Early struggles doom Vols in 65-58 loss to N.C. State

Can't come back from 17-point deficit

North Carolina State guard Desmond Lee (5) and forward T.J. Warren (24) celebrate Lee's basket as Tennessee forwards Jeronne Maymon (34) and Jarnell Stokes (5) regroup during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. NC State won 65-58. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau)

North Carolina State guard Desmond Lee (5) and forward T.J. Warren (24) celebrate Lee's basket as Tennessee forwards Jeronne Maymon (34) and Jarnell Stokes (5) regroup during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. NC State won 65-58. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau)

Cuonzo Martin said he picked up a hint of a bad vibe as his team went through pregame rituals.

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Comments » 22

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

First of all Bruce isn't coming back, period. However, as a supporter of Coach Martin the Titanic has sailed for the last time. There was probably 5,000 fans in TBA tonight, (including my family,) and I give up. The curtains fom Buzzball are coming back. No Passion, no fight, no clue. The season is over before it started. Hubbs and Stokes are jokes for D1 players. Coach Martin is as classy of a gentleman and a very fine coach off the court as you will find in all of sports. This tenure in his career is a Big Orange train wreck.
However, he needs to update his resume. This season is in the tank as another loser on Rocky Top with another futile attempt to impersonate an NCAA/NIT team. If Hubbs and Barton are hurt bench them.
I can't defend the ineptitude on this team and have many thousands of dollars to watch pathetic efforts with no hope of victory by so many University of Tennessee athletic teams.
Bama Dave you have an athletic program that has hit rock bottom. I don't even get upset anymore. With the new SEC TV network I can purge my annual ransom to the Tennessee Fund and forsake my tickets in four sports.
I can watch until the Vols suck and then Mr. Click spares me the pain.
Loserville is alive on Lake Loudon Boulevard!

oldster writes:

This is what you get when you recruit a whole team full of long, tall "atheletes." They can run and jump. They just cannot shoot. These coaches are paid the Big, big bucks but do not seem to understand that the most important skill in the game is the ability to actually put the ball through the hoop. Recruit a shooter for goodness sakes. UT has enough "atheletes" that lack this important skill.

Dude1980 writes:

Agree, CCM is a nice guy but we need a COACH. I thought we had a lot of talent? These guys (Stokes et al) have aspirations of NBA but they should do something in the NCAA first. Sad... Really Sad.

oldster writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

First of all Bruce isn't coming back, period. However, as a supporter of Coach Martin the Titanic has sailed for the last time. There was probably 5,000 fans in TBA tonight, (including my family,) and I give up. The curtains fom Buzzball are coming back. No Passion, no fight, no clue. The season is over before it started. Hubbs and Stokes are jokes for D1 players. Coach Martin is as classy of a gentleman and a very fine coach off the court as you will find in all of sports. This tenure in his career is a Big Orange train wreck.
However, he needs to update his resume. This season is in the tank as another loser on Rocky Top with another futile attempt to impersonate an NCAA/NIT team. If Hubbs and Barton are hurt bench them.
I can't defend the ineptitude on this team and have many thousands of dollars to watch pathetic efforts with no hope of victory by so many University of Tennessee athletic teams.
Bama Dave you have an athletic program that has hit rock bottom. I don't even get upset anymore. With the new SEC TV network I can purge my annual ransom to the Tennessee Fund and forsake my tickets in four sports.
I can watch until the Vols suck and then Mr. Click spares me the pain.
Loserville is alive on Lake Loudon Boulevard!

Wade Houston was and is a very classy man, too as was Buzz Peterson. The difference between them all is that Wade had a son that could shoot.

wilk58 writes:

Stats lie so well. Neither Maymon or Stokes had good games. Maymon picked up 3 boards on 1 possesion and still did not score. Stokes shoots 20 footer with 4 or 5 minutes left with a slim chance left. The biggie is NC State had 12 blocks when I turned it off. Thats eating a lot of leather.

forkball writes:

I think these kids like Cuonzo.

What they don't get is that the lack of focus and effort,especially on defense, they played with in the first half is going to get him fired.

And that's a shame.

vols1002 writes:

I was shocked at arena last night it was empty and the crowd no energy it reminded me how it was before Bruce got here.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Please Dave do what you know you have to do.

TommyJack writes:

CCM cannot coach offense. Plain as day.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I was a big supporter of him as well but he has to go. I was so wrong about this guy

Volfan14 writes:

Cuonzo reminds me of Phil Fulmer with his arms crossed and the performance of the team out of his control. The talent has not developed under Martin and the rogue street ball approach is dead. If the players can't make 3's, Don't shoot 3's. The team has never had a leader under Martin and Martin himself looks lost. At least get mad and show some emotion as these guys cost you your job. I'm sure Josh and Will will take up for Martin in the typical whine job at noon.

BrassMonkey writes:

I told you guys 2 years ago and all I got was flamed. Where are all the coach lovers now?

maciste54 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

I told you guys 2 years ago and all I got was flamed. Where are all the coach lovers now?

