Jeronne Maymon still optimistic for Vols

Transition to SEC play brings new challenges

MEMPHIS — Jeronne Maymon said Tennessee was upset leaving the floor at the FedExForum on Wednesday night and anxious to get back to Knoxville and get back to work.

"We can't go nowhere but up,'' Maymon concluded.

It's possible Maymon hasn't seen tape of the Vols' next opponent, 13th-ranked Florida.

Memphis' 69-51 runaway men's basketball victory against Tennessee (7-7) doesn't bode well for the Vols' 11 a.m. game Saturday (TV: ESPN2) against the Gators (12-3) in Thompson-Boling Arena.

Florida is just as quick and talented on the perimeter as the Tigers (9-5), and even bigger inside.

As much as UT's perimeter defense seemed to improve in the first half of Wednesday night's game, there were still breakdowns offensively and defensively.

Trae Golden, while enjoying a productive 22-point night, had five turnovers and struggled to keep up with Memphis' Antonio Barton (19 points).

Vols coach Cuonzo Martin said that, as important as it is for UT to score from the perimeter, his team is at its best when the ball gets fed inside.

"We have to do a better job of posting up and getting the ball inside, but also, executing the offense,'' Martin said following Wednesday night's defeat. "We have to be more aggressive on the blocks, really defending.''

Maymon had nine points and nine rebounds, but UT starting center Kenny Hall scored only four points and didn't get a rebound in his 20 minutes on the floor.

Vols sophomore shoot

ing guard Jordan McRae was limited to two points and 15 minutes, and he managed only one rebound. Senior wing Cam Tatum played 28 minutes and had five points but only one rebound, and shooting guard Skylar McBee was 0-for-5 shooting from the floor and garnered no rebounds in his 16 minutes.

"We won this game with defense and rebounding,'' Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. "And, we also won the 50-50 balls. You have to win the 50-50 balls and hustle plays, and we did that.''

Martin has preached defense and effort, but despite his best intentions, the Vols have struggled to meet his expectations.

"Tonight we got blown out,'' Golden said, "but we learned a lot from this game.''

Stokes Decision: Martin said he allowed mid-term signee Jarnell Stokes to sit on the team bench Wednesday night because the 17-year-old Memphis product wanted to.

"He's on the team now,'' Martin said. "He wanted to be there with us.''

Stokes' transcript was approved by the NCAA eligibility center (also known as the NCAA Clearinghouse) on Wednesday. Stokes also has enrolled in classes at UT, so he's eligible to practice with the team.

Martin said the Vols are just waiting for "the SEC to sign off" before Stokes can play in games.

Stokes turns 18 years old on Saturday, when UT plays host to Florida — one of the five schools he narrowed his decision to in the recruiting process.

"We're anxious to get him in a UT uniform,'' Maymon said, "and hopefully get this train rolling.''

MIke Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mikegriffith32

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Comments » 42

iowavol writes:

You know, each lackluster performance is followed by similar comments - we learned a lot, we have to play with intensity, I'm going to be different. At some point, players on the court are going to have to get into each other's faces to make everyone play all out every play every day. We cannot have Hall on the court and do one of two things a) turn the ball over or b) not get a rebound that was all his. We cannot have McBee on the court afraid to take a shot with confidence. We cannot have Mamonne on the court without a determination to get every ball that is near him. We cannot have a coach on the court that looks like he doesn't have a clue what to do. We cannot keep saying the same things and expect different results.

Vol1973 writes:

GBO... keep your heads up !

FanNotSheep writes:

Everyone is optimistic that things will get better – until their optimism is beaten down and ground to bits under the wheels of a freight train called reality. It will be optimistic if anyone thinks Tennessee wins more than one game before the end of January. The light at the end of the tunnel the Vols are entering is an oncoming train, and it starts with Florida.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

Everyone is optimistic that things will get better – until their optimism is beaten down and ground to bits under the wheels of a freight train called reality. It will be optimistic if anyone thinks Tennessee wins more than one game before the end of January. The light at the end of the tunnel the Vols are entering is an oncoming train, and it starts with Florida.

