Battle 4 Atlantis evidence that Vols will go as far as Jarnell Stokes takes them

Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes drives to the basket as Wake Forest's Madison Jones, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Paradise Island, Bahamas, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Bahamas Visual Services, Tim Aylen)

Photo by Tim Aylen

Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes drives to the basket as Wake Forest's Madison Jones, left, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Paradise Island, Bahamas, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Bahamas Visual Services, Tim Aylen)

PARADISE ISLANDS, Bahamas He folded his 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame into an empty seat near the Imperial Arena basketball court.

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Comments » 12

atnvol#283282 writes:

We have seen this before....a unexplained disappearing act in critical games.

underthehill writes:

Stokes is a great rebounder..he is not an offensive weapon that can carry a team..his main role on offense should be to set screens and go hard to the boards..the game against UTEP was so bad I lost interest in the rest..but today I was discussing that game with a friend and former college coach who said ..that was the worst display of a total lack of coaching he had ever seen at UT..it looked like the team had no idea what to do against the defenses the UTEP coach was using..I had to agree..

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Stokes is a great rebounder..he is not an offensive weapon that can carry a team..his main role on offense should be to set screens and go hard to the boards..the game against UTEP was so bad I lost interest in the rest..but today I was discussing that game with a friend and former college coach who said ..that was the worst display of a total lack of coaching he had ever seen at UT..it looked like the team had no idea what to do against the defenses the UTEP coach was using..I had to agree..

Wow you really don't like Coach Martin. Sometimes the players have to be accountable. I saw a lot of great looks in the UTEP game that just did not go in. When this teams plays like the coach expects them to play, they seem to perform better. Wake Forest is a good team as well as Xavier. When the season is over and they do well. I want to see you give him credit.
Keep in mind too guys, defense wins championships. Shots are not going to fall every night but defense will always be there if you play hard enough. If this team plays like they played the last two games they will be ok. I am glad they lost to UTEP. I think it was a wake up call.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Stokes is a great rebounder..he is not an offensive weapon that can carry a team..his main role on offense should be to set screens and go hard to the boards..the game against UTEP was so bad I lost interest in the rest..but today I was discussing that game with a friend and former college coach who said ..that was the worst display of a total lack of coaching he had ever seen at UT..it looked like the team had no idea what to do against the defenses the UTEP coach was using..I had to agree..

Several posters on here have suggested that the fact that CCM is so disdainful of any defense other than a man-to-man means that they never get any useful practice against anything else. I saw them play a few possessions of zone against UTEP, but it was what I call a lighthouse zone--all the players just rotate in place following the ball. A good zone, the kind the Vols are likely to face a LOT this year, is every bit as active and intimidating as any man-to-man. It is not "giving up" to play one, it is ADDING a different kind of pressure, and switching defenses prevents a team from ever becoming comfortable with, or even KNOWING, what they are trying to do. If there was just one thing I would change about CCM's apparent approach to the game, that would be it, namely, having a more flexible mind about how he conceives and teaches the game.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I am no basketball guru like you guys are but I have seen enough basketball to know that against a zone, you need to have a really good point guard to break it down or a person that can shoot lights out over the zone. I think ask the team begins to jell, they will have no problem breaking down zones

johnlg00 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

I am no basketball guru like you guys are but I have seen enough basketball to know that against a zone, you need to have a really good point guard to break it down or a person that can shoot lights out over the zone. I think ask the team begins to jell, they will have no problem breaking down zones

I think the Vols have the decent PG and the outside shooters you correctly prescribe. The one thing I would add is SOMEBODY who wants to work the free-throw circle, who has the hands and nerve to catch passes in the middle of the defense and the vision and judgment to distribute it from that central position. All the better if he had a decent jump shot from that area and the confidence to drive it to the basket if the opening presents itself. It doesn't really matter whether that guy is a post player or a perimeter guy, but such a player in such a role in that position is absolute poison to a zone. I haven't seen any evidence yet that such a possibility has even occurred to anybody on the staff. It doesn't even have to be one guy who does it all the time--it would be OK to rotate guys through there, but that position must be filled on every possession. If they can master that setup, they will never be bothered by a zone again.

fannotsheep writes:

This team has more than Stokes. Maymon is a proven talent as is McRae. Did UT miss something when evaluating Hubbs or will he eventually blossom into a player worthy of his recruiting hype? Because we all know Martin is a great coach who just needed better talent and a few of the kind of players he likes to coach. Right?

