Vols beat Kennesaw State, 76-67

Kennesaw State guard Markeith Cummings (2) dunks the ball as Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) and forward Jarnell Stokes (5) defend during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Tennessee won 76-67 over Kennesaw State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Kennesaw State guard Markeith Cummings (2) dunks the ball as Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) and forward Jarnell Stokes (5) defend during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Tennessee won 76-67 over Kennesaw State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes on Kennesaw win

A year of high expectations got off to an expected start.

Despite an ugly second half.

Hosting Kennesaw State in the 2012-13 season opener, the Tennessee men's basketball team marched to a 76-67 victory Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena, but all wasn’t positive.

The Vols (1-0) led by as many as 27 in the second half.

Guards Skylar McBee and Jordan McRae combined to lead UT with 14 points apiece. McBee hit four of six 3-pointers, while McRae converted five of six attempts from the floor.

Kenny Hall added 13 points and six rebounds.

In a chippy second half, the Vols saw a 61-34 lead trimmed to single digits. It could have been closer if Kennesaw hadn’t shot 7-for-16 from the free-throw line in the half.

Despite shooting 70.8 percent from the field during the opening 20 minutes, the Vols held a closer-than-it-should-be 42-30 lead at half.

Seven offensive rebounds for Kennesaw and seven UT turnovers were the culprit.

UT coach Cuonzo Martin mixed and matched lineups early, at one point playing three freshman at once. With D’Montre Edwards, Quinton Chievous and Armani Moore on the floor together, the Owls turned an early 10-4 deficit

into an 11-10 lead.

Markeith Cummings, who led Kennesaw (0-1) with 15.4 points per game last year, was held scoreless until the 10:58 mark of the second half.

The rout was on by then. UT led 61-38.

Delbert Love led the Owls with a game-high 16 points.

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Comments » 31

SummittsCourt writes:

Well, it's a win. 1-0 Baby!

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Get well soon Mr. Maymon!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I saw some good things and bad, but the good outweighed the bad..GBO!

1vavolfan writes:

Blacked out by DirectTV, anyone else? Wilkerson should replace Kessling on the play by play.

wigmeister writes:

Up by 26. Win by nine. Attaway to go for the jugular!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Silly ending. However there were no injuries.

So I guess we did ok. Rebounds were low but I think on film they'll see it was due to the first half high % shots.

Those Georgia kids are pretty tough. I don't know really but I grew up not far from Kennessaw.

Congratulations LMs.

rockypop writes:

Not one for the RPI ratings. These kind of wins should be reserved for SEC teams and above - and away games to boot. Stokes was pretty much AWOL against seriously inferior competition. Martin can't possibly be happy about this. UT pretty much mailed it in the second half and almost got "return to sender" to show for it.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to rockypop:

Not one for the RPI ratings. These kind of wins should be reserved for SEC teams and above - and away games to boot. Stokes was pretty much AWOL against seriously inferior competition. Martin can't possibly be happy about this. UT pretty much mailed it in the second half and almost got "return to sender" to show for it.

Golly I can't argue with one thing you said. So why do I feel the urge to argue.

My view was that YES they were inferior in talent. BUT they played with a lot of desire and didn't quit. UT knew they had this one the moment they stepped on the floor. You could see it in their eyes. It was sloppy but you don't see a lot of tidiness this time of year.

We better take the next few games a little more seriously. Even if we have a 26 point lead.

oldster writes:

Not the best of starts, but it was a win while the coach is experimenting and finding out who could play with whom. I would give this game a C. The Lady Vols, get the same grade as the football team's defense F-.

fearthehound writes:

C'mon get real. The 27 point lead we enjoyed at one point is all that really matters in a game like this. At that point, Cuonzo started experimenting with the line-up and it affected the outcome. This is the time of year to play around and see what the guys and different combos bring.

justafan4ut writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Blacked out by DirectTV, anyone else? Wilkerson should replace Kessling on the play by play.

No it wasn't. It was on FSSN, chnl 600 and something. I watch a few mins. before going out out to eat.

VictorKruger writes:

in response to rockypop:

Not one for the RPI ratings. These kind of wins should be reserved for SEC teams and above - and away games to boot. Stokes was pretty much AWOL against seriously inferior competition. Martin can't possibly be happy about this. UT pretty much mailed it in the second half and almost got "return to sender" to show for it.

It was a strange game, but I wouldn't say Stokes "mailed it in" with 10 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 3 blocks. He defended well most of the game too.

The floor PA announcer called Armani Moore "Armani Brown" about 5 times. He got McRae's name wrong once too.

Anyone know why Yemi only played 1 minute?

underthehill writes:

new guys looked good..Moore and Chev..Stokes played very well considering he was doubled everytime he caught the ball..which will be a pattern until Maymon gets back..Golden struggled with his lack of speed on defense..looks even slower than last year..probably has not completed knee rehab

Nunshalpass writes:

Yemi got yanked quickly for bad defense IMO.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to underthehill:

new guys looked good..Moore and Chev..Stokes played very well considering he was doubled everytime he caught the ball..which will be a pattern until Maymon gets back..Golden struggled with his lack of speed on defense..looks even slower than last year..probably has not completed knee rehab

yep...but I have to say their point was as quick as any guard you'll see...at least according to the way the announcers called it.
He reminded me of "Too Quick Gordon" for UTC several years ago. Golden did very well overall to lead us into that lead. The mix of players overall were sketchy as usual this time of year. I really like our back-up point at 6'5"...so far.

These kinds of games are somewhat fun to watch because you know they'll get better. Our bench looks much stronger to me. Martin and the team may have learned a thing about defense from this scrappy little team. They weren't very talented but they seemed to give all they had.
It was a good learning game. If they keep fighting that hard in their league they should do well. We did sort of quit playing there at the end however. Offense and defense.imho Some things Martin said in post game makes me think he held players back to avoid injury? Maybe I imagined that to explain Kennessaw's comeback.
Let's get to Puerto Rico.

GBO GO Vols Beat Mizzou.

vol98champ writes:

From what I saw, this team mailed it in. You take away the 3's and we loose this game. K State would have beat us by 20 points if the game had started midway through the 2nd half. My guess is that there are a lot of unhappy coaches at UT.

hikerdude writes:

Trae is a great offensive player; defense not so much. I read earlier that the strength and conditioning guy had improved Trae's quickness. May be true but it wasn't evident last night. Tyler still remains a defensive liability, but he can flat out shoot. Reminds me a little of Lofton. Anyone know what Lofton is doing?

SevenT writes:

I see shaggy doo Sonny Bono (aka Skyler McBee) is back. I thought that non shaven hippie graduated?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Very uninspired effort in the 2nd half but not overally concerned..KState really wanted the win and played good defense the whole game..The Refs were pretty bad for SEC standards calling way to many fouls that just drugged the game out..McRae and McBee looked great. Didn't like the way nobody moved to the goal or even considered blocking out on rebounding and the perimeter passing was lazy..Iam sure Martin saw the same and will fix that because NC State who we might see isn't having any of those problems..They would have drilled us last night!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Nunshalpass:

Yemi got yanked quickly for bad defense IMO.

I don't quite recall but I think Yemi got a foul as soon as he stepped on court but it was no reason to pull him.. Bad call by Martin and IMO Yemi should have played at least 16 minutes..

underthehill writes:

in response to hikerdude:

Trae is a great offensive player; defense not so much. I read earlier that the strength and conditioning guy had improved Trae's quickness. May be true but it wasn't evident last night. Tyler still remains a defensive liability, but he can flat out shoot. Reminds me a little of Lofton. Anyone know what Lofton is doing?

Looked to me like the team played better when Golden was on the bench...I think the late surge by KS started when Golden came back in..anyway he was even slower on D last night than last year against MTSU..Hope Moore can come on strong..

underthehill writes:

in response to vol98champ:

From what I saw, this team mailed it in. You take away the 3's and we loose this game. K State would have beat us by 20 points if the game had started midway through the 2nd half. My guess is that there are a lot of unhappy coaches at UT.

Do you have cable..were you on the right channel...

