Arkansas' in-your-face defense too much for Vols, 73-60

McRae: 'There was pressure, a lot of it'

Gareth Patterson/Associated Press
Tennessee's Armani Moore, left, has his shot blocked by Arkansas' Rickey Scott during Saturday's game in Fayetteville, Ark.

Photo by Gareth Patterson

Gareth Patterson/Associated Press Tennessee's Armani Moore, left, has his shot blocked by Arkansas' Rickey Scott during Saturday's game in Fayetteville, Ark.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Slumped behind a microphone Saturday, Cuonzo Martin laid out a golden rule of basketball.

"As a guard you have to be able to handle the pressure, make plays," Tennessee's men's coach said. "If they're pressuring you, then attack the rim. The best way to relieve pressure is to get to the rim."

B.J. Young got to the rim Saturday. Made a handful of 3-pointers, too.

Martin's guards? Not so much.

Despite serving as Beelzebub in Arkansas's frantic "40 Minutes of Hell," Young followed Martin's golden rule. He torched Tennessee for 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting to lead his Razorbacks to a 73-60 win.

Then there were Martin's six guards. Each suffered from whiplash. They left Bud Walton Arena with a combined 28 points on 9-of-33 shooting and 11 turnovers.

"Turnovers," UT guard Josh Richardson said. "We had way too many."

"There was pressure, a lot of it," added backcourt mate Jordan McRae.

Tennessee didn't have the horses to keep up with Arkansas' Hogs. The Vols committed 20 turnovers leading to 27 Arkansas points and were outscored by 14 in transition.

Ballgame, right there. Tennessee (11-9, 3-5 SEC) fell to 0-6 on the road.

After 12 lead changes highlighted the game's opening 12 minutes, the Razorbacks sped away. The Vols never trailed by less than seven in the second half.

"Winning road games, it's mental," Martin said.

After leading 35-25 at halftime, Arkansas (13-8, 4-4) built its largest lead of the day just 2 minutes, 35 seconds into the second half. Four straight turnovers by the Vols aided a quick 6-0 spurt by the host.

Tennessee forwards Kenny Hall and Jarnell Stokes scored 12 and 10 second-half points, respectively, to keep the Vols alive. Defensive stops, though, were hard to come by.

And perimeter shooting was nowhere to be found.

McRae, the SEC's second-leading scorer at 18.9 points per game, finished 2-for-11 from the field for six points. He was face-guarded much of the day and bothered by Arkansas' smaller, quicker guards. Only Richardson (11 points) reached double-figures from the Vols' backcourt.

"I've got to do a better job of not letting them speed me up so much and taking better shots," McRae said.

Eight different UT players, McRae and Richardson included, committed at least two turnovers.

Stokes notched his third straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Hall played his best game of the season with 14 points and five rebounds.

"I was in the flow of the game, feeling pretty good out there," Hall said.

In nearly matching the UT frontline, Arkansas' Marshawn Powell, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds, was joined by fellow forward Hunter Mickelson (10 points, five rebounds).

Martin said late last week he wanted his offense to attack the Arkansas press. Instead, it was eaten.

The Razorbacks scored 14 fast-break points. The Vols scored zero.

After the game, Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said he wanted his team to take get up "60 or 70" field-goal attempts against UT. He got 60 and 29 went in. Seventeen came off assists.

UT finished with eight assists.

It didn't help that Trae Golden (strained hamstring) watched the game out of uniform, sitting at the end of the UT bench.

Arkansas built it's 10-point halftime lead by scoring 16 points off 12 Tennessee turnovers. The Razorbacks outscored UT 18-7 to close the half after the Vols built an 18-17 lead with 7:47 to go.

Like they will in any game, all those turnovers ultimately weighed UT down.

"Against the press you have to be smart, you have to be patient," said Vols guard Derek Reese, who scored six points to go with eight rebounds. "The way (Arkansas) plays, they try to make you play fast. You have to be smart."

Young played smart despite entering the game having missed 19 of his last 51 shots and all of his previous 13 3-point attempts. He started out on the bench as a result.

Seemed to work. His 25 points helped Anderson's reserves outscore Martin's bench, 46-9.

"It's all about confidence," Anderson said of Young. "He played with that swag."

