Second-half outburst raises possibilities for low-scoring Vols

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee's Jordan McRae takes a shot under pressure from Memphis' Armani Moore during Friday's game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee's Jordan McRae takes a shot under pressure from Memphis' Armani Moore during Friday's game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

As Tennessee's men turn to the SEC basketball season this week, they can ponder both the bad and the good from their last outing.

A poor first half at both ends of the court proved critical in an 85-80 loss to Memphis on Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Still, the explosive second half raises possibilities for the coming 18-game conference slate that begins with a visit from Ole Miss (11-2) on Wednesday (TV: WVLT, 8 p.m.).

After trailing 42-28 at halftime and eventually seeing Memphis' margin grow to 21 points, the Vols rallied with a 52-point second half.

UT (8-4) was a missed breakaway dunk by Josh Richardson from bettering the best scoring half in the Cuonzo Martin era. The Vols also scored 52 points in the second half of an 85-62 win over Louisiana Monroe in 2011, Martin's second game as head coach.

"I'm fine with it,'' Martin said Friday night. "We can play this style. If you want to go up and down with it, that's fine.''

It's a style rarely seen from the Vols this season. There have been halves and even whole games in which scoring was like pulling teeth.

In most cases, UT's defense has been strong enough to carry the day but that wasn't the case against hot-shooting Memphis.

Leading the second-half outburst were Jordan McRae and Josh Richardson with 26 and 20 points, respectively, both career highs.

Richardson has scored at a 14.6 clip over the past three games, virtually double his average.

His uptick comes just as leading scorer Trae Golden has faded. Golden is 1-of-16 shooting in the past three games.

"We just needed some scoring,'' Richardson said. "Since buckets were coming so tough, I figured I might as well be the person to shoot it.''

McRae, who was 5-of-12 beyond the 3-point arc, liked the faster pace.

"This,'' said Martin, "has to become who we are on a daily basis — being aggressive, scoring the basketball, attacking the rim.''

Notebook: Memphis' 11 blocked shots were an arena record for an opponent. The previous high was nine by several teams. ... The 80 points was UT's highest output since 86 against The Citadel on Dec. 29, 2011. The 85 allowed were the most since 89 by Oakland on Nov. 28, 2011. ... Martin doesn't rule out freshman Derek Reese (ankle sprain) playing against Ole Miss. ... Martin said a decision will be announced Monday on whether Jeronne Maymon (knee), who has yet to play a game this season, will try to return this year or not.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 67

lguy (Inactive) writes:

Martin is clueless. I guarantee you he'll put what he considers the "best defenders" on the floor again (McBee!) and hope for a good offense, and we'll be scoring 50 again. The guy has no idea how to coach an offense. It's going to be painful to watch. It's also no fun to watch a team that can't score. Why can't he see that?

VolGrad writes:

The "players," they are a'changing.

Richardson and McRae, their stock is up. McBee and Golden, their stock is crashing. And Stokes is still inconsistent: looks unstoppable at times then fades into the parquet for long stretches. Hall and Makanjuola are improving inside which one would think would benefit Stokes as well. Been a while since we've scene a complete game from him though. I expect him to find that groove soon. He knows what he needs to do, and he has the tools to do it.

Go Vols!

VolGrad writes:

Ha ha. "Scene" should be seen.

Doh!

AFTiger writes:

Might a suggest some closed-door scrimmages with the Lady Vols might help the men perform better?

bigorangeyankees writes:

I was there...........I was ready to leave during the first half. This is the worst offensive team UT has ever had. Martin NEVER attempts to get on the officials when his players are getting beat to death in the paint, he is not an offensive minded coach and that will be what ends his career with UT in the next year or two. RUN RUN RUN the ball up and down the court if you want to score! Good grief.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

"I'm fine with it,'' Martin said Friday night. "We can play this style. If you want to go up and down with it, that's fine.''

