Vols keep Vandy as 'rival' in SEC's surprise schedule switch

Vols keep Vandy as 'rival'

A hubbub arose last week when an email was fired off from SEC league offices to the conference's 14 basketball coaches.

To compensate for the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M, the coaches agreed in June to an 18-game conference schedule featuring one consistent rival played twice annually, four rotating home-and-home opponents and one game each against the remaining eight schools.

Each team's yearly rival and the 2012-13 home-and-home opponents were decided at the SEC coaches' annual meeting in Florida.

Then last week's email, first reported by CBSSports.com, delivered a new batch of home-and-home opponents to each program. Coaches were caught off guard, confused and, in some cases, angry.

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said Tuesday he received the email, but had no problems with the changes. The Vols' yearly rival, Vanderbilt, went unchanged, but the home-and-home games were altered.

According to Martin, UT will now face Georgia, Ole Miss, Alabama and Kentucky twice apiece.

The Vols' home and road foes will be unknown until the SEC releases a finalized schedule in August.

Get To The Point: Freshman Armani Moore is making strides in the battle for minutes as Trae Golden's backup point guard. At 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, he offers an entirely different look than the 6-1 Golden.

"He has really good court skills," Golden said. "He can pass really well and he's a good shooter that can stretch the floor out."

Golden added that he has worked with Moore during the Vols' NCAA-allotted 10 practices in preparation for the team's upcoming four-game exhibition tour of Italy. He praised the freshman's size and versatility, but noted that junior Jordan McRae and sophomore Josh Richardson are capable backups.

Moore primarily played on the wing through high school, but handled some point guard duties during his 10th- and 11th-grade AAU seasons.

Martin's motion offense doesn't demand a point guard in the traditional sense, but one that can make quick decisions and move the ball. Moore said he's comfortable thus far, though the learning curve is steep.

"You have to be stronger, quicker, faster," said Moore, who has stepped over to shooting guard and small forward during stretches of UT's pre-Italy practices. "It's a lot of work on me. I just focus on getting used to the game — the speed of it and just knowing what to do with the ball at the right time."

Take A Knee: Coming off arthroscopic surgery in May to address a meniscus injury in his left knee, Golden said he feels "about 90 percent."

The junior is moving well, but wearing a protective sleeve over the knee.

"It comes with time — my knee getting back adjusted to everything," Golden said. "I think these practices are helping me out a lot."

Martin said Golden is "in the fold" and will see normal playing time in Italy.

As for forward Jeronne Maymon, who underwent the same procedure as Golden in June, Martin said the senior's knee is "fine" and his practice has been limited due to "the conditioning part of it."

Italian Seasoning: Martin will use a broad rotation in the Vols' four exhibition games against Italian professional teams. The UT coach said no one will play more than 20 minutes in a single game and every player on the roster will see the court.

Additionally, Martin plans to play an assortment of different player combinations and won't use the same starting lineup for any of the four games.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 30

movol53 writes:

As far as our SEC schedule (and the schedule in general); just remember what Ray Mears said "We'll play anybody, anywhere, any time". We knew change was coming when the SEC picked up two more teams.
GO VOLS!!!

AtopTheHill06 writes:

Stokes > Any SEC big man

VolinCalif writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nope. 247

MikeNPS writes:

SEC schedules are totally screwed up now. End of dicussion.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

SEC schedules are totally screwed up now. End of dicussion.

How do you know? where's the schedule? who and when we playing? Link?

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Nope. 247

Spot on. 24+7=8 days

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, you were too busy trying to think of smart-alec insults (which suck, btw) to see that this new article specifies which teams we will play twice this season, unlike last week's news.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I like Martin's plan (not that it matters) for the Italy tour. Great plan to get everybody valuable experience.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

I like Martin's plan (not that it matters) for the Italy tour. Great plan to get everybody valuable experience.

