“Smooth,” the Tennessee men’s basketball coach said Friday.
Now comes the question whether “smokey” gray will find itself into Thompson-Boling Arena.
Between now and November, Martin will meet with Adidas representatives, as he does every offseason, to look at prototype uniforms for the 2013-14 season. He will see standard home and away options, along with alternate jersey options.
Last season, UT sported orange-on-orange uniforms for home games against Memphis, a loss, and Kentucky, a win.
For this upcoming season, Martin is hoping to see a gray basketball prototype.
“I’d like that, of course,” Martin said. “It’s smooth. It’s great. I was impressed (with the football model). I’d love to see it, but it’s all about what my players like. From the responses from my guys, they like (the idea). So I’d like to see it.”
Martin has turned aside alternative uniforms from Adidas in the past, including a camouflage get-up that he immediately shot down last offseason. He says any uniform must be “a combination of classic with tradition and a little flavor.”
The orange-on-orange look received a mix response in 2012-13. The uniforms themselves were a lighter, bright orange, while player names, numbers and “TENNESSEE” across the chest appeared in a slightly darker orange with white bordering. Bright all-orange shoes accompanied the ensemble.
“I liked them a lot,” Martin said.
Echoing UT football coach Butch Jones, Martin cited the never-ending arms race in recruiting as a factor for fresh, alternative gear.
Things have changed dramatically since Martin was recruited to Purdue in the 1990s. Back then, he was chided by coach Gene Keady for sporting wrist bands to liven up his playing wardrobe.
“Listen, my last college basketball game was in 1995. This is 2013. Times have changed,” he said. “These young guys don’t see what I saw.”
Now style is part of the culture of college athletics.
“You got to have some flavor to you,” Martin said. “You want to keep the tradition but you’re also talking about recruiting a product. A young man, what does he see? What do these guys see every day. Tennessee is on TV numerous amounts of time, as much as anyone in the country. What do they see?”
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn