Cuonzo Martin believes Jarnell Stokes will learn from matchup

Cuonzo Martin talks after practice Jan. 26

Cuonzo Martin stopped short of sending Vanderbilt a thank you note, but the first-year Tennessee men's basketball coach did express appreciation to the Commodores for exposing flaws in Jarnell Stokes' game.

Vanderbilt dominated from start to finish in a 65-47 rout at Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday night, holding UT's mid-term freshman to six points while forcing him into seven turnovers.

"That game was one of the best things for him, because their big fella (6-foot-11, 255-pound preseason first-team All-SEC pick Festus Ezeli) did a good job defending him,'' Martin said Thursday. "It's just part of his growth.''

Stokes' next task will come Saturday (TV: ESPN 2, 6 p.m.) when the Vols (9-11, 1-4 SEC) play host to Auburn (12-8, 2-4) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Martin believes Stokes will respond the right way, much like Martin's former teammate, Glen Robinson, matured at Purdue.

The 6-7, 240-pound Robinson, the No. 1 pick in the 1994 NBA draft, averaged 24.1 points and 9.4 rebounds the first season he was eligible to play with the Boilermakers.

The 6-8, 270-pound Stokes is averaging 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds through four games, but unlike Robinson, he hasn't had the benefit of a redshirt season.

Stokes, does, however, have a coach who understands the process he must go through before achieving greatness.

"I played with Glen "Big Dog" Robinson, a very talented player, and some games he had seven, eight or nine turnovers,'' said Martin, who played at Purdue 1991-95 and was Robinson's roommate. "So it's just going through it, getting adjusted to the atmosphere. Once (Robinson) made the necessary adjustments, he was tough to defend, and I think Jarnell will do the same thing.''

Martin indicated Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings instructed his players to get rough with Stokes, but he's not complaining, and neither was Stokes.

"I don't think the rough part fazed him; I thought they did a good job game-planning to be physical with him, making him work for everything,'' Martin said. "More than anything, it's him (needing to) be strong with the ball, making quick moves, being aggressive. When you're around the rim, gather yourself and go up strong.''

Martin said he had a chance to watch tape of the flagrant foul Ezeli was called for on Stokes in the first half of Tuesday's game.

"He had an aggressive foul, and kinda swung his hand across (Stokes') head,'' Martin said. "It was good basketball.''

Stokes, who was playing in front of his parents for the first time as a member of the Vols, bumped Ezeli after a hard foul in the second half, resulting in both players being assessed technical fouls.

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

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Comments » 26

LJS1984 writes:

I hope Cuonzo learned from not playing Stokes in the OT at UGA. The Dawgs had no answer for him down low, kind of like UCONN had no answer for him.

HtownVol writes:

Can the rest of the team learn how to pass the ball without turning it over?
Seriously, it is a area that needs major work.
Jarnell will get better every week, remember he has played what 60 minutes or so of college basketball.
Go Vols

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say he was a High School senior playing against college seniors. Witch Doctor say he'll grow.......give him some time.
Bones never lie.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Can the rest of the team learn how to pass the ball without turning it over?
Seriously, it is a area that needs major work.
Jarnell will get better every week, remember he has played what 60 minutes or so of college basketball.
Go Vols

I'd like to believe our current starters can pass. Vandy is a tough team for anyone at their place. We got rattled in our youth. I don't think it will continue but if it does I suspect a few players will be missing from UT next season. But I hope not for them and I rally believe Golden can learn the point. At times he really looks good there. But so far he gets us believing and then????
Seriously.lol I hope and believe we are working on it. We're not gonna get it from the point this year. Golden is just not a natural point. Washpun's gotta get more experience as well as learn to shoot from outside. I'd really like to see more of the Pg Washpun and Golden at the 2.
I doubt Coach reads this stuff though and if it happens then good for me.lol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

rEally! not rally

LJS1984 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Can the rest of the team learn how to pass the ball without turning it over?
Seriously, it is a area that needs major work.
Jarnell will get better every week, remember he has played what 60 minutes or so of college basketball.
Go Vols

The rest of the team is very young. The Vols do not have a roster full of one and done Kentucky players, our roster will take another couple of years to play their best ball.

HtownVol writes:

in response to LJS1984:

The rest of the team is very young. The Vols do not have a roster full of one and done Kentucky players, our roster will take another couple of years to play their best ball.

I cant agree that the passing issue is due to youth seeing as Tatum and McBee may be the the worst players in this area. McBee is almost screwed if he does not have a shot or pass it immediatly and Tatum just seems so out of it at times (mainly on the road).

