Martin wants to get Stokes, Maymon playing together

Jarnell Stokes on loss to Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — Cuonzo Martin was at loss to explain Tennessee's season-high 20 turnovers at Georgia on Wednesday night.

But the men's basketball coach was looking forward to what he referred to as "the next phase" after the Vols dropped a 57-53 overtime loss to Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum.

"The next phase is to get Jarnell (Stokes) and Jeronne (Maymon) together in practice getting reps,'' Martin said. "A lot of times Jeronne and Jarnell are going against each other in practice, we just got to get those guys playing together on the same (practice) team.''

Tennessee (8-10, 1-3 SEC) returns to action Saturday (TV: WVLT, 4 p.m.) at Thompson-Boling Arena against 13th-ranked Connecticut (14-4), the defending national champion.

Stokes had 11 points and eight rebounds in the first road game of his career against the Bulldogs (10-8, 1-3), playing 26 minutes. Maymon had 12 points and eight rebounds in his 31 minutes on the floor.

"I definitely thought we did good together, but we could have done better,'' said the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Stokes, who scored nine of his 11 points during the final 8½ minutes of regulation. "In practice, it will be a lot better. I felt there were more plays I could of made for him, and more he could of made for me tonight.''

The 6-7, 265-pound Maymon has taken Stokes under his wing since the mid-term freshman enrollee began practicing with the team on Jan. 9.

"We try to find each other when we're out there together and look for each other,'' Maymon said. "We're a tough matchup.

"Jarnell just has to get comfortable finding his shots in the offense.''

Point guard Trae Golden said he can see how having the massive Maymon and Stokes combination on the floor together could affect opponents.

"I know as a guard I'd think twice about driving in there,'' Golden said. "Those are two bruisers.''

Martin likes the pressure Stokes and Maymon will put on opponents' defenses, too.

"They both demand the double team around the basket,'' Martin said, "so now it's getting them to play together in practice.''

Stokes' Take: Stokes said he didn't notice too much of a difference playing on the road, outside of not hearing any cheers after he made baskets.

"That's different ... but I don't want to make any excuses,'' said Stokes, who was 5-of-9 shooting. "I just didn't make shots I was supposed to make.''

Stokes did go on a 5-0 run to put the Vols up 40-35 heading into the final minutes.

"It was definitely a momentum swing; we were supposed to close it out, but we didn't,'' Stokes said. "We definitely were supposed to win this game, with the momentum we had, we felt we were going over the top. We have a lot more work to do, but I'm looking forward to playing UConn.''

Connecticut was one of five schools Stokes narrowed his choices down to, along with Memphis, Kentucky, Florida and Arkansas.

Shooting Woes: The Vols made only seven of 14 free throws against the Bulldogs. UT is 38-of-62 (61.2 percent) from the line since the start of SEC play.

The Vols also struggled against the Bulldogs from beyond the 3-point arc, connecting on just two of 15 shots (13.3 percent). It was UT's worst 3-point shooting game since going 0-for-8 in a 77-67 loss to Duke on Nov. 21 at the Maui Invitational.

The only consolation was Georgia shot even worse, finishing 2-of-19 (10.5 percent) shooting the three.

Disappointed Golden: Golden, who had one assist and three turnovers in the 37 minutes he played against Georgia, struggled to find the words to explain the loss.

"I definitely thought we had it won (when UT was up 40-35 with five minutes left), and the game was in our hands,'' Golden said. "A couple of costly turnovers hurt us; they were very disappointing. To have 20 turnovers and two assists in the game, that's not a good night.''

Golden didn't practice with the team on Tuesday after turning his left ankle in Monday's practice, but Martin said he didn't think that was a factor.

"He was shooting the ball fine, so it must not have bothered him too much,'' Martin said.

Georgia Vols Struggle: It wasn't a good night for Georgia high school products Cam Tatum, Kenny Hall or Jordan McRae, either.

Tatum was 3-of-9 shooting for 6 points and had five turnovers, Hall was 1-of-1 shooting with three rebounds and three turnovers in 21 minutes, and McRae was 0-for-2 shooting with a turnover in 10 minutes.

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Comments » 49

FrostyVol writes:

kept wondering last night why CM didnt keep Maymon and Stokes on the floor together. Guess it's just a matter of time. The big dudes need to make better passes out of the double teams, find the open man, cause teams are going to double off of different players, mix it up and force Stokes and Maymon to find the guy before they turn it over.

kevin151 writes:

sound good but more importantly keep Tatum off the floor, he is TERRIBLE!!!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to kevin151:

sound good but more importantly keep Tatum off the floor, he is TERRIBLE!!!!!

Yeah, I really thought Cam looked bad last night...

abnerPeabody writes:

Golden needs to think twice before driving on opponents big men. Way too many shots stuffed down his throat or a turn over trying to make an altered shot.

There is an old aaying,"the Golden years have come at last.Well, the Golden years can kiss my arse".

okievol1 writes:

All the talk of NCAA is rubish this year. Love to have it happen but lets just win a few games and get to the NIT. One step at a time. Close only counts in shooting shoes. Get Stokes and Maymon playing together. Dont throw Cam under the bus. Just a bad game thats all.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Wish coach would sit Tatum and Golden more. Stokes will be a monster if he ever learns defense. He is a bright spot but he needs to learn to hustle more and defend better when the other team is in transition. May not even be NIT bound.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Yeah, I really thought Cam looked bad last night...

I'm not normally negative but he looks bad most nites---------he the biggest stretch for a starter that i have seen in years, a turnover machine, cant finish around the basket and a bad shooter----------------we had bricks from everyone last nite, pathetic shooting all round

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I have to agree that Tatum and Golden have been inconsistent. Woolridge also in the last two games has been off. McBee's defense to me has mostly been good. Tatums defense has GOLLY TATUM If you're going to foul then foul!?. But FOUL with your body and not your pinky finger!!!

What was I talking about?? OH! I like the idea of playing Stokes and Maymon and even suggested AND have seen others suggest it as soon as we knew we'd get Stokes! I'm not that smart neither. C'mon Martin you Know you've got to establish it inside when your perimeter is so incondanmsistent!!lol

born2ride writes:

Is this YEAR ZERO for basketball?

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

NCAA...NIT...are you kidding me,this team is loaded to the hilt with talent but is lacking in a big way of a coach that can coach em,Martin dont have a clue.Youns keep hopin but until a change is made its gonna be this way.Always excuses.Martin needs to do 1 of two thangs,go back where he came from or go find hamilton and hang out with him!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

NCAA...NIT...are you kidding me,this team is loaded to the hilt with talent but is lacking in a big way of a coach that can coach em,Martin dont have a clue.Youns keep hopin but until a change is made its gonna be this way.Always excuses.Martin needs to do 1 of two thangs,go back where he came from or go find hamilton and hang out with him!

You posted several days ago that your "sources" told you that Randy Shannon was gonna be the Vols next DC. You say Coach Martin doesn't have a clue but actually you and your "sources" have no clue

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to born2ride:

Is this YEAR ZERO for basketball?

No, but you are a ZERO

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to born2ride:

Is this YEAR ZERO for basketball?

Yes, actually it is, bone2ride. It was always going to be a rebuilding year, even under Pearl, and now it is a transition year to a new coaching staff as well. So its a transition AND a rebuilding year combined. The only important purpose of this year is to prepare us for next year, when we will be a good team again. Now that has been explained to you, go away and ride your bone some more.

traderjoe writes:

THERE'S HOPE....NEWS....Rob Lowe tweets Peyton Manning will retire...The actor lit up social media Wednesday when he tweeted that Peyton Manning was done. Lowe said he'd heard from "my people" that the Indianapolis Colts quarterback would retire later in the day.

