2nd or bust? It's down to the wire for Vols

Cuonzo Martin on his seniors

UT senior guard Cameron Tatum on his last home game

Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge on his last home game at UT

An orange-clad, sell-out crowd. A bitter in-state rival. Post-season ramifications. A national ESPN television audience.

That Tennessee is playing such a hyped-up, pivotal game on the final day of the regular season is an accomplishment in itself when one considers the team's starting point under first-year UT men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.

The Vols (17-13, 9-6 SEC), however, are more interested in what lies ahead today (TV: ESPN, 4 p.m.) against Vanderbilt (21-9, 10-5) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

A UT victory coupled with a Kentucky win at Florida on Sunday would give the Vols a second-place finish in the SEC (via tiebreaker) and a first-round bye in the league tournament, which runs March 8-11 in New Orleans. A Tennessee loss would mean no bye and a fifth-place finish.

"I want to keep this season going as long as I can, and I don't want us to go out on a sour note,'' said fifth-year senior Cameron Tatum, one of three players who will be honored prior to the start of the game as part of Senior Day.

"I've been to the NCAA tournament every year I've been here, and I want to continue this streak,'' said Tatum, referring to UT's streak of six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. "Sometimes it's good for players to understand their backs are against the wall; how are you going to step up as a player?''

The Vols, who also will see Renaldo Woolridge and Tyler Summitt make their final regular-season home appearances, have measured up well since the start of February, winning seven of their past eight games.

Only one other UT team during the past 40 years has won eight of its last nine regular-season games. In 2007-08, the Vols finished 31-5, winning eight of their last nine to win the SEC regular-season championship.

This edition of the Vols saw their RPI fall as low as 294 in December before rising up to their current status at 81 — outside of

the proverbial NCAA tournament bubble but still on the radar.

UT would figure to make a significant jump with a win over Vanderbilt, which has an RPI of 22.

Martin, who inherited a team with only one returning starter and was picked to finish 11th at SEC Media Day in October, said the finishing flurry is a tribute to his players.

"The guys have been fighting together, fighting for each other, believing in their own individual skills and believing in what we're doing as a team, as a program and the system,'' Martin said. "All the credit goes to the guys for believing and having a passion and a fight when things looked somewhat bleak.''

At no time did the future appear dimmer than when Vanderbilt dropped UT to 1-3 in the SEC by running the Vols out of Memorial Gym on Jan. 24 by a 65-47 count.

Tennessee turned the ball over a season-high 25 times, and the Commodores beat the Vols on the fast break to the tune of 15-0 in what amounted to a Music City meltdown.

"What do we have to do differently this time against them?'' Martin asked rhetorically. "Not to be sarcastic, but we have to play basketball. We didn't play well at their place, and that's a credit to them for playing well and protecting their home floor.''

Now, it's Tennessee's turn to try to do the same. The Vols have won six straight at home and 12 of their past 13.

UT's season-ending run led to today's sellout crowd, which clinches the Vols a spot in the nation's top-five in average home attendance for a seventh consecutive season.

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

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Comments » 48

GreerVol22 writes:

Vanderbilt coach..."pilot to co-pilot...we're going down in flames"

volguy#211935 writes:

GBO!!!!!

ivyvol writes:

INTRAstate rival.

HtownVol writes:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

lomas98 writes:

Should be an electric atmosphere. Can't wait. The article headline is wrong though. Tn does not control their own destiny. Let's not forget a win doesn't mean the 2 seed...it means we wait and actually cheer for ky to beat the gators. I think vandy is a bad matchup for tn but with the way we have been playing and it being at home, we do have a legit chance. Vandy is a good road team and they have a lot to play for too.

utvols420 writes:

in response to ivyvol:

INTRAstate rival.

I-40 = interstate rival

volhome#407234 writes:

in response to utvols420:

I-40 = interstate rival

If you want to use the I-40 connection, then you have to capitalize the I in interstate (thus Interstate). Come to think of it, Interstates are only as good as the roads they are. Intrastate rivalries stand, whether we have to travel by car, bus, rail, canoe, horseback or covered wagon. No matter how we get together, Go Vols, and slam them 'Dores.

underthehill writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

Good story..congrats to you..

vol68 writes:

in response to ivyvol:

INTRAstate rival.

