Mike Strange: Vols go long but come up short

Mike Strange
Tennessee center Yemi Makanjuola (0) battles Mississippi forward Aaron Jones (34) for the ball under the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Tennessee center Yemi Makanjuola (0) battles Mississippi forward Aaron Jones (34) for the ball under the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

UT-Ole Miss post-game Tennessee press conference

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NEW ORLEANS — Cuonzo Martin said it himself Thursday when he was asked about the formula for success in a tournament atmosphere.

Looking to Friday night's SEC tournament date with Ole Miss — and to postseason play in general — Martin said you don't want to hang your hat on making 3-point shots in an unfamiliar gym.

Better to take your chances attacking the rim and getting to the free-throw line.

So much for that game plan.

Playing for its NCAA tournament life, Tennessee resorted to winging it with a 3-point prayer.

It was risky roll of the dice, and UT ultimately crapped out Friday night in a 77-72 overtime loss to Ole Miss.

To the strains of "Dixie" played by the Ole Miss band, the Vols were sent packing from the SEC tournament. Worse, they're out of the NCAA tournament as well.

Faced with a hard-nosed, long-reaching Ole Miss zone defense, Tennessee launched 34 3-point tries in the New Orleans

Arena.

The 30th one was a beauty, a banked-in 3-pointer by Skylar McBee with 2.1 seconds on the clock to force overtime at 61-61.

But the Rebels scored on eight of their nine overtime possessions, and that was that.

"We knew they would play us zone," said Martin. "We did a good job of getting to the free-throw line. I don't know if we did a very good job of using dribble penetration."

The 34 treys ranks second on the season, topped only by 39 against Chattanooga. The Vols made 11, five of them from McBee.

Tennessee wasn't so hot from two-point range, either, finishing at 28.1 percent overall. Jordan McRae was 0-of-8, Jarnell Stokes 1-of-7.

"If you hit shots in a zone, good teams will come out of it," said senior Cameron Tatum. "They'll extend more and that gives you the opportunity to drive the ball better."

Ole Miss never had to make that decision. Tatum hit his first two shots of the night, both 3-pointers. But it turned out to be fool's gold.

Tatum, in fact, would be the only UT player to manage a field goal until Trae Golden got a floater to fall with 2:19 left in the half.

Give Ole Miss the credit. This was a do-or-die game for the Rebels, as well. Coach Andy Kennedy ordered up a 2-3 zone and rarely showed anything else. Tennessee never solved it.

When the Vols beat Ole Miss on Feb. 22 in Knoxville, they attempted only 17 3-pointers. Friday night, they went double or nothing.

"Shooters like myself, Cam and Skylar, we don't find too many shots we don't like," said Golden.

"We settled for a lot of shots, but at the same time, we didn't knock 'em down."

Golden knocked down a short one on a drive into the lane with 4:05 left in regulation to put the Vols up 56-53. Tennessee got a stop and worked McBee free for a 3-point try from the corner.

That was attempt No. 25, and had it fallen, who knows, maybe it would have been the dagger that turned the night in UT's favor.

But it didn't fall.

After Ole Miss scored, Golden launched No. 26. It hit the top of the backboard.

The Rebels countered with three points the hard way, Terrance Henry driving for a basket and free throw.

So Tatum fired No. 27 and then McBee No. 28, to no avail.

McBee again for No. 29, an air ball.

Somewhere in that stretch, a more efficient, judicious Tennessee offense might have put the game away and we wouldn't be wondering today exactly how the NIT bracket works.

The Vols drove from irrelevance to the very brink of an NCAA tournament bid by not only playing hard but by playing smart.

I'm not sure that was the case Friday night.

There was no fault to UT's effort. But the Rebels matched it and then some.

"I think," Martin said, "they beat us at playing their game."

"We fought," added McBee, " we just came out on the short end."

