Cuonzo Martin: Turnovers a sore spot for Vols

UT head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin speaks with the media Monday afternoon, Feb. 5, 2013, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

UT head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin speaks with the media Monday afternoon, Feb. 5, 2013, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Kenny Hall answers questions from the media Monday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2013,  at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Erin Chapin

Kenny Hall answers questions from the media Monday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2013, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 26

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Face it folks, we have very little tallent and a weak coach.

willtowin writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

Face it folks, we have very little tallent and a weak coach.

Agreed

BrassMonkey writes:

Turnovers aren't the only sore spot Martin. This is not a missing Maymon problem, it's coaching.

POINTS PER GAME
63.9
259th
OVERALL
REBOUNDS PER GAME
37.0
92nd
OVERALL
ASSISTS PER GAME
10.4
314th
OVERALL
FIELD GOAL PCT
.428
196th
OVERALL

CoverOrange writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

Face it folks, we have very little tallent and a weak coach.

Disagree, there is talent there, just not the kind of talent CCM wants for his all-defense-all-the-time team. McRae, Golden, McBee, Maymon, Hall, were all recruited for the up and down offense action of Pearl's teams.

Whatever became of Dwight Miller?

dcap8424 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Disagree, there is talent there, just not the kind of talent CCM wants for his all-defense-all-the-time team. McRae, Golden, McBee, Maymon, Hall, were all recruited for the up and down offense action of Pearl's teams.

Whatever became of Dwight Miller?

He's hurt and out for the year last I heard (which also means his career at UT is done). Can't recall what it was.

samvol writes:

LOL...I have Coach Martin post game report memorized

westknoxrepub writes:

One more season after this one then we can get right back where we were. . .winning.

usnavyvolfan_on_duty writes:

I thought the emergence of Jarnell Stokes would put a spark in this team. Why is ball handling so hard for these guys?

usnavyvolfan_on_duty writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

One more season after this one then we can get right back where we were. . .winning.

How do you know they won't start winning next year? Maymon's coming back, that'll help things.

usnavyvolfan_on_duty writes:

in response to samvol:

LOL...I have Coach Martin post game report memorized

Well, it helps that his team makes the same mistakes week in and week out.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Turnovers aren't the only sore spot Martin. This is not a missing Maymon problem, it's coaching.

POINTS PER GAME
63.9
259th
OVERALL
REBOUNDS PER GAME
37.0
92nd
OVERALL
ASSISTS PER GAME
10.4
314th
OVERALL
FIELD GOAL PCT
.428
196th
OVERALL

Actually it is a lot of missing Maymon...He was GREAT in every catergory you listed...our best rebounder, our best scorer, incredible assist game in the low post....very high shooting percentage(took great shots...so not to be disagree-ably...but those points you listed are EXACTLY why its a "missing Maymon" problem..along with several others of course...

Ironcity writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan_on_duty:

I thought the emergence of Jarnell Stokes would put a spark in this team. Why is ball handling so hard for these guys?

Ball handling is everyone of these players shortcomings. The coach really does not stress it either, he stresses in your face defense. If you have read his many comments he has always stated he doesn't need a true PG to run his offense. Thus we have the bumbling circus we witness every game. I hope Zo has learned his lesson and brings in two PG next season. The teams doing the best around the country ALL have talented PGs. Nothing marginalizes superior talent like crummy PG play. Even coach Pearl realized that when he trotted Goins out every game two years ago. He at least had a reason though since two premium PG decommitted and left UT in a lurch and ultimately UT without coach Pearl.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

Face it folks, we have very little tallent and a weak coach.

Disagree. We have some talent, we just don't have experienced talent. And we don't have a good, dependable, talented point guard. Same thing as last year. As for the coach, you don't have enough information to come to your conclusion. He's in his second year. Wait until he's not depending on Pearl's recruits, who are now the upperclassmen on his team, before you come to your conclusions about him.

D60 writes:

I keep seeing BBB on these post is that Boring Basketball or Bring Back Bruce? or both?

lomas98 writes:

“We have to do a better job of finding shooters and that dribble penetration,” Martin said.

Unless Chris Lofton or JaJuan Smith get additional eligibility it is impossible for this team to find shooters. There are not any to throw it too with dribble penetration. As much as he was maligned last year, Cameron Tatum was a key piece to this offense last season. He could make open threes better than anyone on this team can. Wayne Chism would be the best 3 point shooter on this team. No shooter to be found means Stokes dribbles right into double teams or gets stripped.

But as Martin says, we just to put our "hard hats" on. If I hear that one more time, I will puke.

Ironcity writes:

in response to lomas98:

“We have to do a better job of finding shooters and that dribble penetration,” Martin said.

Unless Chris Lofton or JaJuan Smith get additional eligibility it is impossible for this team to find shooters. There are not any to throw it too with dribble penetration. As much as he was maligned last year, Cameron Tatum was a key piece to this offense last season. He could make open threes better than anyone on this team can. Wayne Chism would be the best 3 point shooter on this team. No shooter to be found means Stokes dribbles right into double teams or gets stripped.

But as Martin says, we just to put our "hard hats" on. If I hear that one more time, I will puke.

