Vols have Georgia on their mind

Trip to Georgia just another road game for 4 Vols

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee's Cameron Tatum, right, shoots a three-pointer during the Vols' 65-62 home loss to Kentucky on Saturday.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee's Cameron Tatum, right, shoots a three-pointer during the Vols' 65-62 home loss to Kentucky on Saturday.

If anyone can appreciate the fact that there's no place like home, it's the Tennessee men's basketball team.

The Vols (8-9, 1-2 SEC) play at Georgia (9-8, 0-3) tonight (TV: WVLT, 8 p.m) looking for their first road victory of the season.

This time, however, there's a twist for at least half the players in UT's eight-man rotation. Tonight's game at Stegeman Coliseum will represent a homecoming of sorts for four Vols who hail from the state of Georgia: Cameron Tatum (Lithonia), Trae Golden (Powder Springs), Jordan McRae (Midway) and Kenny Hall (Stone Mountain).

Not that any of them seemed anxious to play up their return to the Peach State.

"Right now, man, we just need to get a road victory,'' said Tatum, a fifth-year senior who is the team's lone returning starter from a season ago. "It's not about how many friends and family I'll have there (a dozen).

"The fact we're playing back in Georgia hasn't even come up with us. It's an SEC road trip.''

The Bulldogs are 7-3 at home but are looking for their first win of 2012. Georgia is riding a three-

game losing streak that dates back to a 58-51 win over Delaware State on Dec. 30.

The quartet of Georgia Vols has accounted for 56 percent of UT's scoring this season and 69.6 percent of the team's assists.

Tatum, who starts at small forward, has had as bumpy of a road as any of his teammates.

"I haven't really had a good road outing,'' Tatum said. "It's a matter of being consistent on the road. I'm trying to put the past behind me and move forward.''

Tatum is 3-of-19 shooting from the floor with seven points in 75 combined minutes in the Vols' last three road games, at Charleston (S.C.), at Memphis and at Mississippi State.

While Tatum said he's sure to hear some catcalls from the Georgia fans, he said he knows how to roll with it.

"At Stegeman, it's the fans and the hecklers they have down there,'' Tatum said. "They will really try to get to you, which is fun. It's mostly their student section.''

Golden, UT's starting point guard, said he didn't have to worry about that when the teams met at Georgia last season, a game UT won 59-57 on Brian Williams' last-second basket.

"I didn't really hear anything, because I was a backup,'' said Golden, Georgia's high school player of the year in 2010. "But when I picked Tennessee (coming out of high school), I heard from some Bulldog and Georgia Tech fans. It was kind of like Jarnell (Stokes) in Memphis, only not on that big of a scale.

"I just felt something was right about Tennessee, and I did take a lot of heat for that.''

While UT has a distinct size advantage on the front line, bolstered by recent addition of 6-foot-8, 270-pound freshman mid-term enrollee Stokes, Golden will have his hands full against an experienced Georgia backcourt featuring seniors Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson.

McRae's role is less clear, as he has been an x-factor of sorts for the Vols this season.

The high-flying 6-foot-5 sophomore guard has detonated at times, scoring 25 points in back-to-back games against Chaminade (Nov. 23) and Oakland (Nov. 28).

But since losing his starting job to freshman Josh Richardson before the Jan. 7 SEC opener against Florida, McRae's scoring has dropped from 10 points (against the Gators), to five points (at Mississippi State) and one point in last Saturday's 65-62 loss to Kentucky.

Hall, a junior post, has seen his numbers trend upward since losing his starting job before the Florida game.

"I've always had it in me, but now it's just coming out,'' said Hall, who scored 13 against Florida, 12 against Mississippi State and eight against Kentucky. "Like Coach (Cuonzo) Martin said, I had to dig down deep and bring it out.''

Hall indicated there would be no better time for him and his fellow Georgia high school products to have one of their better games than against the home-state Bulldogs.

"It's a chance for us to show what we can do,'' said Hall, who is averaging 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds this season. "I wouldn't say (Georgia) is anymore difficult than anywhere else to play. It's going to be loud in there.

"I hear stuff there, but I just laugh it off.''

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

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Comments » 40

tovolny writes:

I wish you guys would come in early in the morning and not be working so late. The later your item, the worse it gets. DO any of you guys have a life? I bet Adams doesn't even MAN his office at KNS...I am sure he is too cowardly to be seen in public.

born2ride writes:

Please do not us lose to 0-3 Georgia.

lomas98 writes:

in response to tovolny:

I wish you guys would come in early in the morning and not be working so late. The later your item, the worse it gets. DO any of you guys have a life? I bet Adams doesn't even MAN his office at KNS...I am sure he is too cowardly to be seen in public.