No official word yet from Manning, the 35-year-old star who missed this season with a neck injury. But ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted that Manning's father, Archie, laughed at Lowe's report and said it wasn't true.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Obviously, this team is making progress defensively but not enough offensively. And obviously, this team has not learned to win close games and especially close road games. Now, either 1) They are incapable of improving in these areas, or 2) they will improve in these areas. If the case is 1) above, then Martin needs to make personnel changes and do it very soon so the sooner they will get better. But I believe the case is 2) above. Our point guard is a sophomore in need of more time at the position. Our shooting guard is a freshman who hasn't yet learned to shoot. Our center is a raw rookie. Our small forward is experiencd but a turn-over machine who is in a terrible shooting slump. Our bench is too inexperienced or just unable to help much this year. These losses are called growing pains. I think we will be very good next year, and that thought helps keep me through the pain of this year.

underthehill writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Golden needs to think twice before driving on opponents big men. Way too many shots stuffed down his throat or a turn over trying to make an altered shot.

There is an old aaying,"the Golden years have come at last.Well, the Golden years can kiss my arse".

Quoted that one to my dentist one time when I was medicated while getting wisdom teeth removed..didn't mean to..sorta like Golden's turnovers..Golden may be a great shooting 2 guard but I'm sick of watching him try to play point..Pat tried the same thing with Stricken and finally got it that it won't work..Martin is going to have to do the same ..

LJS1984 writes:

HE HAD A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET THEM BOTH ON THE FLOOR IN OVERTIME LAST NIGHT!!!! Why did Stokes not see the floor in OT??????????????????????????

wigmeister writes:

Is the point guard, Stanton, that walked on from Clemson eligible?

clvolfan writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Golden needs to think twice before driving on opponents big men. Way too many shots stuffed down his throat or a turn over trying to make an altered shot.

There is an old aaying,"the Golden years have come at last.Well, the Golden years can kiss my arse".

Only disagree that CCM needs to think twice instead of Golden. He needs to order him to set up a play,and get it to someone else for the shot.He's cost us a few games already.
Good idea to have Maymon and the BIG kid in together,cannot do well with Maymon on the bench.

LJS1984 writes:

Sorry guys, this loss wasn't on Trae Golden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one was on the coach! Stokes would have taken a whole lot of pressure off of Golden there at the end. Opponents know that they can just double Maymon and force Trae to make a play, when Stokes is on the floor it gives the Vols a third scoring option. When Stokes isn't on the floor teams make Golden score by doubling Maymon. IT'S easy to figure out.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

The guys are playing hard.........but carelessly.
I wish we could win every game but have to be realistic. Some will say, okay but we'll get UGA when they come here. Hopefully. However, the word is probably out on the Vols. Throw a zone at us, and if we can somehow get the ball inside........collapse all over us.

Someone tell me how we managed to get it inside against Kentucky, a premier team.......take them to the wire etc. Georgia was another matter.
Maybe they just out quicked us. The crowning blow was when that big tall guy went coast to coast and scored. Still think we would have been in really good shape with the 5 point lead and the ball.....if Tatum had not missed the little 5 or 6 footer, point blank in front of the basket. And the shots not falling at the free throw line are huge. Didn't Tatum actually miss one of the 2 technical shots he had?

Enough of me. You guys are better at this than I. I still hope however !

STLVOLS writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

NCAA...NIT...are you kidding me,this team is loaded to the hilt with talent but is lacking in a big way of a coach that can coach em,Martin dont have a clue.Youns keep hopin but until a change is made its gonna be this way.Always excuses.Martin needs to do 1 of two thangs,go back where he came from or go find hamilton and hang out with him!

Your grammar is atrocious. Youins??? When obviously are clueless on writing.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to born2ride:

Is this YEAR ZERO for basketball?

You are one of the biggest losers on this site! All you ever say is negative and I hope that you find something positive in your own life so that you just might be happy one day. Back to the topic , I don't care who we have on the floor because if you have 20 turnovers , only 2 assist , and shoot that bad from the 3 point line you will not win games at any level! I hope they start playing better team ball soon. VFL

cwbytruckers writes:

Can someone please explain to me why Golden cant dribble a basketball. Why he continually dribbles it off his own foot. And why in the heck does this team seem to throw the ball out of bounce 3 to 4 times a game when someone is standing right there to catch it. But they just let it go through their hands. This team plays great defense now as a team. But they need to spend 2 or 3 days a week working on ball security.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

in response to STLVOLS:

Your grammar is atrocious. Youins??? When obviously are clueless on writing.

