Vols learn from Martin's lessons in rout of Presbyterian

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) shoots a layup in the second half against Presbyterian at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) shoots a layup in the second half against Presbyterian at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Glancing over at his Tennessee players before a practice on Monday, Cuonzo Martin tapped into some philosophy.

“That brain is a powerful tool,” the Vols coach said.

Made shots beget confidence, he explained.

“When you’re making shots and winning games, it’s a different atmosphere,” Martin said.

A day after the philosophy lesson, Tennessee made plenty of shots. Twenty-eight on 14 assists, to be exact, in a never-in-doubt 78-62 rout against Presbyterian (2-9).

There are more lessons, though, to be learned. Thanks to what Martin called “mental slippage,” after building a 43-13 halftime lead, the Vols (6-3) were outscored 49-35 in the second half by a Presbyterian team roving through its first year as a fully certified Division I program.

No opponent has scored that many points in a half against the Vols since Oakland dropped 50 in the second half of the sixth game of Martin’s tenure as head coach last November.

“(We) saw the score and a lot of guys, including myself, let up off the gas,” said UT point guard Trae Golden, who led the Vols in assists for the eighth time in nine contests with a game-high eight and added 16 points. “We can’t do that. We have to make sure we play the entire 40 minutes.”

On the flipside, a UT offense looking for momentum continued to gain steam. The Vols made 28 of 60 shots against Presbyterian, including nine of 22 3-point attempts.

The Vols shot 8-for-45 (17.8 percent) from 3-point distance in the three games leading up to Tuesday. Two were losses.

“It’s great for the guys to be able to make shots, make free throws, and gain a level of confidence,” said Martin, whose Vols outrebounded Presbyterian 42-22.

Jarnell Stokes quietly led five double-figure scorers with 18 points, going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

For Tennessee players like Skylar McBee and D’Montre Edwards, Tuesday was a welcomed reprieve.

Facing Presbyterian’s zone defense, McBee, who had missed 19 of his last 26 3-point attempts, made four of 10 to finish with 12 points.

Edwards, who was shooting 28.0 percent from the field, made a pair of threes and scored a career-high 11 points.

“It takes a lot of stress off us,” Edwards said. “We can take a deep breath. The basket starts to get bigger.”

Even with that, those 49 points allowed in the second half will loom large at today’s practice.

Martin didn’t hide his disdain.

With just under 13 minutes left, he wheeled around and called a 30-second timeout after back-to-back defensive breakdowns. The lead still sat at 26, 56-30.

After a 3-pointer by Presbyterian’s Jordan Downing, his second straight from the far corner, cut Tennessee’s lead to 18 with 6:25 left, Martin shook his head. The Vols answered that time, though. Edwards and McBee canned two threes.

The Blue Hose shot 64.3 percent (18-for-28) in the half.

“We had a lot of mental lapses out there that we can’t have happen,” Golden said. “We have a lot of veteran guys and made a lot of mistakes.”

Jordan McRae made his first start since a loss at Memphis early last January. He scored 12 points to go with eight rebounds in place of Kenny Hall (strained hamstring).

The Vols return to Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday for a matchup with Western Carolina (4-7).

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

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Comments » 43

mocsandvolsfan writes:

GBO

jt45 writes:

First half looked pretty good, second half they were out to lunch. Why did they run the clock out with a 20 point lead ? Im a little disappointed in the way they stopped playing defense and just coasted on that first half lead.
A win is a win I guess.

eduardo writes:

uh oh!

Orangeblood13 writes:

Lethargic second half
Man love em but frustrating gbo

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Their going to feel better than the women's team, that's about it..GBO!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Their going to feel better than the women's team, that's about it..GBO!

They are, not their..

John_10065 writes:

Everyone needs some fodder early in the year and not just for building the W - L before league play.

I hope that Martin is screaming about letting up in the 2nd half. They should have held them to under 50 points. The 2nd half 3 point fest by the Blue Hose will not go unnoticed by future opponents. In fact it would be one piece of film I made sure I studied closely if I had a couple shooters to go to on my team.

We need the next three badly before league time. All three of them are winnable but just as easly lost. Xavier is probably the one that scares me the most, those guys can shoot. I think Memphis is dangerous but they aren't showing a whole lot of cohesion this year from what I have watched. WCU is a trap game. The guys HAVE to come out from start to finish with a killer instinct and play a complete game. Shut them down and make them beg for mercy. That would set the stage for the next two games and put the league on notice.

GerryOP writes:

“That brain is a powerful tool,” the Vols coach said. And a bunch of GVX posters look around in dismay and ask "Brain? What in hell is he talking about?"

C'mon guys. UT won. Martin cleared the bench. Maybe it is simply that 'Zo saw all he needed to see in the 1st half and just told the guys to go ballin' and have a good time.

Life is too short to take it too seriously.

Merry Christmas all'ya'all!

VOLtage writes:

I hope Edwards keeps improving I love his shooting stroke.

VolInIndy writes:

How bad is Hall's hammy?

carbonzip writes:

Stokes perfiect from the line!

tenuscvol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

They are, not their..

or They're....

AlpharettaVol writes:

What a reversal of roles! The guys win easily and the Lady Vols get hammered. Maybe the world really is coming to an end this weekend!

John_10065 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

“That brain is a powerful tool,” the Vols coach said. And a bunch of GVX posters look around in dismay and ask "Brain? What in hell is he talking about?"

C'mon guys. UT won. Martin cleared the bench. Maybe it is simply that 'Zo saw all he needed to see in the 1st half and just told the guys to go ballin' and have a good time.

Life is too short to take it too seriously.

Merry Christmas all'ya'all!

Gerry,

Martin called a time out in the 2nd half because of the lack of defensive play. Even clearing the bench as you say, there has to be a high level of competiveness. I've seen 20 points leads disappear. I just watched what look like a sure win by Florida with 1:35 left turn into a loss the other night at Arizona.

That ending is a textbook example of how taking the foot off the pedal and losing momentum can swing a game from a win to a loss.

Sometimes it isn't just about winning. It is also about putting fear into your future opponents. You can never give them hope. You must beat them to the point that they know there was no way to win.

When your next opponent faces you on the court, they have the seed of defeat already in the back of their minds while your team has the knowledge they can destroy anyone. That is how Roman generals and Genghis Khan won wars without a shot.

Some UT fans might get mad at me for pointing out a team that I thought had the greatest killer instinct of any college basketball team I have ever seen on the court and that was the Pitino's '96 Cats. They beat some teams so badly from start to finish that the other teams just missed because they knew there was no point in making a basket. They took away will to win simply by showing up.

jt45 writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

What a reversal of roles! The guys win easily and the Lady Vols get hammered. Maybe the world really is coming to an end this weekend!

Good thing Griner wasnt playing for the Blue Hose
tonight or it would have been even worse.

RememberWhen writes:

for all you experts out there, Martin called timeout in 2nd half because TN's ball screen defense was getting destroyed just as it had been all game. The only thing that saved TN is that Pres didn't make shots in the first half - and it wasn't because of anything TN did. And if you think Martin cleared his bench, please learn to read a box score. He had 3 starters play 31 minutes or more, only played his normal 9 man rotation with reserves getting 5, 11, 16 and 18 minutes. Not exactly getting down to the walk-ons. This was an ugly win against a severely outmanned opponent that actually won the 2nd half convincingly. Doesn't bode well for the next 10 weeks so get your whining hats on!

UT4prez writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

for all you experts out there, Martin called timeout in 2nd half because TN's ball screen defense was getting destroyed just as it had been all game. The only thing that saved TN is that Pres didn't make shots in the first half - and it wasn't because of anything TN did. And if you think Martin cleared his bench, please learn to read a box score. He had 3 starters play 31 minutes or more, only played his normal 9 man rotation with reserves getting 5, 11, 16 and 18 minutes. Not exactly getting down to the walk-ons. This was an ugly win against a severely outmanned opponent that actually won the 2nd half convincingly. Doesn't bode well for the next 10 weeks so get your whining hats on!

Seems you jumped the gun and put yours on already.

GerryOP writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Seems you jumped the gun and put yours on already.

Ya know prez, some people just aren't happy unless they're complaining.

orangecountyvols writes:

Gerry, and other Vols,

And, Merry Christmas to you as well !

It was a win, and I won't be too hard on them. I was watching the women's game, so don't know how the 2nd half turned out the way it did.

One thing about these games I always have a difficult time understanding. After the game is over, and we reflect on the type of 2nd half we played, we ( men and women players ) can always look back and say things like "we let off the gas, or we didn't play with the intensity, etc." Seems we can see the scoreboard and realize those things are happening, so it may be tough to swing ole' mo in your favor, but somehow that has to happen. Then, we don't have to make the post game comments we just read.

BobKesling_is_overpaid writes:

in response to DEMS_KEEP_ME_IN_CHAINS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great screen name. You're right on the money too.

albert63 writes:

When is the Florida game? They look really good.

SummittsCourt writes:

No excuses for giving up 49 points in the second half to a team you held to 13 in the first half.

These second half issues are going to haunt this team unless they correct them fast.

brod writes:

lousy second half against the worst team on the schedule this year. edwards is getting better. look for much improved performance against western carolina.

VOLSnTITANS writes:

Mcbee makes a living hitting 3's against the bottom feeders of the schedule. I want to see him hit clutch shots against a quality opponent.

We really learned nothing from this game. All it did was highlight the inconsistency we have battled all season. A win is a win but I would feel much better if we showed up the 2md half and blew them out of the gym like most of the other teams on their schedule have done this year.

GerryOP writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Gerry, and other Vols,

And, Merry Christmas to you as well !

It was a win, and I won't be too hard on them. I was watching the women's game, so don't know how the 2nd half turned out the way it did.

One thing about these games I always have a difficult time understanding. After the game is over, and we reflect on the type of 2nd half we played, we ( men and women players ) can always look back and say things like "we let off the gas, or we didn't play with the intensity, etc." Seems we can see the scoreboard and realize those things are happening, so it may be tough to swing ole' mo in your favor, but somehow that has to happen. Then, we don't have to make the post game comments we just read.

Right back at you OCV ... and all Vols. Merry Christmas!!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to DEMS_KEEP_ME_IN_CHAINS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The sheep are officially declaring you an A-Hole!! 4 big days on this site with nothing but totally negative comments!!Get lost Nancy Boy; jerks like you are a dime a dozen on this site..Signed a VFL

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

No excuses for giving up 49 points in the second half to a team you held to 13 in the first half.

These second half issues are going to haunt this team unless they correct them fast.

The hose boys came out on fire in the 2nd half..S*it happens..Doesn't mean anything..Win and move on

brod writes:

in response to albert63:

When is the Florida game? They look really good.

don't know. i can tell when the two games were last year and who won both of them.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to VOLSnTITANS:

Mcbee makes a living hitting 3's against the bottom feeders of the schedule. I want to see him hit clutch shots against a quality opponent.

We really learned nothing from this game. All it did was highlight the inconsistency we have battled all season. A win is a win but I would feel much better if we showed up the 2md half and blew them out of the gym like most of the other teams on their schedule have done this year.

Does the Kansas game ring a bell?

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

The hose boys came out on fire in the 2nd half..S*it happens..Doesn't mean anything..Win and move on

You are kidding right? or are you an idiot? 49 points to Presbyterian? That is inexcusable. It's call playing defense!

VOLSnTITANS writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Does the Kansas game ring a bell?

HAHAHA...my point exactly! You have to go back 3 seasons ago to find a game where he scored a whopping 6 points. The Kansas game was the Renaldo Woolridge show.

