Vols start with win in Puerto Rico, 75-68

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — No Jeronne Maymon? No hay problema.

Tennessee isn’t ready to abandon the blocks.

Just ask UNC Asheville.

Fueled by 14 points apiece and a combined 19 rebounds by forwards Jarnell Stokes and Kenny Hall, the Vols powered past the Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon. A 75-68 win the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off wasn’t quite as close as it seemed.

Tennessee (2-0) led by as many as 17 in the second half.

Asheville (1-2) pushed late, but the Vols pushed back by making 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch.

“We wanted to set a tone of getting the ball inside and establishing the post and allowing our guards to feed off the production on the blocks,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said following the victory at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez. “I thought we did that.”

As a result, a quick turnaround has Tennessee slated to play Oklahoma State (2-0) in the tournament’s semifinals today (TV: ESPNU, 10:30 a.m.).

Martin will hope for the same production down low against the Cowboys, who survived an overtime scare from Akron in Thursday’s first game.

Hall and Stokes combined for 14 of the Vols’ 16 points to open the second half. Asheville had no answer.

Especially at the 12:37 mark of the second half.

Backing his rear end into 6-foot-10 Asheville center D.J. Cunningham, Stokes created space, caught an entry pass, turned to his left, and punished the rim — and Cunningham’s ego — with a dramatic one-handed dunk.

Looking spry for the first time all season, even Maymon forgot about his injured knee and sprang to his feet in celebration.

“I was surprised how high I got up,” said Stokes, later confiding that he hopes the play lands on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.

More importantly than any highlight, Stokes’ dunk gave UT a 56-39 lead, its largest margin of the day.

Like the Atlantic Ocean tide slowly eating away at the Puerto Rican shoreline over the course of the afternoon, the Vols post players just wore down Asheville. Eleven offensive rebounds highlighted UT’s 37-25 rebounding margin.

“The play of their three frontline guys, particularly Hall and Stokes was a little bit too much for us,” Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said.

The Bulldoges’ attention on Stokes and Hall opened things up nicely for the rest of the Vols. Trae Golden joined his big men with 14 points, while Josh Richardson and Jordan McRae added 12 apiece on the wings.

On the bright side, the Vols shot exactly 50 percent from the field (26-for-52). On the down side, they allowed Asheville to shoot exactly 50 percent from the field (23-for-46).

Much of that production came in the second half when the Bulldogs trimmed UT’s lead back down to single digits.

“Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and start gambling too much, losing our principles on defense,” said Golden, who played a team-high 34 minutes. “Once we do that, that’s when teams are able to get back into games. We just have to buckle down and fix that.”

Those late lapses were an issue for the second game in a row. Last Friday, Kennesaw cut a 27-point second-half deficit to single figures.

“I wouldn’t call it a problem,” Martin said plainly. “It’s the second game of the season.”

Jeremy Atkinson led Asheville with a game-high 18 points.

Playing in the second game of their UT careers, newcomers D’Montre Edwards, Quinton Chievous and Armani Moore were quiet. Neither played more than 10 minutes and only five points came from the lot.

After sharing team-high scoring honors against Kennesaw State, senior guard Skylar McBee went without a field goal.

Hall, McRae and Richardson, all embracing new roles, more than made up for it. Richardson’s career-high 12 points prove he’s a good fit in the Vols’ starting lineup, while McRae’s 12 show he’s embraced his sixth man title.

Then there is Hall. Filling in for Maymon, he is playing as well as anyone could have hoped.

“Kenny Hall has stepped into that starting role and really taken pride in it,” Martin said.

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

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Comments » 62

HarryHood writes:

dek dek dek?

Orangeblood13 writes:

Gona have to do better than this

VictorKruger writes:

Looking forward to the game tomorrow against OK State. It's going to be real physical and possibly ugly if Phillip Jurick pulls some of the stuff he did today against Akron. He should have been ejected for hitting that guy in the nose.

"dek dek dek" must be a Philly thing :>)

GerryOP writes:

Good job guys, win 'em all!