They'll win more than one game before the end of January.

huntined#565710 writes:

I think they left the real Maymon in MAUI,,,

Bogytrain writes:

I'm optimistic they will win 3 more games. Maybe too optimistic. But they only have one game in January they can win - Auburn (maybe). We need to face reality fellas, this is a really bad team. I love 'em, but they simply are not good.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

oh no not a sec team...its fittin to get real ugly,the sooner martin is gone the better

Raleigh writes:

Which one is worse, the football team, the basketball team or the baseball team? I know, it is a very hard decision.

born2ride writes:

Things are not getting better.

The glass is half empty. :)

Our RPI is #273. Our SOS rank is 260.

The easy part of the schedule is over.

Next:
Florida
@ Miss State
Kentucky
@ Georgia
UCONN
Vandy
@ Kentucky

We are not going to win another game for awhile. The only possible wins I see are Auburn, South Carolina and Ole Miss. Even LSU will beat us. Martin takes us to the bottom of the SEC just like Dooley.

Just the facts.

Go Big Orange!

budd#207344 writes:

I have supported this team thus far. The Memphis loss was a statement. The worst loss in the last ten years. They quit. No more of their comments Do it on the floor or shut up.This team needs to learn how to win.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

I have always enjoyed watching basketball but because I at least expect them to be fun to watch even if they don't win I can't stand to watch this team play. When you watch you just sit and wait to see which facet of the game is going to fail.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to budd#207344:

I have supported this team thus far. The Memphis loss was a statement. The worst loss in the last ten years. They quit. No more of their comments Do it on the floor or shut up.This team needs to learn how to win.

Worse loss in ten years? Remember Michigan last March, I was there and I felt like climbing under my seat. This Memphis team wasn't even a good team, just a bunch of goons running up and down the floor like a high school team. Vandy, Florida, and UK will really give us a beat down. Too bad there is a shot clock or we could go with the four corners offense until February.

FeelVol writes:

Brighter days are ahead,Makanjuola will begin to take minutes from Hall because he just has a better SEC body and more upside such as rebounding and shot blocking skills.I think Stokes will get a chance to help us on the interior as well and improve us there.As for our wings that to me is the most troubling as any part of our team.GBO!!!!

VOL1972 writes:

Just don't see more than 10 or 12 wins for the year. I think the best we can hope for is that Stokes will develop quickly and UT becomes a spoiler in late February.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to iowavol:

You know, each lackluster performance is followed by similar comments - we learned a lot, we have to play with intensity, I'm going to be different. At some point, players on the court are going to have to get into each other's faces to make everyone play all out every play every day. We cannot have Hall on the court and do one of two things a) turn the ball over or b) not get a rebound that was all his. We cannot have McBee on the court afraid to take a shot with confidence. We cannot have Mamonne on the court without a determination to get every ball that is near him. We cannot have a coach on the court that looks like he doesn't have a clue what to do. We cannot keep saying the same things and expect different results.

What?
What do you say after an arse whooppin?
GO VOLS !!!

underthehill writes:

in response to VOL1972:

Just don't see more than 10 or 12 wins for the year. I think the best we can hope for is that Stokes will develop quickly and UT becomes a spoiler in late February.