John Ward would agree with you! Vanderbilt is our INTRAstate rival. Darden, Tickles the twine. Tip no good! Again, no good. Third try ITS GOOOOD WOOOD! Ray in the Way! The Volunteers in White with Orange Numerals. And we could go on and on with the Voice of the Vols.

Go Big Orange!

wigmeister writes:

The crowd in this game has to be the most valuable sixth man. It should be so loud, all game, so that the Vandy players will have problems thinking. So get the white hairs cheering, not sitting!

BleednUrnge81 writes:

I would like to begin my post by saying i was sad to see bruce pearl go, regardless of what he did. Every coach in the country does things like that to get recruits, he just was not very careful about it. Having said that, Cuonzo Martin should win SEC coach of the year for the job he has done. He is a great bball coach, and underrated in my opinion. He will get 5 stars to come to tennessee and we will be relevant again. And we still own the gators in basketball :). cheer on the vols against vandy tomorrow, and always remember to wear your colors with pride and bleed orange and white till the day you die. GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

That was a great report. Thank you for sharing. You demonstrated how a true vol fan acts with class.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to lomas98:

Should be an electric atmosphere. Can't wait. The article headline is wrong though. Tn does not control their own destiny. Let's not forget a win doesn't mean the 2 seed...it means we wait and actually cheer for ky to beat the gators. I think vandy is a bad matchup for tn but with the way we have been playing and it being at home, we do have a legit chance. Vandy is a good road team and they have a lot to play for too.

Good call. If we (and Bama) win and Kentucky loses, then we still fall to fifth as we lose a three-wat tiebreak with the Tide and the Dores. We have to get into a four-way tie that includes the Gators to get the #2 seed. Still, it would technically be a tie for third in the regular season, a far cry from 11th. Vandy is probably the better team but it would be nice to finish up with a win over them. Good job Coach Martin and company. Go Vols!!!

VictorKruger writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

I had a similar experience during Pearls first year when I went to a road game against Georgia. I lucked into 2nd row tickets from an AAU coach, got a free tee-shirt from the cheerleaders, got on the Jumbotron, Lotfon went off for over 30 and the players came into the stands after the game to thank the fans. Some days everything just falls into place!

Thanks for sharing your story, and I hope that McBee's parents accepted your apologies ;>).

CabanX writes:

I've run the math, and UT wouldn't jump beyond 70 with a win today(barring upsets elsewhere). The most likely ranking would be #72.

Home wins just aren't worth enough with an RPI multiplier of .6 compared to 1.4 for road games and 1.0 for neutral site games.

Having said that, two SECT wins would likely get the Vols into the 50s no matter what happens tomorrow based solely on the strength of playing Kentucky again. Yes, the RPI is remarkably stupid.

oldorange writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

I find myself envious of your "luck". As most of the rest of us on this site, I have no problem showing my orange blood. Great story. GO Vols!

Bubba_Knows writes:

If Vandy plays Tennessee like they did in Nashville and Tennessee plays Vandy like they did Kentucky in Knoxville, this could be one of the best games of the year! Go Vols!

iowavol writes:

Bring on the D pain baby, all day long. GBO.

Ichabod writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

Thanks HTown. I remember your post from last week saying that you were going to be able to attend, and several of us told you to bring us home a win, and YOU DID.
Now lets turn that 20 at LSU to 20,000 in Knoxville, and RETURN THE FAVOR. I've been a fan for 30+ years, through good and bad and don't ever remember a regular season finally with so much on the line. Lets rock the place - and STUDENTS PLEASE SHOW UP ! Go Vols, and thanks to CCM and the team for keeping heads down and rowing the boat when many of us (including me) weren't true believers.....

