Vols to host Savannah State in NIT

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players during the second half against Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, March 3, 2012.  Tennessee won 68-61 over Vanderbilt.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin calls to his players during the second half against Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, March 3, 2012. Tennessee won 68-61 over Vanderbilt. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Cuonzo Martin previews the NIT

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Tennessee will play in the National Invitation Tournament, not the NCAA tournament, but first-year coach Cuonzo Martin says it’s still basketball.

“The rims are still 10 feet, and if you’re a ballplayer you can play on any stage,” Martin said Sunday night after watching the NIT selection show with members of the media in the UT men’s basketball office. “We’re a number one seed in the NIT tournament, now let’s roll.”

The Vols (18-14), one of four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team tournament, open the NIT at 8 p.m. Tuesday (TV: ESPNU) at Thompson-Boling Arena against Savannah State (21-11), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions.

UT never has faced the Tigers, but the Vols are 3-0 all-time against current members of the MEAC.

With a victory, UT would advance to play the winner of Tuesday’s 9:15 p.m. game between Marshall (21-13) and Middle Tennessee State (25-6) at a yet-to-be-determined date in Thompson-Boling Arena. As a No. 1 seed, the Vols will continue hosting games until the NIT semifinals, which take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 27 and March 29.

This is Tennessee’s 12th appearance in the NIT and its first since 2004. The Vols have never won the NIT title and enter Tuesday’s game having lost four straight NIT games dating back to a 1992 win over Alabama-Birmingham.

Martin put his team through a short practice on Sunday before watching the NCAA tournament selection show in private with his team.

“The guys were into practice, because we made them be into it with some of the drills we did ... so they didn’t have a choice but to be into it,” Martin said with a chuckle. “I thought it was important we watch the (selection) show together as a team, whether we were in or out. The guys were fine; of course they wanted to get in, thinking maybe it was 50-50, but they’ll be fine.”

It’s the first time the Vols haven’t played in the NCAA tournament in seven years, ending a streak of six straight appearances that stands as the school record and was the longest-active streak in the SEC.

Martin, whose team was picked to finish 11th in the SEC and lost four starters off last season’s team, said that for him, it was a matter of being realistic about not making the NCAA tournament.

“As a coach, I can’t be upset because of the progress we made,” Martin said. “Our goal is to make the NCAA tournament every year, and barring injuries, we have the talent to do that every year.

“But this isn’t disappointing this season considering where we started from.”

Former UT coach Don DeVoe, who serves on the NIT selection committee, said the Vols could make great strides by playing deep into the NIT.

“Cuonzo did a great job and Tennessee deserved the opportunity to extend their season,” DeVoe said Sunday night. “I know a lot of people are disappointed they lost to Ole Miss, but this can be a really special thing for the team and a springboard into the future.”

The Vols have won eight of their past 10 games under Martin, finishing second in the SEC via tiebreaker with a 10-6 league mark. A costly 77-72 overtime defeat to Ole Miss in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament on Friday in New Orleans Arena popped UT’s NCAA tournament bubble.

Tennessee finished with the No. 85 RPI and the No. 40 strength of schedule. Savannah State has the No. 191 RPI and earned an automatic bid to the NIT by winning the MEAC’s regular-season crown. The Tigers had won 13 in a row before losing to Hampton in the first round of the MEAC tournament.

The Vols have a 12-11 all-time mark in the NIT in 11 previous trips but have failed to get out of the first round in their past three appearances.

UT’s most recent NIT appearance, in 2004 under former coach Buzz Peterson, ended with an opening-round loss at George Mason, 58-55. Peterson’s Vols were knocked out of the NIT in Thompson-Boling Arena the season before, falling to Georgetown, 70-60, in 2003.

In 1996, coach Kevin O’Neill was at the helm when the College of Charleston came into Knoxville and eliminated the Vols in the first round by 55-49 count.

The 1992 Vols were the most recent to score a victory in an NIT game, winning at Alabama-Birmingham, 71-68, under coach Wade Houston. Houston’s Vols were then eliminated in the second round at Virginia, 77-52.

Martin’s Missouri State team played in the NIT last season after finishing with a 26-9 record and the No. 43 RPI. The Bears were left out of the NCAA tournament after failing to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

Missouri State beat Murray State, 89-76, before being eliminated at Miami, 81-72.

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

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Comments » 102

voloffaith writes:

Good ole Rocky Top......

eduardo writes:

hey we won the nit(preseason that is)last yr.!!!

TopTenn writes:

Let's get to NY MSG. GBO!

1bigvolman writes:

Go Vols! Let's win this!

b16VOLster writes:

The Ole Miss loss didnt hurt near as much as AP and Oak. Were right where we deserve to be.

movol53 writes:

Let's just look at this as more practice time for next year. Only a couple seniors leaving. Besides they have come a long way from that rough Dec and Jan. Gotta believe they will get better. There have been several teams over the years that went to the NIT only to do a lot better the next year by going to the NCAA's.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

$10 tickets all of which are general admission. That's just awesome. No excuses folks! NO reason we shouldn't pack TBA and create carnage for the opposition.

TNVol71 writes:

Another chance to win a championship. Fill TBA and take this all the way to a trophy. GBO!!!

Volfever writes:

Excited and proud of this team... It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to OrangeTexasVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, kinda crazy. I'm not even sure if they should show up. Just mail it in and wait for next year.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

Vol43 writes:

in response to Volfever:

Excited and proud of this team... It's great to be a Tennessee Vol!!

You're absolutely right fever! It is GREAT to be a Tennessee VOL!

clvolfan writes:

Hope Griff did not put the jinx on the VOLS,by already having them in the second round against Marshall or MTSU.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Yeah, kinda crazy. I'm not even sure if they should show up. Just mail it in and wait for next year.

That's the spirit rich. Atta boy. Man am I'm glad you're not my neighbor. When I decorate my house with brillant Orange and White in the Fall, you'd have to hide in your house and not come out. You're friggin pitiful. Get yourself another team! Loser!

Razzle writes:

Go Big Orange! Whip the Tigers!

ETownVol writes:

NIT... that's what 28% field goal percentage gets you. I'm proud of this team this year but Friday's performance did them in. They were hot then cold all year. Been an up-and-down year but the future looks brighter than what we thought this time last year.

Vol43 writes:

.....and take that volthru idiot with you.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

You are a fool! So I guess you said Kentucky wasn"t big anymore when they missed the NCAA tourney 3 years ago, or Florida when they missed 2 years in a row after winning it twice. Typical unknowledgable fan.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

LMAO! I can't quit laughing. However, Other than dissing the current baseball coach, I agree with a great deal of what you say. Alabama Mafia....CLASSIC!

Due you need to post more often. This is good stuff!

alwaysBorange writes:

Considering where we started this year, I am pretty pleased to be a #1 seed in the NIT. Yes, there is disappointment that we did not do better in the SEC tourney and get the Big Dance Bid, but the NIT may give our young team some better preperation for next year than they would have got in the NCAA tourney.

The Vols bracket looks pretty good to get us to New York and there are some good matchups in the other brackets that will be worth watching.

Personally, I like the fact that we could see Ole Miss in the finals, if both teams get there of course, and give them a little Rocky Top Pay Back!

GBO!

P.S. Thanks Coach Martin and Team for an exciting season...you have created a lot of hope for the future!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Vol43:

That's the spirit rich. Atta boy. Man am I'm glad you're not my neighbor. When I decorate my house with brillant Orange and White in the Fall, you'd have to hide in your house and not come out. You're friggin pitiful. Get yourself another team! Loser!

JEEZ I was being sarcastic idiot! Do you understand sarcasm?

Razzle writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

You are a fool! So I guess you said Kentucky wasn"t big anymore when they missed the NCAA tourney 3 years ago, or Florida when they missed 2 years in a row after winning it twice. Typical unknowledgable fan.

He's and idiot. North Carolina and U.Conn. were both in the 2010 NIT.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

JEEZ I was being sarcastic idiot! Do you understand sarcasm?

Ok richy ok. Boy it didn't take me long to go from 0 to 60 huh? I'm alright. My bad. I owe you an apology on this one. Next time, I'll count to 10 slowly. I know you're a VOL. You are the original Rich aren't you?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Vol43:

That's the spirit rich. Atta boy. Man am I'm glad you're not my neighbor. When I decorate my house with brillant Orange and White in the Fall, you'd have to hide in your house and not come out. You're friggin pitiful. Get yourself another team! Loser!

By the way, one of my neighbors is a Georgia fan, the other is a Florida fan. He's actually from Gainesville. I could used a couple more Vol fans on my block.

Look up the word sarcasm then get back at me big guy.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Vol43:

Ok richy ok. Boy it didn't take me long to go from 0 to 60 huh? I'm alright. My bad. I owe you an apology on this one. Next time, I'll count to 10 slowly. I know you're a VOL. You are the original Rich aren't you?

Yes Sir, in flesh and blood. Many don't think it's me but it is.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

By the way, one of my neighbors is a Georgia fan, the other is a Florida fan. He's actually from Gainesville. I could used a couple more Vol fans on my block.

Look up the word sarcasm then get back at me big guy.

Really man, that was crude of me. Sorry. One of my neighbors is a VOL and the other a bammer. At least he's a civil fan. Could be MUCH worse. Know what I mean? Obviously, I didn't catch the sarcasm.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Vol43:

Really man, that was crude of me. Sorry. One of my neighbors is a VOL and the other a bammer. At least he's a civil fan. Could be MUCH worse. Know what I mean? Obviously, I didn't catch the sarcasm.

LOL, you cool man. Two wrongs don't make a right meaning my response wasn't any better. We're both passionate and things happen. I'm rough around the edges so I can see how what I say can be taken in a certain way. And I have been a bit critical of Dooley, so I can see why one could question my loyalty. It's all good my man, it's all good!

Colliervol writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

Glass half empty kind of guy huh? If I were to look at the bright side of things, I'd say the basketball program overachieved this season after losing 4 starters and a very successful head coach. I'd say the football program is about where it should be after two seasons of trying to recover from where Phil and Lame left it in a shambles. Only now are starting to see an actual full complement of players up there and now we shall see if Dooley can do something with it.

But no, let's all be like you and act like Eeyore. Oh woe is me, the sky is falling.

BrayIsTheWay writes:

Would say history isn't on our side again, but as it was pointed out to me on an earlier article by an all knowing fan, "History means nothing," which is why we beat Ole Miss Thursday night... Oh wait...

On a serious note though, there's no reason why we shouldn't win this game. Our previous 4 losses at least came to teams that have seen a Final Four before. Before 10 minutes ago I had never heard of Savannah State so... Hope we win. GBO!

cloudodust writes:

The opportunity to play on supercedes the event status. This team, this program and what they've had to deal with, this is a win-win. Prior to Opening Day tip, Tennessee was predicted to be done at this point. Over and home. Didn't happen. No matter how they try to slice it, the fact UT is still playing is chewing on the naysayers...GBO

1vavolfan writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

You are a fool! So I guess you said Kentucky wasn"t big anymore when they missed the NCAA tourney 3 years ago, or Florida when they missed 2 years in a row after winning it twice. Typical unknowledgable fan.

He's a total fool. Usually the NIT is full of young teams that will be contenders next season. In 2010 I went to watch UCONN play Virginia Tech in the 2nd round of the NIT. We got to see a great player named Kemba Walker play, the next season he would lead his team to a National Championship. I'll be at every UT NIT game I can get down to, I just hope Savannah State doesn't play a zone defense.

TopTenn writes:

in response to OrangeTexasVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your weekend pass is up. Return to your institution.

Vol43 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are absolutely right. What started out to be a program of low expectations ended up having us on edge of our seats. I've enyoyed the ride so far.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to BrayIsTheWay:

Would say history isn't on our side again, but as it was pointed out to me on an earlier article by an all knowing fan, "History means nothing," which is why we beat Ole Miss Thursday night... Oh wait...

On a serious note though, there's no reason why we shouldn't win this game. Our previous 4 losses at least came to teams that have seen a Final Four before. Before 10 minutes ago I had never heard of Savannah State so... Hope we win. GBO!

Savannah State lost to Wisconsin by 30 something. They lost to Chattanooga and a host of other mid majors. They are on par with a middle of the road Atlantic Sun team. If Tenn does not beat them by about 30 there is a problem. Why on earth are people like you afraid of them? Unbelievable. They are only in the NIT as an 8 seed (the lowest) because they won the regular season MEAC title and lost in the tournament. The NIT has a policy to take regular season champions. WOW, your scared of this team. But hey, go applaud your new reality of 500 production in baseball and football. It will basically be that way for decades.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

You are a fool! So I guess you said Kentucky wasn"t big anymore when they missed the NCAA tourney 3 years ago, or Florida when they missed 2 years in a row after winning it twice. Typical unknowledgable fan.

