Different day, same struggles for Vols, 46-38

Defense there, but offense stalls at 28.8 percent

Virginia forward Darion Atkins (32) reaches for a rebound in front of Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, left, and Virginia guard Teven Jones (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Photo by Steve Helber

Virginia forward Darion Atkins (32) reaches for a rebound in front of Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, left, and Virginia guard Teven Jones (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Tennessee forward Kenny Hall (20) looks to pass as Virginia center Mike Tobey, right, defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia won the game 46-38. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Photo by Steve Helber

Tennessee forward Kenny Hall (20) looks to pass as Virginia center Mike Tobey, right, defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia won the game 46-38. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Steve Helber/Associated Press
Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes defends as Virginia guard Jontel Evans drives to the basket during the first half Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va.

Photo by Steve Helber

Steve Helber/Associated Press Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes defends as Virginia guard Jontel Evans drives to the basket during the first half Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va.

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) tangles with Virginia center Mike Tobey left during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. Tobey was called for a foul. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Photo by Steve Helber

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) tangles with Virginia center Mike Tobey left during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. Tobey was called for a foul. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLOTTSVILLE, Va. — Standing outside the Tennessee locker room Wednesday night, point guard Trae Golden searched for words. His eyes were shrouded under a hooded sweatshirt cinched tightly around his face.

At this point, everyone wants to hide from the embarrassment of back-to-back sub-40 point outings.

This time it was Virginia taking advantage of UT’s lifeless offense. The Vols (4-3) shot 28.8 percent, again squandered a strong defensive performance and left here with a 46-38 loss.

The game came on the heels of a 37-36 loss at Georgetown on Friday.

“It sounds easier than it is, but we just have to score,” lamented Golden. “That’s what we have to do.”

And that’s precisely what Tennessee hasn’t done in shooting a combined 43-of-148 (29.1 percent) in its three losses this season.

Despite the stench of Wednesday’s 15-for-52 shooting performance, the Vols had opportunities to steal a road win.

After an 11-0 run built a 36-21 Virginia lead with 14 minutes, 7 seconds remaining, UT responded with a 12-2 answer to trail by just five.

Then the offense stalled, again.

Five straight possessions produced nothing.

The Vols made two field goals over the final 7:41 and the game well within reach.

“I thought we were going to come back, but we just couldn’t convert,” said Golden, the lone UT player to finish in double figures with 11 points.

This coming after no UT player eclipsed single digits against Georgetown.

Jarnell Stokes was silenced for the second game in a row. Playing again without frontcourt mate Jeronne Maymon (knee), he scored five points on five shots in 27 minutes. Since scoring 18 points on eight field-goal attempts against Oakland, Stokes has produced only nine points on eight shots in his last 56 minutes of action.

“They did a good job of sagging and doubling (Stokes), but we’ve got to find a way to get him more looks,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said.

Virginia (7-2), which shot 19-for-53 in the game, could hardly stretch its lead, offering UT a fighting chance.

The Vols trailed by six with 1:26 left and by four with 36.6 seconds remaining.

Virginia’s Tevin Jones scored his only two points of the night on a pair of late free throws to all but seal the Cavaliers’ sixth straight win. Juniors Akil Mitchell and Joe Harris led the Cavaliers with 13 points apiece.

“It looked great to me,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said of the ugly affair. “I’ll take it.”

The Cavaliers built their 25-16 halftime lead with plenty of help from the Vols. UT shot 8-for-25 from field, 0-for-8 on 3-pointers, 0-for-2 on free throws and committed nine turnovers.

It was UT’s fourth half of the year under 20 points, but Martin’s team looked poised for a bounce back to open the second half.

Golden opened it with UT’s first free throws of the game. Skylar McBee followed with the team’s first 3-pointer.

Virginia’s 11-0 run then ensued.

The Vols’ empty holster couldn’t gun them back into it.

“You hold a team to 46 points on their home floor and you defend the way you defend, you feel like you can win a ballgame,” Martin said. “It was the same way in the last game. ... You’ve got to be able to make open looks.”

Relief is on the way in the form of eight days off followed by six straight home games. Bruised egos and a broken offense need tending to.

The Vols will meet undefeated and 24th-ranked Wichita State (8-0) when they return to Thompson-Boling Arena on Dec. 13.

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

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Comments » 84

VolinCalif writes:

Well?!!!

reidtownriverrat writes:

This team would put Kevin O'neal to sleep. zzzz's

Glentenn writes:

Only 2 more years until we can rehire Bruce Pearl! Wonder if we'll have a football coach by then.

dbc5361 writes:

No surprises here. This is the same team that ended the season losing at home to MTSU.

imnochumpvol writes:

Dont win many games scoring in the 30s this is not the Ray Mears era.

reidtownriverrat writes:

in response to imnochumpvol:

Dont win many games scoring in the 30s this is not the Ray Mears era.

No fear of " WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER" THIS SEASON.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

CCM for DC, let Chaney coach the BB team.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

same results...same coach...been saying this coach cant coach good talent ,maybe if hart starts lookin now he can find a good coach by the end of the season or just wait and bring Pearl back

thevoice writes:

Stokes is the problem. He's in a position to be a leader on this team and he hasn't been such. And he's inconsistent.

easttnvol21 writes:

Another game that sets college basketball back for years. Is there a worse team in D-I? Just awful.

samvol writes:

*___*

AllVol1 writes:

Wow. I was looking forward to the basketball team offering some relief from the football nightmare coaching search Jimmy Cheek debacle.

I was convinced that Cuonzo was going to take the Volunteers somewhere special. However, it already looks like things are getting worse. Four halves under 20? In today's college game? Nobody has that kind of defense!

Hope something gives in a big way.

dvols writes:

dang zone,

team will improve, maymon gets back

let Coach get "his" players in!!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

It's great to play strong defense but if you can't put the ball in the basket you're pissing into the wind.

Tennfan4075 writes:

The BB offense is not as exciting as the FB defense, at least somebody is scoring with FB.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Someone give the fat kid some attention

crmcm44#321757 writes:

A timeout near the end down 4 and the coach draws up a 3 ball; do they not keep stats? If he didn't draw this up he should have exploded.

reidtownriverrat writes:

"BREAKING NEWS" Just released the Newport Roosters grasscutter assistant place kicker holder coach has spurned Dave Hart's offer to be HC at the University of Tennisshoe. More on this breaking news tonight at 11.

AllVol1 writes:

Where are the press conference quotes? I am sincerely curious to hear CCM's comments on these last two games. We all know what a coach like Dooley would say. It would be everybody else's faults. How does CCM account for these kinds of performances? Does he take responsibility?

Worst part of all: Georgetown and Virginia have set the template for containing the Vols. If the Vols do not adapt, they will face these kinds of defenses all year.

It's just not the same pulling for the Vols as it used to be. We seem to be the perrenial under-achievers in every sport these days.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Stokes is the problem. He's in a position to be a leader on this team and he hasn't been such. And he's inconsistent.

granted just a soph but totally overhyped as an emerging star while being avg at best and not getting noticably better------other than clear dunks hes getting rejected with regularity----laughable our delutional ones here worried hes go pro after last year or this------------a longggggggggg way to go before that should be a conceivable worry

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Trivia .............what does/did the Vol football team and basketball teams have in common?

Football............0 defense
Basketball..........0 offense

This one was so bad I switched over to watching the Notre Dame women and Baylor playing. Same result........

It has become so obvious the absence of Maymon from the Vol lineup. A long season ahead with no offense.

underthehill writes:

Get a film of the Lady Vols against N Car and let the guys see how the game of basketball should be played..

redskinvol1 writes:

I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THIS TEAM IS NOT GOING PLACES!!!!!THERE IS NO LEADERSHIP ON THE FLOOR AND THERE IS NO ONE TO TAKE CONTROL IN THE LAST 5 MINUTES OF THE GAME!!THERE ARE NO GIVE ME THE DAMN BALL I'M GOING TO SCORE TYPES.DEFENSE CAN WIN BUT NOT WHEN YOU PLAY OFFENSE LIKE THIS!!

Pullingguard writes:

This team has little to no offense...Terrible 3 point shooters..
Ball handlimg is problem, and would be surprise if they break even on wins verses loss. Talent is not there...

huntined#565710 writes:

I don't think this crew could score 50 points if you left them in the gym all day by themselves...
I mean 30% shooting!!! COME ON MAN!!!

CoverOrange writes:

Go hire Tony Jones as assistant HC to run the offense.

TKO writes:

When did the football team's secondary start playing football

TKO writes:

in response to TKO:

When did the football team's secondary start playing football

Start playing basketball. Dang

Displaced_Vol_Fan writes:

74 points in two games. Sure am glad basketball season is here. You know, to give us some relief from that dismal football season we just experienced. Same song, different sport.

wigmeister writes:

You need dead-eye shooters if going against a zone. We have none, zone or any other defense. No leadership. No shooters. Hope it changes soon!

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

counzo is a nba type coach, he's too laid back and preaches defense hoping the offense will come from talent..sorry coach, this is college, unless your recruiting the top 10 players in the country, this system wont work, and you bring zero excitement to the program. Sorry coach, you will be fired after next year.

bobe4544 writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

same results...same coach...been saying this coach cant coach good talent ,maybe if hart starts lookin now he can find a good coach by the end of the season or just wait and bring Pearl back

Shska Smart is who we need as coach

ACWLY writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Go hire Tony Jones as assistant HC to run the offense.

No joking, that's a real good idea!

VolMoment writes:

Sad day in UT BB. Martin has shown that he can't coach on this level. I have supported him and am sad that he is not the man to have us at the top. Hart will have a hard decision to make in the near future.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

in response to underthehill:

Get a film of the Lady Vols against N Car and let the guys see how the game of basketball should be played..