FanNotSheep writes:

This game is the most important in Martin's career. No matter how the UF-KY game goes, the Vols have to get this W. They could get the RPI into the 60s and keep the momentum going. Martin has a packed house, ESPN, a chance to beat a good team and impress the committee. He has to strike while the iron is hot. A home loss now would take all the steam out of it.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Regardless of what happens, I'm proud of this team. With a loss, I feel the team would still have outside chance to get in if they get to the finals of the tourney.With a 5th seed, we get a chance for 3 wins before the finals and a chance to improve the RPI.

Harrit writes:

I love Coach Martin. He is all substance,and no stick. I don't need my Head basketball coach to smile, or paint his chest orange. There's nothing to smile about until after the season when you can reflect on what took place. Until then, do like Martin, roll up the sleeves, put on you game face, and focus on leading these young men! The rest will take care of itself. Tell me, what parent wouldn't want their son to play for a coach like that? Great coach and we are extremely lucky to have him.

Bigger_Al writes:

I can't believe how stoked I am for this game. I have been for every game since we won at UF - my son told me before that game that we could win out, and I couldn't believe his optimism - but since that game I have believed.

Not to turn an optimistic story into a sour note, but I hope Coach Dooley and the football team are noticing what great team chemistry and intense work can do to your season, and how to respond "when your back is against the wall". I'm sure they are.

Fishpants writes:

in response to vol68:

John Ward would agree with you! Vanderbilt is our INTRAstate rival. Darden, Tickles the twine. Tip no good! Again, no good. Third try ITS GOOOOD WOOOD! Ray in the Way! The Volunteers in White with Orange Numerals. And we could go on and on with the Voice of the Vols.

Go Big Orange!

Grunfeld at the line. Guns, bang!

Nvickers writes:

in response to CabanX:

I've run the math, and UT wouldn't jump beyond 70 with a win today(barring upsets elsewhere). The most likely ranking would be #72.

Home wins just aren't worth enough with an RPI multiplier of .6 compared to 1.4 for road games and 1.0 for neutral site games.

Having said that, two SECT wins would likely get the Vols into the 50s no matter what happens tomorrow based solely on the strength of playing Kentucky again. Yes, the RPI is remarkably stupid.

Agree on the multiplier, but I thought that when you play a team more than once, their record doesn't get factored into the SOS portion of your RPI multiple times. So, just playing Kentucky a third time doesn't improve your RPI.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to BleednUrnge81:

I would like to begin my post by saying i was sad to see bruce pearl go, regardless of what he did. Every coach in the country does things like that to get recruits, he just was not very careful about it. Having said that, Cuonzo Martin should win SEC coach of the year for the job he has done. He is a great bball coach, and underrated in my opinion. He will get 5 stars to come to tennessee and we will be relevant again. And we still own the gators in basketball :). cheer on the vols against vandy tomorrow, and always remember to wear your colors with pride and bleed orange and white till the day you die. GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Yeah, but when caught he lied to the NCAA about it. There's the no-no.

jt45 writes:

Hope the Vols come out shooting lights out today and stop jenkins cold. TBA should be loud for this game. Beat the dores !

GBO!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

There is a difference for Vandy in playing in a real arena packed with 21,000 as opposed to the freaky theater with people sitting below court level and coaches at the end of the floor.....

plus playing a team on a roll lately. Add to that, the incentive for the Vols and the lack of 'love' for this bunch we're playing. It all adds up to a big victory for the good guys.

tennesseetyler writes:

GO BIG ORANGE! Kick some commodore a** today.....

HtownVol writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

I had a similar experience during Pearls first year when I went to a road game against Georgia. I lucked into 2nd row tickets from an AAU coach, got a free tee-shirt from the cheerleaders, got on the Jumbotron, Lotfon went off for over 30 and the players came into the stands after the game to thank the fans. Some days everything just falls into place!

Thanks for sharing your story, and I hope that McBee's parents accepted your apologies ;>).

Well, that is one thing I thought about a lot is how I have not supported McBee. After meeting his parents and Skylar we grew up about 20 miles apart (morristown and Rutledge) and the whole family is just as nice as can be.

The most suprising thing was at the warmups McBee literally shot over 100 3's and no joke he made 90% of them.

Of course Woolridge was the only player standing 8 feet outside the 3 for all his warm up shots, and the makes were not as good as one would hope for.