Early look at rotations. I love it.

govolsn3 writes:

Sounds like GOLDEN is going to have to play some ball this year or he might just be sitting a little more. Defense will be the whole key this year cause it sorta looks like we might have some scorers for a change. GO VOLS and COACH MARTIN

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to AtopTheHill06:

Stokes > Any SEC big man

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

SouthPaVol writes:

Forty years ago, "stoked" was a exclamation of excitement. Now, Stokes is a point of excitement--what potential!

We've had some good players in the past. This year, however, we have other good players that can score the ball, play defense, and best of all--rebound. A strong rebounding team can increase the pace and develop fast break opportunities.

My left-handed comment is we will push the ball more this year. Golden, McRae, and Richardson will score many easy baskets as the Vols beat several teams by 20 points. BTW, Calipari/UK hate to play the Vols twice this year!

AtopTheHill06 writes:

They were good enough to finish second in the SEC in the regular season with a first-year head coach. Your fear is palpable. The Vols caught a break being able to notch 2 easy wins against Peabody twice a year.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to SouthPaVol:

Forty years ago, "stoked" was a exclamation of excitement. Now, Stokes is a point of excitement--what potential!

We've had some good players in the past. This year, however, we have other good players that can score the ball, play defense, and best of all--rebound. A strong rebounding team can increase the pace and develop fast break opportunities.

My left-handed comment is we will push the ball more this year. Golden, McRae, and Richardson will score many easy baskets as the Vols beat several teams by 20 points. BTW, Calipari/UK hate to play the Vols twice this year!

I don't think Cal. . .or any of the respectable programs, Vandy, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, et al, are worried about having to face anyone but Stokes. After this year, 13 other teams aren't going to worry about playing Tennessee.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

I thought you followed VOL BB pretty closely. Pearl was fired and Stokes' recruitment was opened back up. He chose UT again but not before hearing from KY and FL and the memphis people again. So he was not a Pearl recruit but a Martin recruit. Sorry you missed all that.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know that amongst Martin's recruits, none of the teams we beat for them had gone to the NCAA tournament the previous year. That list is filled with the Central Florida's, College of Charlestons and Jacksonville's of the world.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I know that amongst Martin's recruits, none of the teams we beat for them had gone to the NCAA tournament the previous year. That list is filled with the Central Florida's, College of Charlestons and Jacksonville's of the world.

Yeah, we wouldn't want to give coach Martin the time he needs to convince future recruits we're back on track to being an elite BB school. You sound like the paid trolls that discredit the football board. As a matter of fact, you probably are one of them.

CoverOrange writes:

With a veteran team of Pearl Recruits Inc, if Martin is a decent coach (probable considering last season) he should have a banner year coming up and possibly next year if most of the veteran Pearl Recruits Inc stay. In that case, it could be 14/15 before we know if Martin Recruits Inc will measure up. Meaning two more recruiting classes and depending on how fast the team degrades 2-3 years or more before Martin's future is decided.
So what is the point of whining now?

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

Pearl's recruits? You mean the guys who laid down in 10/11? Martin's recruits (of which Stokes is one)? You mean the guys who helped Pearl's recruits recover from the previous season's horrors and finish 2nd in the SEC in 11/12?

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're a prime example of the Tennessee Basketball fan mentality of "making the NCAA tournament isn't really that important", when in fact it is. Bruce Pearl took us to six straight NCAA tournaments, Coach Martin has never taken any team to an NCAA tournament, and judging by his recruiting, which, to this point has been nothing but two star recruits no other respectable team wanted, and somehow this is going to magicaly improve after two classes. What you people dont' get is we shouldn't have to "build back up". We were in the NCAA tournament Bruce's final year, and then Martin proceeded to lead us to a 2nd round NIT exit, judging by the evidence he's not an improvement over what we had. Our descent from being a respected basketball program happened under his watch, and the recruiting got worse under his watch. We should have gone out and gotten a respectable coach with a track record of success, and not let Hamilton make the hire. . .or at the very least slapped the interem tag on someone until we found out the sanctions against us (which were virtually non existant). We made a knee jerk hire and brought in a guy with no resume', no NCAA tournament bids, and no shown recruiting ability. It should also be noted that Martin's eight years at Purdue was thier worst stretch under Keady, and Painter didn't recover until after he had left. Wonder if it was his sorry recruting that caused that.

underthehill writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only person you impress with your childish nonsense is yourself..if you don't understand the content of articles why are you concerned about trolls and being critical of the news that is being provided free..if you want to complain pay for it..