Maybe your problem is you do not understand that four years of $120MM athletics budget is

1/2 a Billion dollars.

And you had rather call names than think. I do not know you, so I am not sure whether you are unable to think, are a kid, are so doofus that anything wearing orange is acceptable---in that case if you are unmarried but looking, please don't head towards the men's lockerooms---

or are just very, naive and live in some hollow or cove far back on the other side of the mountains, where education and analytics have yet to be well received.

So go stand on the street corner in Syracuse and yell loudly, because they wear orange, too.
But you would be uncomfortable, because they have good teams...and do not abide doofuses well.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Glass half empty kind of guy huh? If I were to look at the bright side of things, I'd say the basketball program overachieved this season after losing 4 starters and a very successful head coach. I'd say the football program is about where it should be after two seasons of trying to recover from where Phil and Lame left it in a shambles. Only now are starting to see an actual full complement of players up there and now we shall see if Dooley can do something with it.

But no, let's all be like you and act like Eeyore. Oh woe is me, the sky is falling.

Your comments make sense, if I want to believe that four years of $120MM athletics budget---

even in an area of white flight like Collierville, that means almost 1/2 billion dollars---

should get THAT as return for that amount of money's being invested.

You gotta be kidding. Maybe you believe that giving all the good East Memphis and Shelby County schools

to be managed by a system that consistently turns out scholastic underachievers due to poverty levels that are horrid,

is a good investment, too.

This is not rocket science. Just because it wears orange does not make a class B operation into a major league organization. And ignoring the fact it oinks and is nowhere near as good as the group that used to be there does not get another good group going.

Go ahead...settle for less. That kind of thinking would make you ripe for hiring Sanford as your broker...if he ever gets out of federal prison.

Sheesh...

VolzsFan writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

Tenn just had a 6 season NCAA run. Never before in school history. They barely had 6 other appearances in school history. But hey, we are not big time anymore right? Neither are these recent participants in the NIT:

Alabama 2007, 2011
Kentucky 2009
Memphis 2010
North Carolina 2003, 2010
Notre Dame 2009
Ohio State 2008
NC State 2010
Maryland 2008
Florida 2008, 2009
UCONN 2010

How does it feel to be an ignorant fan?

movinonup writes:

You know, I started this season with no expectations and a yawn....has not ended yet, but last game played I was literally standing up in living room screaming when Skylar hit that 3 point shot to tie game (he called bank by the way).

The future is so bright (orange) for this team, our coach, and our Vol Nation - keep it going this year guys with a NIT Championship....and THANKS----THANKS for bringing the pride back - you have been a joy to watch this year !

Vol43 writes:

in response to movinonup:

You know, I started this season with no expectations and a yawn....has not ended yet, but last game played I was literally standing up in living room screaming when Skylar hit that 3 point shot to tie game (he called bank by the way).

The future is so bright (orange) for this team, our coach, and our Vol Nation - keep it going this year guys with a NIT Championship....and THANKS----THANKS for bringing the pride back - you have been a joy to watch this year !

H3ll yeah! I scared my wife when McBee hit that shot. Man was that sweet! I scare her a lot so that's no big deal. lol

underthehill writes:

in response to samavolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The UT basketball coach and program and the UT football coach and program do not need comparisons..each should be judged on their own merits..the differences in how Martin has gone about his business and how Dooley has gone about his business is too obvious to discuss..it has had too much already..let Dooley have his chance next year then judge him on his record..Martin has proven what he can do with less than most teams in the SEC..and it is impressive to any knowledgeable basketball fan..UT or otherwise...

born2ride writes:

Does Martin still think we will go to the NCAA?

IN_Volfan writes:

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with"

Proud of the Vols and their progress. NIT will be good tournament experience for younger VOLS. Make the most of it!

GONAVY writes:

Martin is a good coach; smart one too. He will use this extra time to continue to grow the team and the individual. A number 1 seed is huge and should provide the catalyst to a trip to NYC. UT will smother Savannah State. The Marshall/MTSU game will be a good one. If MTSU wins and comes to Knoxville, that will be a great game. Big crowd too. Good luck to the Vols.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Does Martin still think we will go to the NCAA?

No, but I still think you know absolutely nothing about basketball, as you continue to show everyone.

GreeneVol writes:

Yeah, the NIT matters for this team. Proud of the orange; no childish troll-drivel can ever deter true fans so I guess feel free to keep wasting your time.

