Vols can't rally against N.C. State, 65-58

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin talks to Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) on the sideline during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin talks to Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) on the sideline during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

The Tennessee men’s basketball team faced its biggest deficit of the season at the end of the first half. And when it started to whittle away at N.C. State’s 17-point lead in the second, T.J. Warren wouldn’t let it go.

The Wolfpack star sophomore forward scored 21 points to lead his team to a 65-58 win over a Vols team that was desperate for a quality victory. Instead, UT dropped its second game in a row and saw its four-game winning streak at home snap. The Wolfpack’s winning streak grew to six.

UT (6-3) entered the game as an eight-point favorite. N.C. State (8-2) had previous losses to Cincinnati and North Carolina Central. But whatever edge the Vols had was squandered by another frigid start on offense.

UT shot 24 percent in the first half and missed all nine of its 3-pointers in the first half. Warren reached 11 before intermission, which was foreshadowing for N.C. State. The Wolfpack is now 26-8 when he hits double-digits.

Vols senior forward Jeronne Maymon scored 10 first-half points and got some help from guard Jordan McRae in the second. Maymon finished with a season-best 17 points and 16 rebounds. McRae poured in 21. Jarnell Stokes added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Efficiency was an issue. N.C. State blocked 12 shots.

What started as a sparse crowd of 14,831 dwindled as the Vols’ failed to rally. Fans picked up their coats and started streaming toward the exits with two and a half minutes left to play.

N.C. State now leads its all-time series against the Vols 6-3. The Wolfpack has won three straight in Knoxville. It was the first time N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried had coached against UT as the head man of the Wolfpack. He went 9-5 against the Vols while he was at Alabama from 1999-2009.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 20

willphill#241787 writes:

Three lost years. Millions in lost revenue. Bad decisions are costly. Don't make another bad decision. Call coach Pearl. Get him back.

Golferdocvol writes:

Vols BB under achieves again and again . Lack of effort in first half is inexcusable . Poor free throw shooting at this level is also unacceptable. This all comes down to Coaching . CM may be a nice guy , but he cannot coach. Was hoping that it would get better over the years, but no improvement. Hope Bruce will come back.

rockypop writes:

Martin appears to be the second coming of Buzz Peterson. I I shudder to think what this team will look like after this season. No more McCrae, Maymon, Stokes or Barton. This was going to be the year, and so far, UT has gone backwards. They clearly have a suspect offense, with only one true scorer in McCrae, but there is no excuse for the poor defensive play that Martin hangs his hat on.

The Vols were not only outplayed on offense tonite, but were owned on defense by NC State. 29% shooting from the field and 13% from the three-point line is embarrassing. And, this is not a great NC State team.

BankerVol writes:

in response to willphill#241787:

Three lost years. Millions in lost revenue. Bad decisions are costly. Don't make another bad decision. Call coach Pearl. Get him back.

Got to agree. CCM is a great guy but it's clear he's not THE guy.

Doubt we'll ever see Bruce in an orange coat again, but DANG...we need him!

Buttcrackhead writes:

This is pathetic....either these guys have no talent or the coaching is terrible. Either way the head coach is responsible. I am sorry to say he needs to head to the door. Doubt the admin has the balls to bring Bruce back, but something should be done and BEFORE the end of bball season. When does spring football begin????

eepwlg writes:

Coach Martin is in a big time program, not a small college conference. We need BIG MEN, not more point guards and small forwards. This season is like the others NIT one and out.

wilk58 writes:

Pitiful!!! No inside/no outside game. Poor ft shooting. Lack of smarts.

utfans#211352 writes:

These early losses that they don't seem concerned about have kept them out of the tourney the last 2 years. I think they read about how good they were going to be and thought all they needed to do was show up. Real inconsistent under Martin.

OrangePride writes:

Was going to take my son to this game but he had to work. So glad to save the 50 bucks. Am I wrong or does it seem like every team has more intensity and hustle? I mean there are stretches where we step it up and look pretty decent, but at crunch time they perform and we misfire. Speaking of misfire... 3 for 23 from beyond the arc ?! What the dickens are we doing taking 23 threes anyway? When I saw that 20 point first half performance, I just shook my head and said, "toast." Gonna be a long season Vol fans. Very long indeed. Sure hope we can beat Tusculum.

Buttcrackhead writes:

My question is does Dave Hart have the guts to do something about this before the end of the season.....

underthehill writes:

Stokes is a great rebounder..he can be a great role player but he cannot be a go to guy on offense..this team has to hit outside shots to win games..

Chris_L75 writes:

Sadness. Bewilderment. Embarrassment. Ineptitude. Futility. Misery. Despair. No answers. #tougherbreedlol

Chris_L75 writes:

And Mr. Hubbs the Third might consider returning his Five Stars to the store where he bought them. Stokes too, for that matter.

