Several under-the-radar moments lost in UT's four-overtime victory

Texas A&M's Ray Turner comes down with the ball in front of Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes after being fouled by Tennessee's Armani Moore, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Bryan College Station Eagle, Stuart Villanueva)

Photo by AP Photo/Bryan College Station Eagle, Stuart Villanueva

Texas A&M's Ray Turner comes down with the ball in front of Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes after being fouled by Tennessee's Armani Moore, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Bryan College Station Eagle, Stuart Villanueva)

Cuonzo Martin on 4 OT win

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Four overtimes left plenty of fine print.

That’s where the real story of Saturday’s marathon Tennessee-Texas A&M exists.

Scouring that fine print — the minutia of the Vols’ 93-85 win at Reed Arena — five easily unnoticed moments provided a happy Tennessee ending to a three-hour marathon.

Regulation: Most will focus on Jarnell Stokes missing a potential game-winning free throw with 5.9 seconds remaining, but let’s remember how he got there.

Trailing 62-61 in a desperate final possession, UT guard Jordan McRae hurled a 3-pointer toward the rim. As the shot arced, Texas A&M’s Elston Turner slid his 6-foot-5, 209-pound frame in front of the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Stokes.

Turner was perfectly positioned as McRae’s shot caught front iron. No matter. Stokes simply reached above Turner, ripped the ball away and drew a foul.

From there, Stokes made the game-tying free-throw before missing his second attempt.

“I felt like the second was good, but it went short,” Stokes said. “I think I should have made it. It’s as simple as that.”

If not for that offensive rebound, though, none of the following would have occurred.

First overtime: McRae’s pull-up, game-tying 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining landed on the highlight reel, but it wouldn’t have been made possible without Trae Golden.

Staring at a 68-64 deficit with 25 seconds remaining, the Vols’ junior point guard snatched an inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor, split the A&M defense and converted an uncontested layup.

“That possession was critical,” Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said. “They scored a layup in six seconds.”

Second overtime: For the second straight game, Turner broke the Reed Arena scoring record. He finished with 38 points after scoring 37 in A&M’s 69-67 win over Ole Miss on Feb. 13.

But when it came to stopping Turner at the most crucial moments, the Vols answered.

At the end of the first overtime, UT’s Josh Richardson swatted a layup by Fabyon Harris out of bounds with three ticks left. Then he blanketed a missed jump shot by Turner at the end of the overtime.

Richardson produced nearly an identical ending to the second OT. Tied 75-75, the 6-foot-5 guard bodied a drive by Turner, stayed in position and blocked a would-be game-winning jumper.

The play exemplified what UT coach Cuonzo Martin called, “a tremendous job on the defensive side of the ball,” in all four overtimes. A&M was 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) after regulation.

Third overtime: Joining starter Alex Caruso, Ray Turner and Andrew Young became the second and third Aggies to foul out of the game during the third overtime.

“We had a lot of players foul out,” Turner lamented. “Players that sat on the bench had to get warm in crucial moments.”

The Vols were called for only two less fouls (28-26) than A&M, but none drew a disqualification. Golden, McRae and Richardson all played the final two overtimes with four fouls apiece.

Fourth overtime: Many of the fouls called on Golden, McRae and Richardson came on charges. On drives to the rim, A&M defenders continually shifted underneath UT’s guards and drew fouls.

As the overtimes progressed, Martin called an audible. Pull-up jumpers and floaters, he said, would undo the Aggies.

It worked.

“Jarnell was setting the screen and his man wasn’t leaving him, so there was the opportunity to shoot the pull-up or the corner shot would be open for whoever was in the corner,” Martin said later.

“You saw the results.”

The game’s two deciding shots — a pair of short jumpers by Golden with 2:42 left and 2:04 left —widened an 81-80 Tennessee advantage into an 85-80 lead.

McBee capped the run with a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Vols up eight with 1:13 remaining.

“They made a couple big shots when they needed to,” Kennedy said.

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

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Comments » 43

voloffaith writes:

Mine being the first comment shows this article is an "under the radar" piece. Anyway, seeing the total picture helps reality be what it is...

carbonzip writes:

Stokes came around from behind, blocked a layup and got the rebound which was huge.

CoverOrange writes:

Elston Turner made a critical mistake that led to Richardson getting the block. Against McBee, Turner repeatedly created space with fall away jumpers that he almost never missed. Against Richardson he tried to draw the foul by jumping into him. Shot blocked. No foul. Bad decision on his part.

GerryOP writes:

Good job by our basketVols ... a hard fought, well-earned victory.

Now for the Gatas ... 3wouldbesofine.

keepitreal4vols writes:

McBee might have the 2 most memorable shots in UT history. The shot vs Kansas as a walk on was unforgettable. And now the 3 in the 4th OT was remarkable.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Elston Turner made a critical mistake that led to Richardson getting the block. Against McBee, Turner repeatedly created space with fall away jumpers that he almost never missed. Against Richardson he tried to draw the foul by jumping into him. Shot blocked. No foul. Bad decision on his part.

Good call. Ironically, Turner might have been better off going up straight or leaning in against McBee, against whom he had an advantage in height, reach, and leaping ability, instead of falling away as much as he did. He might have fouled McBee out if he hadn't been falling away on those shots because Skylar was playing as close on him as he could. The game might have gone very differently if McBee had been in foul trouble earlier. Going up in Richardson's face, against whom he had NONE of those advantages, was CLEARLY a mistake! Some might say it was McBee's fault that Turner got all those points or it was Martin's fault for putting McBee on him. Such people don't realize the cumulative effect McBee's defense had in taking away some of Turner's edge in the late going.

SevierVol writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

McBee might have the 2 most memorable shots in UT history. The shot vs Kansas as a walk on was unforgettable. And now the 3 in the 4th OT was remarkable.

I assume you are too young to remember Gary Carter.

movol53 writes:

I agree johnlg00. A lot of folks come on here and slam McBee but he almost always gets the toughest defensive assignment and he's almost always shorter and slower than the other guy. But he plays with heart, all out, all the time. He's a little like Bradshaw was in that he picks up a lot of the junk plays and allows the stars to get the benefit of the play.

Orangeblood13 writes:

Our strength and conditioning coach worth his weight in salt
They were ready
Hope they bring it Tuesday

johnlg00 writes:

in response to SevierVol:

I assume you are too young to remember Gary Carter.

Yeah, but Gary Carter was a star who had to produce every night, and mostly did. McBee is a walk-on who some on this board wouldn't even allow on the team. For a guy to do what he has done with his qualifications and expectations, he does OK. Maybe even better than OK.

murrayvol writes:

in response to movol53:

I agree johnlg00. A lot of folks come on here and slam McBee but he almost always gets the toughest defensive assignment and he's almost always shorter and slower than the other guy. But he plays with heart, all out, all the time. He's a little like Bradshaw was in that he picks up a lot of the junk plays and allows the stars to get the benefit of the play.

McBee might not be the greatest player in the SEC but he is certainly among the toughest and most tenacious.

budd#207344 writes:

Brendan, thanks for a very good article which addresses the "little" things that win games. I will add two more. The work done by S&C to have the Vols able to play that hard for that long. Skylar's work on Turner. He had clearly lost his legs at the end and was short on a couple of shots that could have been game changers. That was directly caused by having to run all over trying to get away from SM. He may be faster but Skylar did wear him out.

tturley#297658 writes:

Good read, so many things happened in those 4OT's that favored the Vols, thanks to good coaching and good effort by our players. Great victory, and it gives us confidence and momentum going into the game of the year on Tuesday!

GerryOP writes:

McBee is a lot like Steven Pearl ... no flash but a lot of dash. Both fill a role on the team that is hard to define ... but vital.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to GerryOP:

McBee is a lot like Steven Pearl ... no flash but a lot of dash. Both fill a role on the team that is hard to define ... but vital.

sorry, you lost me.

Olddogsrule writes:

Say what you will, but years from now folks will be able to look at a photo of Skylar McBee and they will remember the 3 pointers he drained in critical games at critical times and his defensive energy. We locals won't forget our Skylar! No, he's not perfect. He sometimes shoots before he's set an can throw a brick. But he's certainly made his well deserved mark as a walkon.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to murrayvol:

McBee might not be the greatest player in the SEC but he is certainly among the toughest and most tenacious.

I agree 100%, and also let's remember that he's been dealing with an injury to his shooting arm/wrist/shoulder this season that has obviously affected his shooting. His 3-point percentage is down to 34.7% for the season, and he hasn't taken a lot of shots this year that he normally would, but he's 7-10 in the last three games. I'm psyched to see that he seems to be getting his stroke and his confidence back now, just at the right time.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I was really worried for a long time this season about whether this team could score enough to win, but Golden and McBee were both dealing with injuries that affected their shooting, and Stokes was having to adjust to not having Maymon in there. Now that Golden and McRae have hit their stride, Stokes has adjusted and McBee appears to be back to form (fingers crossed), things are really looking up.

Let's go dancing this year guys!

Teresa writes:

Great article. As I read it, I remembered each of those moments, but not until after I read this. There was just too many things to try to remember. I'm going to listen to the last few minutes & the OT's on utsports.com just to relive it all. I set the DVR, but of course I didn't allow enough time.

For anyone who gets WVLT2, try to catch a replay of The Locker Room. I think it's on tomorrow night. Coach Tony Jones set it straight on Skylar's defense for those who aren't believers. Ryan Childress also did. And Cuonzo did on the post-game show when he said he put Skylar on Turner because his defense was better than Josh's at the time. I think that allowed a fresher Richardson to be all over Turner when he took over later in the game.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Teresa:

Great article. As I read it, I remembered each of those moments, but not until after I read this. There was just too many things to try to remember. I'm going to listen to the last few minutes & the OT's on utsports.com just to relive it all. I set the DVR, but of course I didn't allow enough time.

For anyone who gets WVLT2, try to catch a replay of The Locker Room. I think it's on tomorrow night. Coach Tony Jones set it straight on Skylar's defense for those who aren't believers. Ryan Childress also did. And Cuonzo did on the post-game show when he said he put Skylar on Turner because his defense was better than Josh's at the time. I think that allowed a fresher Richardson to be all over Turner when he took over later in the game.

You should be able to watch the replay on ESPN3 or with the WatchESPN app.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Mine being the first comment shows this article is an "under the radar" piece. Anyway, seeing the total picture helps reality be what it is...

I would call the piece a "second phase analysis" article and think it's well done. I have been an information analyst for the past 30 years, and there are facts that come out after a few hours of crunching the data that can't be derived in a few minutes.

This article brings out some insight on what CCM was thinking as he battled Tx A&M's coach during the overtimes. The players execute, true, but strategy won this game--strategy and gutsy play. Both the players and Coach Martin shined. Go Vols!

brod writes:

stressful game. didn't think that they would win this one. hopefully stokes does not become a foul target. if he rebounds teams will know that he is a poor free throw shooter and might try to foul him before he even passes the ball.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to Teresa:

Great article. As I read it, I remembered each of those moments, but not until after I read this. There was just too many things to try to remember. I'm going to listen to the last few minutes & the OT's on utsports.com just to relive it all. I set the DVR, but of course I didn't allow enough time.

For anyone who gets WVLT2, try to catch a replay of The Locker Room. I think it's on tomorrow night. Coach Tony Jones set it straight on Skylar's defense for those who aren't believers. Ryan Childress also did. And Cuonzo did on the post-game show when he said he put Skylar on Turner because his defense was better than Josh's at the time. I think that allowed a fresher Richardson to be all over Turner when he took over later in the game.

correct, if you missed the game or want to watch it again, you can watch the game here:

http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/...

voloffaith writes:

in response to SouthPaVol:

I would call the piece a "second phase analysis" article and think it's well done. I have been an information analyst for the past 30 years, and there are facts that come out after a few hours of crunching the data that can't be derived in a few minutes.

This article brings out some insight on what CCM was thinking as he battled Tx A&M's coach during the overtimes. The players execute, true, but strategy won this game--strategy and gutsy play. Both the players and Coach Martin shined. Go Vols!

2-24 8pm was my post time. Was saying,using his terminology,that this apparently was, due the fact that mine was the only post, under the radar. Too wordy I'll let our specialist analyze it. Just be mindful of the "paralysis of analysis." Again I was using his words about "under the radar plays". So I went for an "under the radar" article since for some time mine was the lone post......Hopefully that explains and puts on someone's radar screen of understanding...GO VOLS beat the chompers!!!

Brewii writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

McBee might have the 2 most memorable shots in UT history. The shot vs Kansas as a walk on was unforgettable. And now the 3 in the 4th OT was remarkable.