Huh???

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to born2ride:

Please do not us lose to 0-3 Georgia.

Huh? How can the comment section help you win a game?

TNVol71 writes:

UT has had 2 great home games and a mediocre road game at MS State. Time to shed the road dog image and get a win. GBO!!!

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to tovolny:

I wish you guys would come in early in the morning and not be working so late. The later your item, the worse it gets. DO any of you guys have a life? I bet Adams doesn't even MAN his office at KNS...I am sure he is too cowardly to be seen in public.

What does your comment have to do with anything--working late, a life, Adams in public?? This is about the Vols playing at GA with some "home-grown" boys and what their stats are. We need to focus on beating the dawgs, not on the personalities of the writers. GBO, VFL, Wazzy

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Go Vols!!! Cuonzo has my support.

BolivrBob writes:

Tough game we can't afford to lose. They have a win over Notre Dame. Cincy beat them by 6 in Athens. Vandy 11 in Nashville

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Beat the "DAWGs"

underthehill writes:

Informative article for me..Vols need to expect tough game and get off to a good start.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Beat the "DAWGS"! Go Vols. Yea for that area of Goergia where I grew up as a kid. However tonight is not a good night for me to pull for my birth state!!

lomas98 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GA feels the same way...they are 0-3.

DougSharp writes:

Hard to say which team has been more pathetic up until this point. UT not a single road win all year. That alone is an unbelievable statement about the digression into demise of the UT athletic program. Which makes me physically sick to think about!

That being said, I still like the Vols chances tonight against an evenly more pathetic team from Athens. Last win Delaware State, boy there's a signature!

I predict tonight C. Martin will turn Stokes loose and we'll get our first TRUE look at next year's MVP in the SEC.

Bubba_Knows writes:

It will be interesting to see if Stokes can play as well on the road as he did in his first game at home. Playing on the road having just turned 18 can be intimidating. If he can, Stokes and Maymon should create a mismatch inside and hopefully open up the outside shot for McBee and others on the kickout pass. I look forward to seeing how the team chemistry progresses with Stokes having another week of practice. Remember, it is going to take time for him to learn the offense and play defense the way Coach Martin demands. Obviously, he looked good last week just off pure ability, but he should get even better as he learns the system.

hikerdude writes:

I think we win Auburn, Ga, SC, Ark and Ole miss at home and SC on the road. We need to win at least three of the other games to break 500 for the season. Best chances are road games at Ga, Ala, and LSU and Vandy at home. Have to win three of those. First of those wins comes tonight.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to hikerdude:

I think we win Auburn, Ga, SC, Ark and Ole miss at home and SC on the road. We need to win at least three of the other games to break 500 for the season. Best chances are road games at Ga, Ala, and LSU and Vandy at home. Have to win three of those. First of those wins comes tonight.

Not sure I would include Alabama at home in my list of likely road wins. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country. I don't expect the total score in the game to be much over 110 if that. Still, I think it is yet possible for the Vols to go well over .500 in the SEC as long as they can all keep their heads in the game (Cam & Jordan), make good shots when they present themselves (McBee & Golden), pound the boards (Hall, Maymon, & Stokes), and take care of the ball (ALL of them). I surely agree that it MUST start tonight against UGA.

kentonog writes:

Sooo are we not counting our win against Chaminade in Hawaii as a road win? I guess technically a neutral site.

GreeneVol writes:

I keep seeing different weights for Stokes. Is it 270 or 250?

VolunteerLifer writes:

I believe we will be competitive on other team's home courts for now on out. Go Vols!! Bring home a road win tonite!!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to kentonog:

Sooo are we not counting our win against Chaminade in Hawaii as a road win? I guess technically a neutral site.

Not only at a "neutral" site-- though I think the tourney was held on Chaminade's home court--but they are a Div-II team. No, the Vols have drawn back nothing but nubs in true road games this year. Tonight has to the first one they actually bag and drag home, and it can't be the LAST one, either.

Looks like I will have to wait to see the game on tape-delay in my market, and please don't tell me about ESPN3; my ISP doesn't carry it. I haven't checked the UT sports site to see if by some chance they are carrying the video live, but that is admittedly a long shot. I guess it just means I will have to avoid watching any games on ESPN tonight and stay up late to watch it "live". GO ZO!!! GO VOLS!!! BRING HOME THE FIRST OF MANY MORE ROAD WINS TONIGHT!!!