This is the first game I've ever left before the final horn. No longer can I look down on those who seek to beat the traffic.

And our best defensive recruit decommits the same day. #thesunmayormaynotcomeouttomorrow

westknoxrepubreturns writes:

So why is bringing Bruce back a BAD idea?

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!

westknoxrepubreturns 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!

and yet you still don't want Pearl back.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Where did I say I was opposed to Pearl coming back?
I have only said he isn't coming back. He has no support from The Trustees, Athletic Board, President, Chancellor, or Athletic Director. Tall order to overcome that bow wave of opposition.
They should have brought Coach Fulmer back instead of Douffus but they didn't.
Pearl cooked his own goose and will move on after UT fires Coach Martin and brings in the next big thing so to speak.
I know he has no support to return so I have no opinion.
Bama Dave has a real problem on his watch if you were in the arena tonight.
Fan apathy is akin to Buzzball and I would expect the black curtains returning.

VictorKrugerII writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Where did I say I was opposed to Pearl coming back?
I have only said he isn't coming back. He has no support from The Trustees, Athletic Board, President, Chancellor, or Athletic Director. Tall order to overcome that bow wave of opposition.
They should have brought Coach Fulmer back instead of Douffus but they didn't.
Pearl cooked his own goose and will move on after UT fires Coach Martin and brings in the next big thing so to speak.
I know he has no support to return so I have no opinion.
Bama Dave has a real problem on his watch if you were in the arena tonight.
Fan apathy is akin to Buzzball and I would expect the black curtains returning.

Well said, Wait. I suspect that there's a lot of overlap between the Bring Back Bruce crowd and "John Gruden" enthusiasts from a couple of years ago. As others have said, CCM has great character but is not a big-time coach. Time for a change. On the bright side, the team did shoot 15-20 on free throws last night ;>)

VibrantVol writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Where did I say I was opposed to Pearl coming back?
I have only said he isn't coming back. He has no support from The Trustees, Athletic Board, President, Chancellor, or Athletic Director. Tall order to overcome that bow wave of opposition.
They should have brought Coach Fulmer back instead of Douffus but they didn't.
Pearl cooked his own goose and will move on after UT fires Coach Martin and brings in the next big thing so to speak.
I know he has no support to return so I have no opinion.
Bama Dave has a real problem on his watch if you were in the arena tonight.
Fan apathy is akin to Buzzball and I would expect the black curtains returning.

First of all, how do you know he has no support among the trustees & athletics board? Even if that's the case, none of them have much power anyway. Bredesen's appointees to the Board care very little about the school & many never went there as students. He never attended a Board meeting himself when he was Governor & his appointees are responsible for the pitiful hires of DiPietro & Cheek. Remember that DiPietro only got his job by one vote, an 11-10 vote of the Trustees, & only after Joe Johnson pushed for him late. The other guy that got the 10 votes is now President of ETSU, Brian Noland, where they are building a new performing arts center that puts Clarence Brown Theatre to shame & are reviving their football program with Phillip Fulmer as a consultant.

DiPietro will take a hands off approach to the men's basketball firing & hiring, just like he does on every other athletics issue on campus. Cheek will try to tell Hart what to do, but both of them have the Napoleonic "short man" syndrome & butt heads with each other. If Cheek had had his way, Charlie Strong would be our football coach now, instead of Butch Jones.

Haslam is still the key guy. He trumps everyone. Hopefully he isn't too preoccupied with the Pilot mess & the Cleveland Browns & his son's re-election as Governor to still care about getting the arena filled up again. He sits at courtside for every game & saw how empty it was last night. The announced 14,000 tickets that were sold were far more than what showed up. There were no more than 10,000 there. The men's basketball program has always turned a profit, but it won't this year. Hart has to get someone who will fire up the fan base again, & Pearl is the only logical guy to do that. Anyone else is too much of a risk. Hart can save his job & Cheek's by hiring Pearl. Otherwise, both Cheek & Hart will be out of a job soon, especially if Jones doesn't make it.

johnlg00 writes:

I don't know what the chances are of Pearl ever coming back, but all of you can save yourselves some heartache by giving up on the thought of any change before the season is over. A moment's thought would would show that there is NOBODY of ANY stature who could POSSIBLY come in in the middle of a season. Probably the best unemployed coach in the country is Pearl, but his show-cause order doesn't expire until August, 2014. He could possibly he HIRED before then, but he can't take the position until then, and he wouldn't allow himself to be hired before the season is over. So if you don't want to attend or watch any more games the rest of this season, that is your choice, but Martin WILL be the coach for the rest of it.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features