Not unexpected and I think you may be right..but I am watching the process of Martin developing a competitive team and it is interesting to me. I know Stokes is going to be 18 tomorrow but I think he will play and soon. I also want to see more of Washpun, Miller and Richardson and less of Tatum and Hall. I hope to see Golden at shooting guard and Washpun at point. Since we are all coaches in our own mind I guess I am watching in part to see if I'm right or not. I like what I see and hear from Martin and I think he will get it done within a reasonable time.

hikerdude writes:

The sky is not falling. It has already fallen. Bruce didn't play any of these guys last year, except Cam. There is a reason for that. The two best players from last year are not here any longer. We were picked 11th in the SEC by folks who have some basketball knowledge and were not drinking the Kool Aid. Its not Cuonzo's fault (yet). There is just not much talent on this team.

tgiles1944#654264 writes:

6'10" - 6'11" - 7'0" Any questions? Control the boards and you win games

richvol writes:

There is a paragraph in the article that tells the story about what is wrong with this team...Kenny Hall scored four points and didn't get one rebound,not one. Our "shooting guard" McRae scored two points,two. Tatum,our senior leader,had five points and one rebound and McBee goes o-fer.

Coach needs to go with a team that can at least give us a chance to compete AND grow into a future team that can hold up their end of the load in games...Bench Tatum,McRae and Hall and go with Makanjuola,Washpun and Stokes. Maks and Washpun both show great upside and are freshmen that will grow into good SEC players and Stokes ...well he speaks for himself.

devo-evol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Things are not getting better.

The glass is half empty. :)

Our RPI is #273. Our SOS rank is 260.

The easy part of the schedule is over.

Next:
Florida
@ Miss State
Kentucky
@ Georgia
UCONN
Vandy
@ Kentucky

We are not going to win another game for awhile. The only possible wins I see are Auburn, South Carolina and Ole Miss. Even LSU will beat us. Martin takes us to the bottom of the SEC just like Dooley.

Just the facts.

Go Big Orange!

What exactly is your motivation? Being a little upbeat and hopeful doesn't make you a sheep or a koolaid drinker. I know you are not really a fan of UT you are trying to get a reaction but you still wade around in complete negativity. I, as a fan, choose to watch and have hope and look at anything possitive I can find. Do I think Dooley and Martin are the best coaches in the country? NO. but I don't think they are completely incompetent. But, according to you, UT should just not waste their time playing the games because they don't have chance. Wins against Florida and UK would be upsets and upsets happen, thats why they play. Did you ever listen to your mother tell you if you don't have anything nice to say you just keep your big pie hole shut?! Please heed this! There is nothing constructive in your comments, none of them! They are just pitiful attempts to amuse your sick twisted little brain.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Huh?? you make no sense whatsoever. Perhaps you are mistaking Woolridge for Hall. Woolridge played quality mins off the bench. Knocked down some jumpers had a dunk or two. He hustled through out. He just needs PT. Look at the article above. Hall had minimal points and no rebs.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Lot's and lot's and lot's and lot's of negative people in the world.

I can't say I'm very hopeful against Florida. It's true that Hall needs to decide if he wants this or not. He's a very non-aggressive big. I don't know if he's afraid to get hurt or afraid to hurt somebody. I think mainly he's just afraid to foul out. Well better to foul out than to be in there and do nothing. McRae is learning from Tatum how to go to the basket. Too darn tentative. Better to charge than to stand there and do nothing. If your offense doesn't work don't quit playing defense. Our players can't stand a good defense like we saw at Memphis. Too much WORK!!lol Get MAD! Do something. Maymon just go to the hole! Hall just jam it. Woolridge box out!. You know how to jam it too. McBee wait for it. Don't force up bad shots just because you think we're in a hurry. You CAN pass the ball if they're on you. Tatum??? Are you gonna play or not?? You don't get another year.?! Show us your determination. Focus on the rim and put it in!!lol It won't bite you. Makanjuola...take the starting position and don't worry about it. You are young and a step to the future for UT. Washpun learn to shoot the ball. Meanwhile dunk some. I've been waitn' all year to see that famous leap of yours. McRae too. Entertain us!! We don't have anything to lose by being more aggressive. ESPECIALLY ON DEFENSE!!
Man I need to get some work calls. I been on this computer way too much.

lomas98 writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

I think they left the real Maymon in MAUI,,,

I think the real Maymon is what we have seen before Maui and since. He is a solid SEC player who can get a double double pretty regularly but more of a 12 point, 8 rebound guy on average. I think he only had 1 rebound against Pitt. The game against Memphis was a career day but he will not get those numbers regularly. Half of his points that day was at the free throw line and a lot of his rebounds were on missed putbacks when he was fouled. The game went to double OT as well to help those stats. He actually can take guys off the dribble and get to the rim pretty well and I think that part of his game is better than his true post up. I think he is a decent player, but will not have a Maui type game again.

underthehill writes:

in response to lomas98:

I think the real Maymon is what we have seen before Maui and since. He is a solid SEC player who can get a double double pretty regularly but more of a 12 point, 8 rebound guy on average. I think he only had 1 rebound against Pitt. The game against Memphis was a career day but he will not get those numbers regularly. Half of his points that day was at the free throw line and a lot of his rebounds were on missed putbacks when he was fouled. The game went to double OT as well to help those stats. He actually can take guys off the dribble and get to the rim pretty well and I think that part of his game is better than his true post up. I think he is a decent player, but will not have a Maui type game again.

Very reasonable assessment of a guy who plays with a lot of heart.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

in response to born2ride:

Things are not getting better.

The glass is half empty. :)

Our RPI is #273. Our SOS rank is 260.

The easy part of the schedule is over.

Next:
Florida
@ Miss State
Kentucky
@ Georgia
UCONN
Vandy
@ Kentucky

We are not going to win another game for awhile. The only possible wins I see are Auburn, South Carolina and Ole Miss. Even LSU will beat us. Martin takes us to the bottom of the SEC just like Dooley.

Just the facts.

Go Big Orange!

You people certainly don't know the first thing about the sport of basketball. I've said all along your savior Bruce Pearl put you in this position. When a coach goes, so do recruits...and that is what has happened when Pearl left.

Martin IS a good coach, and he will be a proven winner either at UT or until idiots like you scream for him to be run off to the point when the University does. Remember, Martin came into this situation knowing it was going to be a HUGE mess! There aren't many people that would or should expect Martin to come in and work miracles.

Last season, Tennessee started Tobias Harris, Brian Williams, Melvin Goins, Scotty Hopson and Cameron Tatum. THIS season Trae Golden, Kenny Hall, Jeronne Maymon Cameron Tatum and McBee. Do you see the difference????

I think it is beyond stupid for people to expect a team that fields all backup's from last season to come out firing like they did last year. I also think it is stupid for people to blame Martin for the mess he's in. John Calapari couldn't win in the SEC with this group of kids, so for you all to expect miracles from Martin makes no sense.

Martin will get great recruits, and the program will continue to rise as it did with Pearl. Stop expecting to be Duke...you buddy Pearl absolutely screwed the program for the short term...but the future looks bright.

Just the facts.

TrouserCough writes:

Remember Kentucky '11. The program is better than 22 months ago.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

When does new guy get to play? Isn't he supposed to be Div I material?

UKblue02 writes:

in response to devo-evol:

What exactly is your motivation? Being a little upbeat and hopeful doesn't make you a sheep or a koolaid drinker. I know you are not really a fan of UT you are trying to get a reaction but you still wade around in complete negativity. I, as a fan, choose to watch and have hope and look at anything possitive I can find. Do I think Dooley and Martin are the best coaches in the country? NO. but I don't think they are completely incompetent. But, according to you, UT should just not waste their time playing the games because they don't have chance. Wins against Florida and UK would be upsets and upsets happen, thats why they play. Did you ever listen to your mother tell you if you don't have anything nice to say you just keep your big pie hole shut?! Please heed this! There is nothing constructive in your comments, none of them! They are just pitiful attempts to amuse your sick twisted little brain.