Loften over Durant for 3 from about 25 feet to put UT in the lead for the first time in the game in the last minute after trailing by as much as 20 points earlier.

I was there and that's the one I'll always remember.

brod writes:

in response to Brewii:

Loften over Durant for 3 from about 25 feet to put UT in the lead for the first time in the game in the last minute after trailing by as much as 20 points earlier.

I was there and that's the one I'll always remember.

i was there too. it was so loud after he hit that that i had to cover my ears. never had to do that at a sporting event before or since.

laraccoon writes:

in response to brod:

stressful game. didn't think that they would win this one. hopefully stokes does not become a foul target. if he rebounds teams will know that he is a poor free throw shooter and might try to foul him before he even passes the ball.

he's getting better at the free throw line . earlier in the year i expected a brick or two but lately he seems to make more than he misses , at the very least he is one tough kid ,when he gets a rebound you know nobody is going to take it from him .

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to SevierVol:

I assume you are too young to remember Gary Carter.

How about Bernard King's shot lying on his back at KY? That mid-court shot by Carter to beat American U. with no time on clock was unbelievable, plus it came off a steal.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Our strength and conditioning coach worth his weight in salt
They were ready
Hope they bring it Tuesday

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

voloffaith writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

WE won't discuss your accuracy % or lack thereof....paint anyway you want...we held on and won...our players didn't foul out...we won and that's what counts. Get over your fixation with self and being an ineffective prognosticator...at least when posting on here. Predicting Florida w is really hard one isn't it? Mister Donovan wants this bad after losing two last year. Have a nice day in spite of your(apparent) negative world.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

A win is a win, Brett.

I forgot...with your "skill" in predicting the outcome of games, you don't see too many wins.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

You make this too easy, Brett.

Only two A&M starters fouled out, according to ESPN.com (R Tuner and A Caruso).

The three A&M players who played the most minutes had a combined four fouls!

UT didn't play all starters in the 4th OT.
McBee played the entire period and Stokes only played part of it. So basically, for much of that OT, it was three starters for each team.

UT played an 11-player rotation compared to A&M's 9-player rotation. That means less likely to have players foul out and more likely to keep them fresh.

UT had 26 fouls and A&M had 28. Very evenly called, not "iffy," and all four of UT's starters had four.

The way you understand "facts," your only hope for being paid to be a handicapper is to get hired by Fox News.

You're fighting a losing battle trying to be a handicapper with no ability to think analytically.

jmatt62 writes:

Vol fan down here in South TX, and was at the game. Elston Turner, Jr. is an All-American prospect, for sure. Tremendous effort by entire squad, but Golden & Stokes are money. Good to walk out of Reed Arena with my UT orange on!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

Brendan, thanks for a very good article which addresses the "little" things that win games. I will add two more. The work done by S&C to have the Vols able to play that hard for that long. Skylar's work on Turner. He had clearly lost his legs at the end and was short on a couple of shots that could have been game changers. That was directly caused by having to run all over trying to get away from SM. He may be faster but Skylar did wear him out.

Well said. Agree completely with all.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Teresa:

Great article. As I read it, I remembered each of those moments, but not until after I read this. There was just too many things to try to remember. I'm going to listen to the last few minutes & the OT's on utsports.com just to relive it all. I set the DVR, but of course I didn't allow enough time.

For anyone who gets WVLT2, try to catch a replay of The Locker Room. I think it's on tomorrow night. Coach Tony Jones set it straight on Skylar's defense for those who aren't believers. Ryan Childress also did. And Cuonzo did on the post-game show when he said he put Skylar on Turner because his defense was better than Josh's at the time. I think that allowed a fresher Richardson to be all over Turner when he took over later in the game.

Good post. Those few remaining people on here who don't think McBee can play or that Martin can coach just don't know what they are talking about. As I said on several earlier posts, some things were starting to come together for this team even before they starting this current winning streak. A careful observer could see that guys were getting a sense of how they had to play to win. Once everybody got healed up, it all came together. I'm not into predictions and I realize the daunting odds against the Vols making the NCAAs, but they are one of the most dangerous teams in America right now, and any future opponent that doesn't recognize that will likely be in for a rude awakening.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

stressful game. didn't think that they would win this one. hopefully stokes does not become a foul target. if he rebounds teams will know that he is a poor free throw shooter and might try to foul him before he even passes the ball.

I heard the announcers on Saturday mention Stokes as a 54% FT shooter on several occasions. That may be his season average, but I'm guessing he is closer to 67% during the winning streak. I used to regard Jarnell at the FT line as a turnover waiting to happen, but he has made quite a few lately.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

Thanks, PH! Based on your previous record against the Vols, I'm now sure they will whip Florida by double digits! You may have thought you were belittling the Vols, but you actually highlighted the importance of their superior depth and conditioning. The Vols played a number of their subs early, soaking up minutes and fouls that the starters didn't get, and drawing fouls that hurt A&M later, making the Vol starters fresher and free of crippling foul trouble in the late going. A&M didn't play most of their subs until they HAD to. I think I saw that Turner played 58 minutes and he clearly didn't have the same energy, lift, and touch late. If not for him the Vols would have won in a walk.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

You make this too easy, Brett.

Only two A&M starters fouled out, according to ESPN.com (R Tuner and A Caruso).

The three A&M players who played the most minutes had a combined four fouls!

UT didn't play all starters in the 4th OT.
McBee played the entire period and Stokes only played part of it. So basically, for much of that OT, it was three starters for each team.

UT played an 11-player rotation compared to A&M's 9-player rotation. That means less likely to have players foul out and more likely to keep them fresh.

UT had 26 fouls and A&M had 28. Very evenly called, not "iffy," and all four of UT's starters had four.

The way you understand "facts," your only hope for being paid to be a handicapper is to get hired by Fox News.

You're fighting a losing battle trying to be a handicapper with no ability to think analytically.

Thanks for those stats. I was only going by my impressions, but your numbers confirmed them.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jmatt62:

Vol fan down here in South TX, and was at the game. Elston Turner, Jr. is an All-American prospect, for sure. Tremendous effort by entire squad, but Golden & Stokes are money. Good to walk out of Reed Arena with my UT orange on!

No question in my mind that ET,Jr. will be playing for nice money soon, just like his Dad. Great combination of size, toughness, and shooting touch. And to think, if Dad had been offered by UT as he should have, BOTH of them could have been Vols! I surely do love the ones we've got, though!

Basketvol writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

You make this too easy, Brett.

Only two A&M starters fouled out, according to ESPN.com (R Tuner and A Caruso).

The three A&M players who played the most minutes had a combined four fouls!

UT didn't play all starters in the 4th OT.
McBee played the entire period and Stokes only played part of it. So basically, for much of that OT, it was three starters for each team.

UT played an 11-player rotation compared to A&M's 9-player rotation. That means less likely to have players foul out and more likely to keep them fresh.

UT had 26 fouls and A&M had 28. Very evenly called, not "iffy," and all four of UT's starters had four.

The way you understand "facts," your only hope for being paid to be a handicapper is to get hired by Fox News.

You're fighting a losing battle trying to be a handicapper with no ability to think analytically.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks for saying it. I'm glad to see professionalsomethingortheother picking against UT. That's almost a guaranteed win for Tennessee. Go Vols!

murrayvol writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

Did you even watch the game? 2 A&M starters fouled out plus 2 subs. You can check the box score for verification.

You want "iffy"? Check out the game commentary on A&M defenders sliding under the Vols on multiple occasions to get charging calls. Now that's iffy.

Run off the floor by FU on Tuesday with a 6 man rotation. I doubt it.

You're not a professional but you're definitely handicapped.

johnlg00 writes:

BTW, I looked up Jarnell's FT percentage on utsports.com. For 2013, starting with the Memphis game, he is making right at 2/3 of his free throws, 61 of 96 to be exact, much better than for the season as a whole. He could stand more improvement and he has missed the front end of a few too many one-&-ones, but he is not nearly the liability at the line that he used to be.

Basketvol writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

They beat 4 subs in the 4th OT. The fact UT played a complete game and 4 OT's and nobody fouled out seems pretty iffy. A&M held on with 4 starters to foul out. Not really conditioning as much as 1st teamers beating second teamers. Tuesday will see a tired team get run off the floor.

Sooo, care to man up and admit you were wrong? Or will you just hide away until your next pathetic "prediction." Maybe you will show up with some ridiculous excuse. Maybe you will just go away for good.

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