GerryOP writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

The hose boys came out on fire in the 2nd half..S*it happens..Doesn't mean anything..Win and move on

Agreed, good post.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

You are kidding right? or are you an idiot? 49 points to Presbyterian? That is inexcusable. It's call playing defense!

Idiot?? As a fellow VFL I think thats uncalled for..Save the insults for the hundreds of trolls..If this was an SEC game I would share your concern. I didn't see a second half let down against good teams like WSU or UMass..They easied off against a hot shooting team in a game that was never in doubt

cdldoc#211897 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Idiot?? As a fellow VFL I think thats uncalled for..Save the insults for the hundreds of trolls..If this was an SEC game I would share your concern. I didn't see a second half let down against good teams like WSU or UMass..They easied off against a hot shooting team in a game that was never in doubt

Some of you need to review all the Presby scores. We are the only team to not beat them by thirty. It is not letting off. It is a lack of concentration and purpose.

Zo ought to make them run 20 miles today.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

Some of you need to review all the Presby scores. We are the only team to not beat them by thirty. It is not letting off. It is a lack of concentration and purpose.

Zo ought to make them run 20 miles today.

I think Martin already expressed his concern to the media. Plus the TV showed during the game how unhappy he was. That said I hope our players had fun. They earned it with the tough schedule we've had so far. G'town, va. Wichy??

I'm not defending our poor second half I just don't see the good it'll do to rant on here. But go far it. They may even read it.hehe

GerryOP writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Idiot?? As a fellow VFL I think thats uncalled for..Save the insults for the hundreds of trolls..If this was an SEC game I would share your concern. I didn't see a second half let down against good teams like WSU or UMass..They easied off against a hot shooting team in a game that was never in doubt

Good post! Well said! For heavens sake, the game was basically a referred scrimage scheduled for progress review and teaching. And Coach 'Zo used it for that. But if it's important for some of you to judge and try to show us how much you know about coaching D1 College basketball, have at it.

As far as I'm concerned, since his arrival Coach 'Zo has delivered much more than even the most optimistic or demanding basketVol fan could expect. I'm confident he knows what he's doing.

Quit being a critic and show your support! It would be refreshing, for once, for the fambase to pull togetrher and fully support this program. If you can't support it, just STFU. Thank you.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to John_10065:

Everyone needs some fodder early in the year and not just for building the W - L before league play.

I hope that Martin is screaming about letting up in the 2nd half. They should have held them to under 50 points. The 2nd half 3 point fest by the Blue Hose will not go unnoticed by future opponents. In fact it would be one piece of film I made sure I studied closely if I had a couple shooters to go to on my team.

We need the next three badly before league time. All three of them are winnable but just as easly lost. Xavier is probably the one that scares me the most, those guys can shoot. I think Memphis is dangerous but they aren't showing a whole lot of cohesion this year from what I have watched. WCU is a trap game. The guys HAVE to come out from start to finish with a killer instinct and play a complete game. Shut them down and make them beg for mercy. That would set the stage for the next two games and put the league on notice.

It looked to me like the Vols were all over the three-point shooters in the first half. I agree that they need to STAY after them even if they have a big lead, but that is fighting human nature as much as anything. I'm just saying that future opponents don't need to learn from this game that if you can make open three-pointers, you might beat anybody. In a closer game, I think the Vols would continue to contest them hard. Still, as you suggest, they need to make an effort to keep their intensity and concentration as a HABIT, not something they pull out whenever they feel like it.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

“That brain is a powerful tool,” the Vols coach said. And a bunch of GVX posters look around in dismay and ask "Brain? What in hell is he talking about?"

C'mon guys. UT won. Martin cleared the bench. Maybe it is simply that 'Zo saw all he needed to see in the 1st half and just told the guys to go ballin' and have a good time.

Life is too short to take it too seriously.

Merry Christmas all'ya'all!

I get what you are saying, but CCM certainly didn't LOOK like he was OK with what was going on. I surely agree that nobody should get too worked up about the game, positively or negatively, and I am sure that the team's concentration and effort would be better if the game was closer. CCM has the philosophy that everybody should work hard and execute, no matter the score or the opponent. That is a great guiding ideal, and we can surely hope the team learns to do that, but the result can be just as good by continuing to TRY to do that.

Basketvol writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

for all you experts out there, Martin called timeout in 2nd half because TN's ball screen defense was getting destroyed just as it had been all game. The only thing that saved TN is that Pres didn't make shots in the first half - and it wasn't because of anything TN did. And if you think Martin cleared his bench, please learn to read a box score. He had 3 starters play 31 minutes or more, only played his normal 9 man rotation with reserves getting 5, 11, 16 and 18 minutes. Not exactly getting down to the walk-ons. This was an ugly win against a severely outmanned opponent that actually won the 2nd half convincingly. Doesn't bode well for the next 10 weeks so get your whining hats on!

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Basketvol writes:

in response to DEMS_KEEP_ME_IN_CHAINS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wonder how a ranked, undefeated opponent--Wichita State perhaps--would do against these Vols. Oh wait . . .

Basketvol writes:

OMG! What a disappointment. I can't believe they were only up by 30 at the half. Against a team like this they should be up 100. Did the Blue Hose even have 5 D1 players on the court? What I really can't believe, and this makes me think that this team will probably lose every game left on the schedule, they let up in the second half when they had a big lead against a team they were clearly dominating! With a few more made baskets for the Blue Hose in the first half, and maybe a few more in the second half, this could have resembled an actual competitive game for a minute or two. It's just disgusting. Sure, UT played two solid halves against Oakland after going into halftime with a big lead, but UT always beats Oakland! You know right? Yes, Stokes was perfect from the free throw line, but I expect more from him. He should have shot 110% Yes, they have had a difficult schedule and some might argue that it's just human nature to go into cruise control in a game like this, but I expect more. These aren't humans, these are college athletes. They should be infallible, like me! This team is worthless and won't win another game this season, but at least I'll have something to whine about between football seasons. Oh yeah, you're all sheep, Doolaide, and I'm the only true Vol fan on this site. Go Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Basketvol:

OMG! What a disappointment. I can't believe they were only up by 30 at the half. Against a team like this they should be up 100. Did the Blue Hose even have 5 D1 players on the court? What I really can't believe, and this makes me think that this team will probably lose every game left on the schedule, they let up in the second half when they had a big lead against a team they were clearly dominating! With a few more made baskets for the Blue Hose in the first half, and maybe a few more in the second half, this could have resembled an actual competitive game for a minute or two. It's just disgusting. Sure, UT played two solid halves against Oakland after going into halftime with a big lead, but UT always beats Oakland! You know right? Yes, Stokes was perfect from the free throw line, but I expect more from him. He should have shot 110% Yes, they have had a difficult schedule and some might argue that it's just human nature to go into cruise control in a game like this, but I expect more. These aren't humans, these are college athletes. They should be infallible, like me! This team is worthless and won't win another game this season, but at least I'll have something to whine about between football seasons. Oh yeah, you're all sheep, Doolaide, and I'm the only true Vol fan on this site. Go Vols!

Great summary of a distressing proportion of posts on this board. As my ol' Daddy used to say, "Some people would complain if you hung 'em with a new rope." Maybe some of the negaVols would be better off if they just went and hung themselves, since they don't seem to be finding much joy in life right now.

GerryOP writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I get what you are saying, but CCM certainly didn't LOOK like he was OK with what was going on. I surely agree that nobody should get too worked up about the game, positively or negatively, and I am sure that the team's concentration and effort would be better if the game was closer. CCM has the philosophy that everybody should work hard and execute, no matter the score or the opponent. That is a great guiding ideal, and we can surely hope the team learns to do that, but the result can be just as good by continuing to TRY to do that.

FWIW, we should just consider the Presby game as a refereed practice session. We won, 'Zo coached, and the players learned something. Moving on to Western Carolina on Friday.

Peace y'all!

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