Cuonzo Martin demanding effort on and off court

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin offered neither excuses nor promises when asked about the men's basketball team having the lowest cumulative GPA among UT athletic programs during the spring semester.

"There are requirements we must meet, and I believe we are meeting them,''Martin said Thursday, referring to UT maintaining its full compliment of scholarships by complying with NCAA Academic Progress Rate guidelines. "As far as the grades, it's all about each guy being the best he can be and giving the best effort. There's no certain (GPA) number.

"We've improved the past two semesters, and there's no reason to believe we won't improve again.''

The men's basketball team posted a 2.55 GPA this spring, up from 2.37 in the fall semester of 2011 and 2.25 in the spring of 2011.

Martin was hired on March 27, 2011, after a lengthy NCAA investigation led to the termination of former coach Bruce Pearl and his staff.

Martin said he didn't think the off-the-court distraction of the NCAA investigation of former coach Bruce Pearl and his staff and the subsequent coaching change in March, 2011, serves as an excuse for poor classroom performance.

"Regardless of what's going on, the players still have a responsibility,'' he said. "If you want to get it done, you'll get it done. As a student-athlete, you still have a job to do. It's a matter of how much do you want to put forth.

"My job is to make sure these young men learn to always put forth their best effort — on and off the court.''

SHOT Program: Martin announced his program is launching Statewide Hoops Outreach Tour or SHOT this summer.

The SHOT Clinics include stops in Chattanooga, Greeneville, Memphis and Nashville and will provide instruction to all boys entering kindergarten through sixth grade.

"We're always looking for ways to enhance our profile and give back to our fans and the communities,'' Martin said. "Camps and clinics are one way to do that, but we know a lot of kids who see us on TV can't always afford to come to our travel to our camps here."

The cost to attend the two-hour clinic is $20 per child and includes a basketball and a T-shirt.

For more information, call 865-974-0703.Schedule Additions: Martin said the Vols have agreed in principle to play Xavier and Wichita State in home-and-home series. UT will play host to the Musketeers and Shockers this season before traveling to their arenas the following season.

The Vols also enter into a home-and-home with Virginia next season, playing the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va., before Virginia plays in Knoxville the following season. UT also hosts Memphis is a non-conference game next season and will play a yet-to-be-named opponent from the Big East, likely on the road, in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

The dates for the games won't be set until after the SEC sets the conference schedule this fall.

Martin said it's his hope the Vols will continue to play border-state rival Kentucky twice.

"Of course we want that,'' he said. "It's a good series I think our fans enjoy, and that's a quality program for us to compete with.''

NBA Eyes: Martin said he and his staff are enjoying watching the NBA playoffs, but also, learning.

"I love watching basketball this time of year; as a staff we've picked different teams to follow, scout and evaluate in the playoffs,'' Martin said. "We try to pick different plays and schemes we like. My favorite teams to watch are San Antonio, Boston and the Pacers. They all run good set plays.''

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 10

GerryOP writes:

Good job Coach Zo. We're supporting you all the way.

gpoy22 writes:

Headline "Cuonzo Martin demanding effort on and off court" doesn't match the article "the men's basketball team having the lowest cumulative GPA among UT athletic programs during the spring semester."

VolzsFan writes:

So football got their players into a bunch of music appreciation classes for the spring to move their GPA needle. A 2.55 team GPA is very good regardless of what other teams might be. Look around the country and you would see that. The spring semester is a time when basketball is traveling a ton and missing classes. Some of those other sports do not miss classes due to travel. Baseball usually plays on the weekend with a home mid week game. Football virtually never misses a class. Zo may have never coached in an NCAA tournament game, but making these guys men, he is doing a great job.

Again, another stupid fan comment from gpomeroy. That person clearly does not know college sports.

brod writes:

SHOT sounds like a great program. I'm excited about it. There is a lot of basketball talent in this state, and we need programs like this to help further develop that talent.

bosscat writes:

It is demeaning to our basketball program and our basketball coach for poster(s) to shift the subject to our football program. Save your comments regarding our football program, positive or negative, for an article regarding our football program.

brod writes:

in response to bosscat:

It is demeaning to our basketball program and our basketball coach for poster(s) to shift the subject to our football program. Save your comments regarding our football program, positive or negative, for an article regarding our football program.

finally. where have you been? as far as i'm concerned leave the lady vols posts off as well.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

So football got their players into a bunch of music appreciation classes for the spring to move their GPA needle. A 2.55 team GPA is very good regardless of what other teams might be. Look around the country and you would see that. The spring semester is a time when basketball is traveling a ton and missing classes. Some of those other sports do not miss classes due to travel. Baseball usually plays on the weekend with a home mid week game. Football virtually never misses a class. Zo may have never coached in an NCAA tournament game, but making these guys men, he is doing a great job.

Again, another stupid fan comment from gpomeroy. That person clearly does not know college sports.

I guess GP didn't notice the part that showed the BB team's GPA had IMPROVED each semester under Martin. Not saying 2.55 is anything to write home about, but it is adequate and trending in the right direction.

crappieking writes:

in response to collegegrovevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

+1

born2ride writes:

Maybe Martin can start beating in-state schools like MTSU and Austin Pee Pee.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

There are always a lot of UT haters/trolls trying to put UT in the worst light possible on here. Get a life!!
Other than the loss to Kentucky(a nightmare) you really can't blame Dooley for a whole lot at this point. The real UT fans are waiting and hoping for good things to come. Maybe even as early as this fall. I expect a lot of wins on the old gridiron!! We have some exciting players and I think we'll be above average in the best conference in the land.
yep

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