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

You are to UT hoops what Jeffy Rat is to UT football

dbc5361 writes:

So, the same team that ended the season with a home loss to MTSU are supposed to be gangbusters next year? I don't get it.

tovolny writes:

Tic toc tic toc tic roc tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to dbc5361:

So, the same team that ended the season with a home loss to MTSU are supposed to be gangbusters next year? I don't get it.

What people don't realize is that just because a team is in a lower rated conference or even a Chaminade does not necessarily prove they're a bad team. When MTSU beat UT in the NIdarnT they were an exceptional team. They were probably better than many in the NCdarnAA tourney! I DON'T think they would have beaten UT if we'd been at fulldarn health. But that's just a guess(though a well-educated guess hehe)However you don't have to "get it" till we do it!lol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

I think you are a Pearl recruit. I think you are smitten with Pearl...not perhaps in a bad way jus a little bit inappropriate. I guess.

That said, I too liked Pearl as a coach. He's gone now. Off to the great ESPdarnN. He'll do well there I think bringing an actual basketball mind to the table. I certainly hope he does't fall for the gossip news they normally cater to. Martin's still has a lot to prove. That's the nature of his profession. It'll be that way till the day he retires from basketball. It' was that way for Pearl and all coaches. There's always something to prove. Mainly because of this "win now" attitude. There's very little patience in the world. This so-called "excellence" you espouse is not necessarily excellence. But neither is winning an NC necessarily so. Excellence might be just an illusion that is perceived only from the view of the viewer! "There is none good, No not one".hehe
Thank you for the op to espouse my view. That is that Martin thus far is very excellent...Or will be.

VolGrad writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Too bad, aside from Pearl's recruits (of which he is one), he's surrounded by the Atlantic Sun All-Stars.

After your predictions last year, you should be too ashamed to show yourself on this site anymore. Your incompetence at evaluating talent and prognosticating wins and losses is now known to all.

What a piece of work!

VolGrad writes:

BTW, CCM IS the reason Stokes came to UT. After Pearl was let go, he had decided to go elsewhere He didn't even want to take a call from UT, but his dad insisted he listen to Coach Martin. After that conversation with CCM, he decided UT was the place he wanted to go and Coach Martin was the guy that could mold him into a better player. Go back and read the stories WKRP.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolGrad:

BTW, CCM IS the reason Stokes came to UT. After Pearl was let go, he had decided to go elsewhere He didn't even want to take a call from UT, but his dad insisted he listen to Coach Martin. After that conversation with CCM, he decided UT was the place he wanted to go and Coach Martin was the guy that could mold him into a better player. Go back and read the stories WKRP.

You're assuming a lot when you ask WKRP to "go back and read". Assuming that he can he then has to be able to comprehend what he reads. He would then have to apply what he's learned to the situation in which he has adamantly adhered. I personally don't think he'll stop his bashing! The pay's too good.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to underthehill:

The only person you impress with your childish nonsense is yourself..if you don't understand the content of articles why are you concerned about trolls and being critical of the news that is being provided free..if you want to complain pay for it..

Sorry Undy. I'll never pay to complain. If it's free it's free. They seem to want our free complaints. IF I ever am told I have to pay for this sight then I'm gone. I HAVE occasionally bought papers and products in ads on here though.

Perhaps you and others wouldn't miss me but paying for any site to rant on is silly. But I DO like to rant at times. So thank you KNS for the freedom to rant!!

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