envy those of you who can go and seriously wonder about those who call themselves fans and could go to the games but don't.

brod writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

You are correct, Vic. I hope those making unkind remarks about this team and coach will notice that Gtown beat Texas tonite by 23 points on a neutral floor, holding Texas to 41 points using a man-to man defense, mostly. Texas features very large players, an inside game, and a good outside shooting team. We almost beat G-town in their own gym. What a great defensive effort our undersized and outmatched team gave them.

texas is terrible this year. they lost to lowly chaminade in maui. don't let that be a measuring stick. dont' get me wrong. beating georgetown would have been big.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

texas is terrible this year. they lost to lowly chaminade in maui. don't let that be a measuring stick. dont' get me wrong. beating georgetown would have been big.

Well, they surely have PLAYED terribly so far. That is a mystery to me, since Texas has almost as many good HS basketball players as it does football players and Rick Barnes is a highly-regarded coach. In fact, a number of Vol fans thought UT should have pursued him after Pearl was dismissed. One could say Chaminade was Texas' APSU, and they just didn't get up for either them or, more inexplicably, G'town. I am pretty sure that an out-of-conference win against Texas would be considered a "quality win" by the NCAA selection folks most years.

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