I for one would actually like to see the zone deployed against us in this tournament. Opposing coaches will obviously know that it has an effect on our offense. We need to play against it more now for next year.

And I'm questioning our never playing zone defense based on the situation against Ole Miss where we could not stop their physical drives down the (mainly left side of the) lane. Can't say I don't prefer a nasty man-to-man though...

DougSharp writes:

At one point this season I didnt think the team would finish .500 but I was wrong. I loved what I saw in Maui then it all disappeared so quickly. By half way through the SEC it became obviously clear that CCM had begun to get the improvements in his players defensive skills without destroying their focus on offense as some have done in the past, ie, Kevin Oneil. Despite the horrible shooting Fri. the effort on D was there. Im impressed with what Martin has done this year. He seems to have stuck to his coaching plan regardless the criticism. I like the Vols chances of making it to MSQ via TBA........A team that plays solid at home, playing at home, doesn't get better than that come March no matter which tourney you're in.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

For those of you who criticize my comments about Dooley by saying that I want instant success or that I don't have patience or that I expect too much or don't understand what Dooley was left with...I want you to know that this UT MENS BASKETBALL team embodies everything that I actually expected from a Dooley coached team over the last two seasons. Are they SEC champions? No? Did they come away with a mediocre overall record? Yes. Am I disappointed in this team or Coach Martin? Not at all. In fact, I'm impressed.

Martin's team embodies the fight, drive, and dedication that a coach should instill in his players. Dooley's teams have NEVER shown the same intensity as Martin's teams. Even when Martin was losing to App State, he kept an even keel and provided stability for the program. He didn't make excuses. He stuck with his plan. Dooley lost a wide receiver and the wheels come off our entire offense. Then the players laid down during the UK game and then most of the coaches defect. I mean, I can't draw more of a contrasting lines between the attitude of these two teams.

I don't expect instant success. What I expect is a coach that makes our players BETTER! If Dooley demonstrated a fourth of the (actual) CHARACTER that Martin gives off on a daily basis, then I would give Dooley the benefit of the doubt for the next two years...but he doesn't. Martin doesn't blame his players. He doesn't make ridiculous metaphorical excuses. he doesn't deviate from his program out of desperation (i.e. burning Worley's redshirt for no reason, playing musical chairs with the center, etc.).

I don't expect instant success, but I do expect for Dooley's teams to be tough and tough minded. For them to fight and be competitive. For them to want to be on the field and for them to want to win.

That's all.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to DougSharp:

At one point this season I didnt think the team would finish .500 but I was wrong. I loved what I saw in Maui then it all disappeared so quickly. By half way through the SEC it became obviously clear that CCM had begun to get the improvements in his players defensive skills without destroying their focus on offense as some have done in the past, ie, Kevin Oneil. Despite the horrible shooting Fri. the effort on D was there. Im impressed with what Martin has done this year. He seems to have stuck to his coaching plan regardless the criticism. I like the Vols chances of making it to MSQ via TBA........A team that plays solid at home, playing at home, doesn't get better than that come March no matter which tourney you're in.

Golly. I had to get through a lot of posts to get to the last two really good posts. some others were good too I suppose but to many responses (imho) to the trolls.

Ole Miss was a good lesson for the Vols. We beat this same team not too long ago with a determined defense and an offense that didn't give up. We gave up the other night and it hurt to watch that but I suspect Martin will teach them something there.
The NIT will give us the opportunity to show that we belong. It will give our youth some added experience.

I don't know who has won most of the past tourneys and don't care. The NIT is not about that. It's about being the best of the rest. AND anyone who watches enough ball knows that most of these teams and a legitimate shot at the big tourney. But who else has beaten Florida, Vandy, UCONN,and played others to the wire like UT?

Well that doesn't matter now really. You could also ask who else lost to teams like APSU. BUT people who watch also know that many top teams have lost to the wannabes out there. Some of those same schools are only a player away from something really great.

I love basketball at all levels.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

For those of you who criticize my comments about Dooley by saying that I want instant success or that I don't have patience or that I expect too much or don't understand what Dooley was left with...I want you to know that this UT MENS BASKETBALL team embodies everything that I actually expected from a Dooley coached team over the last two seasons. Are they SEC champions? No? Did they come away with a mediocre overall record? Yes. Am I disappointed in this team or Coach Martin? Not at all. In fact, I'm impressed.