VolFolks writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

It will be interesting to see if Stokes can play as well on the road as he did in his first game at home. Playing on the road having just turned 18 can be intimidating. If he can, Stokes and Maymon should create a mismatch inside and hopefully open up the outside shot for McBee and others on the kickout pass. I look forward to seeing how the team chemistry progresses with Stokes having another week of practice. Remember, it is going to take time for him to learn the offense and play defense the way Coach Martin demands. Obviously, he looked good last week just off pure ability, but he should get even better as he learns the system.

Just make sure Stokes packs his only pair of size 20 black shoes for this road game!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GreeneVol:

I keep seeing different weights for Stokes. Is it 270 or 250?

Published heights and weights for most athletes, in football and basketball especially, are as much PR constructs as they are reflections of any "official" measurements. As a guess, I would say 250 is about what he weighed at the start of this HS season, in which he did not play, and the 270 is closer to what he weighs now. All I care about is that he seems big and strong enough to take care of himself inside, and that is good enough for me.

givehim6 writes:

UGA will be a good chance fof the Vols to get there first road win, GO VOLS!

johnlg00 writes:

FWIW to anyone like me who lives outside the local K'ville viewing area and lacks access to ESPN3, the UT sports website SAYS that there will be live video of the Georgia game tonight. However, on other occasions when it has said that, it transferred me to ESPN3 which nevertheless doesn't come up because of my ISP. I'll try it anyway; good luck to others who may try it.

kentonog writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not only at a "neutral" site-- though I think the tourney was held on Chaminade's home court--but they are a Div-II team. No, the Vols have drawn back nothing but nubs in true road games this year. Tonight has to the first one they actually bag and drag home, and it can't be the LAST one, either.

Looks like I will have to wait to see the game on tape-delay in my market, and please don't tell me about ESPN3; my ISP doesn't carry it. I haven't checked the UT sports site to see if by some chance they are carrying the video live, but that is admittedly a long shot. I guess it just means I will have to avoid watching any games on ESPN tonight and stay up late to watch it "live". GO ZO!!! GO VOLS!!! BRING HOME THE FIRST OF MANY MORE ROAD WINS TONIGHT!!!

True. True.

Best of luck getting to watch the game tonight, man.

Go Vols and Go Zo!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to GreeneVol:

I keep seeing different weights for Stokes. Is it 270 or 250?

He really only weighs 250 but his 20" shoes weigh 20 lbs. LOL

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to VolFolks:

Just make sure Stokes packs his only pair of size 20 black shoes for this road game!!!

Good point. You know if I had feet this big, I'd use those shoes to step on other people's feet to get position.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

Good point. You know if I had feet this big, I'd use those shoes to step on other people's feet to get position.

I think Will Perdue's feet were size 21 but he was 7' 2" tall?

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

Georgia has two guards that will give UT more than they can handle. (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.6 ppg) and Gerald Robinson (13.4 ppg)).Georgia also plays much better defense allowing 63ppg compared to 68ppg for Ut and guards the 3 pointer better 33% to 36% and the field goal defense is better. Georgia has wins over much better teams than UT including Notre Dame and at USC. The Bulldogs losses came to Xavier, Cinn, Vandy, Florida, Colorado and Georgia Tech. UT has losses to Austin Peay and Oakland. Not only will the Vols lose tonight on the road, but they will drop at least 4 of their next 5 to close the door on the season. Watch and see.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Georgia has two guards that will give UT more than they can handle. (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.6 ppg) and Gerald Robinson (13.4 ppg)).Georgia also plays much better defense allowing 63ppg compared to 68ppg for Ut and guards the 3 pointer better 33% to 36% and the field goal defense is better. Georgia has wins over much better teams than UT including Notre Dame and at USC. The Bulldogs losses came to Xavier, Cinn, Vandy, Florida, Colorado and Georgia Tech. UT has losses to Austin Peay and Oakland. Not only will the Vols lose tonight on the road, but they will drop at least 4 of their next 5 to close the door on the season. Watch and see.

And we all know that you have been wrong before.

Smokey says your opinion means nothing to us..That's all.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Georgia has two guards that will give UT more than they can handle. (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.6 ppg) and Gerald Robinson (13.4 ppg)).Georgia also plays much better defense allowing 63ppg compared to 68ppg for Ut and guards the 3 pointer better 33% to 36% and the field goal defense is better. Georgia has wins over much better teams than UT including Notre Dame and at USC. The Bulldogs losses came to Xavier, Cinn, Vandy, Florida, Colorado and Georgia Tech. UT has losses to Austin Peay and Oakland. Not only will the Vols lose tonight on the road, but they will drop at least 4 of their next 5 to close the door on the season. Watch and see.

