Time slipping for Quinton Chievius, D'Montre Edwards

Chievous, Edwards rarely seen in 2013

Tennessee guards D'Montre Edwards (32), Brandon Lopez (24), Quinton Chievous (31) and Derek Reese (3), left to right, along with forward Rob Murphy, back center, cheer on their teammates as they take on Mississippi State in the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guards D'Montre Edwards (32), Brandon Lopez (24), Quinton Chievous (31) and Derek Reese (3), left to right, along with forward Rob Murphy, back center, cheer on their teammates as they take on Mississippi State in the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Cuonzo Martin, Kenny Hall on Vols' depth issues

Cuonzo Martin, Kenny Hall talk turnover troubles

It's 2013 — the year of the snake on the Chinese calendar.

And unbeknownst to Tennessee forwards Quinton Chievous and D'Montre Edwards, that devilish serpent apparently slithered along and stole their minutes.

Since the chill of January arrived, the two have combined to play 11 minutes in three appearances. Before that? Chievous played in nine of UT's 11 games, averaging 11.2 minutes per showing. Edwards mirrored that playing time, seeing 11.1 minutes in nine appearances.

Chievous and Edwards were already roommates off the floor, now the two live together on the bench.

Asked why during his weekly media luncheon Monday, coach Cuonzo Martin plainly responded, "Multiple things on defense — reading those back screens, down screens, identifying situations defensively. That's probably the biggest key."

In other words: No defense, no minutes.

Edwards scurried off the bench for a brief — and rare — appearance in the Vols' loss at Arkansas on Saturday. He was whistled for a foul 13 seconds later and back on the bench after two minutes.

Edwards drew the dreaded "Did Not Play —Coach's Decision" in six straight games before Saturday. Chievous has done the same in eight straight.

"It's been hard, going from playing a lot to, you know, just not playing," Edwards said.

Among the talking points in Tennessee's preseason sales pitch were Chievous, a redshirt freshman, and Edwards, a junior college transfer, being emerging forwards. They were said to bring scoring, rebounding and depth — all qualities the Vols (11-9, 3-5 SEC) could sorely use right now.

After sitting out all of 2011-12 as a redshirt, Chievous led the Vols with 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals in this season's preseason scrimmage against Victory. With an even mix of pleasure and relief, he afterward declared, "all my hard work has finally paid off."

It translated to early season action. Chievous scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in a season-high 23 minutes against Massachusetts. Those minutes slowly trailed off over time.

Edwards, meanwhile, played double-digit minutes against the likes of Oklahoma State and Georgetown. He established career highs in points (11) and minutes (18) in a win over Presbyterian in mid-December.

He's played in three games since.

Of Edwards, Martin said Monday, "He's a small forward for us right now, so he'd be backing up Josh (Richardson) in games. It's really just him having the confidence to get out there and play and feel good about himself."

Asked how confidence can be gained, Edwards presented the catch-22, "Of course more time out there on the court would help.

"But at the same time," he continued, "I've just got to keep believing in myself. Every time I get out there, whether it's one second or 10 minutes, just go hard as I can."

Golden update: Tennessee point guard Trae Golden (strained hamstring) did not practice Monday. Martin said he's listed as "day-to-day" with a home game against Georgia (10-11, 4-4) approaching Wednesday. The junior traveled with the team for Saturday's loss at Arkansas, but did not dress for the game.

Golden had appeared in 54 straight games for UT prior to the weekend.

Richardson in town: Former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson will speak to the Big Orange TipOff Club at noon on Wednesday at Calhoun's On The River. The College Basketball Hall of Fame member led the Razorbacks to the 1994 national title.

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

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Comments » 16

VOLHolla writes:

we need offense
give them playing time - cant be any less effective

wigmeister writes:

Evidently the rest of the team is playing better, you know, with all our wins and all, especially on the road. Maybe it is time to sit some of those guys that keep losing, and try some of the guys that aren't playing.

But what is the statement, coaches prerogative! Watching this style of B-Ball is frustrating, especially when we keep losing. Just not seeing the improvement you should be seeing by this time in the season! I keep hoping for more, but, alas, it's just not coming!

1vavolfan writes:

Chievous was 2 stars out of high school, Edwards averaged 13 pts at a Jr college and didnt even lead his team in scoring. Neither have the size to play the 4 in the SEC or the shot to play the 3. UT should't recruit these types of players, both should be playing somewhere like UTC or ETSU.

BruisedOrange writes:

in response to VOLHolla:

we need offense
give them playing time - cant be any less effective

Of course, if their offensive production is more than cancelled out by the points they allow at the other end... or worse, their poor defense gets our remaining bigs in foul trouble from having to switch into bad positions... the Vols can go from low-scoring 2-point losses to high scoring 12-point losses!

CCM layed it out: they haven't shown the ability to play team defense. Either it hasn't clicked yet mentally for them and they don't yet think 2 moves ahead and have full defensive court vision, OR they are slow, forcing them to focus too narrowly on mantaining defensive position on the man in front of them.

In CCM's team defense, one unreliable defender is not a weak spot--he actually compromises every teammate on defense. I'm sure the coaching staff keeps numbers on how many personal fouls were caused by another player's inadequate defense. In today's game, most big men foul out because of poor defense by their guards.

Unless these guys are a reliable net +20 points each on the offensive end, I can't question CCM on this decision.

AlpharettaVol writes:

If they are not as good as the guys getting the minutes right now, they must be have a long way to go to compete in the SEC. I think anyone who shows some aggressiveness on offense would stand out immediately. I keep hearing that we have deficiencies on defense. Why doesn't somebody address the fact that we can't stand on the dock and throw the ball in the ocean? Regularly scoring 50-60 points a game won't win many games.

Most kids coming out of high school are scorers.They want to see their highlights on ESPN. I hope CCM doesn't go into a kid's home and say: "We don't care if you score or not, just play solid defense." We need guys who can put the ball in the basket and aren't afraid to demand their shots.

DC82_Vol writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Chievous was 2 stars out of high school, Edwards averaged 13 pts at a Jr college and didnt even lead his team in scoring. Neither have the size to play the 4 in the SEC or the shot to play the 3. UT should't recruit these types of players, both should be playing somewhere like UTC or ETSU.

Your statement reminds me of a Dooleyism. I remember in year zero, as he called it. He stated, "Just because you play for TN does not mean you are a SEC caliber player." Oh how true does that ring with many of the men's sports programs.

atnvol#283282 writes:

Cuonzo better step it up soon because after next year, you know who comes off probation....and I am sure you know who could be secured for a very reasonable sum with, of course, heavy restrictions on unacceptable behaviour.

westknoxrepub writes:

Geez, who would have thought players recruited that nobody else of any note wanted aren't any good. . .but Martin's our guy, and his recruiting shouldn't be questioned.

brod writes:

too bad they can't play point. plenty of minutes available there.

SouthPaVol writes:

If you want to contribute, gotta find your niche.

I have loved watching Josh Richardson from the start, my favorite Vol. I think Josh's stop-jump shot from 10-12' is a work of art. The only reason to pull him is to give advice on ways to score more points.

Many speak of Moore's strong work ethic. His first step is quick and the drive is getting better. I like his passing and he can jump out of the gym.

Hall is stepping up his presence inside, becoming more dominate and a much better passer. He posts well and has good vision. I see plays going through our bigs in the future equaling out between Stokes and Hall.

Everybody will play defense. If these guys want PT, they gotta find a way to contribute. McRae is providing offense; Hall is playing bigger; Armani is rebounding; Josh is penetrating; Stokes...well, he's Stokes!

If the opposing coach doesn't talk about you during his game prep, you probably shouldn't start. After you take the picture for the program, a pretty face does little for the team. Be a threat! Go Vols!

Basketvol writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't forget looming NCAA sanctions, a year of negative publicity, and a fired coach. All of those factors played a role in our first two recruiting classes. No excuses next year, which probably explains the quality incoming recruit for next year.

hikerdude writes:

BBB

CoverOrange writes:

in response to VOLHolla:

we need offense
give them playing time - cant be any less effective

Did you not see Edwards 2 minutes of infamy last Saturday? Looked totally lost.

johnlg00 writes:

I didn't know what to expect from Chievous when he came in. He had all the familiar negatives summarized by a 2-star recruit rating, but he also had an NBA-veteran father. I didn't disagree with the red-shirt and thought the extra time to get stronger and practice against the varsity would make up for not being seen as an outstanding prospect out of HS. Then when he was talked about as a potential starter in the pre-season, it seemed that the time off worked for him. But, as the article said, as the season went on, he seemed less and less able to contribute. I had more hope for Edwards, especially after I saw him in uniform. He certainly LOOKS like a basketball player, but he seemed even more lost on the court than Chievous did. Somewhat to my surprise, neither of them seem to be sulking. Every shot of the bench shows them watching intently and standing up and cheering. I don't doubt they work hard in practice, but if so, they need to find a way to translate it onto the court. At this point, Reese and Moore seem to have clearly passed them up, not only in present production but possibly even in potential. If they truly have anything to offer this year, it is rapidly becoming too late for them to show it.

VolunteerLifer writes:

I wouldn't worry about Chievous yet. Although a red-shirt, he is still a freshman and has some time to get it right as he learns more. I can't judge latent basketball talent, but I think its foolish to give up on him so early in his career, as some on this site have done. As for Edwards, his entree was always supposed to be offense. He only has this year and next to contribute. Apparently, it isn't easy to give Martin what he wants on defense, so Edwards stay here will be fruitless unless he works real hard between now and next season. It's up to him to have the light go on sometime, or else.......

As for recruiting them, hey, we've been down this road so many times.......Martin had nothing to sell to his first class, and needed some experience on the wing for his second class. He has never had the upper hand in recruiting, so he has to take some chances and hope they work out. And all of this is because the last coach was an absolute idiot and left this program in a shambles. After what he did here, he doesn't deserve another chance at our school. Period.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

I wouldn't worry about Chievous yet. Although a red-shirt, he is still a freshman and has some time to get it right as he learns more. I can't judge latent basketball talent, but I think its foolish to give up on him so early in his career, as some on this site have done. As for Edwards, his entree was always supposed to be offense. He only has this year and next to contribute. Apparently, it isn't easy to give Martin what he wants on defense, so Edwards stay here will be fruitless unless he works real hard between now and next season. It's up to him to have the light go on sometime, or else.......

As for recruiting them, hey, we've been down this road so many times.......Martin had nothing to sell to his first class, and needed some experience on the wing for his second class. He has never had the upper hand in recruiting, so he has to take some chances and hope they work out. And all of this is because the last coach was an absolute idiot and left this program in a shambles. After what he did here, he doesn't deserve another chance at our school. Period.

Good post...whether I agree with it all or not.hehe

Part of Martin's problem is that he just can't use everybody!. Chievous like you said can come back. I hope he'll at least be competitive. Edwards( a bit lost right now maybe) still has time to improve at least for next season. Cross our fingers on ALL our players improving.
I've never really been impressed overmuch with Pearl's last recruiting class...'cept Harris.
Our vaunted 4*s haven't produced. McRae has seen the light I hope and is pushing hard to get better. I'm a believer though in having a couple of great ball handlers on the squad. We don't have any great ones. Golden is good I suppose when he's really giving his all. I still can't figure him out.
we'll have to see. Still some time left for a possible salvage year. We can't lose ANY home games. We can't lose more than a coupla away games. It's hard to believe at this point but heck it could happen. It's not Martin's fault he doesn't have great recruits IMHO. Next year Hubbs needs to be the real deal. It'd be nice to keep Stokes another year as well. He really needs it to improve his defense and positioning skills. If he doesn't stay then we need at least one big to join us. OR Miller, Edwards, and Maymon need to be at full strength. Makanjuola IS getting better in front of our eyes. He's a great close to the basket player. Can be anyhow.

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