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I would not say he is a great coach yet. I will say I like how he demands that the guys play hard defensively. I think Hubbs is trying to find his place on the team. They do have some good seniors that play ahead of him. It is hard to cut the playing time of those guys in my opinion now. They bring more defensively than Hubbs. As I said before, I like the way he preaches defense first. If these guys want to make it to the NBA, they have to learn to play good one on one defense. It will just make them more marketable.
I like the direction this team is going. I just hope they buy into what he is preaching.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

I would not say he is a great coach yet. I will say I like how he demands that the guys play hard defensively. I think Hubbs is trying to find his place on the team. They do have some good seniors that play ahead of him. It is hard to cut the playing time of those guys in my opinion now. They bring more defensively than Hubbs. As I said before, I like the way he preaches defense first. If these guys want to make it to the NBA, they have to learn to play good one on one defense. It will just make them more marketable.
I like the direction this team is going. I just hope they buy into what he is preaching.

Good post; agree with all. I too would call CCM a good coach who has an opportunity to show that he aspires to be a GREAT coach. I have no problem with the emphasis on accountability on defense, I just wish playing great man-to-man wasn't the ONLY way to show it. As for Hubbs, I agree that he is still feeling his way a bit on a senior-dominated team. If he had been thrust into a starting role out of need, I think he would be much more comfortable on the floor by now than he seems to be. The great thing about this year's team is that they don't NEED him to be a breakout star right now. All through the recruiting process, I got the impression that he is not a glory-hound; he always said that he needed to tighten up on his defense, rebounding, and ball-handling to be the player he wants to be in college ball. Good on him! I think we will continue to see him develop, and he could be something of a "secret weapon" for the team in the very near future.

fannotsheep writes:

I like Martin's emphasis on tough defense too, but I am never going to forget the coaching staff that schemed so well that the other team could not even inbound the basketball. A staff that beat Texas at Texas in its first year with the same talent that couldn't beat the UNC Ashevilles of the world under good ol' Buzz. And a staff that beat Kansas and Kentucky and OWNED the Gators. Nothing against Martin. Good coach, great guy from all I hear. Mears was great. DeVoe was very good. But in my half century watching UT basketball, Coach Pearl (along with Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay) was the absolute best. Period.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

I like Martin's emphasis on tough defense too, but I am never going to forget the coaching staff that schemed so well that the other team could not even inbound the basketball. A staff that beat Texas at Texas in its first year with the same talent that couldn't beat the UNC Ashevilles of the world under good ol' Buzz. And a staff that beat Kansas and Kentucky and OWNED the Gators. Nothing against Martin. Good coach, great guy from all I hear. Mears was great. DeVoe was very good. But in my half century watching UT basketball, Coach Pearl (along with Tony Jones, Steve Forbes and Jason Shay) was the absolute best. Period.

If there was just one thing that Pearl was famous for that I wish Martin could adopt, it would be that smothering defense against the inbounds pass. It would seem that this year's Vols have the ideal personnel to execute that defense, with long-armed leapers up and down the roster. They played that defense so well that they got a couple of turnovers for run-out baskets nearly every game. Even if they didn't get the turnover, they forced the opponents to use a couple of timeouts they hadn't planned to use for that purpose. There are bound to be tapes showing how they did that.

I'm still also waiting to see them get just about the FIRST quick score from one of their OWN out-of-bounds plays. Those two things would get the Vols at least a couple of buckets a game that they aren't getting now, and that can make ALL the difference in a close game against a quality opponent. That is the kind of difference a GREAT coach can make.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

This is only Martin's third year. Lets see how things go. I believe he has the potential to be a good coach. He is still a young coach. I think this will be his year to shine.

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