RaineyVol writes:

They are monsters down low.

samvol writes:

GoVols!!!

RaineyVol writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Gona have to do better than this

Did you watch the game?

Patterson84 writes:

Played a little sluggish at times, a win is a win though! Stokes had a great posterizing dunk! Go Vols!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Gona have to do better than this

As long as they play good enough to win, every game, will you have any complaints?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I get the feeling that our early games are gonna be close. That's ok with me. I don't mind close games. but I have to say we looked a little bit uninspired today. Jetlag? Or we are saving ourselves for the later games.

Again I think we had much better talent at this time of year. later it looks like Asheville will be a contender for their conference again. Young players helped them stay in the game.(our young players lol) Hall was big for us today. Golden controlled well. Richardson really looked good at times. OK OK second half was terrible!! I admit it. But we won trading baskets.

StoneJackBaller writes:

A great defense will win lots of games. A poor defense will lose a lot of games. Ask Derek Dooley.

Ironcity writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I get the feeling that our early games are gonna be close. That's ok with me. I don't mind close games. but I have to say we looked a little bit uninspired today. Jetlag? Or we are saving ourselves for the later games.

Again I think we had much better talent at this time of year. later it looks like Asheville will be a contender for their conference again. Young players helped them stay in the game.(our young players lol) Hall was big for us today. Golden controlled well. Richardson really looked good at times. OK OK second half was terrible!! I admit it. But we won trading baskets.

Real problem closing out games. We were 9-10 from the line and lost 5 pts from the lead. doesn't appear we are playing very smart right now. I see a lot of similarities to last years team at this point without the super crappy dee. We are certainly forcing the ball inside and I am sure that is by design. As we move up in quality of teams Right now to many lay ups allowed and to many fouls. That said a win is a win and each of the last two games were never really in doubt. Tomorrow will b a great test. Hope to be able to see it.

HoraceMorris writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Gona have to do better than this

The game wasn't as close as the score.

It's just November. Lots of ball left to play between now and March.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

It's frustrating to see how we responded to Asheville switching to a 2-3 zone. We stopped attacking the rim and made poor decisions that resulted in hurried shots at the end of the shot clock. Our guards get really flustered by pressure on the wing and have a tough time distinguishing backside/weakside cuts that are WIDE open.

Complacency is the #1 enemy is basketball. A 20 point lead looks great until the other team goes on a huge run. No lead is safe in basketball and you must keep your foot on the gas pedal at all times. I'm all for saving energy but these are teams we should beat by 20+ with or without Maymon. It hurts not having him but our guards must play better. Golden gets in a hurry and it's a disaster when he leaves his feet to make a pass. McBee is a great shooter but I'm afraid that teams will key on him even more than before. If you're gonna be a spot up shooter, you better learn to use your picks and pop/flare/cut when applicable. You can't stand free throw line extended and expect open shots, this isn't Grainger, this is D-1. That said, I think he made some excellent passes when he realized he wasn't going to get his looks. He is smart enough to adapt on the fly but we need him to get open and aggressively pursue the open spots on the floor. That will make it easier for the posts, too.

All in all, a win is a win and I'm not really as negative or upset as my post sounds. I thought the inside play was lights out. Kenny Hall has come into his own on O and D. We dominated the glass and got tons of key putbacks. Stokes is simply a monster but needs to stay down low. A couple of times he ended up posting guys up way outside. A motion offense needs good spacing! Anyway, that's all for now. A tough test waits on the morrow!

Ironcity writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Trae is teh best player ont eh team by far. What were you watching? He had zero turnovers and in three games has one turnover. He was making fantastic passes all game. They "Asheville" beat on him all game and as usual no one on UT helped with bringing the ball down court. I find it unbelievable that some of you can't see the quality of his play.

Pullingguard writes:

Lot of Improvement will have to happen quickly or they who'll be leaving after tomorrow's game...Was not impressed... They need the other big guy down low...

GerryOP writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's interesting, Dane Bradshaw who I believe was doing color was quite complimentary of Golden's improvement over last year. (OK, I'll beat you to it, in your opinion Bradshaw sucks too?) Worst PG in SEC? How many have you seen this year?

I swear to God that we have the most negative fan base I have ever seen. Get a life peeps, this is a sport/entertainment to be enjoyed! Would someone please tell me what about the UT basketball program do we have to be negative about ... so far?

C'mon dudes and dudettes, all together now, repeat after me,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

C'mon, one more time,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to GerryOP:

That's interesting, Dane Bradshaw who I believe was doing color was quite complimentary of Golden's improvement over last year. (OK, I'll beat you to it, in your opinion Bradshaw sucks too?) Worst PG in SEC? How many have you seen this year?

I swear to God that we have the most negative fan base I have ever seen. Get a life peeps, this is a sport/entertainment to be enjoyed! Would someone please tell me what about the UT basketball program do we have to be negative about ... so far?

C'mon dudes and dudettes, all together now, repeat after me,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

C'mon, one more time,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

Witch Doctor say its the same posters no matter the sport or team. Witch Doctor say Sandusky Ohio must be one boring place. lol.
Bones never lie.

GerryOP writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

It's frustrating to see how we responded to Asheville switching to a 2-3 zone. We stopped attacking the rim and made poor decisions that resulted in hurried shots at the end of the shot clock. Our guards get really flustered by pressure on the wing and have a tough time distinguishing backside/weakside cuts that are WIDE open.

Complacency is the #1 enemy is basketball. A 20 point lead looks great until the other team goes on a huge run. No lead is safe in basketball and you must keep your foot on the gas pedal at all times. I'm all for saving energy but these are teams we should beat by 20+ with or without Maymon. It hurts not having him but our guards must play better. Golden gets in a hurry and it's a disaster when he leaves his feet to make a pass. McBee is a great shooter but I'm afraid that teams will key on him even more than before. If you're gonna be a spot up shooter, you better learn to use your picks and pop/flare/cut when applicable. You can't stand free throw line extended and expect open shots, this isn't Grainger, this is D-1. That said, I think he made some excellent passes when he realized he wasn't going to get his looks. He is smart enough to adapt on the fly but we need him to get open and aggressively pursue the open spots on the floor. That will make it easier for the posts, too.

All in all, a win is a win and I'm not really as negative or upset as my post sounds. I thought the inside play was lights out. Kenny Hall has come into his own on O and D. We dominated the glass and got tons of key putbacks. Stokes is simply a monster but needs to stay down low. A couple of times he ended up posting guys up way outside. A motion offense needs good spacing! Anyway, that's all for now. A tough test waits on the morrow!

(Sarcasm Font/ON) Yeah, you're right, we suck. We suck bad, really bad. Sooo, who's going to start the "Fire 'Zo" chant? (Sarcasm Font/OFF)

Go back and reread your post pal. Is that the post of a fan? Was the game really that bad today? Oh wait, I've got it, you didn't realize that this was only the 2nd game of the year! Right?

Witch_Doctors writes:

*Witch Doctor remember years we'd get beat by a team such as today...Witch Doctor say as long as its a W ..99.988% of the people who watch the game and possess Tennessee paraphernalia will be cool with this. lol
Bones never lie.

SummittsCourt writes:

So many coaches, so few teams to coach...

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Asheville looked just like the KSU game..They played hard on defense the whole game and sneaked back in the game when we fell asleep on defense for about 4 minutes and they got some unnecessary points from FT's..Overall not bad except for some stupid turnovers. Watched a lot of the OK State game and they were real lazy on defense.Akron had them beat in OT but gave up 2 3pointers to some nobody freshman with under 2 minutes in OT. Doubt Martin will go this route but State has a weakness to giving up 3 pointers cause they don't press hard on the perimeter..If McRae and McBee get hot with the 3's we could light them up with a 20 point win

VOLSnTITANS writes:

Lots of positives to build upon but all-in-all a classic example of playing down to the competition. I anticipate more energy tomorrow and better execution of the half court offense. Keep up the physicality.

