'Talented' Oklahoma State next for Tennessee

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — In a clash of conflicting oranges, Tennessee will meet Oklahoma State in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The game will be televised by ESPNU at 10:30 a.m.

Picked to finish third behind Kansas and Baylor in the Big 12 season, the Cowboys present the first formidable test of the Vols' season.

Oklahoma State (2-0) narrowly escaped Akron in Thursday's opening game of the tournament. A 69-65 overtime victory came after the Zips held a 65-61 lead with 1:37 remaining in the game.

UT coach Cuonzo Martin called the Cowboys "very talented" after the Vols' 75-65 victory against UNC Asheville.

"Marcus Smart does a tremendous job running their team and Le'Bryan Nash is one of the best in the country," Martin said. "They have the personnel to be successful."

Both Nash and Smart are former McDonald's All-Americans and are NBA prospects.

Nash, a 6-foot-7 inside-outside combo-forward, will present an intriguing matchup for the Vols.

Martin said he plans to use wings Josh Richardson and D'Montre Edwards on Nash when he plays small forward and Kenny Hall on him when he slides to the power forward spot.

Nash led Oklahoma State with 18 points against Akron, while Smart finished with 16 points and Markel Brown added 17.

The Cowboys shot 37.5 percent from the field and had just eight assists on 21 made field goals.

Final Look: The winner of Tennessee-Oklahoma State will face the winner of N.C. State-Massachusetts in the championship game on Sunday.

Last Meeting: UT and Oklahoma State last met in the 2009 NCAA tournament first round in Dayton.

The Vols fell 77-75 and are 1-2 all-time against the Cowboys.

Anybody Out There?: Attendance was scarce at Coliseo Ruber Rodriguez for the opening games of the Tip-Off. Only small pockets of fans filled to lowest section in the 9,000-seat arena.

Midway through the day, tournament officials dropped tarps to cover the gym's empty end zone sections.

Watching Stokes: Another day, another award nomination.

Tennessee sophomore Jarnell Stokes was included in the Naismith Trophy Watch List compiled this week by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Stokes hopes to still be on the list when it's trimmed from 50 to 30 in November. In March, only four will be left standing when the voters cut the list down to select finalists.

Seven SEC players appear on the list. In addition to Stokes, Florida's Kenny Boyton and Patric Young, Missouri's Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey, and Kentucky's Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel all were selected.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 20

CoverOrange writes:

I was at that game in Dayton when we faced Ok St. One of the more clueless endings I've ever seen to a bball game. Time to reverse that.

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

Us West Coast Vols have to start watching at 7:30 in the morning.

wigmeister writes:

in response to AlexAndersonAAradio:

Us West Coast Vols have to start watching at 7:30 in the morning.

Hopefully it gets you in a good mood for work, or golf, or whatever!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

How good is Akron? I have to believe UT can play with Okie St if the Zips did.

born2ride writes:

Stokes is good but I don't see him winning the Naismith Trophy.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

in response to AlexAndersonAAradio:

Us West Coast Vols have to start watching at 7:30 in the morning.

I love it....some Orange for breakfast...great way to start the day.bonzaivol

mocsandvolsfan writes:

STOKEs IS good. And right now he's as good as anybody. He'll need to improve with each game to win that trophy. Same for the others. But it's not that important compared to improving each game and winning.

Go Bols. Beat uhhhCowboys??? whatever beat 'em!!

Sir_Spanky writes:

Need to find their killer instinct.

underthehill writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

Need to find their killer instinct.

yep..they do..but they also need to develop depth..hope that is what is going on..

bosseat writes:

pretty sure you got the score of yesterdays game wrong

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

How good is Akron? I have to believe UT can play with Okie St if the Zips did.

Akron was up 4 in OT and had the game won but let a nobody freshman get 6 points on 2 3 pointers

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Really wish I had the bucks to have gone to this tourney..These small gym tourneys are an absolute blast.Went to the Old Spice in Orlando and had a great time.In these tourneys you can practically sit court side. Watched most all of yesterdays games on ESPN3 and wasn't real impressed by State.They didn't look real motivated and played real lazy on defense. Uncontested 3 pointers will come real easy against them..Like any Bball Game it all comes down to FG percentage..The vols will have to shoot 45% to get the win. Last year we had a bad habit of shooting cold early in the game.Consistent shooting is the key to how many wins we get this year and the sign of how we have matured

manningberrychism writes:

in response to born2ride:

Stokes is good but I don't see him winning the Naismith Trophy.

Stokes is YOUNG give him TIME

PennVol writes:

Down by 11 at half. Ugly game so far.

VolGrad writes:

For us to win against OK St. would be a major accomplishment this early and without Maymon.

Go Vols!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Looks to be out quicked and out shot. Good thing we aren't playing the Zips too. Unless OKLA State is really this good, it doesn't look like we are going to prosper.

Maymon obviously is being and is going to be missed..............

mocsandvolsfan writes:

This is the worst offensive game since Stokes arrived. maybe!!!!

CommodoreCapital writes:

BEAT DOWN.

underthehill writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Really wish I had the bucks to have gone to this tourney..These small gym tourneys are an absolute blast.Went to the Old Spice in Orlando and had a great time.In these tourneys you can practically sit court side. Watched most all of yesterdays games on ESPN3 and wasn't real impressed by State.They didn't look real motivated and played real lazy on defense. Uncontested 3 pointers will come real easy against them..Like any Bball Game it all comes down to FG percentage..The vols will have to shoot 45% to get the win. Last year we had a bad habit of shooting cold early in the game.Consistent shooting is the key to how many wins we get this year and the sign of how we have matured

Looks like you nailed it..bad shooting game for whole team..McRae appeared to be the only offensive threat..the open jumper at the foul line Richardson missed to start the 2nd half was a killer...very poor team energy and effort...

orange_eVOLution writes:

Why is this article posted under Recruiting?

It sure ain't gonna help now.

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