Get over yourself Monkey. He deserved our support and a chance. You may have been right but you make an arse of yourself gloating. The important thing now is what does UT do to get this danged thing turned around.

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to maciste54:

Get over yourself Monkey. He deserved our support and a chance. You may have been right but you make an arse of yourself gloating. The important thing now is what does UT do to get this danged thing turned around.

Players get worse under Martin. He takes good talen and dumbs it down till they can barely compete with the worst in mid-major conferences. His embarassing loss portfolio should be enough for UT to cut bait 2 years ago, last year, and this season WILL be worse with more talent. It is unbelievable how boring this team is to watch. TBA is a ghost town.

wigmeister writes:

SO SAD! Unfortunately, think we will need new leadership next season.

ut_man1#1427524 writes:

LAZY describes both Mr Martin & his players

VibrantVol writes:

I never thought I'd see a coach that was poorer than Wade Houston, but Cuonzo may definitely be worse. He certainly can't coach offense.

We missed our first 11 three-pointers last night. We had 12 shots blocked inside against supposedly the biggest & toughest front line we've had in years. We barely scored 20 points in the first half.

Martin must go. Bruce must be brought back. Any other outcome will leave the arena dark & empty for years to come. Hart realizes the bottom line must change. He must persuade Cheek to eat crow.

Bourbon-please writes:

CCM can recruit that is it, he can't coach worth a lick, Stokes is the same player as the first time he stepped on the court, has not improved at all, the poor kid has wasted years under CCM, this guy is worse than Wade Houston & I didn't think that was possible...

Bourbon-please writes:

There has been one constant under CCM Flat team/Cold Team the guy is a broken record! Mike Hamilton did his best to destroy TN athletics!

oldster writes:

in response to Volfan14:

Cuonzo reminds me of Phil Fulmer with his arms crossed and the performance of the team out of his control. The talent has not developed under Martin and the rogue street ball approach is dead. If the players can't make 3's, Don't shoot 3's. The team has never had a leader under Martin and Martin himself looks lost. At least get mad and show some emotion as these guys cost you your job. I'm sure Josh and Will will take up for Martin in the typical whine job at noon.

Martin is no Hall of Fame coach with a lifetime winning percentage of over 70% and a National Championship. Ergo: Your comparison is asinine.

Moreover, if you think Fulmer just stood there and watched the team fall apart, then you are lacking in knowledge. It does no good for a coach to always rant and rave when a player or team does poorly. The time for that is on the practice field and Fulmer did plenty of that. During a game, one should be, most of the time, encourage and discuss how to fix errors. Screaming does nothing to correct anything but effort.

RoadTrip writes:

Zo has to go. I wanted him to grow and become our coach long term since he is such a good man. Not happening.

He cannot inspire the team, or cause them to fear repercussions for not doing things right and giving max effort. They are just a reflection of him and the refs refuse to respect them. IMO for the most part it all relates to the personalities of who he has recruited. Notice that they all play nearly emotionless. Take away Jordy and Maymon (Bruce's guys) and you have a bunch of guys that just shrug their shoulders and go through the motions.

There are no scorers that can create offense except Jordy. Zo never plays anybody over 6'8" any meaningful minutes, if he even has them, so there is little shot blocking on D or crip shot scoring on O in the paint against teams with a decent true center. Stokes and Maymon both have limited offensive games - no ability to hit a 10-12 foot jumper and have been pathetic on simple lay-ups, which should be dunks. Bad shooters outside - period. This is just a mediocre team despite the preseason hype.

Zo keeps playing man D when the opponents are quicker, jump higher, and shoot better. He is clueless on how to break a zone press. His offensive system is high schoolish. It ain't working.

johnlg00 writes:

As you all know, I have been on Martin's side from the beginning. I still think he is a fine man and I don't think it was wrong for UT to give him his shot. However, I said as far back as the end of LAST season that THIS was the year where he would, as I put it then, have the opportunity to show that he could be a great coach. Mind you, I never said that he WAS a great coach, just that he was young, had had a degree of success at a lower level, and had a chance to grow into the job. I don't how much of what is going on now is his FAULT, but the team's performance IS his responsibility.

For better or worse, the team, coach, and fans are stuck with each other until the season is over. There is no credible scenario in which Martin resigns/is fired and anybody of any stature takes his place in the middle of a season. I wouldn't say that there is no chance that Pearl would EVER return, but there IS no chance he will come back until August, 2014 at the earliest.

The fans of course can walk--as Yogi Berra said, "If the fans don't want to come, you can't stop 'em." And if the team doesn't do any better, nobody can blame the fans if they lose interest. So it is up to Martin and the team to pull themselves out of the current slough of despond. If they do so, the fans may well return. Such a turnaround would after all be one of the big stories of the season. If they don't, well...it's going to be a long cold winter and lots of folks may well have new homes next year.

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