UT 84
OK ST 78

Go VOLS

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

A great defense will win lots of games. A poor defense will lose a lot of games. Ask Derek Dooley.

I thought this article was about basketball

fearthehound writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

It's frustrating to see how we responded to Asheville switching to a 2-3 zone. We stopped attacking the rim and made poor decisions that resulted in hurried shots at the end of the shot clock. Our guards get really flustered by pressure on the wing and have a tough time distinguishing backside/weakside cuts that are WIDE open.

Complacency is the #1 enemy is basketball. A 20 point lead looks great until the other team goes on a huge run. No lead is safe in basketball and you must keep your foot on the gas pedal at all times. I'm all for saving energy but these are teams we should beat by 20+ with or without Maymon. It hurts not having him but our guards must play better. Golden gets in a hurry and it's a disaster when he leaves his feet to make a pass. McBee is a great shooter but I'm afraid that teams will key on him even more than before. If you're gonna be a spot up shooter, you better learn to use your picks and pop/flare/cut when applicable. You can't stand free throw line extended and expect open shots, this isn't Grainger, this is D-1. That said, I think he made some excellent passes when he realized he wasn't going to get his looks. He is smart enough to adapt on the fly but we need him to get open and aggressively pursue the open spots on the floor. That will make it easier for the posts, too.

All in all, a win is a win and I'm not really as negative or upset as my post sounds. I thought the inside play was lights out. Kenny Hall has come into his own on O and D. We dominated the glass and got tons of key putbacks. Stokes is simply a monster but needs to stay down low. A couple of times he ended up posting guys up way outside. A motion offense needs good spacing! Anyway, that's all for now. A tough test waits on the morrow!

Coach Zo, is that you?

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to GerryOP:

(Sarcasm Font/ON) Yeah, you're right, we suck. We suck bad, really bad. Sooo, who's going to start the "Fire 'Zo" chant? (Sarcasm Font/OFF)

Go back and reread your post pal. Is that the post of a fan? Was the game really that bad today? Oh wait, I've got it, you didn't realize that this was only the 2nd game of the year! Right?

I see that you're one of those Footvols that doesn't have a clue about basketball strategy or anything else related to the hardwood. I never, ever, ever, ever said that we suck. To the contrary, I though we looked really good outside of a couple of things with the guard play (God forbid!) that I pointed out.

I'm sorry that my basketball intellect is higher than yours and that you're frustrated by the fact that you don't know what a pop/flare/cut means. If you had any IQ in basketball other than yelling "GIVE ER TO STOKES!!" at your TV screen you might see that everything I said, and I mean EVERYTHING, is 100% true and happened right in front of you.

I'm happy with the win in a tournament setting on a neutral floor. All I'm saying is that we can't get complacent when we get a big lead and the guards need to be more assertive. I guess I should bow down to Gerry, who's posts are only truly worthy of Vol fandom. All hail Gerry! The all knowing basketvol!! Pshh, you're a joke clown! GO VOLS!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Real problem closing out games. We were 9-10 from the line and lost 5 pts from the lead. doesn't appear we are playing very smart right now. I see a lot of similarities to last years team at this point without the super crappy dee. We are certainly forcing the ball inside and I am sure that is by design. As we move up in quality of teams Right now to many lay ups allowed and to many fouls. That said a win is a win and each of the last two games were never really in doubt. Tomorrow will b a great test. Hope to be able to see it.

I see the same issue but I wonder if a part of it is that we don't keep the same guys on the floor longer. I know CCM wants to look at everybody and I think that is what he is doing now. But I think it takes them out of a rhythm and that allows the other team to move closer. But they won so that is the bottom line

fearthehound writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

I see that you're one of those Footvols that doesn't have a clue about basketball strategy or anything else related to the hardwood. I never, ever, ever, ever said that we suck. To the contrary, I though we looked really good outside of a couple of things with the guard play (God forbid!) that I pointed out.

I'm sorry that my basketball intellect is higher than yours and that you're frustrated by the fact that you don't know what a pop/flare/cut means. If you had any IQ in basketball other than yelling "GIVE ER TO STOKES!!" at your TV screen you might see that everything I said, and I mean EVERYTHING, is 100% true and happened right in front of you.

I'm happy with the win in a tournament setting on a neutral floor. All I'm saying is that we can't get complacent when we get a big lead and the guards need to be more assertive. I guess I should bow down to Gerry, who's posts are only truly worthy of Vol fandom. All hail Gerry! The all knowing basketvol!! Pshh, you're a joke clown! GO VOLS!

I thought your comments were pretty astute.

VolzsFan writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Gona have to do better than this

Gona? Okay. You are right. They may not win another game all year. LOL

Basketball works to peak at the end. In the beginning they look at many combinations and players. So much timing goes into it. Not like football where you get in a huddle and tell everyone what to do before each play.

Look at scores early throughout America. It is a different game then the oblong ball. Just chill and stop the negative whining.

Ironcity writes:

in response to budd#207344:

I see the same issue but I wonder if a part of it is that we don't keep the same guys on the floor longer. I know CCM wants to look at everybody and I think that is what he is doing now. But I think it takes them out of a rhythm and that allows the other team to move closer. But they won so that is the bottom line

I agree. I don't think Martin is looking for style points. I think he focuses a lot on the process and where he wants us to be come SEC time. You see a lot of combinations that are not working now but given time will probably be great. I will say I am impressed with Mcrae right now. Looks to be playing with tons of confidence

underthehill writes:

in response to GerryOP:

That's interesting, Dane Bradshaw who I believe was doing color was quite complimentary of Golden's improvement over last year. (OK, I'll beat you to it, in your opinion Bradshaw sucks too?) Worst PG in SEC? How many have you seen this year?

I swear to God that we have the most negative fan base I have ever seen. Get a life peeps, this is a sport/entertainment to be enjoyed! Would someone please tell me what about the UT basketball program do we have to be negative about ... so far?

C'mon dudes and dudettes, all together now, repeat after me,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

C'mon, one more time,

It's great... To be... A Tennessee Vol!

I'm not sure fans are being negative when they discuss what they are seeing during a game...there is more to the game than just the final score..the fan I discuss games with the most is a retired college coach..and we enjoy our exchanges..we often do not see the same things..and we find our differences amusing..I guess... cause we keep doing it..since this site if for anyone who wishes to express their opinion..would you consider being a bit more tolerant (respectful) of those with differing views..thank you..

willtowin writes:

Hope we can break the tournament jinx and at least get to the title game. Still gotta stay focused for full 40 minutes. As the competition gets better it will become tougher to survive the let ups. Go Vols!

GerryOP writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

I see that you're one of those Footvols that doesn't have a clue about basketball strategy or anything else related to the hardwood. I never, ever, ever, ever said that we suck. To the contrary, I though we looked really good outside of a couple of things with the guard play (God forbid!) that I pointed out.

I'm sorry that my basketball intellect is higher than yours and that you're frustrated by the fact that you don't know what a pop/flare/cut means. If you had any IQ in basketball other than yelling "GIVE ER TO STOKES!!" at your TV screen you might see that everything I said, and I mean EVERYTHING, is 100% true and happened right in front of you.

I'm happy with the win in a tournament setting on a neutral floor. All I'm saying is that we can't get complacent when we get a big lead and the guards need to be more assertive. I guess I should bow down to Gerry, who's posts are only truly worthy of Vol fandom. All hail Gerry! The all knowing basketvol!! Pshh, you're a joke clown! GO VOLS!

Well ... ain't you just somethin' special!

Ironcity writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Golden was selected 2nd team all SEC by the coaches. I can only imagine what you will write when Golden has a bad game.

rockypop writes:

Would all you naysayers be saying the same thing if the name on the front of the opponent's jersey today was spelled K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y? Last year this team was 24-10 and lost by only 7 to #1 seeded Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA. These guys can ball. And, on top of that, UT played without it's top scorer and two other guys. Sounds like some of you have football hangover.