Like so many of those long-range shots.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 55

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

One another post, I said it looked like Alabama, part II. Same old story: horrendous outside shooting (and way too many outside shots) put UT in its worst situation. No long-range game and the paint looked like a phone-booth under the basket. Give the Rebels credit. They did what they had to do, and that was beat Tennessee at their own game. It really sucked to watch this game, because Tennessee got beat in almost every phase of it. I hate to say it, but if it came down to a choice right now between Ole Miss and Tennessee as the last team in, I couldn't deny the Rebels after tonight. Especially if they can win tomorrow. Sad night for all true UT fans, but I really liked the way they brought it at the end of the season. I've really come to like this team. They've earned their praise at the end of this season. Hopefully this will carry into the post-season (NIT most likely), and UT can bring it strong, whereever they play.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Can you not beat the zone with screens and penetrations? Seems like they didn't play too smart with all the 3 bombs. Oh well!...NIT Here comes the VOLS!

tnvol4ever writes:

One win to get in a bowl game. Probably one win to get in the NCAA. Oh well.

MidTennVol writes:

These guys have no reason to hang their heads. They've overachieved and done well. Proud of them. And the future looks bright.

bigorange4life writes:

Thought the Vols played poorly in alot of ways last night. Hope they will learn from last night and come ready to play in the NIT.That tournament can be a good building point for next years team. Realistically,they'll probably see more teams on their level there and do better than a one and done in the Big Dance.

VOL1972 writes:

You have to give Martin credit. We couldn't hit 3 point shots, so we kept taking them -- no driving and dishing like the Vanderbilt game.

Our man defense wasn't working, so we stayed in it. Ole Miss didn't need to take 3 point shots. Why should they? they were beating our defenders off the dribble from start to finish.

I thought the job of a coach was to determine what isn't working and make adjustments. Martin did none of that.

Give Ole Miss their due, but we got out-coached not out-played.

Razor784 writes:

You gotta give a little credit to Ole Miss the reason they were launching all of those 3's is because Maymon and Stokes couldn't get anything going inside, Stokes looked like a high schooler trying to play college ball, not like the SEC player of the week

tomkats3242 writes:

This team looked like it had never been coached. No game plan, no coaching during the game or the players didn't listen and the coach did not take them out. This team needs ability, coaching, and needs to look like a college team not a prison team. Get us someone that can coach, make decisions, take players out the game when their not on, take baths, get hair cuts, and shaves. This is not a prison college and should not look like one. Team was overrated and should have been in the OVC.

SouthALVol writes:

Yes, I agree there were many, many aspects of the game in which my Vols could have played better, but I still would have liked to see what they could do with 14 seconds left, down 2, with the ball. Why have a review process if you cannot review a play like this? This would be like not reviewing an interception in football. I have seen FOULS reassigned this year by review. Based on this play, I predict there will be a change in the management of the review process in the offseason allowing challenges to calls as is done in football. Once again, UT will be the test case for a critical rule change.

wigmeister writes:

I am very proud of this team for what they did accomplish this year. I am as disappointed as anyone else about the outcome of the game, and it is very easy to throw out negative comments. The bottom line is we did not win this battle, and therefore lost the war into the NCAA. However, I still believe the NIT is open for us, and will root them on when they get there. Hopefully, there will be a better game plan, and better shooting going into that tournament. They are our team for better or for worse, and they deserve our support for whatever comes next!

overthetop writes:

Where was the team that won 8 out of 9 games just before this? They looked like the Vols that lost to Austin Pea. Bad defense and confusion. Maybe Jordan McCrea will make a good team player some day, but he's got a long way to go.

VolzsFan writes:

Looks like Coach Martin will remain the only SEC head coach to have never coaches an NCAA Tournament game. They have players. Mostly 4 and 5 star top 100 players. Like Mark Fox said, Pearl did not get fired because he did not win and have players. Tenn has players. That is what the fans and media do not get. The preseason pick of 11th was a pick on coaching not players.

I like Coach and think he will do well. But it is what it is. This particular game from UT's perspective, was not coached or played well. It happens. They had their chance and let it get away. As bad as they played and shot, they still lost in OT. If they play Ole Miss 10 times they would win 8. That is why shooting % and shooters are so important. Cam is not a great shooter. They need to do whatever they can to get Trae and Skyler as many and all of the perimeter shots as possible.