LSG410EC83 writes:

Was there and looked like a typical first game trying out different rotations. People posting that Stokes "mailed it in" must not have been watching the same game I was. He tied up the ball three times, aggresively may I say, and was doubled up and many times trippled up on throughout the game. As far as SevenT's comment, totally uncalled for. McBee is a class act. I take it you have never seen many of the things this kid does off of the court. By the way, would best serve you to worry about your wildcats. Looks like they had a struggle of their own last night against Maryland. Anyway, look forward to another basketball season with the big Orange. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL (especially one that stays on their own teams site) GO BIG ORANGE.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to vol98champ:

From what I saw, this team mailed it in. You take away the 3's and we loose this game. K State would have beat us by 20 points if the game had started midway through the 2nd half. My guess is that there are a lot of unhappy coaches at UT.

However, the game did not start midway into the second half. Maybe that's why you saw everyone play and twelve different lineups. Coaches may not be happy with some of the performances but they also have teaching points to get them better. Not to mention you are missing your best player and motivator. And you only played Stokes for 10 minutes

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to vol98champ:

From what I saw, this team mailed it in. You take away the 3's and we loose this game. K State would have beat us by 20 points if the game had started midway through the 2nd half. My guess is that there are a lot of unhappy coaches at UT.

Take away KSU's 3's and they lose (not loose) by 35, DA..GBO!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

Was there and looked like a typical first game trying out different rotations. People posting that Stokes "mailed it in" must not have been watching the same game I was. He tied up the ball three times, aggresively may I say, and was doubled up and many times trippled up on throughout the game. As far as SevenT's comment, totally uncalled for. McBee is a class act. I take it you have never seen many of the things this kid does off of the court. By the way, would best serve you to worry about your wildcats. Looks like they had a struggle of their own last night against Maryland. Anyway, look forward to another basketball season with the big Orange. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL (especially one that stays on their own teams site) GO BIG ORANGE.

Good post. UK has reason to be concerned; this team doesn't measure to last year's at all so far. It does look like some of the guys who sat the bench last year will be a bit more productive this year. Maryland is picked to be about 6th in the ACC this year, so it wasn't like UK was playing a national championship contender.

As for the Vols, you are right about Stokes; he had a complete game against a team that was doing everything possible to stop him and he got NO help from the refs when the KSU guys were hanging on him. Ball handling took a step back from the way they looked against Victory, mostly because of all the lineup shuffling. The Vols will be OK.

lomas98 writes:

in response to vol98champ:

From what I saw, this team mailed it in. You take away the 3's and we loose this game. K State would have beat us by 20 points if the game had started midway through the 2nd half. My guess is that there are a lot of unhappy coaches at UT.

If you take away our threes, what are you going to take away from kennesaw? If you take away the last 5 minutes we win by 20 so whats your point.I hate the argument of "well we looked good, but if you take away x we would have lost".

johnlg00 writes:

Because neither the men's nor the women's game was available to me on TV, I listened to both on utsports.com. It was a novel experience. Since the men's and women's sports have been folded into the same department, there is no longer a unique Lady Vols site. The "listen" panels were right next to each other on the page, so it was easy to click back and forth. HOWEVER, it was EXTREMELY annoying that EVERY time I would click from one game to the other, when they went to timeouts, I had to endure one of only a handful of 30-second commercials before the game feed came back on. I would be able to recite all of those commercials from memory if I hadn't worked so hard afterwards to forget them. I know somebody has to pay the bills, and I was more or less glad to get both of the broadcasts, but DANG! it was annoying at the time. I just hope that situation doesn't come up too often in the future.

vol98champ writes:

in response to lomas98:

If you take away our threes, what are you going to take away from kennesaw? If you take away the last 5 minutes we win by 20 so whats your point.I hate the argument of "well we looked good, but if you take away x we would have lost".

Sometimes we will win with 3's and sometimes we will lose with 3''s. Our defense vanished in the last dozen or so minutes. We will rarely win when this happens. KSU is probably better than last year, but we were a big asset.

maciste54 writes:

Alabama just got by some rinky dink team last night by 3. [S.Dakota State?] It's early. I just want Maymon back and healthy.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to maciste54:

Alabama just got by some rinky dink team last night by 3. [S.Dakota State?] It's early. I just want Maymon back and healthy.

Agree completely about Maymon. On your other topic, seems I remember a Syracuse team a few years ago who lost at home to some cupcake, but managed a fairly deep run in the NCAAs. As others have said, these games are for experimentation; you just hope your early experiments don't blow up the lab. As long as everybody is healthy, still working hard, still learning, and enjoy playing with each other, all will be well.

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