GerryOP writes:

Maybe if some of you guys would open your posts with something like "Great win!" or "How 'bout them Vols!" or maybe even something like "Good job guys! Good win!" I would take your negative comments, after a win, a little less critically.

But really, the guy who's claiming that Golden is the worst PG in the SEC is FOS. I'll take Bradshaw's opinion over any poster on here.

Some of you people really need to lighten up. Life is too short to take it so seriously.

underthehill writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think Coach Martin will use Golden to take advantage of his strengths and minimize his shortcomings..I don't think Golden will play as many minutes as he did last year..we shall see...and yes UT needs Maymon ..

69grad writes:

Hooray. It's basketball time in Tennessee. I'm sick of our football coaching staff.

vol98champ writes:

I sure hope you "the glass is full" folks are right. I started listening to the game with 12 minutes left and I sure wasn't impressed.

jt45 writes:

in response to GiveHim6TDTennessee:

It's frustrating to see how we responded to Asheville switching to a 2-3 zone. We stopped attacking the rim and made poor decisions that resulted in hurried shots at the end of the shot clock. Our guards get really flustered by pressure on the wing and have a tough time distinguishing backside/weakside cuts that are WIDE open.

Complacency is the #1 enemy is basketball. A 20 point lead looks great until the other team goes on a huge run. No lead is safe in basketball and you must keep your foot on the gas pedal at all times. I'm all for saving energy but these are teams we should beat by 20+ with or without Maymon. It hurts not having him but our guards must play better. Golden gets in a hurry and it's a disaster when he leaves his feet to make a pass. McBee is a great shooter but I'm afraid that teams will key on him even more than before. If you're gonna be a spot up shooter, you better learn to use your picks and pop/flare/cut when applicable. You can't stand free throw line extended and expect open shots, this isn't Grainger, this is D-1. That said, I think he made some excellent passes when he realized he wasn't going to get his looks. He is smart enough to adapt on the fly but we need him to get open and aggressively pursue the open spots on the floor. That will make it easier for the posts, too.

All in all, a win is a win and I'm not really as negative or upset as my post sounds. I thought the inside play was lights out. Kenny Hall has come into his own on O and D. We dominated the glass and got tons of key putbacks. Stokes is simply a monster but needs to stay down low. A couple of times he ended up posting guys up way outside. A motion offense needs good spacing! Anyway, that's all for now. A tough test waits on the morrow!

Good post ! Not sure why you got flamed by the other poster. Im glad to see them getting better. I just wish a few people would stop thinking these Mid major programs are automatic wins. Talent levels are much higher in these smaller schools than people give them credit for. I think there is a common misconception among some fans that think we win big against Mid major teams. Dont forget we got schooled by Oakland,MTSU,Charleston and Austin Peay last year. Glad to see them getting a good start, the SEC should be wide open this year.

laraccoon writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

*Witch Doctor remember years we'd get beat by a team such as today...Witch Doctor say as long as its a W ..99.988% of the people who watch the game and possess Tennessee paraphernalia will be cool with this. lol
Bones never lie.

we lost these games last year, was why we went to the NIT instead of big dance .i was hoping we would look better but what do i know .Maymon would have probably made a big difference ,guess it is a little too early to dive off the bridge .

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol, lmao, haha, hehe so on

I for one never played a second of organized basketball. I'm a bit of a fanatic for the sport. I will confess though that my dad was a coach before I was born.
A person can be a fan and not be on the glass half empty or the glass half full side, sometimes she or he might be on one and sometimes he or she might be the other.
Point is can't a person enjoy the game and discussing it without having ever played?

I'm not sure what my first paragraph with the "glass" stuff was about either.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to laraccoon:

we lost these games last year, was why we went to the NIT instead of big dance .i was hoping we would look better but what do i know .Maymon would have probably made a big difference ,guess it is a little too early to dive off the bridge .

I was gonna say it's ok just go ahead and dive but I thought maybe the guys serious. We don't want anyone diving off a bridge just because of a basketball game. But if you have to jump then at least wait till we've lost several games. MAYBE this year that won't happen.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

lol, lmao, haha, hehe so on

I for one never played a second of organized basketball. I'm a bit of a fanatic for the sport. I will confess though that my dad was a coach before I was born.
A person can be a fan and not be on the glass half empty or the glass half full side, sometimes she or he might be on one and sometimes he or she might be the other.
Point is can't a person enjoy the game and discussing it without having ever played?

I'm not sure what my first paragraph with the "glass" stuff was about either.

I'll drink to that.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OKEMO-RON has spoken..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Maybe if some of you guys would open your posts with something like "Great win!" or "How 'bout them Vols!" or maybe even something like "Good job guys! Good win!" I would take your negative comments, after a win, a little less critically.

But really, the guy who's claiming that Golden is the worst PG in the SEC is FOS. I'll take Bradshaw's opinion over any poster on here.

Some of you people really need to lighten up. Life is too short to take it so seriously.

+1..

1vavolfan writes:

Geez what a bunch of whiners. Like the announcers on TV said this is early season basketball and it can often be ugly. The last 2 games look semi close on the scoreboard but the Vols were never in trouble in either. Asheville on a neutral floor in November is not a gimme and we are playing without our best player.

John_10065 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep, preseason 2nd team all SEC PG made the FT down the stretch, 80% from the line, 5 - 2 assist to TO really sucked didn't he?

He is no Jason Kidd but he did quite well. And I didn't see him getting blown by on pick and rolls like he did late last year. I would call his play over all improved.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

in response to rockypop:

Would all you naysayers be saying the same thing if the name on the front of the opponent's jersey today was spelled K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y? Last year this team was 24-10 and lost by only 7 to #1 seeded Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA. These guys can ball. And, on top of that, UT played without it's top scorer and two other guys. Sounds like some of you have football hangover.

They also lost 4/5 starters. So the "these guys" you refer to are largely graduated.

John_10065 writes:

I just got done watching the replay thinking that this must be the worst UT hoops team in history reading the comments here.

It was a little rusty. The early traveling violations were painful but overall UT owned the game from buzzer to buzzer. It looked like a team that had played it's 2nd game of the year on a neutral court against a very good mid-major that earned an at large bid last year. Oh guess what! That's exactly what it was!

Golden looks a lot healthier and smarter at the PG position. His % from the field wasn't that good but that was mostly a by-product of him getting the ball very late in the shot clock late in the 2nd half and having to force a few shots.

Hall is playing more like we expected him to play from day one. Apparently that 9 game suspension last year tweaked his attitude. He played strong and determined in the paint on both sides of the ball which we really need from him with Maymon on the bench.

Stokes is playing with more authority and his skills are broadening. He played off both hands in the paint and showed real tenacity on the boards with strength. He tended to have guys back him down on D in the paint and his conditioning in the off-season looks to have taken care of that.

We had about a 7 minute stretch in the 2nd half with mostly the bench playing and they held their own for the most part. I would have liked to see more offense generated off the bench but they did a good job defending and McRae looked like the 6th player of the week.

We had 5 players in double digits. And the little acknowledged point total of 66 was exceeded. If you can put 66 points up in college hoops, statistically you will win 90% of the time. On the other side, we didn't hold Ashville to under 66 which is a bit disheartening but it wasn't until very late in the game that they made an offensive push generated off their defense. With 5 minutes left, it was 64-51 and although they closed to within 7 points, it was never really close after 8:00 left in the 1st half.

What was glaring to me watching this game is how badly we need Maymon to get healthy and back on the court. Makanjuola will fill a need and as long as Hall has his head screwed on straight we'll be ok but this team is all about power in the paint and how that generates outside shooting opprotunities.

It's pretty clear that without Maymon, Stokes will be double teamed when he has the ball. It is also pretty clear that Stokes and Hall will both get into foul trouble if we don't have another producer inside. Some of our guards can go big in the paint at times but that isn't going to carry us through league play. We need the big guy, pre-season 1st team all-SEC forward back on the court.

If our injured get healthy, it's going to be a good season. I still think we can split with UK and own the rest of the east.

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