Toughmeaness writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

This team looked like it had never been coached. No game plan, no coaching during the game or the players didn't listen and the coach did not take them out. This team needs ability, coaching, and needs to look like a college team not a prison team. Get us someone that can coach, make decisions, take players out the game when their not on, take baths, get hair cuts, and shaves. This is not a prison college and should not look like one. Team was overrated and should have been in the OVC.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

VolMoment writes:

Syracuse and Kansas got upset. This is college basketball. People who get on the coaches and players for losing a game like this instead of supporting these people don't understand it happens to all and some of the so called best as happen to the two aforementioned teams. Go Vols, we will be better next year. And if you ever played basketball in a climate like they play in then people would realize in all sports and especially one that requires a skill to launch a ball toward a rim suspended in air by a board, you are just off inches in your shot and some nights you are a little quicker in your step than other nights. I have played the game and it is a tough game to be sharp everytime you play and the officials have let it get too rough.

SummittsCourt writes:

This team definately over achieved and it was fun being in the conversation here at the end for a tourney bid. Jarnell Stokes made the difference and next season looks pretty bright.

On to the NIT championship...

FanNotSheep writes:

I will give Martin benefit of the doubt because UT had no business being a 2 seed in this thing. If the tie-breakers worked out differently it may have been better for the Vols. As a 5 seed they would have beaten Carolina and then gotten Bama or Vandy in the second round.

I do not like the first round bye. It may help you in the finals but it's a big disadvantage when you play your first and they've got theirs out of the way.

murrayvol writes:

At some point a coach has to say "Gentlemen, the bombs aren't falling. We're going inside and damn the torpedos."

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say if you dont like where our BBall program is you dont understand BBAll. Witch Doctor say it was March 21 when Pearl was fired. and Martin(who we didnt know either) took over a team that might have been on NCAA probation with one returning starter. Witch Doctor cant say nothing but positive things and the NIT is STILL a BIG step and probably get more mileage out of it than the NCAA(games we will get to play) Witch Doctor look forward to next season ((Something no was saying this time last year after the Pearl firing)) GOOD JOB VOLS!
Bones never lie.
*Pic of Houston Fancher after the bad call is awesome WE are lucky to have people like him WHO wants to be here.

underthehill writes:

in response to SouthALVol:

Yes, I agree there were many, many aspects of the game in which my Vols could have played better, but I still would have liked to see what they could do with 14 seconds left, down 2, with the ball. Why have a review process if you cannot review a play like this? This would be like not reviewing an interception in football. I have seen FOULS reassigned this year by review. Based on this play, I predict there will be a change in the management of the review process in the offseason allowing challenges to calls as is done in football. Once again, UT will be the test case for a critical rule change.

I also think there will be a change in the review process in this situation..the ball should have gone to TN ..I just don't see how the official missed it ..the replay showed he was in position to see the ball clearly hit the Ole Miss guy last..but their guard penetration was too much to overcome late in the game..

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

Only two SEC schools went to the Baseball World Series in Baseball, To a Bowl in Football, and to the NCAA Tourney in Basketball the past year...those two schools were Florida and Vandy!!
Great to be a DORE!!

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why should you care, you're not a vol fan.

thevoice writes:

I'm proud of my Vols, but Cuonzo needs to start running the offense against a zone defense during practice. Or, learn how to run a motion offense better, focusing on pounding the ball inside.

Good luck in the NIT.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I also think there will be a change in the review process in this situation..the ball should have gone to TN ..I just don't see how the official missed it ..the replay showed he was in position to see the ball clearly hit the Ole Miss guy last..but their guard penetration was too much to overcome late in the game..

Some good comments on here, so I won't recap the game, except for the bad out-of-bounds call at the end of regulation. It looked to me as if Richardson, after slapping the ball off the Ole Miss guy, passed between the Ole Miss player and the ref, blocking the ref's view of who the ball hit last. It was a tough break but in the absence of a coach's challenge rule, it just falls in the category of "stuff happens".

Going forward, the Vols need to look at the NIT as a chance to refine their offense. The guards just haven't gotten good enough at penetrating zone defenses on the dribble, the posts don't work the foul-line area enough in the middle of zones, and both the posts and the perimeter players need to work on their timing and angles in delivering the ball to the posts. They also need to be absolutely sure they don't give up on trying to go inside, even if it doesn't seem to be working early. They did get smothered a lot when the ball went inside, but they were also drawing fouls that would have put all of Ole Miss' big men on the bench if they had kept it up. It takes a certain kind of mental toughness to keep doing what you KNOW you have to do even if it doesn't seem to be working every time you try it.