Never claimed to be no writer unlike martin who claims to be a coach!!! And ifn youns dont like it youns dont ahve to read it!!!

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Could you please let me in on his alter-egos? I would much rather reply to post of REAL UT fans. VFL

GreySmokey writes:

I think we will improve a good bit as Jarnell and Jeronne (sounds like a singing Vegas signing duo)develop together. Having these two bigs takes some of the pressure off of Hall, who was clearly struggling before. Guard play has been disappointing, but with all the inexperience at the point, it was expected. Not that losing to Austin Peay or a really weak Georgia squad should be acceptable. My wish is that they can start improving on a consistent basis, beat the teams they should beat, and play well against the better teams. I can't say I am totally convinced that Coach Martin was the best hire for this program, but I am not totally convinced that Bruce would have had a whole lot of success with this bunch either. The product thus far reminds me a lot of the Buzz and Wade days. Losing close games was a way of life for Buzz when he was here. Wade was just happy to be in a close game. Anyway, it is amazing to me how one little lie led to all the chaos that is Tennessee Men's Basketball.

lomas98 writes:

Sounds like stokes will be cracking the starting lineup soon. Good move.

mikkim writes:

in response to born2ride:

Is this YEAR ZERO for basketball?

There is no way that you ever attended a single class at the University of Tennessee. You are not even good enough to be a sidewalk alumni. You are just a categoric redneck idiot! What is your problem. Do you realize that these are 18-20 year old kids playing a game. I was there last night on the front row and I can tell you these kids busted their tails. They did not take a minute off and to have losers like you criticize them is unacceptable. Go back to your suede cover lazy boy, have your wife (1st cousin) get you another Schlitz Malt Liquor and in the future remain hidden under that rock you crawled out from. I wish the local library would ban idiots like you from using public computers!!! Get a life and a new attitude or better yet...keep YOUR opinions to yourself. This may be America but no one supports your freedom of speech!

Bear4Vols writes:

I really don't mean to be negative but Cam and Golden may have cost us the win against Kentucky. I think at the 6 minute mark, Golden launched a 3 early in the shot clock, then cam turned the ball over on the next trip down. Momentum crashed and the 13K UK fans got involved. Golden is still young, but expect more from Tatum.

Roger41 writes:

This team has no clue about Big Orange or Rocky Top Tradition. This is TENN. Not some small JR college. These players need to wake up . BOB and Bert said Georgia was the worst shooting team they had ever seen in the SEC. I say to Coach Martin And his players be a fighter and start representing BIG ORANGE or go find another school to wallow at,not UT.People spend and support UT Sports and are sick of this phooey we are seeing.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

Never claimed to be no writer unlike martin who claims to be a coach!!! And ifn youns dont like it youns dont ahve to read it!!!

Seems as though you are having a great deal of fun attempting to aggravate UT fans. You'ins ain't no judge of basketball coaches neither. but I reckon you'ins does know quite well how to make a jack of yourself.

FeelVol writes:

in response to Bear4Vols:

I really don't mean to be negative but Cam and Golden may have cost us the win against Kentucky. I think at the 6 minute mark, Golden launched a 3 early in the shot clock, then cam turned the ball over on the next trip down. Momentum crashed and the 13K UK fans got involved. Golden is still young, but expect more from Tatum.

I agree with your take on Cam and Golden they may have cost us the win over Georgia as well with about half our turnovers coming from these two and yes i do expect more from Tatum.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

The guys are playing hard.........but carelessly.
I wish we could win every game but have to be realistic. Some will say, okay but we'll get UGA when they come here. Hopefully. However, the word is probably out on the Vols. Throw a zone at us, and if we can somehow get the ball inside........collapse all over us.

Someone tell me how we managed to get it inside against Kentucky, a premier team.......take them to the wire etc. Georgia was another matter.
Maybe they just out quicked us. The crowning blow was when that big tall guy went coast to coast and scored. Still think we would have been in really good shape with the 5 point lead and the ball.....if Tatum had not missed the little 5 or 6 footer, point blank in front of the basket. And the shots not falling at the free throw line are huge. Didn't Tatum actually miss one of the 2 technical shots he had?

Enough of me. You guys are better at this than I. I still hope however !

Don't be so modest! Darn good post! You were on topic and made good points. Ok I'm NOT sure carelessly is the proper fit really but at times it sure looks that way. I'm an arthritice 57 year old and I really believe I could've out ran their center down court to at least not let him have a layup. But it looked to me like our defender was trying to harass Djurric?? on the wrong side and the other defenders weren't to be found and probably didn't know he was going down court till too late. Happens I guess.
Every missed shot in this game was huge. BUT the turnovers were awful. 20 was it??
Georgia, like us has been very inconsistent. Like us they are very young. Like us they haven't had a lot of noticeable improvement because of the youth and lack of play as a team. I think Georgia will get better and will give some people game as the season goes on. But like us their record won't show it much. They need some help recruitment wise also.

AS much as we give Tatum and Golden a hard time on here they are "starters" for a whole lot of teams out there. We desperately need better decisions. BUT we also need better instinctive play. A good pass shouldn't have to be thought out. You just do it. A 2 or 3 on one play should not have to be hard when you have the ball. Just shoot if it's given to you and pass off if it's not. Simple enough.lol

Sir_Spanky writes:

Tatum's a senior. It's time to play like one.

vols1990 writes:

most of you only see negative things. at one point trae golden had half of the team's points. without him we dont even make it to overtime despite his turnovers and blocked shots. the game before tatum was the most clutch player making threes down the stretch to give UT a last second chance to beat kentucky. get over yourselves, everyone has off games. not to mention that trae was hurt, and listed as questionable before the game started.

FanNotSheep writes:

There's a reason Pearl did not play these guys more than he did and why (other than the off-court distractions) this team was not very good last year despite having one of the best coaching staffs in the college game: Most of these guys do not have a high basketball I.Q.

They all have physical ability but not a clue as to how to play as a team, either offensively or defensively. What you see on the court is a collection of recruiting misses that were probably caused by the coaches hoping they could teach these talented athletes how to play organized ball. It never happened.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

DeVoe or Mears would have that Stokes boy scoring 30 a game.

veinsoforange writes:

in response to vols1990:

most of you only see negative things. at one point trae golden had half of the team's points. without him we dont even make it to overtime despite his turnovers and blocked shots. the game before tatum was the most clutch player making threes down the stretch to give UT a last second chance to beat kentucky. get over yourselves, everyone has off games. not to mention that trae was hurt, and listed as questionable before the game started.

I'm not negative, just realistic.

About 90% of Cam's games over a four year span have been "bad games". "Bad" is the key word. Not good! If he were "good", he wouldn't catch the ball with 1 hand (try that is), miss an avereage of 1 lay-up per game, & have a 37.7 FG percentage as a "shooting" guard!

Golden - yes, he is young and ambitious. That can turn out to be a good thing, especially when he finally gets the chance to move to the #2 position where he can shoot & drive. He's not a true point guard.

The problem is, he is our point guard right now and he needs to play a little more like one. Especially now that we can go more inside or inside/out to get open shots.

Golden is "NOT" a good point guard. Not too many "good" point guards average 3 turnovers per game, and many of those coming at "CRUCIAL" times at the end of the game.

If he settles down, he can be a good player. Cam's chances to be "good" are GONE!

volinuptonky writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Obviously, this team is making progress defensively but not enough offensively. And obviously, this team has not learned to win close games and especially close road games. Now, either 1) They are incapable of improving in these areas, or 2) they will improve in these areas. If the case is 1) above, then Martin needs to make personnel changes and do it very soon so the sooner they will get better. But I believe the case is 2) above. Our point guard is a sophomore in need of more time at the position. Our shooting guard is a freshman who hasn't yet learned to shoot. Our center is a raw rookie. Our small forward is experiencd but a turn-over machine who is in a terrible shooting slump. Our bench is too inexperienced or just unable to help much this year. These losses are called growing pains. I think we will be very good next year, and that thought helps keep me through the pain of this year.

I was thinking the same thing as I watched them last night. We do not need to be so hard on these kids. They are learning and yes winning is fun but sometimes we have to go through valleys after we have been on peaks and so we can go back up to the peak. ditto on your thoughts

JohnnyD writes:

I thought Golden did a great job of getting himself involved in the game and forgetting about the 4 other guys on the court in the first half and the last 5 minutes of the game...

dlukinbeck writes:

in response to GreySmokey:

I think we will improve a good bit as Jarnell and Jeronne (sounds like a singing Vegas signing duo)develop together. Having these two bigs takes some of the pressure off of Hall, who was clearly struggling before. Guard play has been disappointing, but with all the inexperience at the point, it was expected. Not that losing to Austin Peay or a really weak Georgia squad should be acceptable. My wish is that they can start improving on a consistent basis, beat the teams they should beat, and play well against the better teams. I can't say I am totally convinced that Coach Martin was the best hire for this program, but I am not totally convinced that Bruce would have had a whole lot of success with this bunch either. The product thus far reminds me a lot of the Buzz and Wade days. Losing close games was a way of life for Buzz when he was here. Wade was just happy to be in a close game. Anyway, it is amazing to me how one little lie led to all the chaos that is Tennessee Men's Basketball.

Y'all Martin-haters are goons. You've not given this guy a chance whatsoever. I'm as disapppointed by that UGA game as others... big bummer. But that stuff happens in leauge play. I mean UNC got beat up by FSU and gurantee you they're gonna be a deep tourny team. Teams need wake up calls and lets hope this is it.

I mean Stokes is doing some work but kid has only played 2 games. Give em all a chance and no you most likely can't expect a tourny appearance this year, but I'll bet u hardcore well be there next year. I loved big Pearl, but I have no doubt that Martin was a score hire. When we got Martin, everyone was talking about Mike Anderson at Arkansas being the bees-knees bringing them back to glory... Yet Arkansas is right where we're at and they came in with #7 recruiting class out there. Cuonzo is here to develop and create a sustaining team and program. He's above the hype.

SharpDressedMan writes:

in response to BigOrangeSmoker:

NCAA...NIT...are you kidding me,this team is loaded to the hilt with talent but is lacking in a big way of a coach that can coach em,Martin dont have a clue.Youns keep hopin but until a change is made its gonna be this way.Always excuses.Martin needs to do 1 of two thangs,go back where he came from or go find hamilton and hang out with him!

Loaded to the hilt? Really? I suppose the insane rarely know that they are insane.

tampafloridavol writes:

in response to JohnnyD:

I thought Golden did a great job of getting himself involved in the game and forgetting about the 4 other guys on the court in the first half and the last 5 minutes of the game...

You Golden haters dont know much about basketball. Kid is the only ball handler on the team and is under relentless pressure all the way up the floor and while setting up the offense. Before the GA game Golden was #1 in assist in the SEC (A+) #5 in assist to turnover ratio (B-) and there arent many better scoring points in the SEC (A-). Stokes and Maymon learning to play together will take some pressure off Golden but until we have another ball handler on the floor that can help take some of the pressure of Golden we will continue to see a sophomore point who is carrying the team finally succumbing to mental physical fatigue at the end in close games.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

Wish coach would sit Tatum and Golden more. Stokes will be a monster if he ever learns defense. He is a bright spot but he needs to learn to hustle more and defend better when the other team is in transition. May not even be NIT bound.

Yep, Stokes' offense is well ahead of his defense at this point. Of course, that is often the case for HS stars stepping up to college ball. A big scorer is often not encouraged to play tough defense in HS. The team can't afford for him to miss time due to foul trouble and/or wear himself out to the point that it affects his offense. Except for the basic idea of shutting one's own man down, there is not as much that is intuitive about team defense as there is on offense. He will be better on his rotations and his transition defense. None of us knows right now how this season will unfold, but the future is bright. We can't say just when the sun will break out of the clouds the team is in right now, but it WILL happen.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

There's a reason Pearl did not play these guys more than he did and why (other than the off-court distractions) this team was not very good last year despite having one of the best coaching staffs in the college game: Most of these guys do not have a high basketball I.Q.

They all have physical ability but not a clue as to how to play as a team, either offensively or defensively. What you see on the court is a collection of recruiting misses that were probably caused by the coaches hoping they could teach these talented athletes how to play organized ball. It never happened.

Good post. Guys who dominate in HS because of their physical gifts don't have the same incentive to develop all aspects of their game that less-gifted players do. They don't learn the habits of hard, disciplined individual work to improve on their weaknesses. They are more likely to keep doing what they have been successful at before rather than expose their weaknesses by working, often with limited initial success, on improving in those areas. Of course, there are many exceptions to that generalization, but there is just too much evidence that not every guy who was regarded by some as a "can't-miss" superstar got all that much better than he was as a 10th grader, while the All-America and All-Pro lists are full of guys who might not have been all that good at an early age but never stopped working to get better.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GetSimmsandTeagueout:

DeVoe or Mears would have that Stokes boy scoring 30 a game.

Not sure that would be so if he had been added to their teams in mid-season right out of HS. Also, you may have forgotten, or may have been too young to remember, but Dale Ellis largely rode the bench as a freshman at UT because DeVoe didn't like his defense at that age. Defense is also Stokes' weakness at this stage in his development. Ellis became a defensive stopper later in his career; Stokes may become one, too, if he works hard enough with the right attitude. He actually does look like the kind of team-oriented guy who will not only share the ball but eventually live up to his defensive responsibilities.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to amyinsparta:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is what being a smart, disciplined player is all about. As MANY great coaches have said, you don't play the opponent or the score, you play the GAME. When you are paying proper attention to what you are supposed to be doing ALL THE TIME, you will almost automatically be doing what you have to do to win in the clutch. Your habits become your friend when the pressure is on, but BAD habits will nearly always be your undoing. If you have bad habits but still win much of the time, you still may not be prepared to deal with bad shooting nights or really tough opponents.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to dlukinbeck:

Y'all Martin-haters are goons. You've not given this guy a chance whatsoever. I'm as disapppointed by that UGA game as others... big bummer. But that stuff happens in leauge play. I mean UNC got beat up by FSU and gurantee you they're gonna be a deep tourny team. Teams need wake up calls and lets hope this is it.

I mean Stokes is doing some work but kid has only played 2 games. Give em all a chance and no you most likely can't expect a tourny appearance this year, but I'll bet u hardcore well be there next year. I loved big Pearl, but I have no doubt that Martin was a score hire. When we got Martin, everyone was talking about Mike Anderson at Arkansas being the bees-knees bringing them back to glory... Yet Arkansas is right where we're at and they came in with #7 recruiting class out there. Cuonzo is here to develop and create a sustaining team and program. He's above the hype.

Good points. I've got the Mich. St-Purdue game on ESPN in the other room. The announcers were talking during a break about how badly Pittsburgh is playing this year, saying that their overall skill level is just not what it has been in recent years. After Pearl was let go, many fans--and I was one of them--thought UT should open the bank vault to hire Pitt coach Jamie Dixon. Almost everybody agrees that he is one of the great coaches in the game today, yet his team, which he recruited and trained, is playing not much better than Martin's UT team, which he DID NOT recruit for the most part and has only begun to train. So the grass is not always greener on the other side, and every team in college basketball has their ups and downs. I think Martin is a keeper, and although the progress may not be as dramatic and steady as we might hope, progress has been made, and we will see more tangible results of that sooner rather than later, even if not this year in win-loss terms.

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