Dropping down on the blocks was Oklahoma State's plan against Vols

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, left, and Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes battle for a rebound during a NCAA college basketball game in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Photo by Ricardo Arduengo, AP2012

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, left, and Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes battle for a rebound during a NCAA college basketball game in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — Three games into the season, the film is out on Tennessee basketball.

It's pretty obvious what opposing gameplans it will draw.

In Tennessee's 62-45 loss to Oklahoma State on Friday, the Cowboys' defense kept sagging as the Vols' shots kept missing. The OSU defense collapsed on UT's interior players like a tarp, forcing the team's perimeter players to fire from the outside.

The Vols missed 37 of their 50 field-goal attempts and 18 of 23 shots from beyond the arc.

"We were a little hesitant and the shots weren't falling," UT coach Cuonzo Martin explained afterward.

Whether the Vols are hitting jump shots or not, Martin wants the team to relentlessly feed post players Jarnell Stokes, Kenny Hall and Yemi Makanjuola.

Oklahoma State made it nearly impossible on Friday. Players, namely Stokes, were fronted on the blocks and/or double-teamed, while passing lanes were clogged.

Think upcoming opponents might pick up on that when watching the film?

After shooting 20 3-pointers combined in the first two games of the year, the Vols fired 23 against OSU. Asked if perimeter players were settling for jumpers, Martin said they shot when they were open and left it at that.

Lackluster Defense: Even with the offensive woes, Martin didn't let the Vols' defensive play go unscathed. The UT coach said, "I really don't think we did a good job defending from start to finish," but added that the struggles on offense likely played a part in some lackluster defensive possessions.

More Time for Edwards: Unable to find consistency from the power forward position when Stokes and Hall aren't playing together, Martin gave junior D'Montre Edwards some time on the blocks Friday.

He played a season-high 17 minutes as a result and finished with two points and five rebounds.

Foul Trouble: A troubling development on the defensive side of the ball was UT's difficulty guarding the post without fouling.

After committing 25 fouls on Friday — leading to 31 free-throw attempts by Oklahoma State — the Vols found themselves outscored by nine points from the free-throw line.

Bits and Pieces: The Vols' 13 made field goals are tied for the third-lowest total in the program's 104-year history.

UT's 26.0 percent shooting is the lowest since the Vols shot 25.0 percent in a 56-44 loss to Butler early in the 2006-07 season.

A .73 point-per-possession tally is the lowest since the 2010-11 season when the Vols posted .71 in an NCAA tournament loss to Michigan.

The last time UT had just five assists? A 77-55 loss to Southern Cal in the 2009-10 season.

On the brightside, after 10 first-half turnovers, the Vols turned the ball over just once in the second half against the Cowboys.

UT went 0-8 when it scored 59 points or less last season.

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Comments » 11

Pullingguard writes:

Just a hunch....Believe the good Lord smiled on this team last year, just one season...Now you are on your own..Amd it may not be pretty with the clunk shooters we have...Stokes has the movement of a walrus, big feet, big body, little movement..

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

"In a 62-45 loss to Oklahoma State on Friday, the Cowboys' defense..." How did the Cowboys' defense have a loss to Oklahoma State?

Pullingguard writes:

in response to steamboatticket#484773:

"In a 62-45 loss to Oklahoma State on Friday, the Cowboys' defense..." How did the Cowboys' defense have a loss to Oklahoma State?

Please, did your comments come out as intended...

smokeygrowl writes:

Can anyone say Kevin O'Neil

vol98champ writes:

Please Lord let this nightmare end soon. Football, basketball, baseball. I have been following UT for over 60 years and I can never remember a worse 5 years. Oh yeah I know Pearl's next to last year, but look what happened afterwards. I can even remember some great swim and track teams.

jt45 writes:

in response to smokeygrowl:

Can anyone say Kevin O'Neil

You really think its that bad ? Surely not ! Its way too early into the season for that. Im not too impressed by some of the other SEC teams ive seen this year either. South Carolina is worse than last year.The dogs and the tide arent looking all that good either. UK is not close to being what they were last year. Hopefully Coach Martin will get things straightened out. I miss the faster paced offense from BPs teams though.

MikeInTN writes:

Pitiful!!!

Ironcity writes:

What the article failed to mention was that only one player played inside. Its easy to sag when you ahve four players standing around the 3 point line while one guys bust his rump down low. Our zone offense was as creative as my sons rec teams against a zone

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

What the article failed to mention was that only one player played inside. Its easy to sag when you ahve four players standing around the 3 point line while one guys bust his rump down low. Our zone offense was as creative as my sons rec teams against a zone

OK State basically played four-out-one-in the whole second half. The difference between the way they played and the way the Vols played it was that they had guys who drove the ball into the gaps while the Vols mostly stood around on the perimeter. The idea behind that strategy is to keep the middle open for drives and give the main inside guy room to work. If you don't space the floor properly, drive the ball to the basket, make the shots you get, and generally occupy the perimeter defenders so they can't drop down on your post man, then you get what happened to the Vols yesterday.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

at least Georgia won 17-9. still hurts doesn't it little gater zz troll

born2ride writes:

Double Stokes and you beat the Vols.

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