I do agree that the team is young and (should) get better.

The problem is I do not see anyone coming in to fix the issue UT faces so ofter (someone to score when needed). UT has no one that can create his own shot (Stokes maybe in time). Our bigs are the best chance we have but the guards have a very, very hard time feeding the bigs.

iowavol writes:

Can't wait to see Stokes play Ezeli again. Kid will be different next tim. Ezeli got him a couple of get even shots coming.

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say he was a High School senior playing against college seniors. Witch Doctor say he'll grow.......give him some time.
Bones never lie.

As far as I'm concerned, he can take the next 3 or 4 years. 8-)

LJS1984 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

I cant agree that the passing issue is due to youth seeing as Tatum and McBee may be the the worst players in this area. McBee is almost screwed if he does not have a shot or pass it immediatly and Tatum just seems so out of it at times (mainly on the road).

I do agree that the team is young and (should) get better.

The problem is I do not see anyone coming in to fix the issue UT faces so ofter (someone to score when needed). UT has no one that can create his own shot (Stokes maybe in time). Our bigs are the best chance we have but the guards have a very, very hard time feeding the bigs.

The guy making the pass isn't always the one at fault. Most of these young guys are used to high school ball where they are the biggest guys on the court and they don't have to move to catch a pass. McBee and Tatum haven't been great, but McBee was a walk-on to begin with and he has made some big shots. Tatum on the other hand was a big time recruit and he should be playing better. Ideally he should be leading this team and McBee should only be seing about 15 minutes a game. The Vols just aren't in that position with the youth on this roster.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

The guy making the pass isn't always the one at fault. Most of these young guys are used to high school ball where they are the biggest guys on the court and they don't have to move to catch a pass. McBee and Tatum haven't been great, but McBee was a walk-on to begin with and he has made some big shots. Tatum on the other hand was a big time recruit and he should be playing better. Ideally he should be leading this team and McBee should only be seing about 15 minutes a game. The Vols just aren't in that position with the youth on this roster.

Agreed...anyone with basketball knowledge should know that McBee understands probably better than anyone on this board what his limitations are...But when your coach wants you taking the last shot...Well, rip on him all we want but he actually is playing his role...that's why CCM likes him so much...now we need to get the others to understand their role...then we have a team...and guess what...CCM is working hard on that as we speak...

BUBBA-Deeeeee writes:

What I see is bad no-look passes and not being able to come together a a unit... not a lot of communications ,,, I am convinced UT will be in the SPOTlight soon ..... GO Big Orange ... I am from East TN and live in Florida.. please put a asz wopping on the GTURDS

BUBBA-Deeeeee writes:

I only live in FL. because I work here,,, UF has a lot of fans because the came to FL from up north... they are not aware of the passion we have for SEC sports Basically the Just trying to fit in , As far as I think .. It took a boy from JC TN. to teach them how to play football...

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to atributetoLombardiwasbanned:

As far as I'm concerned, he can take the next 3 or 4 years. 8-)

His 1st game, after 3 practice sessions and turning 18 a week prior, was against, the Cheating "Cats. His first start, a week later, was against the defending National Champion that had big boys from the Big East down low. He posted a double double.

We have never had a player with this talent at his position with the VOLS. Our head coach played and tutored under one of the best teacher and tacticians in the college game. I welcome the opportunity to witness greatness come of age with his abilities coupled with this coach's knowledge and primary interest in developing a unique talent.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say he was a High School senior playing against college seniors. Witch Doctor say he'll grow.......give him some time.
Bones never lie.

Give Stokes the rest of this half-season and the off-season, and you won't see a repeat performance of this game. I don't even think you'll see it when the Vandy "gray-beards" come to town in a few weeks. It's "Stokes'-time" in Tennessee. Can't wait.

Voltillyafall writes:

in response to LJS1984:

I hope Cuonzo learned from not playing Stokes in the OT at UGA. The Dawgs had no answer for him down low, kind of like UCONN had no answer for him.

The only way Stokes could have played in the OT against UGA was for someone to take that piano off of Stokes' back. He was dead tired, totally wasted. You can't play when you can't breathe.

As far as Cuonzo learning something...I doubt he will learn anything from reading your post. He knows what he is doing. He knows enough about the game that he knew that Stokes was a non-factor in OT because of fatigue.

