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Coming off a loss 73-60 loss at Arkansas on Saturday, Cuonzo Martin addressed the press at his weekly media luncheon Monday. Scheduled to face upstart Georgia (10-11, 4-4 SEC) on Wednesday, the Vols stand at 11-9 overall and 3-5 in conference play.
Martin began Monday by praising forwards Kenny Hall and Jarnell Stokes. The two combined for 32 points and 15 rebounds in Saturday’s loss.
“Going into that game, one of the things we wanted to do is establish the post and I thought those guys did a great job of establishing the post, scoring around the rim,” Martin said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get it to them enough or as much as we would have liked.”
The No. 1 topic addressed by Martin: Turnovers. The Vols have committed over 20 in two of their last four games.
“We have to do a better job of finding shooters and that dribble penetration,” Martin said. “Because eight assists and 20 turnovers – we have to turn that thing around.”
Georgia has won four of its last five games, including road victories at Texas A&M and South Carolina. The Bulldogs are led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a 6-foot-5 guard averaging 17.5 points per game.
“It’s a Georgia team that’s won three in a row and is playing well together,” Martin said. “Caldwell-Pope is playing good basketball, some of the best basketball in the league. He’s scoring the basketball, getting to the rim, hitting the 3-point shot, getting out in the passing lanes and getting steals. He’s playing well for those guys.”
More coming online and in Tuesday’s New Sentinel.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn