Cameron Tatum wants to leave positive legacy

Tennessee guard Cameron Tatum (23) shoots a layup as Auburn forward Allen Payne (2) defends during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee guard Cameron Tatum (23) shoots a layup as Auburn forward Allen Payne (2) defends during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Jarnell Stokes and Cuonzo Martin talk before practice Thursday

Cameron Tatum said he thanks all of the loyal Tennessee men's basketball fans for their concerns about his well-being, and he wants to let them know he's doing just fine.

"A lot of people are asking me if I'm all right,'' said Tatum, who's in the midst of a 1-for-21 shooting slump the past three games, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range. "I'm perfectly fine. I'm alive, and I'm playing basketball, which is a sport I love.

"It's like Coach (Cuonzo) Martin says, there are people going through much worse in life.''

Just the same, nothing would brighten Tatum's world more than if he could help lead Tennessee (10-12, 2-5 SEC) over Georgia (10-11, 1-6) tonight (TV: FSTN, 8 p.m.) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes for my team,'' Tatum said. "I just really hope when my time is done here at Tennessee, people know I always gave my all and cared more about helping our program win games than anything else.''

Martin sees that.

The first-year UT coach said Tatum's effort on defense and in practice are reasons why he is keeping the fifth-year senior wing in the starting lineup and continuing to play him in key minutes.

"Cam is doing the necessary things and he works hard,'' Martin said. "He was in there (the gym) on Wednesday getting up more shots. When you do that, it will fall for you. You'll see; it will fall for him.

"The big plus for Cam is he is a guy who really cares.''

Junior shooting guard Skylar McBee said the players are responsible for UT's recent shooting woes, not the coaching staff nor the schemes.

"It's on us, it's about getting in the gym and

making shots, and it's something we have got to do,'' said McBee, who is 3-of-14 shooting 3-pointers the past three games. "It's more of a mindset than anything. When you go through a couple of games and you haven't hit shots, you've got to get that out of your mind.

"Coach Martin wants us to keep taking shots when we're open, and I'll guarantee you Georgia will double (team) our post, so we'll have to make shots.''

The Vols might have recently re-discovered another shooting star in senior Renaldo Woolridge, who's coming off a performance Tuesday against No. 1 Kentucky in which he hit five of six attempts from beyond the 3-point arc en route to matching his career high with 17 points.

Martin said it remains to be seen if Woolridge can do that while guarded by a wing player, as opposed to a power forward or post.

"It's easier for him to get open when he's guarded by a big, because he can get out there and pick and pop,'' Martin said. "It's harder when you have a perimeter player on you, because they tend to be more mobile.''

Woolridge, who has been shuffled between the small forward and post position throughout his career, said it's an adjustment shifting back out onto the perimeter.

"It's different than what I had been doing, but I have those skills and it's just a matter of getting comfortable in a new role,'' Woolridge said. "Playing inside, I had to use my strength to push people off the block, and now I'm on the perimeter chasing people around.''

The Bulldogs, who shot 25 percent in their 59-51 loss at Auburn on Wednesday, are one of the smaller teams the Vols have faced.

Georgia's quickness, however, bothered UT in the first meeting, a 57-53 Bulldogs win in overtime on Jan. 18 in Athens.

The Bulldogs forced the Vols into 20 turnovers in that meeting, recording nine steals while holding UT point guard Trae Golden to just two assists.

"It's a matter of doing the simple things,'' Martin said. "Make the simple pass, hit the open shot, guard your man.''

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 43

VolunteerLifer writes:

If Cam is giving his all, that's all you can ask. It's fair to critique his game, not fair to bang on him. Go, Cam, go. I'm rooting for you and the team.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

Lettuce and basketball do not mix. Too late.

HtownVol writes:

His legacy (in my opinion) is the guy who seemed to enjoy a herbal smoke stimulant before most games. His eyes, his body language all suggests that he could possibly be "under the influence".

volnasty writes:

i just dont see the defense they say he is playing .if he is the best we have to put out there we are in trouble.all i see is buzz ball all over again even though i liked buzz the proof is is the pudding.

allvol32 writes:

I appreciate your hard work Cameron and I hate that the shots aren't falling right now but they will. Ignore the haters on this site, there are a lot of true not "fair-weather" Vol fans pulling for you and the team come hell or high water.

