Momentum now shifts to road for Vols

Woolridge: 'Gonna get serious' in SEC

OK, now do it on the road.

Fresh from a smashing SEC season debut against Florida, Tennessee's men hope to carry some basketball momentum to Mississippi State on Thursday night.

A 67-56 upset of Florida last Saturday was coach Cuonzo Martin's first SEC win. The next order of business is getting Martin his first road win.

The Vols (8-7, 1-0 SEC) play No. 20 Mississippi State (13-3, 0-1) at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville. The game will be televised by ESPN2 at 9 p.m.

UT has lost road games at Oakland, College of Charleston and Memphis in Martin's first season.

Renaldo Woolridge is one of the seniors who has been through the SEC road wars and has some wisdom to impart to his young teammates.

"We just tell 'em it's kind of like that sixth man thing on the road,'' Woolridge said Tuesday.

"They've experienced it a little bit but now it's gonna get serious because it's the SEC.

"You've got to block out the fans and just play for each other.''

UT's most recent road trip was a 69-51 loss at Memphis on Jan. 4. The Vols didn't block out much of anything that night.

They were, however, able to correct enough of their problems to produce the upset of then-No. 13 Florida in Knoxville.

"You see what a big win will do for us,'' said senior Cameron Tatum. "Especially

being a young team.

"Our goal right now is build from that, get better every day and carry that momentum to Starkville.''

Mississippi State, generally speaking, is a tough place to play and the Bulldogs have an avid fan base. The Vols, nevertheless, own a three-game winning streak in Starkville, all during the Bruce Pearl era.

"Staying composed, being efficient, executing on offense and executing on the defensive end,'' said point guard Trae Golden. "If we have the same game plan on the road we had at home and execute it, we'll be fine.''

Easier said than done. Of the six SEC games on Saturday, only Alabama was able to get a road win (at Georgia).

"We've got to have our hard hats on,'' said Tatum, "ready to focus on the task at hand.''

Stanton Suits Up: Cory Stanton, the newest addition to the program, was in uniform for practice.

Stanton is a walk-on transfer from Lipscomb who began his career at Clemson. The sophomore point guard wore No. 12.

Getting Oriented: Jarnell Stokes was going through freshman orientation Tuesday and wasn't available for interviews.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 23

Flabbergasted writes:

Can't wait to watch Jarnell in action. He looks like a beast! Griff said the energy he brings to practice is amazing.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

I'm really excited to see how we respond in Starkville Thurday night. The Hump is notoriously one of the most raucous atmospheres in the SEC, and State is arguably the 2nd best team in the conference despite a questionable loss on the road to Arkansas. Staying composed, ball handling, and rebounding will all be key for the Vols to keep the momentum rolling to 2-0. State has even scoring across the board, and even features Fulton star Jalen Steele, who I had the privilege, or horror, of guarding while I played at West. It should be a good game, but I think that Sidney and Bost will prove too much to handle. State by 10-15.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to Flabbergasted:

Can't wait to watch Jarnell in action. He looks like a beast! Griff said the energy he brings to practice is amazing.

Hate to burst your bubble, but the kid ain't gonna play against the Bullies.

wigmeister writes:

If we play the same way we played Florida, we have a good chance to win.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to wigmeister:

If we play the same way we played Florida, we have a good chance to win.

Easier said than done on the road and in the Hump. Setting your expectations that high will only lead to disappointment! We have a long way to go to be on that level consistently.

jamgod writes:

This team hadn't found the character yet to win on the road in a place such as this. We gonna lose this one and then come back and have another miracle game against Ken at home....I'm gonna go on a very unsturdy ledge here and say after this weekend we will be 2-1 in the SEC!!

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

Ill eat my hat if we beat Kentucky in what will be a predominately blue "home" game.

AtopTheHill06 writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

Ill eat my hat if we beat Kentucky in what will be a predominately blue "home" game.

You don't have to eat your hat, but ill be happy if you get off the site and let your mom finish brushing your hair.

brod writes:

i'm not looking forward to this one. miss st. is a good team. better than memphis.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

OK!?? Let's try this a again.(The internet at school is being stubborn)

I think we can beat both Miss. St and Kentuck. It depends on which UT team shows up. I hope Martin's new starting team doesn't let him down! I hope the former starters play like they did last game when they come off the bench.

Upset at Miss. St. 70-65. Free throws win it for the Vols.

Upset of the visiting Wildcats 90-89. A last second dunk by Woolridge wins the game for the Vols.

Could happen. Tune in Thursday..."same bat channel...same bat station".

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to jamgod:

This team hadn't found the character yet to win on the road in a place such as this. We gonna lose this one and then come back and have another miracle game against Ken at home....I'm gonna go on a very unsturdy ledge here and say after this weekend we will be 2-1 in the SEC!!

I wish that would truly happen but... That would be a real miracle.

BTW, It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom of that "unsturdy ledge".

GBO!

jt45 writes:

Nothing I saw in the arkansas game was that impressive except their quickness. I think this will be a close one and road games are never easy but UT wins this one if they play like they did against florida. I think UT will surprise a few conference teams this year because they played some good teams early in the season that were better teams than some thought, for instance LMU is ranked no. 1 in div.II now. Alot of these SEC teams played daisy schedules to get the records up in the W but UT played some tough opponents and although they dropped a couple they should have won they will be much better than expected against SEC opponents. Too many people dont realize that the gap between Div 1 and II schools has closed in recent years and these so called warm up games are just as tough as most of the SEC level games.
As a UT fan im going with UT by 6.

VolunteerLifer writes:

In a transition year like this one, getting road wins against good teams is not the expected result, though it's fun and good to hope for it. Eventually, we'll learn how to win consistently, and how to win on the road. We've played a lot of tough road games this year, so we are getting more experienced at it. If we keep showing improvement, keep our focus and keep playing hard every second then I'll be satisfied, win or lose this or any one game.

Ironcity writes:

I would feel better about a road win if 1. Miss St. won their last game and wasn't desperate for a SEC win. 2. UT had won a road game this year. So far we haven't come close. 3. If we were the better team. 4. Miss St. struggled at home (they don't they almost always win at home).

That said, I will watch and hope. Seems like Miss St has kept teams in games all year. Maybe UT makes a few big plays down the stretch and shocks State with a late big three. We can only hope.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

I'm really excited to see how we respond in Starkville Thurday night. The Hump is notoriously one of the most raucous atmospheres in the SEC, and State is arguably the 2nd best team in the conference despite a questionable loss on the road to Arkansas. Staying composed, ball handling, and rebounding will all be key for the Vols to keep the momentum rolling to 2-0. State has even scoring across the board, and even features Fulton star Jalen Steele, who I had the privilege, or horror, of guarding while I played at West. It should be a good game, but I think that Sidney and Bost will prove too much to handle. State by 10-15.

Gotta say I was surprised to learn that the Vols have won three straight in Starkville. Or was it just three in a row against MSU? In any case, my Vol basketball memories go back to John Sines, and StarkVegas has always been a tough place for the Vols to get a win. A win there Thursday would be HUGE. I'm only surprised that they have lost three already; this is a potentially great MSU team. I'm as encouraged as anybody by the Florida win, but a loss at MSU won't be the end of the world. Not many SEC teams are going to leash the Bulldogs at their place. The worst of it is the quick turnaround to play UK on Saturday after what should be a bruising physical battle.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jt45:

Nothing I saw in the arkansas game was that impressive except their quickness. I think this will be a close one and road games are never easy but UT wins this one if they play like they did against florida. I think UT will surprise a few conference teams this year because they played some good teams early in the season that were better teams than some thought, for instance LMU is ranked no. 1 in div.II now. Alot of these SEC teams played daisy schedules to get the records up in the W but UT played some tough opponents and although they dropped a couple they should have won they will be much better than expected against SEC opponents. Too many people dont realize that the gap between Div 1 and II schools has closed in recent years and these so called warm up games are just as tough as most of the SEC level games.
As a UT fan im going with UT by 6.

I can't explain why MSU seemed so flat against Arkansas unless the Hogs are a lot better than anyone thought. Anyway, most teams play better at home and play worse on the road. A win would be great, and it certainly is possible, but neither we fans nor the team should be crushed if the Vols lose...unless they REALLY get crushed, anyway!