Orange_Pants_Buy_One_Get_One_Free writes:

With only 11 games left in his college career, Stokes need to work on limiting his turnovers.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to Orange_Pants_Buy_One_Get_One_Free:

With only 11 games left in his college career, Stokes need to work on limiting his turnovers.

with only 11 games left, what will you have to complain about?

it must be bad in your household....everything is bad

i feel for your kids...if/when you have any

Sir_Spanky writes:

Got a multi-posting clown right above me here who is experiencing diarrhea-of-the-keyboard.

mancell1871 writes:

in response to Orange_Pants_Buy_One_Get_One_Free:

With only 11 games left in his college career, Stokes need to work on limiting his turnovers.

why does he only have 11 games left? Did they change the NBA rule overnight? No, just wishful thinking from aGator.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

doesitmatter seems to have a lot to say but doesitreallymatter? nope it does not.
For you real fans that come on here some of these guys like to down UT becuase they either have nothing better to do or they're not real fans and get their kicks by posting nonsense in order to aggravate UT fans. It's really juvenile of them. Funny at times ...yes. aggraveting mostly though. BUT doesitmatter? Nope it doesn't to me. Golly you'd think they'd be embarrassed with some ot their comments.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are so off base with your post. The best thing about Martin as he recruits is that he does not blame the players. We will get very, very few players that ky cal wants or that duke wants or that nc wants. Hey "does it". what would you have done? Been to Vandy for past 45 years and seldom does a team get out of there alive. Vandy is a very good team, a very good team. We are not a very good team and most of us hope that this will change before too long and believe also that Coach Martin is on the right track. No, comments like your's really do not matter. So were you drinking when you said "hey fool" or were you just thinking that since you are obviously the FOOL here you want to share that title with Coach Martin? Oh, I got it you are not a UT fan at all, you just have nothing better to do.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Agreed...anyone with basketball knowledge should know that McBee understands probably better than anyone on this board what his limitations are...But when your coach wants you taking the last shot...Well, rip on him all we want but he actually is playing his role...that's why CCM likes him so much...now we need to get the others to understand their role...then we have a team...and guess what...CCM is working hard on that as we speak...

The same mantra against McBee as it was against Steven Pearl last year. They only see the handful of screw-ups and don't see the successes. McBee guards opposing guards that know he is a step slower and work him through multiple screens to get open. I saw many times McBee kept up. No other player gets run through the gamut as much as McBee. As far as him not shooting, how often do we even run plays to get him open? Almost never. In fact, I'm not sure there are designed plays.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OK, I let your first four clueless, inane, belittling posts go, but you just don't know when to quit. Just what could Martin or any other coach have said to his team under those circumstances: "Don't throw the ball away"? "Don't let them push you around"? "Make your shots when you have them"? Do you really think he didn't tell them that if he thought it would help? Do you really think he didn't KNOW those were problems? How would it have helped for him to be constantly yelling down to the other end of the court?

And almost funniest of all, do you actually think PEARL got more out of his players than Martin does out of his? Yeah, Martin lost to Oakland and College of Charleston. Pearl ALSO lost to them AT HOME. Pearl had a team as experienced as Vandy has this year; Martin has a bunch of players Pearl wouldn't play and more freshmen than Pearl ever had at one time.

And how well did Pearl's players respond in the SEC tournament? They had ONE year where they made the finals and EVERY OTHER YEAR, they won no more than one and sometimes not that. Yeah, they made the Elite Eight one year and came within an eyelash of another. They also got put out of the NCAAs in the first round TWICE. He wasn't going to get THIS team to the NCAA at all if he were still here.

I know you said you weren't a Pearl fan and you are clearly not a Martin fan, so just who are you a fan OF? And Martin's playing background may have helped him get the job, but he showed he could COACH by bringing a mid-major team TO our court and came within a play or two of beating the Vols with a team no two members of which likely could have played at all at UT.

Finally, one more question: Do you think your silly opinions matter more than the snarky, ignorant image you project?

Southland writes:

it sure seems like we are saying that all of our teams are young UK's is young and they are no 1 in the country. sooner or later we have to stop using that excuse. Truth is we dont have a great deal of real talent. We have a lot of "supposed to be good" talent but they have not panned out. McBee can not play defense and isnt that great of a threat on offense because he can not get free when guarded by a fast player. He's far better than anything I could ever do and I wish him well but he doesnt need to see much playing time

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Try to get to first place in C-USA before bashing another team like UT. We are in rebuilding mode, and your team is stockpiled with talent, yet you are not winning as often as you should. Worry about your striped Kittys, because you look like a one-and-done team in the tournament at best. And this with all your talent. Right your ship first at Graceland Tech, before you stray off your own site.

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