Proud of the Vols for their effort, especially during the last two-thirds of the SEC season. I think they are, or surely CAN be, primed to do some major damage next year IF they can develop more cohesion and discipline on offense. Of course, the defense wasn't anything special last night, either, but that is going to be where the Vols hang their hats with Martin, so hopefully they can continue to get better with that also. If it were up to ME, I would try a little zone every once in awhile just to change things up a little, but I'm not going to second-guess Martin on this; he wants to create an identity for this team based on individual toughness, and that can never be wrong.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Only two SEC schools went to the Baseball World Series in Baseball, To a Bowl in Football, and to the NCAA Tourney in Basketball the past year...those two schools were Florida and Vandy!!
Great to be a DORE!!

Seems to be a typo in your last sentence; I think you should have used a B where you used a D.

Bubba_Knows writes:

The 3 point shot is not how we won 8 out of the last 9 games before the tourney, but it is how we lost our chance for an NCAA bid. The team was firing up shots way to quickly and showed a lack of patience against the zone defense - it was if they forgot what got them there......tough defense and sound shot selection down low.

Bubba_Knows writes:

The bad call was just that, but the game was lost a long time before that call was made.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

The bad call was just that, but the game was lost a long time before that call was made.

Witch Doctor agree but hate that a game this close has a bad call like this to leave the window of speculation open. Witch Doctor think also the tic-tac fouls both ways knocked both teams out of their games and Ole Miss just won by hitting key shots. Witch Doctor hate games where everything is a foul(both ways)
Bones never lie.

UT4prez writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Some good comments on here, so I won't recap the game, except for the bad out-of-bounds call at the end of regulation. It looked to me as if Richardson, after slapping the ball off the Ole Miss guy, passed between the Ole Miss player and the ref, blocking the ref's view of who the ball hit last. It was a tough break but in the absence of a coach's challenge rule, it just falls in the category of "stuff happens".

Going forward, the Vols need to look at the NIT as a chance to refine their offense. The guards just haven't gotten good enough at penetrating zone defenses on the dribble, the posts don't work the foul-line area enough in the middle of zones, and both the posts and the perimeter players need to work on their timing and angles in delivering the ball to the posts. They also need to be absolutely sure they don't give up on trying to go inside, even if it doesn't seem to be working early. They did get smothered a lot when the ball went inside, but they were also drawing fouls that would have put all of Ole Miss' big men on the bench if they had kept it up. It takes a certain kind of mental toughness to keep doing what you KNOW you have to do even if it doesn't seem to be working every time you try it.

Proud of the Vols for their effort, especially during the last two-thirds of the SEC season. I think they are, or surely CAN be, primed to do some major damage next year IF they can develop more cohesion and discipline on offense. Of course, the defense wasn't anything special last night, either, but that is going to be where the Vols hang their hats with Martin, so hopefully they can continue to get better with that also. If it were up to ME, I would try a little zone every once in awhile just to change things up a little, but I'm not going to second-guess Martin on this; he wants to create an identity for this team based on individual toughness, and that can never be wrong.

I've been waiting to see you on the other story so you can help talk sense into some fools on that one.

The perimeter players should have helped off their man to stop the drives and let Ole Miss take the outside shot. Anytime our bigs helped their man cleaned up the miss as we didn't rotate.

Martin is the man and we'll be fine. This one game did remind me of Buzz ball though. That last year under Buzz everyone got layups and dunks and we couldn't get it inside the free throw line. Last night wasn't as bad but had some similarities.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Seems to be a typo in your last sentence; I think you should have used a B where you used a D.

Enjoy a meaningless NIT while a former "Vol for life" Rick Byrd, whom UT didn't hire, returns to the big dance with Belmont once again. Comparing Martins record with Byrds 600+ wins and 5 NCAA Tourney trips would be like comparing Dooleys record to Fulmers..You get what you deserve in life. Sit home and watch once again. Vols for life,what a JOKE!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Enjoy a meaningless NIT while a former "Vol for life" Rick Byrd, whom UT didn't hire, returns to the big dance with Belmont once again. Comparing Martins record with Byrds 600+ wins and 5 NCAA Tourney trips would be like comparing Dooleys record to Fulmers..You get what you deserve in life. Sit home and watch once again. Vols for life,what a JOKE!!

Witch Doctor say enjoy small meaningless comments instead of ever beating us on the field or court! hahaha
Bones never lie.

dvols writes:

team has a lot to build on and look forward to next season!

stokes get in the weight room, work on the footwork.....maybe a tatoo in the neck....

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

The problem with exceeding expectations is that it results in greater expectations. In spite of the Vols' horrid SEC tourney history, I, like most of you, was hoping for a different showing from this team based on their regular season-ending stretch run. Not only did they seem to abandon the components that resulted in their successful run, but they embraced another component that proved their undoing time and again--turnovers. In spite of all the valid criticisms that a post game analysis offers, I would like to congratulate this team, coaches and players, for accomplishments that most thought were unattainable at the beginning of the season and I would like to thank them for the EFFORT they gave in keeping the basketball ship afloat when it appeared to be headed for a burial at sea. I for one think they did the Vol nation proud this season and I truly believe that CCM will continue to maintain the level of relevance that his predecessor brought to a program that had become little more than an afterthought on the collegiate basketball landscape. Now, here's hoping the Lady Vols can make another one of their historic runs without the collapses of recent NCAA tourneys.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor agree but hate that a game this close has a bad call like this to leave the window of speculation open. Witch Doctor think also the tic-tac fouls both ways knocked both teams out of their games and Ole Miss just won by hitting key shots. Witch Doctor hate games where everything is a foul(both ways)
Bones never lie.

murrayvol hate games where officials take over the game.

murrayvol writes:

Today is not a happy time in Volville but we'll look back on this season as the start of a very good run.

Program may not have the circus like atmosphere around it as in the recent past but nothing is quite as exciting as winning and CCM's going to deliver on that front.

carbonzip writes:

I appreciate the team and coaches. My complaint, in addition to the Richardson miscall, was the "double foul" that put one on Maymon. Refs make a mistake and penalize two players. How about off setting calls and get on with the game?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to murrayvol:

murrayvol hate games where officials take over the game.

Witch Doctor say it seems like they got themselves in positions to have to call make up calls both ways. Witch Doctor say clearly not the SEC's best..(Both ways really bad)
Bones never lie.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

( Johnlg, Witchy, and MurrayVol ) Let's remember the good effort the team made this year, and realize there are good times ahead.

As for these trolls........the copy-cat, Bodeane,
the un-professional/handicapper, and their sort,
they have to live with themselves......what a dismal life to endure. Vol fans can sort out the garbage posters such as these 2, and appreciate knowledgeable and classy fans.

Vols, we need not put down an NIT appearance. There are many great games there, and the NCAA actually is a one and done affair unless you are UNC or Kentucky etc. If Tennessee approaches this tournament as we know they can, it'll be a valuable experience.

69grad writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I expect the Gators to go one and done. I hope.

69grad writes:

I'm so proud of Coach Martin, the other coaches and all of the players for what they accomplished this year. Any VFL who isn't is an azzhat. I hope that stops the "bargin basement coach" phooey. Go Vols!

bigdisbig writes:

I do hope Cuonzo learned from the Ole Miss game. The Vols played good defense in the first half but their offensive preparation was terrible. Cuonzo, what were you thinking?
Andy Kennedy put it to you in the second half. You had him on the ropes in the first half with 13 fouls but you let up. Had you coached your team to stop all the pathetic 3 point shots and worked the ball inside to draw more fouls you would have won that game. Sure, there would have been some bad passes and some missed shots but Kennedy beat you at your own game. They worked the ball inside to foul out Maymon.
I feel you had a good year and overachieved overall but you could have done much better if you had better control of the offense. I think you have the potiental to be a great coach but you gotta stop jacking the 3s when your team shoots 14% first half!
28% shooting for the game? Come on man!!!

bigdisbig writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Only two SEC schools went to the Baseball World Series in Baseball, To a Bowl in Football, and to the NCAA Tourney in Basketball the past year...those two schools were Florida and Vandy!!
Great to be a DORE!!

Hey sissy boy where were you when the Vols kicked your commode doors rears? Why didn't you come spout your ignorance that night? Oh, I know why now, you were hiding your head in the sand and ashamed of yourself for being so stupid! Like the coward you are...you never come around when the commode doors lose because of your past ignorant comments.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We may whine but there is always the bright side. At least we aren't loser gator fans with so little of a life that we have to troll. Could you imagine how pathetic that would be? I mean win/loss records in college games are fun to talk about but spending all your extra time trying to annoy people. I am so glad I don't know anyone with that sad of a life, aren't you? :)

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Hey Pro handycapped, Did you really just say "it's great to be a dork?"
Lighten up buddy, you're not a dork.
If you were,you would be hanging out on a rival team site, just being annoying. No way you could be that pathetic or that much of a dork, right? You are a UT fan aren't you?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

We may whine but there is always the bright side. At least we aren't loser gator fans with so little of a life that we have to troll. Could you imagine how pathetic that would be? I mean win/loss records in college games are fun to talk about but spending all your extra time trying to annoy people. I am so glad I don't know anyone with that sad of a life, aren't you? :)

Well said, Clark.

The manner in which the troll copied the REAL BodeanVol labeled himself ( Bodeane ) as a pathetic copy cat.

Immature and very insecure.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ha! gotta admit, that was not the response I expected.
Good luck, There are a few Vol fans that would rather agree with a "troll" than wait and see.

Theo writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

This team looked like it had never been coached. No game plan, no coaching during the game or the players didn't listen and the coach did not take them out. This team needs ability, coaching, and needs to look like a college team not a prison team. Get us someone that can coach, make decisions, take players out the game when their not on, take baths, get hair cuts, and shaves. This is not a prison college and should not look like one. Team was overrated and should have been in the OVC.

Troll - You are worried about Coach Martin aren't you?

flatrock writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

This team looked like it had never been coached. No game plan, no coaching during the game or the players didn't listen and the coach did not take them out. This team needs ability, coaching, and needs to look like a college team not a prison team. Get us someone that can coach, make decisions, take players out the game when their not on, take baths, get hair cuts, and shaves. This is not a prison college and should not look like one. Team was overrated and should have been in the OVC.

Go crawl back in your trailer, idiot.

GONAVY writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Seems to be a typo in your last sentence; I think you should have used a B where you used a D.

:)

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Enjoy a meaningless NIT while a former "Vol for life" Rick Byrd, whom UT didn't hire, returns to the big dance with Belmont once again. Comparing Martins record with Byrds 600+ wins and 5 NCAA Tourney trips would be like comparing Dooleys record to Fulmers..You get what you deserve in life. Sit home and watch once again. Vols for life,what a JOKE!!

meaningless would be your "professional handicapper" career. now that is really a joke

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEB68V...

DougSharp writes:

I was puzzled as why CCM didnt call a couple timeouts in the first half when Vols lazily threw up threes when they should have been driving into the heart of the zone to pickup early fouls on Ole Miss. It's bad when my wife even recognizes that. She may know football, but knows nothing about the round ball. They were going to play zone all night, we just needed to force them into using lesser talent on the floor earlier in the game. At one point I had to laugh at myself as I was wishing we had Kenny Hall available to throw another big man in there in order to try and go over the top of the zone (I was a big critic of Hall's lack of effort the last couple years.) But regardless of all that, I am still tickled to have moved down from section 329 to sit among the Rebel faithful just to let them hear me whoop it up when McBee hit the jackpot three pointer. I called it out loud when it left his hands, but then admitted to those around me that I didnt know he was going glass with it. LOL. It was a great moment in Tenn basketball lore that the Vols failed to capitalize on. But still a great moment. If you can't recognize the good coaching job Martin has done this year, and appreciate the team's success in the second half of the season, then you may want to 1. further your education of the game or 2. lower your unrealistic expectations or, 3. move on to cheering for another team, if you call that being a fan. But that's just my opinion.

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