UT's Puerto Rico trip begins with early takeoff

Saul Young/ News Sentinel
Tennessee's Renaldo Woolridge, left, and Kenny Hall, right, guard UNC-Asheville's Jon Nwannunu during the teams' game Dec. 20 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2011

Saul Young/ News Sentinel Tennessee's Renaldo Woolridge, left, and Kenny Hall, right, guard UNC-Asheville's Jon Nwannunu during the teams' game Dec. 20 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Alarms will toll early for the Tennessee men's basketball team Tuesday.

The destination will be San Juan. The mission will be the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

A flight out of Knoxville is scheduled for 5 a.m. that day.

"I think we land at Puerto Rico at about 2:30, then we'll practice around 5:30, 6, then have dinner at 8," coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday on a teleconference for the early season tournament. "Then we go from there."

The Vols are expected to head south with a 1-0 record following Friday night's home opener against Kennesaw State, who finished 3-28 last year and 0-18 in the Atlantic Sun.

When they arrive, a familiar foe will be waiting.

Eddie Biedenbach calls Tennessee, "Someone that we have had trouble with for a long time."

The longtime UNC Asheville coach, entering his 17th season, is 0-8 against the Vols with an average margin of defeat of 21.4 points per game. That number is inflated by a 124-49 thrashing in 2009-10. Last year the Vols barely snuck by the Bulldogs in a four-point win.

Biedenbach will take his ninth shot at Tennessee next Thursday in Puerto Rico. He's long wanted a home game against UT. Instead, the two programs, separated by 117 miles, meet 1,550 miles away from Asheville.

"It's a two-hour drive from here in Asheville and we have tried to get them to come here," Biedenbach said. " I thought that was going to work out at one time but now with the new arena we might be able to swing that."

Biedenbach said he had discussions with former UT executive director of athletics John Currie about the Vols visiting Asheville's Kimmell Center before Currie departed for Kansas State.

"We need for some of those big schools to come in here and cause a little more interest and Tennessee would be a great one to," Biedenbach said.

For now, Puerto Rico will have to do.

Reese Update: A positive note for Tennessee, freshman guard Derek Reese briefly participated in basketball activity on Wednesday.

Reese, who suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder in the summer, had been spending practices solely doing rehabilitation work. On Tuesday he participated in some layup drills, using only his left hand.

Reese, whose grandmother, Irma Montanez, was born in Puerto Rico, still has a long road to recovery. Stepping on the floor, though, is a step in the right direction.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 17

stevefrommemphis writes:

If they had a football team, I'm sure Tennessee would schedule them along with Georgia State, Akron, South Alabama, etc...

keepitreal4vols writes:

I remember traveling to UNC Charlotte for some strange reason, and watching UT lose. Those small gyms are loud and hostile when D1 schools roll into town.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I'd rather we didn't. As the above poster said about smaller programs. I don't know what size Asheville is but they may be a good sized school.
UTC built their program with games like this and gave those larger programs all they wanted and more for a while. I'd like to see them win some of those again.
UT however just needs to get in areas for recruitment's sake. Anywhere there is a top prospect. Soooo maybe look at the prospects over there and decide. It won't do to lose though.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

I remember traveling to UNC Charlotte for some strange reason, and watching UT lose. Those small gyms are loud and hostile when D1 schools roll into town.

Any school in Charlotte is a tough match-up.

BrassMonkey writes:

Could be the first loss in Bball Vols 14-14 or similar season. Stay tuned, another coach that is out of his league leads the Vols into an overmatched season.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to dooleyslosers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They won a tourney in Pearl's last year. Remember that Villanova game?

Then Hopson looked like a top 5 pick against Pitt. Then he didn't....

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Could be the first loss in Bball Vols 14-14 or similar season. Stay tuned, another coach that is out of his league leads the Vols into an overmatched season.

Are you related to Big Orange Smoker? I ask because there is an eerie similarity between his inane posts and yours. You do use slightly better grammar and spelling than he does, but the substance is of essentially the same low quality.

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Are you related to Big Orange Smoker? I ask because there is an eerie similarity between his inane posts and yours. You do use slightly better grammar and spelling than he does, but the substance is of essentially the same low quality.

It is not low quality. You just do not agree with it. There is a big difference. However, I am right way more often than the sunshine pumpers who crown every 2nd tier coach king before they ever proven anything. I stand by my posts and I will admit when I am wrong. Very rare for other posters as they would rather launch personal attacks. I just speak of what is on the field or the court.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

It is not low quality. You just do not agree with it. There is a big difference. However, I am right way more often than the sunshine pumpers who crown every 2nd tier coach king before they ever proven anything. I stand by my posts and I will admit when I am wrong. Very rare for other posters as they would rather launch personal attacks. I just speak of what is on the field or the court.

Wha??? huh??? who??/ Wait a minute!! Wait just a doggone minute you you "chief of fabricators".

Next.

Razzle writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Are you related to Big Orange Smoker? I ask because there is an eerie similarity between his inane posts and yours. You do use slightly better grammar and spelling than he does, but the substance is of essentially the same low quality.

Noticed that he didn't answer your first question. If it quacks like a duck then...

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

If they had a football team, I'm sure Tennessee would schedule them along with Georgia State, Akron, South Alabama, etc...

Your post is confusing...Tennessee has always had one of the tougher non conference schedules in the country-both football and basketball.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

anyone know what ever happened to Hopson?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Could be the first loss in Bball Vols 14-14 or similar season. Stay tuned, another coach that is out of his league leads the Vols into an overmatched season.

You Again..Go suck on a brass doorknob!!

1vavolfan writes:

The OK st. or Akron game will be tough. I sympathize with UNC Asheville but it would be crazy to go there; remember the Oakland and Chaleston games and UNC charlotte a couple of years ago? Those wins do nothing for your RPI but kill it if you lose.

VictorKruger writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

anyone know what ever happened to Hopson?

Hopson, aka "Hobson" to the UT fans making football comments in basketball articles, is playing in Israel now: http://www.eurobasket.com/team.asp?Cn....

Griffith was pretty good on giving updates on formers Vols. Hopefully Quinn can do the same, but I'm sure it will be harder without the personal connections.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

It is not low quality. You just do not agree with it. There is a big difference. However, I am right way more often than the sunshine pumpers who crown every 2nd tier coach king before they ever proven anything. I stand by my posts and I will admit when I am wrong. Very rare for other posters as they would rather launch personal attacks. I just speak of what is on the field or the court.

If you think Coach Martin hasn't proven anything, then you are completely clueless. He took MSU from the bottom to the top of the MVC in three seasons. He got the Vols to finish 2nd in the SEC regular season when they were predicted to finish 11th. That while installing a completely new system on a team that lost almost all of the previous year's scoring and returned only one starter.

Ou are a fool, and I think maybe you got left outside in the cold one too many times, Mr Brass Monkey.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

It is not low quality. You just do not agree with it. There is a big difference. However, I am right way more often than the sunshine pumpers who crown every 2nd tier coach king before they ever proven anything. I stand by my posts and I will admit when I am wrong. Very rare for other posters as they would rather launch personal attacks. I just speak of what is on the field or the court.

Well, if you seriously believe that the Vols won't be better than 14-14 this year, you are certainly entitled to that opinion, but I just don't see what real evidence you could cite in support. Last year's team certainly did better than that and nearly everybody is back, though not having Maymon may hurt, at least at first. The three newcomers--Moore, Edwards, and Chievous--look like they will be contributors. If we can believe the article about their strength and conditioning work, they should be faster, tougher, and stronger, so they should be in better shape to finish games than last year. But if it pleases you to be such a contrarian, then be my guest.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features