I must admit that this batch of stats and observations is a good deal more relevant than your last offering. Still, the Vols aren't the same team as the one that lost to Oakland and APSU. Not only are the players who started the season playing better now than they did earlier, it would be foolish to discount how much better Stokes makes them. If the Vols drop four out of their next five, we can all agree that they are out of luck for this season, but I just don't think that is going to happen. Guess we'll see.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to kentonog:

True. True.

Best of luck getting to watch the game tonight, man.

Go Vols and Go Zo!

Oh, I'll watch it. The only question is whether I can see it live through UTsports.com or have to wait for the tape-delay. I'm sure I can avoid hearing the score if I stay off the ESPN's.

tobytyler writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not only at a "neutral" site-- though I think the tourney was held on Chaminade's home court--but they are a Div-II team. No, the Vols have drawn back nothing but nubs in true road games this year. Tonight has to the first one they actually bag and drag home, and it can't be the LAST one, either.

Looks like I will have to wait to see the game on tape-delay in my market, and please don't tell me about ESPN3; my ISP doesn't carry it. I haven't checked the UT sports site to see if by some chance they are carrying the video live, but that is admittedly a long shot. I guess it just means I will have to avoid watching any games on ESPN tonight and stay up late to watch it "live". GO ZO!!! GO VOLS!!! BRING HOME THE FIRST OF MANY MORE ROAD WINS TONIGHT!!!

First row sports.com its awesome, if it's on tv, it's on this site. It's free too. Enjoy!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to tobytyler:

First row sports.com its awesome, if it's on tv, it's on this site. It's free too. Enjoy!

Thanks! Sounds good; I'll give it a shot. After a brief search, I found I already had a sticky note on that one. I have it down as firstrow.net; I assume it is the same thing you're talking about.

class_83 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not only at a "neutral" site-- though I think the tourney was held on Chaminade's home court--but they are a Div-II team. No, the Vols have drawn back nothing but nubs in true road games this year. Tonight has to the first one they actually bag and drag home, and it can't be the LAST one, either.

Looks like I will have to wait to see the game on tape-delay in my market, and please don't tell me about ESPN3; my ISP doesn't carry it. I haven't checked the UT sports site to see if by some chance they are carrying the video live, but that is admittedly a long shot. I guess it just means I will have to avoid watching any games on ESPN tonight and stay up late to watch it "live". GO ZO!!! GO VOLS!!! BRING HOME THE FIRST OF MANY MORE ROAD WINS TONIGHT!!!

Keep checking periodically, you may be surprised. Here in Wilmington NC my ISP (Time Warner) finally got with the program after a couple years. I found out midway through the football season this year and haven't missed a single game yet.

Volsking writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not only at a "neutral" site-- though I think the tourney was held on Chaminade's home court--but they are a Div-II team. No, the Vols have drawn back nothing but nubs in true road games this year. Tonight has to the first one they actually bag and drag home, and it can't be the LAST one, either.

Looks like I will have to wait to see the game on tape-delay in my market, and please don't tell me about ESPN3; my ISP doesn't carry it. I haven't checked the UT sports site to see if by some chance they are carrying the video live, but that is admittedly a long shot. I guess it just means I will have to avoid watching any games on ESPN tonight and stay up late to watch it "live". GO ZO!!! GO VOLS!!! BRING HOME THE FIRST OF MANY MORE ROAD WINS TONIGHT!!!

Don't know where you're at, but it's on 30 here in Nashville.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to class_83:

Keep checking periodically, you may be surprised. Here in Wilmington NC my ISP (Time Warner) finally got with the program after a couple years. I found out midway through the football season this year and haven't missed a single game yet.

Hmmm, that's odd. I have Time-Warner/Roadrunner here in Greensboro and they have never carried ESPN3 here. Who knows, maybe they'll start tonight!

johnlg00 writes:

FYI, I just tried to log on to firstrow.net and got a banner saying that the domain name had been seized by the Feds. The wording implied that they were busted for showing copyrighted material. Just for the heck of it, I tried firstrow.com, but it turned out to be some kind of commerce-oriented search site. It talked a lot about games, shoes, and such for sale but nothing about showing games.

So I guess I'm back to my original choices: hoping utsports.com doesn't throw me to ESPN3 which I have never gotten yet or staying up late to watch it on tape-delay. After going through all these conniptions to watch them, the Vols had BETTER bring home a W(;-P)!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That site just throws you to ESPN3. However, tonight for the first time I have seen on my system, I was offered the opportunity to sign up to receive ESPN3. The good news is that I was able to log on just before the game started. The bad news is that I watched the game. Glad I have access to ESPN3 for the future, but tonight's game was a nightmare. Just too many silly mistakes with the ball, several inexplicable defensive lapses, and too many missed shots close in and from the free-throw line.

pcorange writes:

Got outcoached down the stretch...

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