You hit the nail on the head, under. A BB team that can defend, but can't score, and a FB team that can score, but can't defend...I was thinking that the staffs might want to exchange game plans or simply watch a LVOLS game. Fortunately, Holly, at least for the moment, is demonstrating how both a D and an O are necessary for a V. Watching UT's men's teams is almost as painful as a root canal without anasthesia. Ouch!!

Southernboi writes:

in response to VolMoment:

Sad day in UT BB. Martin has shown that he can't coach on this level. I have supported him and am sad that he is not the man to have us at the top. Hart will have a hard decision to make in the near future.

If UT ends with a losing season and they fire Zo, it will be the biggest mistake they could make. It will make the Bball HC job seem toxic. Nothing to do but ride it out for a couple of years, and then make a move. But I think all that is a moot point. Zo, will eventually get this team right, but it might not be this year, which actually aint too bad. If Maymon redshirts, Stokes stays (don't think he will have a choice, he needs someone to help him with his footwork), and combine that with Hubbs, that will make for a pretty good team. Honestly, this is a little worse than I thought this team would be, but not by much. Expected a little more from Golden. I see this team being a 20 win, getting a few big wins, but missing the NCAA's kind of season. Seriously, this is a transition year, and we shouldn't expect much more than that.

born2ride writes:

I am glad we are a football school.

Volbound1700 writes:

We need to let Cuonzo Recruit. Clearly we need people that can shoot and Cuonzo needs to practice offense (he strikes me as a Coach Carter type which never practices offense). Give him some time. SEC is terrible this year so we may win a lot of games but we likely won't be in March Madness once again.

AHOUSE writes:

I just got back from the game and it was just no fun to watch.We don't have enough talent, speed, game play,or leadership.Va was not that tough. They couldn't shoot either so it looks like two teams with a great defensive game. Stokes was doubled up and when he got the ball,he could not do any thing with it. There were not any kick outs to the outside, but it would not matter anyway---nobody can shoot.Stokes is slow to respond and Hall just stumbles over himself. No fast breaks and no urgency still with Golden to get the ball up the court. It's no secret we need a point guard. No life on the bench or on the floor.
A real disappointment.

willphill#241787 writes:

Think the NCAA will commute Bruce's sentence to two years?

Volbound1700 writes:

Ugh bad 3 years to be Vols fan

BUBBA-Deeeeee writes:

You Dogs with all the bucks ,,, Stand back and let the coaches do there jobs.. do not hand cuff the people you have hired to do the job... Sit down or getout of the way.............

tennrich1 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Stokes is the problem. He's in a position to be a leader on this team and he hasn't been such. And he's inconsistent.

I assume you did watch on ESPN3???? They are doubled him down low so tight he can hardly move....We need Maymon to help down low...big body to bang and loosen up the middle...and maybe that will help with shooting %'s

tennrich1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

I am glad we are a football school.

There he is....at 11:26 PM posting on a hated website....definition of LOSER!!! but funny!!!

acworthdave writes:

Wow...when did our UT Men's BB team get replaced by a middle school girl's BB team? I was going to say high school but they score more than this.

I will be very interested to see how we respond to this. It will show me alot about this team and our coach. I have my fingers crossed he can coach them through this. The university and the fan base has been through enough. We need some success to feel a little better about things.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

I assume you did watch on ESPN3???? They are doubled him down low so tight he can hardly move....We need Maymon to help down low...big body to bang and loosen up the middle...and maybe that will help with shooting %'s

prob be triple teamed at some point since we have noone who can consistently knock down a 12-15' shot if defender is within 3 ft------bricks and airballs are our bb trademark

keepitreal4vols writes:

There's a good chance no fans will be able to redeem their tix stub for a free chicken sandwich when the team scores over 100 pts.

UT4prez writes:

Tough game coming up next. Let's get behind the team and take pride in that crazy tough D they are playing. Focus on the positive, not the negative. There is a ton of ball left so don't get down on this team. The jury is still out on Martin. Give him time to make his mark as long as this team plays hard for him. Way too premature to talk about letting him go.

madhatter writes:

I sure do miss Bruce Pearl!Does anyone believe there is a realistic chance of getting BP back after he gets out of the NCAA doghouse?

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to Southernboi:

If UT ends with a losing season and they fire Zo, it will be the biggest mistake they could make. It will make the Bball HC job seem toxic. Nothing to do but ride it out for a couple of years, and then make a move. But I think all that is a moot point. Zo, will eventually get this team right, but it might not be this year, which actually aint too bad. If Maymon redshirts, Stokes stays (don't think he will have a choice, he needs someone to help him with his footwork), and combine that with Hubbs, that will make for a pretty good team. Honestly, this is a little worse than I thought this team would be, but not by much. Expected a little more from Golden. I see this team being a 20 win, getting a few big wins, but missing the NCAA's kind of season. Seriously, this is a transition year, and we shouldn't expect much more than that.

You don't fire cuonzo until the Bruce Pearl show cause is up. Then you fire him immediately and hire back the best coach UT has ever had in bball with a large raise. Maybe Cheek and Hart would then fire themselves too. Nice to dream

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