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 122

orangevagabond writes:

No comment

AlpharettaVol writes:

Unfortunately, same old story.

willphill#241787 writes:

BBB

orangecountyvols writes:

Agree guys. Short and sweet...........no point guard.........result , everyone else tries to be one, result....... check mate.

wigmeister writes:

Really never in the game!

fanzzz writes:

Lack of discipline. Lack of coaching

tennrich1 writes:

Arkansas kinda like us...10-12 point better team at home than on the road...they havent won one either I dont believe...at least not in the league...and no point guard is KILLING us....no one to control the game...Lopez did what he could do and played hard but he's just not SEC caliber point guard...and while I'm beating a dead horse, with Maymon in the middle we are just a different team...Hogs did a good job shutting down Jordan Mc.

Volborn writes:

in response to willphill#241787:

BBB

ReallyBBB

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

You're not beating anyone commiting 20 turnovers( leading to 27 points), while your opposition only commits 7. I don't see this team getting any better with Martin at the helm, especially when those injuries start piling up.

Ironcity writes:

This team is so easy to defend when we don't try to score. Watching this game I felt Conzos goal was to hold Arky under 75pts and he was willing to score only 50 to do it. Do we even try to score? How often do we run offense to the final 10 seconds without even thinking of trying to shot? Heck Lopez passed up a lay up one time to pass it to Stokes 25ft from the basket.

The one positive in this game is if they will allow Lopez to shot he should be the back up PG when Golden gets back. In the meantime he should start. Negative I had not noticed before today was how poor Yemi is when he gets ball further then 2ft from the basket.

A recurring theme is we create less then 10 turnovers a game. We play hard defense but we don't play good. Even coach Knight pointed that out over and over.

fabiofive148 writes:

no football team, no basketball team, how long before the interest just isnt there?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Ironcity:

This team is so easy to defend when we don't try to score. Watching this game I felt Conzos goal was to hold Arky under 75pts and he was willing to score only 50 to do it. Do we even try to score? How often do we run offense to the final 10 seconds without even thinking of trying to shot? Heck Lopez passed up a lay up one time to pass it to Stokes 25ft from the basket.

The one positive in this game is if they will allow Lopez to shot he should be the back up PG when Golden gets back. In the meantime he should start. Negative I had not noticed before today was how poor Yemi is when he gets ball further then 2ft from the basket.

A recurring theme is we create less then 10 turnovers a game. We play hard defense but we don't play good. Even coach Knight pointed that out over and over.

I can't argue with any of this..UT is horrible at protecting the BB, playing offense and transition defense..The fact that they struggled mightily at home in wins suggests they will probably not win one road game in the SEC unless it's against Vandy or Aubie.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

This team is so easy to defend when we don't try to score. Watching this game I felt Conzos goal was to hold Arky under 75pts and he was willing to score only 50 to do it. Do we even try to score? How often do we run offense to the final 10 seconds without even thinking of trying to shot? Heck Lopez passed up a lay up one time to pass it to Stokes 25ft from the basket.

The one positive in this game is if they will allow Lopez to shot he should be the back up PG when Golden gets back. In the meantime he should start. Negative I had not noticed before today was how poor Yemi is when he gets ball further then 2ft from the basket.

A recurring theme is we create less then 10 turnovers a game. We play hard defense but we don't play good. Even coach Knight pointed that out over and over.

Yemi has totally regressed..Boy can't catch a pass if you stuff it in his stomach and misses point blank shots..What the H%ll does he do at practice all week??

maciste54 writes:

One more year and there better be improvements in both play and recruiting or the Cuonzo train may be leaving the station.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Volborn:

ReallyBBB

I heard CBP is the target of Bama if Anthony Grant doesn't get them to the big dance this year..I can't imagine Bruce coaching anywhere but UT, however, if he wanted to coach again I couldn't blame him either..As far as Cuonzo is concerned, his best team may be next year's squad with Hubbs coming in and Maymon coming back.

VolMoment writes:

in response to fanzzz:

Lack of discipline. Lack of coaching

I have to agree. The lack of coaching is so evident. I like Martn but hell I liked Bill Battle but realize that he was not a good coach. Martin was suppose to be a defensive minded coach. So if his weak makeup of his coaching is suppose to be his strong makeup, we are in trouble and we are. Dave Hart has to be shocked at how bad this coaching staff and head coach is in games and preparation.

wazzya69vol writes:

The only thing consistent about this team are turnovers. I'm a half-full type guy but this team doesn't even own a glass; they're a joke!! Ok, yes I'm frustrated. I bet the Lady Vols would kick their rears, and make their free throws! GBO, Wazzy

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Road warriors they are not

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

Road warriors they are not

No doubt, I guess they missed Golden more than they thought.

born2ride writes:

I thought we should give Martin one more year but it may be better to cut our losses and get rid of him now.

jt45 writes:

Cant Dribble
Cant shoot
Cant Defend
No point guard
Absolutely no post defense
No movement on motion offense
No one wants lead and be aggressive
Flat out halfhearted effort by our post

Another unemotional embarrassing loss by CCM
and company.Martin should just go ahead and forfeit all the road games and try to find a player who can dribble the ball and actually set up the offense,,,that is if CCM even uses a set offense, it sure doesnt look like he does based on the desperation system they keep using.

The Vols are becoming the kicking post of the SEC.

justafan4ut writes:

Very sloppy play, way to many turnovers. Just like the headline reads.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Total 360 from Hogs at Bama and had a feeling after playing zero defense in that game the Hogs would play all out on "D" today..We had to fight for every shot we got and against that kind of defense your sure to give up at least 11 turnovers..We had a 6 or 7 minute stretch when Lopez and Moore were on the court at the same time which was awful coaching decision..Thats 2 players that are absolutely no threat to score for too many minutes!!! Martin finally wised up and got the original line up back on the floor and we gained a little ground..Missed shot by McBee that would have brought us within 6 points was a dagger to the heart!!Jordan played 30 minutes but was a ghost. IMO McRae should have matched Young point for point because if your the 2nd leading scorer in the SEC THATS what you are expected to do!!!!!Great game by Hall and Stokes did his job

coltsman writes:

in response to fabiofive148:

no football team, no basketball team, how long before the interest just isnt there?

I agree 100%. I really quit watching the football team after Miss.st and I haven't watch a basketball game until today (15 min) and this is one of the worst team (not hustling) I have ever watched. The football team will be better no a whole lot better next yr. they got someone to motivate them now. I like Martin but. I'm not watching them anymore, I'm tired of getting my blood pressure up over some kids that don't care

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to born2ride:

I thought we should give Martin one more year but it may be better to cut our losses and get rid of him now.

UT won't pay another contract off especially in a sport that is secondary to FB..I can't see them re-signing CCM at this point either. It's looking like as soon as his contract expires, so will his tenure at UT.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to jt45:

Cant Dribble
Cant shoot
Cant Defend
No point guard
Absolutely no post defense
No movement on motion offense
No one wants lead and be aggressive
Flat out halfhearted effort by our post

Another unemotional embarrassing loss by CCM
and company.Martin should just go ahead and forfeit all the road games and try to find a player who can dribble the ball and actually set up the offense,,,that is if CCM even uses a set offense, it sure doesnt look like he does based on the desperation system they keep using.

The Vols are becoming the kicking post of the SEC.

Thats pretty harsh..Defense was okay in the second half and the Vol bench looked pretty fired up to me..We have players like Moore;Lopez ;Yemi and Reese that just are not SEC ready..Arkansas did not have that problem and ran their regular rotation with one freshman

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

Yep. Not much to talk about. Total lackluster performance start to finish. I know what's coming and I'm still goofy enough to work my weekends around these games. Hard to break years of being faithful.

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

Looks like Florida's putting a good and proper beat down on Ole' Miss. I wish we could just skip the Florida games. It's going to be ugly. Wonder if they have a JV team?

jt45 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Thats pretty harsh..Defense was okay in the second half and the Vol bench looked pretty fired up to me..We have players like Moore;Lopez ;Yemi and Reese that just are not SEC ready..Arkansas did not have that problem and ran their regular rotation with one freshman

You really think the defense was ok ? There were times when our post defense was horrible. I dont know if they are foul shy or just getting beat off the dribble but regardless they absolutely almost never give help from the weak side (this has been brought up by just about every commentator who has called a game for UT this year, in fact just about any team with decent quickness can blow right by our perimeter and usually only has one post player between him and a layup. Our weakside defense just stands there and lets stokes or whoever is closest do all the defending.
Fired up ? Really ? One camera shot showed Golden about to go to sleep and Martin never gets very emotional. Sometimes I wonder if these players dont take on the demeanor of their coach.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Coach is officially on the proverbial hot seat for next season, barring a miracle in the SEC tournament. We still have a tournament don't we?

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Total 360 from Hogs at Bama and had a feeling after playing zero defense in that game the Hogs would play all out on "D" today..We had to fight for every shot we got and against that kind of defense your sure to give up at least 11 turnovers..We had a 6 or 7 minute stretch when Lopez and Moore were on the court at the same time which was awful coaching decision..Thats 2 players that are absolutely no threat to score for too many minutes!!! Martin finally wised up and got the original line up back on the floor and we gained a little ground..Missed shot by McBee that would have brought us within 6 points was a dagger to the heart!!Jordan played 30 minutes but was a ghost. IMO McRae should have matched Young point for point because if your the 2nd leading scorer in the SEC THATS what you are expected to do!!!!!Great game by Hall and Stokes did his job

Did not get to watch it but listened to the last half. You are pretty much spot on from what I heard. Wished Moore could get more confidence to shoot. He has a nice looking shot. Will come with time. Good to see Stokes have another decent game along with Hall. Guess Golden's presence was a lot more missed than many think. Thanks for a well thought out post unlike many. Hate to see my Vols loose just as much as anyone else. Still behind them this year along with full support for Martin. Guess I am an old alumni that loves my Vols no matter. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE. Class of 83

jack4444 writes:

They truly are painful to watch on offense. Bunch of dribbling and sideways passing, assuming they get it up court. Then somebody penetrates as the shot clock winds down and either charges, throws it away, puts up an off balance shot or passes it to somebody with 1 second on the clock.

I really do wanna watch but it really is difficult.

pcorange writes:

Another painful performance.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

One more year this!

TheEffect writes:

Tennessee really should just give up on basketball....spend that money on bringing down the massive debt they have accumulated in contract buyouts.

Tennessee basketball = irrelevant.

carbonzip writes:

Play a 2-3 zone! Concentrate on offense practice!

dvols writes:

its ok everybody.......please chill

help is on the way! thay didnt play that bad and probably wasnt going to win anyway, give hogs some cred

just wait till maymon back next year !!! with hubbs, stokes richardson!!! and mcrae..

there is a sleeper pg out there as well

TN will be fine!

TheEffect writes:

in response to dvols:

its ok everybody.......please chill

help is on the way! thay didnt play that bad and probably wasnt going to win anyway, give hogs some cred

just wait till maymon back next year !!! with hubbs, stokes richardson!!! and mcrae..

there is a sleeper pg out there as well

TN will be fine!

You all said "next year" last year. Face it...Tennessee basketball is worthless.

1968Vol writes:

Stokes should NEVER be out of the paint on defense and ALWAYS around the edge of the paint on offense! He has no business at the head of the key.

One_in_West_Knox writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Yemi has totally regressed..Boy can't catch a pass if you stuff it in his stomach and misses point blank shots..What the H%ll does he do at practice all week??

It seems like--what the H%ll does the whole team do at practice all week??

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to dvols:

its ok everybody.......please chill

help is on the way! thay didnt play that bad and probably wasnt going to win anyway, give hogs some cred

just wait till maymon back next year !!! with hubbs, stokes richardson!!! and mcrae..

there is a sleeper pg out there as well

TN will be fine!

It won't matter who Martin brings in or who comes backs as long as this team keeps running this garbage "offense".

This isn't even Big 10 basketball anymore, Indiana has just put more points on the board in 5 minutes than the Vols have in some halves.

It's not just a lack of a point guard or Maymon missing. Those are just convenient excuses.

It's a fundamentally deficient team that can't pass, can't dribble, can't shoot, and can't rebound and has zero basketball IQ.

They aren't improving and it's coaching at this point, plain and simple.

I said after the MS ST win that this team had at least 6 more potential losses on the board(AR, Vandy, Ole Miss, KY, FL, and AL)and they are pretty close to that pace. NCAA tourney my a__.

tomkats3242 writes:

When you look like a bum and play like bums than the team is a bum. Don't wait another year. I would rather have a liar who can coach than a junior college coach.

tan007 writes:

Just please ESPN don't make me have to listen to or look at Bobby Knight again! That man's drivel makes it hard to watch a game.

TheFuj writes:

Same ole story. Turnovers. Not only from the fact of no point guard, but just overall fundamentals in ball handling.
Not sure where they think they are tough on defense. We made the Henderson from Ole Miss all world, and Vandy had a kid that had a career night, now this kid from Ark had one of his best games. Ark. had 7 turnovers for the game--so we are not that great defensively.
McRae 2-11, McBrick 1-6 and Moore 1-4. McRae looked terrible handling the ball. Missed shots all night.
Need to keep Stokes on the box and not out on the free throw lane. Hall and Stokes had a good game. I think both were 6-7 in FG.
Martin just reminds me of Dooley. Good guy. Running a clean program. Just cannot win. Team looks worse in year two than year one. Should be better in year 3, but that was what I thought about Dooley and the football team.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

UT won't pay another contract off especially in a sport that is secondary to FB..I can't see them re-signing CCM at this point either. It's looking like as soon as his contract expires, so will his tenure at UT.

Why not, we're only $200 million in debt. I mean, why not just do like our government and suspend the debt ceiling?

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

Coach is officially on the proverbial hot seat for next season, barring a miracle in the SEC tournament. We still have a tournament don't we?

Yeah, but it'll be interesting to see how the bracketology works with 14 teams....I guess top 2 get a bye?

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to tan007:

Just please ESPN don't make me have to listen to or look at Bobby Knight again! That man's drivel makes it hard to watch a game.

couldnt agree with your more on that----posted the same myself after the game last week as he tries to impress us with with his way too technical analysis and and otherwise just telling us the obvious--I too find him torture to listen to-- Musburger is more fun when he points out the hot women

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to ronburgundy:

Looks like Florida's putting a good and proper beat down on Ole' Miss. I wish we could just skip the Florida games. It's going to be ugly. Wonder if they have a JV team?

It wouldn't surprise me if Tennessee plays its best game against the Gators. Seems like they always do. The problem is, I wished they could play everybody else as tough as they play Florida. It seems like everybody gives the Vols their best game, no matter where they are in the standings. I'm behind these guys 100%, but I just don't know what to expect in any game they play these days.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

It won't matter who Martin brings in or who comes backs as long as this team keeps running this garbage "offense".

This isn't even Big 10 basketball anymore, Indiana has just put more points on the board in 5 minutes than the Vols have in some halves.

It's not just a lack of a point guard or Maymon missing. Those are just convenient excuses.

It's a fundamentally deficient team that can't pass, can't dribble, can't shoot, and can't rebound and has zero basketball IQ.

They aren't improving and it's coaching at this point, plain and simple.

I said after the MS ST win that this team had at least 6 more potential losses on the board(AR, Vandy, Ole Miss, KY, FL, and AL)and they are pretty close to that pace. NCAA tourney my a__.

cant argue about this teams deficencies in general but rebounding is not one of them---we are 4-6 out of 14 teams in rebounding stats

Here are SEC stats which pretty much sum it all up to explain this season to date:

http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/Port...

Ironcity writes:

in response to TheFuj:

Same ole story. Turnovers. Not only from the fact of no point guard, but just overall fundamentals in ball handling.
Not sure where they think they are tough on defense. We made the Henderson from Ole Miss all world, and Vandy had a kid that had a career night, now this kid from Ark had one of his best games. Ark. had 7 turnovers for the game--so we are not that great defensively.
McRae 2-11, McBrick 1-6 and Moore 1-4. McRae looked terrible handling the ball. Missed shots all night.
Need to keep Stokes on the box and not out on the free throw lane. Hall and Stokes had a good game. I think both were 6-7 in FG.
Martin just reminds me of Dooley. Good guy. Running a clean program. Just cannot win. Team looks worse in year two than year one. Should be better in year 3, but that was what I thought about Dooley and the football team.

I watch Mcbee and his shots look good out of his hand but they just don't come close to going in. Its hard to describe our offense. We play with zero confidence and no plan. We never look to break out, we slow the ball down on 4 on twos. Its just a head scratcher trying figure out what our plan is on offense. I want Martin to succeed but I am starting to wonder. Arky was ready to get spanked today but you have to take the lay ups and dunks they give you and we just refuses to look at the rim until the end of the shot clock unless we get down (like today). I guess we never cover transition defense because in practice nobody every breaks out on a fast break.

Another thing that is disturbing is how weak we are when we are down by a couple of points in the final minutes. We just have no way to turn anyone over. Its just foul or hope the team misses after 35 seconds, Other teams press, they get in guys faces they take chances, not UT we just do what we do no matter how unsuccessful it has been. We don't seem to play to win we just play to play.

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