I do find it a little harder to say a bad thing about any player now, since they were all so nice.

Yemi... has the most difficult accent, he can barely speak english but was as nice as could be.
Woolridges' little cousin (about 3) walked to me after the final buzzer and said "are you happy that Tennessee won". It was just the cutest thing. Then after the players came ut Ronaldo just held his cousin on his shoulders for opver 30 minutes.

I did not apologize to Skylars family, I was too ashamed to say that I did not support Skylar (to be honest). But remember my case for Skylar was just not wanting him in for 30+ minutes. I would like to see about 20-25, which was close at LSU, I didnt see him much the 2nd half. I just think if he is not shooting then he is not gonna help much. But when he makes a 3 in the first half then ride it.
Thank you all for understanding my excitement. I took pics of the players signing my stuff but didnt want to seem like a wierdo and ask them for pics with me.
GO VOLS

johnlg00 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

Thanks for the report. Looks like you had a great time. Wish I could have been with you. Hope the Vols aren't TOO high for the Vandy game. So far, they seem to thrive on the home-crowd energy, but it should be at pretty much an all-time peak today, to the point that it COULD almost be a disadvantage. After all, a completely full and rocking TBA is not exactly an everyday occurrence. GO VOLS!!! GO ZO!!! TCB!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to Fishpants:

Grunfeld at the line. Guns, bang!

And King comes down with ANOTHER rebound. Ladies and Gentlemen, this young man can PLAY THIS GAME!!

HtownVol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Thanks for the report. Looks like you had a great time. Wish I could have been with you. Hope the Vols aren't TOO high for the Vandy game. So far, they seem to thrive on the home-crowd energy, but it should be at pretty much an all-time peak today, to the point that it COULD almost be a disadvantage. After all, a completely full and rocking TBA is not exactly an everyday occurrence. GO VOLS!!! GO ZO!!! TCB!!!

I would not say they are too high.

It was about 30 minutes after the LSU game was over that I was talking to the players and they were immediatly focused on Vandy, saying how much they want that win. I can promise you all that they all know just what this game means.

I did remind them that this will be payback. I meant to tell Yemi to not "close-line" any Vandy players, but his accent is too hard for me to understand. He was complaining to me about the refs in the LSU game, saying that most of his fouls should not have been called. I completely agree. I think it was obvious that the refs attempted to give LSU a slight advantage. Any close call went to LSU.

GO VOLS

BolivrBob writes:

in response to ivyvol:

INTRAstate rival.

Thank you Professor Peabody

BolivrBob writes:

I'm very excited. Martin in his Orange Blazer, The Summitt packed, ESPN audience. We're 1 1/2 point dogs. Let's get it on!!!!!!!!!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

It's wonderful to have a huge, meaningful game at the end of the season to sit and watch on TV. Win or lose, I'm so proud of our Volunteers and their coaches that I'm already looking forward to the SECT and the postseason and next season, too. I hate Vanderbilt so much that I want to see their players literally crying, with tears streaming down their faces, at the end of this game.

STLVOLS writes:

And again, being redundant, I posted when CCM was hired that he was a good coach for Vols. Folks were in a panic in TN because they had never heard of him. I had because of following what he was doing at Missouri State.

Same thing happened with Univ. Of Missouri hiring Frank (No name Haith) of Miami. Now look at Missouri basketball.

However, Haith had better talent returning from last year than Vols and that is why MO in Top 10.

CCM will do well with Vols. Objectively speaking, having Univ. of Missouri football and basketball in SEC East next year will be quite challenging for VOLS.

Anyway, just sayin' from STL. 1975 Vol grad here.

thevoice writes:

in response to vol68:

John Ward would agree with you! Vanderbilt is our INTRAstate rival. Darden, Tickles the twine. Tip no good! Again, no good. Third try ITS GOOOOD WOOOD! Ray in the Way! The Volunteers in White with Orange Numerals. And we could go on and on with the Voice of the Vols.

Go Big Orange!