I like Reese as a shooter. He shoots with confidence. Really am surprised at how bad Mcrae and Mcbee have shot the three. I have noticed they never get the ball from inside They usually get it from the top of the key wheel and shoot. Maybe if we did a little inside out it would increase the shooters percentage. Of course that would mean actually throwing the ball inside.

Sir_Spanky writes:

Poor ole Tennessee. They're not hardly any count at anything anymore. Good news though! I hear it's gonna warm up soon. Has everybody over in the athletic dept got their tee times set up? Wouldn't want to screw that up now, would you?

lomas98 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I like Reese as a shooter. He shoots with confidence. Really am surprised at how bad Mcrae and Mcbee have shot the three. I have noticed they never get the ball from inside They usually get it from the top of the key wheel and shoot. Maybe if we did a little inside out it would increase the shooters percentage. Of course that would mean actually throwing the ball inside.

Reese is a decent shot when wide open. He has more of a set shot and takes a while to get it off. Would like to see him start hitting some with players in his face. Would much rather see him shoot 4-5 threes per game instead of Mcbee.

Ironcity writes:

in response to lomas98:

Reese is a decent shot when wide open. He has more of a set shot and takes a while to get it off. Would like to see him start hitting some with players in his face. Would much rather see him shoot 4-5 threes per game instead of Mcbee.

I agree with you there with Reese. I would like him to play a little wing as well. The way I see it, no one can handle the ball anyways so we might as well try to set up some mismatches.

mloaks#222092 writes:

good read re Bobby Maze and buddy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/...

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Turnovers aren't the only sore spot Martin. This is not a missing Maymon problem, it's coaching.

POINTS PER GAME
63.9
259th
OVERALL
REBOUNDS PER GAME
37.0
92nd
OVERALL
ASSISTS PER GAME
10.4
314th
OVERALL
FIELD GOAL PCT
.428
196th
OVERALL

Glad to see someone else noticing.

This is simply a poorly coached team.

The injuries hurt but these guys are collectively stuck in neutral at best or regressing at worst.

They do nothing particularly well.

risetothetop writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Turnovers aren't the only sore spot Martin. This is not a missing Maymon problem, it's coaching.

POINTS PER GAME
63.9
259th
OVERALL
REBOUNDS PER GAME
37.0
92nd
OVERALL
ASSISTS PER GAME
10.4
314th
OVERALL
FIELD GOAL PCT
.428
196th
OVERALL

So what you are saying is that it is the coach's fault that the players aren't rebounding and making shots. You also can't blame the coach for not having a true point guard on the team to distribute the ball. Everyone knew when Martin got here that the team was supposed to be defensively strong so I don't know why you're surprised that they don't score more.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Actually it is a lot of missing Maymon...He was GREAT in every catergory you listed...our best rebounder, our best scorer, incredible assist game in the low post....very high shooting percentage(took great shots...so not to be disagree-ably...but those points you listed are EXACTLY why its a "missing Maymon" problem..along with several others of course...

So, you are saying Martin and his team can't recover from losing a player who averaged 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist per game last season?

I am not brimming with confidence in Martin's coaching ability 20 games into his second season and seeing the same mistakes over and over and over again and regression across the board in his players.

What really gets me is that defense and rebounding is supposedly his calling card.

64th in scoring defense nationally.

104th in FG % defense.

341st in steals.

123rd in bpg.

That's some resume for a guy that prides himself on tough defense.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

Glad to see someone else noticing.

This is simply a poorly coached team.

The injuries hurt but these guys are collectively stuck in neutral at best or regressing at worst.

They do nothing particularly well.

I don't disagree that the Vols could stand a lot of improvement in all those statistical areas. However, the raw numbers don't mean that much. Pace of play has a strong influence on points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game. To be fair, I'm sure the Vols would rate low in some of those categories even if they were figured with regard to game pace. The teams they play probably rank low in those statistical categories when they play the Vols.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I don't disagree that the Vols could stand a lot of improvement in all those statistical areas. However, the raw numbers don't mean that much. Pace of play has a strong influence on points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game. To be fair, I'm sure the Vols would rate low in some of those categories even if they were figured with regard to game pace. The teams they play probably rank low in those statistical categories when they play the Vols.

Valid point and I agree with you on the pace of play affecting offensive stats.

I think, if anything it would improve those defensive stats I listed somewhat though, particularly scoring defense.

And the turnovers are just appalling given the fact that they are limiting their possessions by holding the ball.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

Valid point and I agree with you on the pace of play affecting offensive stats.

I think, if anything it would improve those defensive stats I listed somewhat though, particularly scoring defense.

And the turnovers are just appalling given the fact that they are limiting their possessions by holding the ball.

No question at all that the Vols MUST be stronger and smarter in handling the ball. If they could just cut down on their UNFORCED turnovers, they could have a good 10 or so extra possessions a game and their opponents would have that many fewer chances to get easy scores themselves. If the Vols scored on half of those extra possessions, they would have won four or five more games than they have. The actual difference between teams in terms of "talent" is much smaller than many fans imagine. It is the teams that do the most with the talent they have that win the most often.

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