The so called fans who like to take shots at you guys are about as full of cr@p as a port-o-potty at a chili cook off.

rockypop writes:

Cam Tatum is a great example of how tough it is to be a Division 1 BB player. There's no question that he has the athletic skills, but once you get past that, there's so much more. And, that's where CCM has to earn his money. It's easy to recruit a guy who has Tatum's skills, but then what?
The UT roster is filled with high potential guys. Getting them to play as a team is another thing altogether. The regular season isn't the Rocky Top League, and for too long, UT's potential has been measured by RTL play.

allvol32 writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What are you in 3rd grade? With slubberdegullions like you posting your gibberish it's amazing that any young athlete would want to come play for TN.

"Come play for TN where brainiacs like TVA will fearlessly and heroically (in their own minds) disparage you from the anonymity of the internet!"

Go find another team to "support", with friends/fans like these who needs enemies.

Razor784 writes:

If he left today, his legacy would be as a big time underachiever, a guy who is a gifted athlete but is wildly inconsistent, but he still has time to change that

underthehill writes:

I like Martin and appreciate the fact he did a great job recruiting Stokes..However..I know of no fans who think Tatum as a 5th year sr. should be playing in front of McRae..a talented soph who needs the experience..I think Martin is wrong on this one..and Tatum is no better on defense than McRae and not near as good as Washpun...

HtownVol writes:

in response to underthehill:

I like Martin and appreciate the fact he did a great job recruiting Stokes..However..I know of no fans who think Tatum as a 5th year sr. should be playing in front of McRae..a talented soph who needs the experience..I think Martin is wrong on this one..and Tatum is no better on defense than McRae and not near as good as Washpun...

I think Martin can be a great coach but he has major issues with the way he uses lineups.

I know UT fans are split on this because some love the local boy ( I graduated from Morristown East, 10 miles from Grainger County) but I can see no point in playing McBee as much as he has played lately. He does NOT stretch the defense. In order to stretch the defense it would take one defender having to leave his man to step out on McBee. That never happens because it only takes one defender to cover McBee. If McBees man leaves to double the post our bigs are never able to get the ball to McBee. And his defense. Please keep an eye on McBee on defense. He has a bad tendancy of ball watching and his man gets him on the back door so often. Oh, and he may be the best shooter on UT but he is not exactly lighting it up.

Now I am not saying never play him. But he sure should be limited.

McBee is not the only issue.

Maymon is not used the way he should be (although he needs to cut out the underhanded layups).

Stokes and Maymon may be one of the best frontcourt duos in the SEC, they are not being used to their potential. Maybe in time though.

Tatum is lazy, period.

Golden is not a PG (not his fault)

The only solution I see is a great scorer (or TWO) signing with UT this summer. And judging by the scouting report and grading the two commits UT has are not the answer.

We always have defense...Unless we play UK or Vandy (recently).

GO VOLS

eb502us#225637 writes:

I can appreciate him giving it his all if that's what he's actually doing every time he steps on the floor. Problem is that he is a 10th or 11th man on most SEC teams and shouldn't be playing the minutes he does on this team.

That is the coaches fault, not Cam's.

fearthehound writes:

in response to HtownVol:

His legacy (in my opinion) is the guy who seemed to enjoy a herbal smoke stimulant before most games. His eyes, his body language all suggests that he could possibly be "under the influence".

Thank you so much for your diagnosis of this 22 year old young man who came to UT hoping to play his best, get an education, and who knows, maybe even take it to the next level. Obviously, he has not met yours or many others' lofty standards for himself, so he must be labeled a drug user. You may now go on back to your miserable existence, living your life through these young men, knowing that you have made his life a little richer. Hopefully, he read your post. Congrats.

fearthehound writes:

in response to allvol32:

What are you in 3rd grade? With slubberdegullions like you posting your gibberish it's amazing that any young athlete would want to come play for TN.

"Come play for TN where brainiacs like TVA will fearlessly and heroically (in their own minds) disparage you from the anonymity of the internet!"

Go find another team to "support", with friends/fans like these who needs enemies.

Amen Brother. It kills me how 'people' feel very comfortable beating the kr@pp out of some 20 year old who's just trying their best--all to validate their own miserable existence.

LSG410EC83 writes:

Come on guys, why do you have to start attacking the person. I can understand going off on his shooting lately, but why the personal attacks. I guess all of you are perfect models of how everyone in the world needs to look and act. Yes he is in a shooting slump and has been very inconsistant on offense. However, his defense has been good. Thank you Mr. Tatum for the years here at UT. Wish you the best in life. Leaving a legacy is not solely connected with sports. Many slamming him has no idea what he does away from the court. Oh I forgot, you all know all.

carbonzip writes:

maybe, Tatum would be better coming off the bench. McCrae could help Golden get the ball up the court under pressure.

allvol32 writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Step 1: Tampon? Wow dude, you're all the way up to 4th grade now since most 3rd graders wouldn't know what a tampon is...as per my earlier point...with "fans" like you it's no wonder that some kids won't even consider UT.

Step 2: I do watch the games and I live in a totally foreign concept for you but it is called reality. As I said if you had bothered to read my post pinhead - Cameron is going through a cold shooting spell - it won't last forever and the young man will do just fine as opposed to a waste of oxygen such as yourself - look in the mirror dude - is your mama proud? Are you proud? I seriously doubt it...again - go find another team to be an "athletic supporter" for - you're a disgrace to Tennessee and its proud university.

allvol32 writes:

in response to fearthehound:

Amen Brother. It kills me how 'people' feel very comfortable beating the kr@pp out of some 20 year old who's just trying their best--all to validate their own miserable existence.

Right back at you Brother...there are still real live TN Vol fans out here in the real world.

UT4prez writes:

My issue with Tatum is he doesn't play like a 5th year senior should. Take the last play before the half against UK. He didn't even get the shot off with more than 4 seconds left. The one thing he does seem to do better than some others is dribble the ball. He doesn't seem rushed or panicked like the others do at times. He has been in big games and it shows in that way.

FanNotSheep writes:

I'm not the coach so I don't pretend to know why he plays certain guys ahead of other guys -- you'd have to attend practice and team meetings to know what he knows. So it's Martin's team, his paycheck and his career, and his decision. From an outside view it appears if you play defense you play and if you don't you sit.

If Tatum wants to be remembered fondly, it would help if he would hit shots and help the team win games. If they sit home this postseason this team won't be remembered much at all, and negatively when they are.

Still say basketball players would be more appreciated by UT fans if they wore helmets. Not solely because most UT fans only understand football.

Not fair to judge guys by facial expressions and posture. Unless you've smoked dope with Cameron, your opinion is a guess, and if you have I would keep that to myself if I were you.

I remember hearing Atlanta fans when I was a kid saying that Hank Aaron didn't hustle in the outfield. The reality was he ran fast but effortlessly and statistically was on par defensively with Mays, who usually got a late jump on the ball and had to make diving catches to make up for it.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I like Martin a lot. I like Tatum a lot. I really think Tatum would start for s few other SEC teams. I think they'd be glad to have him.
We got used to better players with Loften, J. Smith. The difference in Tatum and Smith is that Smith's shot actually got a lot better. Smith was a lot quicker too. Lol I can't remember off hand who our other guard was?

Seriously we need Tatum but he needs to produce instead of just wanting it. He has 4 years + of being here to learn not to move out of the way and throw a light hand at an opponent driving to the basket. I've seen it more than a few times Mr. Tatum! It IS easy for me to sit at my TV or computer and analyze the man but we as fans do expect a lot from someone with his potential. We've been talking about his "potential for 4+ years now and even though we need him here he's still not gonna reach his "expectations" doing the same things over and over(mistakes). I know 'cause I do the same thing with my failures.
Tatum has never been assertive as a whole and never will as a whole. For his AND Martin AND the team I hope I'm wrong.
I hope tonight he hits every shot...not for me so much(hehe) but for the team. I also hope he doesn't drop off or turnover at key moments. I hope the same for Golden.
Part of the problem maybe rotation. I'd really personally like to see Martin just try bringing Tatum off the bench. AND since I don't think they read these posts(LOL)... I hope not...Don't just leave him on the bench. He is a really good defender at times. I think a little fire under him might bring it out.

That said... Tatum play hard and play smart. Don't be afraid to take to the basket but don't be gentle, don't be haphazard, don't be slow, and no more "finger=rolls"!! You always leave it short on those. Use the backboard! And IF the op presents itself then dunk the help out of it.
I'm sorry fans about the negatives and I know Cam's a good player but I have been a huge fan of his in the past. I've always seen the potential but right now my faith is weak.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

I'm not the coach so I don't pretend to know why he plays certain guys ahead of other guys -- you'd have to attend practice and team meetings to know what he knows. So it's Martin's team, his paycheck and his career, and his decision. From an outside view it appears if you play defense you play and if you don't you sit.

If Tatum wants to be remembered fondly, it would help if he would hit shots and help the team win games. If they sit home this postseason this team won't be remembered much at all, and negatively when they are.

Still say basketball players would be more appreciated by UT fans if they wore helmets. Not solely because most UT fans only understand football.

Not fair to judge guys by facial expressions and posture. Unless you've smoked dope with Cameron, your opinion is a guess, and if you have I would keep that to myself if I were you.

I remember hearing Atlanta fans when I was a kid saying that Hank Aaron didn't hustle in the outfield. The reality was he ran fast but effortlessly and statistically was on par defensively with Mays, who usually got a late jump on the ball and had to make diving catches to make up for it.

I really like your posts of late. MAYBE I should apologize for the "troll" labels myself and others put on you. It was just in fun though.
The comparison of talents was good of Mays and Aaron. Obviously Mays was great, but he was more Quick than fast. I'd say Otis was faster and quicker than both.lol But no one's bat was as good as Aaron's. Lol When I was a kid they were the Milwaukee Braves and Atalanta was the "Crackers".
Back to that comparison...Tatum has athleticism. He doesn't have that assertive confidence to be great.3 years ago I thought he'd be a pro somewhere. Maybe he will?? I don't think so. He has to really want it and he has to really improve I think.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I really like your posts of late. MAYBE I should apologize for the "troll" labels myself and others put on you. It was just in fun though.
The comparison of talents was good of Mays and Aaron. Obviously Mays was great, but he was more Quick than fast. I'd say Otis was faster and quicker than both.lol But no one's bat was as good as Aaron's. Lol When I was a kid they were the Milwaukee Braves and Atalanta was the "Crackers".
Back to that comparison...Tatum has athleticism. He doesn't have that assertive confidence to be great.3 years ago I thought he'd be a pro somewhere. Maybe he will?? I don't think so. He has to really want it and he has to really improve I think.

Tatum is a poster child for unrealized potential. He looked like the best player on the court sometimes. If you could bottle whatever it was that he and Wheezy needed to play every game like they did at times, you would be rich. Maybe people are right about Cam, but I do think he is a good guy and wish he would consistently find the gear he does have -- that unfortunately he only finds once in a blue moon.

As far as the other thing: Sometimes I miss the basketball coach we used to have so much I forget it's not the new coach's fault he is no longer here. The years I try to forget that I spent following UT basketball, beginning with DeVoe's last couple of seasons, almost giving up entirely in the Houston era and the 40-39 games under K.O. -- the wasted talent on the Jerry Green and Buzzball teams -- now I feel like a kid who finally found the missing piece to a puzzle he worked on forever and then his dog goes and eats the dam thing.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

The Devoe era is really when I started watching basketball at UT. I was a fan of UT's a little ahead of the Mocs even though I was at UTC during the championship year.
I'm a little more easy on coaches probably than most on here as a son of one. My dad only coached a short tenure before becoming a preacher but I grew up watching a lot of sports. He was still a coach at heart and in a lot of ways still had a team as a minister.
Soooo that means I felt for Green and Buzz and especially Fulmer...not necessarily rightly just it's an incredibly tough job. The great ones are usually above average intelligence and are non-stop workers. I think Buzz and Jerry just didn't look like that as coaches to the fans. I was close by as Del and Vincent grew into great high school players. They were probably babied a little as most HS talents are. They didn't grow much in college under their coach. I don't mean any disrespect it's just a different process for every individual. Both coaches and players.

JayTee writes:

His legacy will be how in the world could he ever have played SEC basketball much less be a starter.
Martin should be getting the younger guys some playing time instead of letting the losers continue to stink up the gym.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

The Devoe era is really when I started watching basketball at UT. I was a fan of UT's a little ahead of the Mocs even though I was at UTC during the championship year.
I'm a little more easy on coaches probably than most on here as a son of one. My dad only coached a short tenure before becoming a preacher but I grew up watching a lot of sports. He was still a coach at heart and in a lot of ways still had a team as a minister.
Soooo that means I felt for Green and Buzz and especially Fulmer...not necessarily rightly just it's an incredibly tough job. The great ones are usually above average intelligence and are non-stop workers. I think Buzz and Jerry just didn't look like that as coaches to the fans. I was close by as Del and Vincent grew into great high school players. They were probably babied a little as most HS talents are. They didn't grow much in college under their coach. I don't mean any disrespect it's just a different process for every individual. Both coaches and players.

I thought Green could have take the program much further if he had coached defense at all. The talent was there, some brought in by O'Neill and some by Green himself, and they had a great opportunity against North Carolina but blew it. Green's attitude rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but I wonder what would have happened if he had not talked himself out of a job.

Peterson was a nice guy and good recruiter but I just don't think he was very smart. Never saw a team transformed overnight like the first Pearl team, and the only thing that changed was the coaching staff. Suddenly players were put into position to succeed and a mediocre team became great.

The energy and excitement was greater than even in the Mears era, the first time basketball mattered at UT, and before it all fell apart the program went places even the great Bernard King never took it. Interestingly enough it was King's running mate, Ernie Grunfeld, who led UT to Pearl. And then it was almost like history repeated itself again. Mears began having conversations with himself after King left – some said from trying to keep Bernard out of jail – and that was the end of an era. Nearly 40 years later, the Pearl era ended unexpectedly as well, and another great basketball coach has so far just vanished from the sport.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to HtownVol:

His legacy (in my opinion) is the guy who seemed to enjoy a herbal smoke stimulant before most games. His eyes, his body language all suggests that he could possibly be "under the influence".

Thats childish. I used to work with "Sleepy Taylor" of MTSU legend who scored 27 points vs Magic Johnson in the NCAA Tourney. Sleepy never could open his eyes wide and he was a devout Christian and never did drugs of any kind. While Im not a fan of the hiring of Martin over Byrd of Belmont, I still believe Martin is too hard core to allow a player to be stoned on the court. Plus he plays too hard on defense to be slowed in reflexes by pot. Grow Up..

Ironcity writes:

in response to HtownVol:

I think Martin can be a great coach but he has major issues with the way he uses lineups.

I know UT fans are split on this because some love the local boy ( I graduated from Morristown East, 10 miles from Grainger County) but I can see no point in playing McBee as much as he has played lately. He does NOT stretch the defense. In order to stretch the defense it would take one defender having to leave his man to step out on McBee. That never happens because it only takes one defender to cover McBee. If McBees man leaves to double the post our bigs are never able to get the ball to McBee. And his defense. Please keep an eye on McBee on defense. He has a bad tendancy of ball watching and his man gets him on the back door so often. Oh, and he may be the best shooter on UT but he is not exactly lighting it up.

Now I am not saying never play him. But he sure should be limited.

McBee is not the only issue.

Maymon is not used the way he should be (although he needs to cut out the underhanded layups).

Stokes and Maymon may be one of the best frontcourt duos in the SEC, they are not being used to their potential. Maybe in time though.

Tatum is lazy, period.

Golden is not a PG (not his fault)

The only solution I see is a great scorer (or TWO) signing with UT this summer. And judging by the scouting report and grading the two commits UT has are not the answer.

We always have defense...Unless we play UK or Vandy (recently).

GO VOLS

Do you even watch the games? Mcbee is the ONLY player that stretches the defense on the team. His role is working out. He is playing more simply because the guys he replaces are playing so awful. Tatum is a good guy. That in itself should not make him a starter. He can lead by being that guy who comes off the bench ready to give it his all. When he starts and misses his first shot or makes his first turnover, he really looks like he just plays with his head down. Martins fooling himself if he thinks Tatum doesn't carry it to the defensive side of the court. I see it all the time in transition with him and Golden.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

A little off topic but I will mention that there is a player at Jarnell's old high school in Memphis (Southwind) that is a legit 7 footer. Don't know if he is a sr. or a jr. Just heard that on a local talk show, Memphis wants him bad so I imagine they'll get him.

HtownVol writes:

Was Tatum in the car that got pulled ver with a big bag of smoke?

That is the main reason I think of him as under the influence.

If he was in the car then those bashing my post should retract their comments.

If he was NOT in that car, then I retract my comment about Tatum.

It was Williams, Tyler Smith, the PG from Ball State and one more... I really cant remember but I keep thinking it was Tatum.

carbonzip writes:

I'd life to see Golden do more off of screens. Maybe pass to the screener once in a while. Keep the defenders honest.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Was Tatum in the car that got pulled ver with a big bag of smoke?

That is the main reason I think of him as under the influence.

If he was in the car then those bashing my post should retract their comments.

If he was NOT in that car, then I retract my comment about Tatum.

It was Williams, Tyler Smith, the PG from Ball State and one more... I really cant remember but I keep thinking it was Tatum.

The "car incident" did indeed include Tatum. Tatum however was in the wrong place at the wrong time according to all aoounts I've read. He was deemed to be innocent of any wrong doing and was the first to get back in the game if I remember correctly. I personally have been in situations where "weed" was being used. My being there could have gotten me arrested as if I'd smoked myself. I wasn't a user and never have been. Hey even president Clinton put some to his mouth once!! I don't think Martin would allow such a thing as someone else already said.

VolunteerLifer writes:

It's painful, and shameful sometimes, to read these boards. Unless we know this kid personally, we can not know if he is 'lazy' or if he is a pothead. To throw those things out there so blithely, well, its just so sad to read. We're not around him, we can't know. His coaches are, and they know. And unless you make your living as a talent evaluator, I doubt anyone here has any special insight as to whether Cam has reached his potential, has exceeded it , or has fallen short of it. I don't know whether this kid has worked hard or not, his coaches say he has so I'll take their word for it. We've all critiqued his game, and that's fair game, and found him to be an average SEC player, not a star and not a key player. But he is a Volunteer, a five year senior with a year of red shirt and a number of injuries and coaching upheavals and growing pains behind him. He is one of us. He has done nothing to deserve these personal attacks. Talk about his game all you like, but respect the kid for what he has given us these five years.

BR_549 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Thats childish. I used to work with "Sleepy Taylor" of MTSU legend who scored 27 points vs Magic Johnson in the NCAA Tourney. Sleepy never could open his eyes wide and he was a devout Christian and never did drugs of any kind. While Im not a fan of the hiring of Martin over Byrd of Belmont, I still believe Martin is too hard core to allow a player to be stoned on the court. Plus he plays too hard on defense to be slowed in reflexes by pot. Grow Up..

I remember watching "Sleepy" Taylor at MTSU. He was about a 6-5 shooting guard. He had the best stop fake using his head and hands before he shot I ever saw, used to have guys flying by him all the time. And yes he looked "asleep" all the time.

b24vol writes:

Possibly the worst 5th year sr.starter in the league.Probably a good kid but his play dictates he should be riding the bench.This season is phooey..go with youth for the rest of year to get experience.

kevin151 writes:

Kid stinks

Vol69 writes:

Don't worry you are. The most missies in a row for most elementary teams in East Tn.

knoxbr27 writes:

This is not Buzz Ball. It's too early in Coach Martin's time here to pass judgment. Pearl inherited a team with more talent than this one.

Tatum plays hard but he is one kid that hasn't really gotten better over the 5 years he's been here. I wish him the best when his time here is done.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

His legacy (in my opinion) is the guy who seemed to enjoy a herbal smoke stimulant before most games. His eyes, his body language all suggests that he could possibly be "under the influence".

Just guessing but if we had the opportunity to study your face, body language etc we could discover physical idiosyncratic characteristics that would stimulate nicknames for you as well....Cam has given hard effort for sure but really struggles with his shot...hopefully his time at UT has been pleasant for him....

HtownVol writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Just guessing but if we had the opportunity to study your face, body language etc we could discover physical idiosyncratic characteristics that would stimulate nicknames for you as well....Cam has given hard effort for sure but really struggles with his shot...hopefully his time at UT has been pleasant for him....

I use the words "in my opinion" and "he could possibly" some on here feel that I am just hammering the guy.

Wtach the guy, I personally want to see UT players give 110% on every play and I have seen Tatum give much, much less than that.

Is it wrong to say something about these kids when they play bad? Maybe, but they sure love the spotlight when they hit a big shot.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

I thought Green could have take the program much further if he had coached defense at all. The talent was there, some brought in by O'Neill and some by Green himself, and they had a great opportunity against North Carolina but blew it. Green's attitude rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but I wonder what would have happened if he had not talked himself out of a job.

Peterson was a nice guy and good recruiter but I just don't think he was very smart. Never saw a team transformed overnight like the first Pearl team, and the only thing that changed was the coaching staff. Suddenly players were put into position to succeed and a mediocre team became great.

The energy and excitement was greater than even in the Mears era, the first time basketball mattered at UT, and before it all fell apart the program went places even the great Bernard King never took it. Interestingly enough it was King's running mate, Ernie Grunfeld, who led UT to Pearl. And then it was almost like history repeated itself again. Mears began having conversations with himself after King left – some said from trying to keep Bernard out of jail – and that was the end of an era. Nearly 40 years later, the Pearl era ended unexpectedly as well, and another great basketball coach has so far just vanished from the sport.

I agree with much of this, and I join Moc in recognizing the value of your posts to this board. My only mild quibble is the idea that the Bernie and Ernie teams somewhat underachieved because they didn't have success in the NCAAs. Maybe you didn't mean that, but the NCAA field was MUCH tighter in those days. When Mears' first NCAA team got in, only SIXTEEN teams in the whole country went to the NCAA, and I think each conference was limited to one entry. It's been awhile, so I may be wrong, but I think the first year the Vols made it with Bernard, he missed their game with an ankle injury, which they lost. It is quite possible that at least a couple of Pearl's teams wouldn't have made it under the rules at that time, last year's team in particular. It is equally possible that MOST of Mears' teams would have made it under this era's rules.

fearthehound writes:

in response to HtownVol:

I use the words "in my opinion" and "he could possibly" some on here feel that I am just hammering the guy.

Wtach the guy, I personally want to see UT players give 110% on every play and I have seen Tatum give much, much less than that.

Is it wrong to say something about these kids when they play bad? Maybe, but they sure love the spotlight when they hit a big shot.

Yes it is wrong, since you ask. Just because you use the phrases 'in my opinion' and 'he could possibly' gives you absolutely no right to make an attack against a young man's character. It is one thing to say, 'Gee, I think this guy is a bad player and shouldn't be on the floor', or whatever. It's quite another thing to decide that he is a drug user. You should watch what you say--this is some mother's son. From all accounts, this guy is a fine young man who has already graduated with his four year degreee. He is doing his best, and although he is in a slump right now, I think he is a pretty good ball player. Ever think these guys might get a wild hare and decide to read these comments? Did you ever think you might hurt their feelings? Would you care?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Thats childish. I used to work with "Sleepy Taylor" of MTSU legend who scored 27 points vs Magic Johnson in the NCAA Tourney. Sleepy never could open his eyes wide and he was a devout Christian and never did drugs of any kind. While Im not a fan of the hiring of Martin over Byrd of Belmont, I still believe Martin is too hard core to allow a player to be stoned on the court. Plus he plays too hard on defense to be slowed in reflexes by pot. Grow Up..

Dang, PH! That's gotta be just about the most, well, HUMAN post I've ever seen from you. All this time I had you pegged as basically just a windbag with a personality problem, but this shows a surprisingly mature and tolerant side that I never suspected you had!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

It's painful, and shameful sometimes, to read these boards. Unless we know this kid personally, we can not know if he is 'lazy' or if he is a pothead. To throw those things out there so blithely, well, its just so sad to read. We're not around him, we can't know. His coaches are, and they know. And unless you make your living as a talent evaluator, I doubt anyone here has any special insight as to whether Cam has reached his potential, has exceeded it , or has fallen short of it. I don't know whether this kid has worked hard or not, his coaches say he has so I'll take their word for it. We've all critiqued his game, and that's fair game, and found him to be an average SEC player, not a star and not a key player. But he is a Volunteer, a five year senior with a year of red shirt and a number of injuries and coaching upheavals and growing pains behind him. He is one of us. He has done nothing to deserve these personal attacks. Talk about his game all you like, but respect the kid for what he has given us these five years.

Great post! The great thing about internet forums like this is that a lot of people get to discuss things with more people than they could ever meet personally. The bad thing about it is that it shows that a discouragingly large number of people seem incapable of shame in showing their lack of maturity, ignorance and small-mindedness.

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