John_10065 writes:

It doesn't matter what these so-called "fans" on this site think of a game that hasn't been played yet. We have to wait until the final buzzer sounds.

If I listened to some of the "expert" basketball prognosticators on this site, we would be 0-15 right now.

I'll continue to say it, the real fans will be satisifed with the overall results by the end of the year with or without a NCAA appearance. Considering the mess Pearl left and the dark clouds of penalties hanging over our head, we're doing OK. We will suprise some folks before this season is over. Just ask Florida about that!

This game isn't lost yet and UT can win.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to John_10065:

It doesn't matter what these so-called "fans" on this site think of a game that hasn't been played yet. We have to wait until the final buzzer sounds.

If I listened to some of the "expert" basketball prognosticators on this site, we would be 0-15 right now.

I'll continue to say it, the real fans will be satisifed with the overall results by the end of the year with or without a NCAA appearance. Considering the mess Pearl left and the dark clouds of penalties hanging over our head, we're doing OK. We will suprise some folks before this season is over. Just ask Florida about that!

This game isn't lost yet and UT can win.

I'm a fan, I'm just also trying to keep it real. I think we can win, but it will be very hard to contain State when they so desperately need a win. The Hump is no joke.

FrostyVol writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

OK!?? Let's try this a again.(The internet at school is being stubborn)

I think we can beat both Miss. St and Kentuck. It depends on which UT team shows up. I hope Martin's new starting team doesn't let him down! I hope the former starters play like they did last game when they come off the bench.

Upset at Miss. St. 70-65. Free throws win it for the Vols.

Upset of the visiting Wildcats 90-89. A last second dunk by Woolridge wins the game for the Vols.

Could happen. Tune in Thursday..."same bat channel...same bat station".

that's "same bat time, same bat channel.." bro. Love me some old school Batman.

FrostyVol writes:

gonna "Pow!" and "Biff!" the bulldogs tomorrow night.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to John_10065:

It doesn't matter what these so-called "fans" on this site think of a game that hasn't been played yet. We have to wait until the final buzzer sounds.

If I listened to some of the "expert" basketball prognosticators on this site, we would be 0-15 right now.

I'll continue to say it, the real fans will be satisifed with the overall results by the end of the year with or without a NCAA appearance. Considering the mess Pearl left and the dark clouds of penalties hanging over our head, we're doing OK. We will suprise some folks before this season is over. Just ask Florida about that!

This game isn't lost yet and UT can win.

Works for me. Some of the naysayers on here remind me of an old British war flick I once saw. It was about this veteran infantry unit, victorious in many battles, in which there was this cynical old guy who would always say, just before they went into action, "We're all gonna git kilt!" Of course they didn't ALL get "kilt" and of course they ended up as heroes again. I'm not a betting man and I'm surely not predicting a win, but I am pretty sure the Vols will give a good account of themselves. I think you will see a different team than the one that looked so outclassed and uninvolved at Memphis. In fact, I doubt we will see THAT Vol team again this year.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I would feel better about a road win if 1. Miss St. won their last game and wasn't desperate for a SEC win. 2. UT had won a road game this year. So far we haven't come close. 3. If we were the better team. 4. Miss St. struggled at home (they don't they almost always win at home).

That said, I will watch and hope. Seems like Miss St has kept teams in games all year. Maybe UT makes a few big plays down the stretch and shocks State with a late big three. We can only hope.

I agree with you on this one, Iron City. The Dogs will come lean and mean, especially being 0-1 in the SEC, playing their first SEC home game, and definitely not wanting to go 0-2. If the Vols bring their A-game with confidence, though, I believe they can play with these guys. One thing for sure, they can't play like they did at Memphis. Gotta bring it hard. No quarter asked, none given.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to FrostyVol:

that's "same bat time, same bat channel.." bro. Love me some old school Batman.

lol...never thought I'd be called out for mistyping a batman quote? But yeh U right!

Back to Miss. ST.
It'll be tough on the road but UT can do it as they showed in Maui(as far as having good games). BUT can we control the game enough to win (unlike Maui)? OUR bench has proven that we need scoring AND no let-up on defense when they come into the game. Perhaps the starting line-up shake-up can get things going the right direction

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features