Martin's team embodies the fight, drive, and dedication that a coach should instill in his players. Dooley's teams have NEVER shown the same intensity as Martin's teams. Even when Martin was losing to App State, he kept an even keel and provided stability for the program. He didn't make excuses. He stuck with his plan. Dooley lost a wide receiver and the wheels come off our entire offense. Then the players laid down during the UK game and then most of the coaches defect. I mean, I can't draw more of a contrasting lines between the attitude of these two teams.

I don't expect instant success. What I expect is a coach that makes our players BETTER! If Dooley demonstrated a fourth of the (actual) CHARACTER that Martin gives off on a daily basis, then I would give Dooley the benefit of the doubt for the next two years...but he doesn't. Martin doesn't blame his players. He doesn't make ridiculous metaphorical excuses. he doesn't deviate from his program out of desperation (i.e. burning Worley's redshirt for no reason, playing musical chairs with the center, etc.).

I don't expect instant success, but I do expect for Dooley's teams to be tough and tough minded. For them to fight and be competitive. For them to want to be on the field and for them to want to win.

That's all.

I really like what you said about Martin. I don't really care about your Dooley comments in general but you certainly can say them. I actually haven't decided his fate in my mind as you seem to have most of the time.
That's ok I guess.
Martin's character does stand out as fine. BUT his coaching has been above average in my book. I can't compare him to Dooley because the average fans just don't see the ins and outs of college football as clearly as they can basketball. More players, staff, money, the whole dept. is bigger at UT. Dooley has an extremely tough job. It's extra hard with the changing of coaches and it's former impact on the team. I think(hope) we're past that now and can expect a decent improvement this fall. We'll see.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Hate to say this...
because I am AllVolAllTheTime...

but my reaction to this is "Yawn."

This is a bush league tournament, compared to
the BIG dance.

Just goes to show that at this time...

UT ain't BIG any more.

Hope we get back to right size soon.

Unfortunately the "ain't big anymore" description is accurate for all three men's major sports: FB, BB1 & BB2.

Thanks, Hamilton. Thanks, Board of Trustees.

Thanks, Doodley. Thanks, Pearl. Thanks, baseball coach of the moment.

Thanks Alabama mafia now running the UT athletics department. Thanks doofus president. Thanks disloyal UT president.

I'd say a few words about the Governor...but his father is the power behind the board of trustees...so it won't do any good.

Nuclear winter = UT Men's athletics department as of March, 2012.

And when we most need the steady hand at the helm of the women's department and in women's basketball to be able to count on, to offset the negative men's publicity, Ms. Croanin is long in the tooth, and the greatest women's coach of all times, Pat Summitt, is very ill.

So there is nothing at which to point to deflect attention from the fact that UT Men's athletics has one of the top 10 athletic$ budget$ in the US, and THIS is what we get.

Women's athletics have been run
orrectly. We need to celebrate and build a memorial to them.

Men's needs to be razed and rebuilt---with as many Tennessee-loyal people as can be found, and don't say they don't exist. They do, and they are competent.

Thanks, Hamilton. If I did not didlike namecalling, I would call him a "slimeball," because of the incestuous hiring of so many people represented by the same athletics agent. Was Hamilton also represented by him? All of this had to have been known by those in authority, in my opinion.

Duh...can somebody say "grand jury?" A clean broom gets a dirty place a lot cleaner.

Go Vols...

I agree with the Bama mafia thing. I don't think we should be trying to be Bama, Jr. in football, but...I gotta disagree with you on the doom and gloom when it comes to mens basketball. I LOVED Coach Pearl. I think the world of him, but he isn't coming back.

Raining on what Martin has accomplished is unnecessary and it doesn't recognize how well he has done this season as a first year coach. From everything I'm hearing, his players LOVE him. He's also coached them up (which, despite popular opinion, is a coach's most important job).

I think Coach Martin is going to do great things for UT and I think that after this season we're going to see better recruiting and a more fluid and established program start turning out more and better quality wins.

I mean, Martin isn't perfect. It's pretty obvious that he needs to go find himself a pure shooter. Still, the guy is all class all the time AND he's a winner.

Sorry buddy...I agree with you that Dooley was a mistake of a hire, but with Martin...there's just too much evidence that Hamilton actually did find a gem of a coach.

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