Well said, this is the sec, when a team plays a road game they are just as likely to get beat as win no matter what the presumed talent level of both teams are.

johnlg00 writes:

Well...OK, Jeronne, and Trae in the main game article. We agree that you can't play soft and tentative and expect to win against quality competition. So, why DO you? It's just a game. You guys are young and strong. You could play ball all day. You won't get killed out there. It really IS OK to put it all out there. You may win and you may lose, but you will never regret GIVING IT ALL YOU'VE GOT! That's all we fans are looking for. We understand that you guys are probably not world-beaters right now, but we will support you anyway if you LEAVE IT ALL ON THE COURT! One day this will all be over for you. Don't cheat YOURSELVES! These are the best days of your lives; remember them as the days when you became MEN!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to born2ride:

Things are not getting better.

The glass is half empty. :)

Our RPI is #273. Our SOS rank is 260.

The easy part of the schedule is over.

Next:
Florida
@ Miss State
Kentucky
@ Georgia
UCONN
Vandy
@ Kentucky

We are not going to win another game for awhile. The only possible wins I see are Auburn, South Carolina and Ole Miss. Even LSU will beat us. Martin takes us to the bottom of the SEC just like Dooley.

Just the facts.

Go Big Orange!

No............not born to ride.

More accurately........born to be a troll.
You do that so well..........T R O L L.

Get rid of the we and us.........troll.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to A_Voice_ofReason:

You people certainly don't know the first thing about the sport of basketball. I've said all along your savior Bruce Pearl put you in this position. When a coach goes, so do recruits...and that is what has happened when Pearl left.

Martin IS a good coach, and he will be a proven winner either at UT or until idiots like you scream for him to be run off to the point when the University does. Remember, Martin came into this situation knowing it was going to be a HUGE mess! There aren't many people that would or should expect Martin to come in and work miracles.

Last season, Tennessee started Tobias Harris, Brian Williams, Melvin Goins, Scotty Hopson and Cameron Tatum. THIS season Trae Golden, Kenny Hall, Jeronne Maymon Cameron Tatum and McBee. Do you see the difference????

I think it is beyond stupid for people to expect a team that fields all backup's from last season to come out firing like they did last year. I also think it is stupid for people to blame Martin for the mess he's in. John Calapari couldn't win in the SEC with this group of kids, so for you all to expect miracles from Martin makes no sense.

Martin will get great recruits, and the program will continue to rise as it did with Pearl. Stop expecting to be Duke...you buddy Pearl absolutely screwed the program for the short term...but the future looks bright.

Just the facts.

Two of this year's starters were freshmen last year playing behind a proven senior and junior. A third starter this year was a mid season transfer playing behind a future 1st round draft choice. Hall, Maymon, Tatum, McRae, Golden and Woolridge were all rated 4 stars coming out of HS. You should expect 1 or 2 to be a bust and 2 or 3 to be average, but all of them?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fewer and fewer people on this board remember "Animal House" anymore. Expect any number of people coming on here saying, "Hey, dummy, it was the JAPANESE who bombed Pearl Harbor." Some people these days just got no "sensayuma". And almost NOBODY on this board gets sarcasm or satire, more's the pity.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Two of this year's starters were freshmen last year playing behind a proven senior and junior. A third starter this year was a mid season transfer playing behind a future 1st round draft choice. Hall, Maymon, Tatum, McRae, Golden and Woolridge were all rated 4 stars coming out of HS. You should expect 1 or 2 to be a bust and 2 or 3 to be average, but all of them?

Good question. For the answer, remember that Pearl recruited them and Pearl wanted to run. Most of these guys are better suited to play the full court rather than half court game. That's not Martin's style, so........ Also, McRae and Golden are not busts yet. Let's see where they are at the end of their soph years. I also think Hall and Maymon have room to improve, because they have been very lightly played until this season. So lets wait our judgements on them, too. I do think that what you are seeing out of Woolridge and Tatum is the best you'll ever get. They aren't exactly busts, but they haven't lived up to four star billing either. Remember, Pearl did not recruit toughness, and toughness is a requirement of Martin's.

FeelVol writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Good question. For the answer, remember that Pearl recruited them and Pearl wanted to run. Most of these guys are better suited to play the full court rather than half court game. That's not Martin's style, so........ Also, McRae and Golden are not busts yet. Let's see where they are at the end of their soph years. I also think Hall and Maymon have room to improve, because they have been very lightly played until this season. So lets wait our judgements on them, too. I do think that what you are seeing out of Woolridge and Tatum is the best you'll ever get. They aren't exactly busts, but they haven't lived up to four star billing either. Remember, Pearl did not recruit toughness, and toughness is a requirement of Martin's.

Good points Lifer.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Keeps getting tougher. Florida is much better than Memphis. Another drubbing

Fla 78
UT 62

volcraze writes:

Forgive me in advance for trying to be optimistic. But I welcome each and every game coming up. I want to see if this team folds or decides they are tired of losing. They simply have to play harder and smarter. I believe they will.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

They'll win more than one game before the end of January.

I hope you are right, but the best shot is Auburn -- a bad team. After that, you'd have to beat Florida here or win on the road at Georgia. Anything can happen, but the way the team is playing I don't see how they can hold up in this stretch of the schedule. We may pull out a few more wins in February as the schedule gets easier, but it will be a long year.

If Stokes can just provide a diversion maybe it will take the fans' minds off the losses. It was obvious the football team was going to struggle against good teams and could not run the ball, but the Montana game was entertaining with Bray throwing bombs to Hunter. So if the kid can show some flashes of better things to come, it has to help.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Fewer and fewer people on this board remember "Animal House" anymore. Expect any number of people coming on here saying, "Hey, dummy, it was the JAPANESE who bombed Pearl Harbor." Some people these days just got no "sensayuma". And almost NOBODY on this board gets sarcasm or satire, more's the pity.

Golly John!!? I didn't even notice. I don't even remember much about "Animal House" or Viet Nam...but I do know it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor! I saw the movie.lol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Good question. For the answer, remember that Pearl recruited them and Pearl wanted to run. Most of these guys are better suited to play the full court rather than half court game. That's not Martin's style, so........ Also, McRae and Golden are not busts yet. Let's see where they are at the end of their soph years. I also think Hall and Maymon have room to improve, because they have been very lightly played until this season. So lets wait our judgements on them, too. I do think that what you are seeing out of Woolridge and Tatum is the best you'll ever get. They aren't exactly busts, but they haven't lived up to four star billing either. Remember, Pearl did not recruit toughness, and toughness is a requirement of Martin's.

Very good VL. There is no "like" button so I have to just re-post you.
Non recruitment of toughness by Pearl is something I hadn't noticed!? I think you maybe right. did he recruit Chism? I dont' remember off-hand. Chism was tough! For a freshhman Harris was tough. We'll see for sure now if he is. Last year's team was under some awful tough scrutiny but they really didn't handle it well. Before the Pearl incident undefeated and after? Not tough in those tough circumstances. IF they'd played tough in spite of everything ? Who knows? Ah well it's all in the past and I wish everyone of them the best futures.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

P.S. I also really liked Maze. Nope he wasn't a good point guard. BUT he could have been a very good 2 guard or even a 3. He was out of position his whole time here. Sorta like Golden. Golden? Don't read this and use it as an excuse!

FanNotSheep writes:

I admit I was wrong. I still don't understand how this team can lose to Austin Peay and beat Florida.

Congratulations to Coach Martin, Mr. Maymon, and the whole team. You sure brought your A game today. And you hit your free throws at the end. Great job!

johnlg00 writes:

Actually, Maymon missed four straight in the last three minutes or so and I seem to remember at least a couple of 1-for-2's. Still, they made the ones they had to have; I think Tatum and Golden made a pair each in the last minute or two. I agree completely with all the rest of the previous post.

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