Man I miss those days!!!!!!!!!! "(Tony) White with the dribble drive down the lane, stopping, Popping, DROPPING!!"

mocsandvolsfan writes:

DON't let them get a big lead!! Don't let them shoot open shots. Don't let them get any easy baskets. Don't over foul.lol Especially inside.
Don't lose at home. Don't ...
never mind JUST BEAT VANDY!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

My head say Vandy because of some matchup issues we have with them, but my heart says Tennessee! We can be tough to beat at home! Ask Kentucky who nearly suffered their 2nd loss. Go Vols!

Bubba_Knows writes:

My first time of watching Murray State all year. They must be having a bad game because I am not impressed!

Noogaorange writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

It's wonderful to have a huge, meaningful game at the end of the season to sit and watch on TV. Win or lose, I'm so proud of our Volunteers and their coaches that I'm already looking forward to the SECT and the postseason and next season, too. I hate Vanderbilt so much that I want to see their players literally crying, with tears streaming down their faces, at the end of this game.

You want to see them crying? Really? Man that pretty rough. How about after the games with heads down and glum, sad looks? GBO

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Noogaorange:

You want to see them crying? Really? Man that pretty rough. How about after the games with heads down and glum, sad looks? GBO

Cry Baby Cry!

Bubba_Knows writes:

Murray State is about to lose to Tenn State. That is bad for the Vols who are on the outside looking in to the NCAA Tourney. There is still time left for Murray to get their act together.

barefoot43 writes:

Bite me Vandy and Professional Handicapper (all you’re your screen names), Red Beans (all your screen names), Brett, Jeff Flowers (all your screen names)

climberNeeds2workATwendys writes:

Darn the luck!the vols win again!...they can be second in the SEC..not 12th..like several who thought tenn would do..NOTHING..this year..they have a chance to win..20?? yes 20 games..seems a lot of bandwagoners..riding along right now...it's not kool aide your drinking..the Coach..can coach..where is old climber the yankee hiding..oh yeah..when tennessee wins he hides..when they lose..he wants someone fired..hmm..maybe he should be fired..his paper is lousy with him.

VolGrad writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

Vanderbilt coach..."pilot to co-pilot...we're going down in flames"

"Bail out! Bail out! Bail out!!!

He he.
GBO!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Talking to the team after the LSU game on Wednesday, I can promise you that they are ready for this game. They talked about how much they want this win vs Vandy. I think every player said they wanted to pay them back.

For those who didnt read my comment (like a kid after Christmas), I was at LSY on Wednesday for the game. There may have been 20 UT fans there. I got very lucky and ran into Josh Richardsons parents before the game and my wife and I entered the Pistol Pete Arena with them and were allowed on the sideline 90 minutes before tip during warmups.
I ended up sitting with the players parents (who showed up) Richardson, McBee, Golden and Woolridge (not Orlando, just a woman and little cousin).
After the game they told me to stay with them to meet the team. I brought my never worn custom Tennessee hat and new Strokes jersey. I had the team sign the hat and Stokes only sign the jersey (both are framed already, and will not be sold!)
Anyway, talking to the players I can tell that they are just having so much fun. They all love playing for C Martin and are lucky to have him.
I know I am going on too much but it was the coolest thing I have done in years.
Like I said before, I will say how I feel on here but at games I will do nothing but support the Vols! And in that 2nd hald we were behind the UT basket and our section was the only ones making noise in the place.
The UT players, parents and coaches were all as nice as could be, so was most LSU fans. Except for the one punk I was behind for a few minutes. He kept saying "look at the score". I said "I will have the final laugh"...He left with 35 seconds left in OT!
Great game, and UT fans have a great team, and coach to support. We are lucky to have them.

We need more fans like you! I am 52 years old and have loved the Vols all my life. Nothing will ever change that. We've had a tough time the last few years but things are looking up for our sports programs. So all of you Vols haters in the world, I hope you've had a great time while we've been struggling. Those time are quickly fading! I used to have a bumper sticker that said....we came, we saw, and we kicked a33. I'm looking forward to purchasing another one pretty soon!

Go Vols! All of us true fans are proud of you! Still more to prove though!

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