This intrigues me. I am wondering if after this game and their effort he doesn't let them get downhill more in the half court offense and greenlight more attacking of the basket instead of the slower methodical approach which is taking away their mental mojo. I hope so, I think we have the athletes to do it.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

You mean the Memphis goal-tendings??

redskinvol1 writes:

Boring Basketball!!More fun to be had at a church bingo game.I miss Bruce!!How about Coach Tony Jones?

thevoice writes:

Would someone with more basketball sense than me please explain why McBee is still starting and getting significant minutes?

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

McBee was completely out of his league against Memphis. CCM has to recruit better guards that have quickness, offensive skill sets and athleticism. That Memphis team was far more athletic than UT. Joe Jackson and Geron Johnson were the difference.

greatdaysahead writes:

Hmm, I vaguely recall Coach Martin REPEATEDLY telling his players if they play solid D, then the buckets would follow.

"'This,' said Martin, 'has to become who we are on a daily basis — being aggressive, scoring the basketball, attacking the rim.'"

I'm glad he finally recognizes his initial philosophy is a little ridiculous. We proved solid D only produces opportunities, and if you don't emphasize an offense to accompany an amazing defense you will not score that much.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to thevoice:

Would someone with more basketball sense than me please explain why McBee is still starting and getting significant minutes?

McBee is an absolute idiot. For some reason he gets announced last and then acts like a spas for about 30 seconds. This is usually his highlight for the evening. There was no one on the Memphis team he could guard but Martin still plays him, unbelievable.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to AFTiger:

Might a suggest some closed-door scrimmages with the Lady Vols might help the men perform better?

But that's what your wife said about you.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to sly_stone99#434111:

McBee was completely out of his league against Memphis. CCM has to recruit better guards that have quickness, offensive skill sets and athleticism. That Memphis team was far more athletic than UT. Joe Jackson and Geron Johnson were the difference.

CCM did NOT recruit McBee. He came with the job Martin took courtesy of CBP.

thevoice writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

CCM did NOT recruit McBee. He came with the job Martin took courtesy of CBP.

Yeah, and so did many other players. However that doesn't mean he has to play them all.

eduardo writes:

Very boring bball!!!! I cant stand to watch this nonsense. Where the heck was Reece at last night? My goodness he played almost 25 min against Xavier! And looked pretty good! Something aint right! Man do I miss BP!

GerryOP writes:

Oh c'mon guys, the sky is not falling. We heard the same crapola from you clowns this time last year. "Lucky to win 4 SEC games," "No chance we finish even 0.500," "Finish 11th in the SEC," yada, yada, yada. And how did that season turn out? Was finishing #2 in the SEC OK with you naysaying negaVols? (Quick, one of you whiney naysaying negaVols jump in here real fast with "Yea, but, what did they do in the postseason?" Right? Nega, nega, nega...)

Like last year, during the pre-SEC season Coach 'Zo is teaching, coaching, and evaluating. Everybody plays, some games get ugly, but Coach 'Zo is keeping track of things. And don't forget, Friday night we played without two probable starters. But, I know, dadgumit ... no freakin' excuses, just win dang it ... just win. But even if they did win 'em all, you whiney babies would find something else to complain about ... like ... "Why doesn't Coach 'Zo challenge the refs?" or something like that.

Let's see what happens Wednesday night. If the Vols pop in the 1st half like they did in the 2nd half last night, 52 points, what will you find to whine and complain about?

And for all of you keyboard bball coaching experts? If you knew half as much as you think you know, that would still be twice as much as you really know.

Peace bros...

GerryOP writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

McBee is an absolute idiot. For some reason he gets announced last and then acts like a spas for about 30 seconds. This is usually his highlight for the evening. There was no one on the Memphis team he could guard but Martin still plays him, unbelievable.

Look jerk, McBee is not an "absolute idiot." He's a 4-year Vol bball player. Don't trash the kids ... idiot. And take the letters f..a..n out of your screen name. Fans don't trash the kids ... fool.

You got a problem with McBee's playing time, go see Coach 'Zo. I'm sure he can straighten out your "misunderstanding" ... dork.

GerryOP writes:

in response to eduardo:

Very boring bball!!!! I cant stand to watch this nonsense. Where the heck was Reece at last night? My goodness he played almost 25 min against Xavier! And looked pretty good! Something aint right! Man do I miss BP!

Hey Einstein, you're right, something ain't right. There is no "Reece" on the Vol bball roster.

jt45 writes:

Anyone know whats going on with Golden ? His last 2 games have been not on par with what he is capable of.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Look jerk, McBee is not an "absolute idiot." He's a 4-year Vol bball player. Don't trash the kids ... idiot. And take the letters f..a..n out of your screen name. Fans don't trash the kids ... fool.

You got a problem with McBee's playing time, go see Coach 'Zo. I'm sure he can straighten out your "misunderstanding" ... dork.

Hey Gerry Ole Pu55Y, for what I have paid for in time and money on UT sports I will criticize all I want. If McBee wants to pound the floor, beat his chest, and scream like a wildman before the game that's fine, just do something to back it up.

flatrock writes:

please stop the bring-back-BP garbage...He was a moral midget who recruited more Brushy Mountain-types than NBA-types. Last year, Cuonzo turned in one of the best coaching jobs in Big Orange history...This year, he is playing without his best scorer, passer, rebounder- who, BTW, wasted away while BP's son took his minutes...Cuonzo has more class in his little finger than BP has in his entire body...Go Vols!

jt45 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

McBee is an absolute idiot. For some reason he gets announced last and then acts like a spas for about 30 seconds. This is usually his highlight for the evening. There was no one on the Memphis team he could guard but Martin still plays him, unbelievable.

Wow thats some pretty harsh bashing against a kid who just wants to play BB and get an education. He might not be the best option CM martin has but he sure is heck has worked every year to earn his place on the team. Skyler is a Tennessee Vol and deserves some measure of respect no matter if hes on the floor or on the bench. Slinging insults at our players is wrong.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to emailnodata:

You mean the Memphis goal-tendings??

I'm glad I wasn't the only one noticing that. Also, they could have matched that high-half score if they made the two free throws they would have gotten if they had known to wait until the wrong guy at the line had shot the first one before pointing it out to the officials, and also, Memphis wouldn't have scored the points they did on those free throws. Different outcome for the game if they played that one right.

GerryOP writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Hey Gerry Ole Pu55Y, for what I have paid for in time and money on UT sports I will criticize all I want. If McBee wants to pound the floor, beat his chest, and scream like a wildman before the game that's fine, just do something to back it up.

Look pal, I don't care if they rename TBA in your honor for all of the money you claim to have contributed. Criticize all you want, but there is no reason to call McBee an "absolute idiot." McBee chose to walk on at UT rather than accept a scholly elsewhere. McBee has shown up for every game and I never recall him ever being in any kind of trouble and he has given 100% every minute he's played. So stop being a jerk by calling him an idiot.

GerryOP writes:

in response to jt45:

Wow thats some pretty harsh bashing against a kid who just wants to play BB and get an education. He might not be the best option CM martin has but he sure is heck has worked every year to earn his place on the team. Skyler is a Tennessee Vol and deserves some measure of respect no matter if hes on the floor or on the bench. Slinging insults at our players is wrong.

Amen brother Vol, amen!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

first half?? defense didn't work. I like the suggestion some made on another article that we should mix it up some on defense with shooting teams like Memphis. They were hot first half and we let them get way too many in the paint. Maybe a little mixed zone would have calmed their shooting a bit. We have no guards to match players like Jackson. Let them have their 3s but keep them out of the paint. I'm not sure zone would have helped stop them though. they were just plain ole hittin' everything they threw up.

We might would have hit more if they hadn't let Memphis "block" so many shots. Maybe a couple of those were good blocks. But I KNOW I saw one blatant goal tend just completely ignored by the refs AND by the commentators who were even talking about Memphis's "athleticism" if I recall. Our players should have blocked a few coming down towards the rim too. At least make the refs call it both.

I was very frustrated first half with Stokes getting called for his fouls and it seemmed to me Memphis wasn't. It's a recurring theme this year. Call the easy one on the big. I personally didn't blame Stokes for pushing players off.

Oh well we did play a great second half. And it sort of evened out. But some of those goal tends were very timely and helped them break a way.

BTW sticking your arm out isn't a foul on offense unless you initiate the contact. That's for Stokes. He needs to keep them off without pushing.

On a more positive not I thought Memphis played a great first half and UT returned the favor second half. We need to play better in all our first halves. But I thought it was a good game.

I like Pastner and hope he stays at Memphis. I'm a little selfish where that's concerned. hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Look pal, I don't care if they rename TBA in your honor for all of the money you claim to have contributed. Criticize all you want, but there is no reason to call McBee an "absolute idiot." McBee chose to walk on at UT rather than accept a scholly elsewhere. McBee has shown up for every game and I never recall him ever being in any kind of trouble and he has given 100% every minute he's played. So stop being a jerk by calling him an idiot.

Waiting your time there Gerry. The guy just wants to put someone down to feel better about himself.

BUT I will say that I think Golden and McBee need to heal so they can contribute more. If they're too hurt to play then they need to play less. It's obvious to everyone watching that Richardson and McRae are starters as far as production goes. The actual starting thing though doesn't matter. McBees' a senior and has earned it I guess. Richardson is a stater period. He may be our best overall player including Stokes. McRae can get 26 every game if you turn him loose. He might allow 26 though on D. I haven't really noticed his defense to be honest.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

hmm first sentence Gerry was supposed to be "wasting your time"

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to jt45:

Anyone know whats going on with Golden ? His last 2 games have been not on par with what he is capable of.

he's playing thru pain. got a hurt shoulder

SouthPaVol writes:

It's always tough loosing to a rival. I admire the Memphis program as a respectable Tennessee product, but I still hate loosing to those guys. They were hot from the start.

On the brighter side, I had rather get exposed to Memphis, than during SEC play. Like Pat Summit always said, play some tough competition during the season, then come tournament time, it's much easier. Memphis might be unranked today, but they played like a top-10 team. Missouri might be the only game remaining we will face at TBA any better than the Memphis team that showed up. Go Vols!

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Oh c'mon guys, the sky is not falling. We heard the same crapola from you clowns this time last year. "Lucky to win 4 SEC games," "No chance we finish even 0.500," "Finish 11th in the SEC," yada, yada, yada. And how did that season turn out? Was finishing #2 in the SEC OK with you naysaying negaVols? (Quick, one of you whiney naysaying negaVols jump in here real fast with "Yea, but, what did they do in the postseason?" Right? Nega, nega, nega...)

Like last year, during the pre-SEC season Coach 'Zo is teaching, coaching, and evaluating. Everybody plays, some games get ugly, but Coach 'Zo is keeping track of things. And don't forget, Friday night we played without two probable starters. But, I know, dadgumit ... no freakin' excuses, just win dang it ... just win. But even if they did win 'em all, you whiney babies would find something else to complain about ... like ... "Why doesn't Coach 'Zo challenge the refs?" or something like that.

Let's see what happens Wednesday night. If the Vols pop in the 1st half like they did in the 2nd half last night, 52 points, what will you find to whine and complain about?

And for all of you keyboard bball coaching experts? If you knew half as much as you think you know, that would still be twice as much as you really know.

Peace bros...

Well Gerry ole' boy, I played and coached basketball for over 40 years and I can tell you they're going no where fast. Number one they don't have a team leader. There's nobody to set up and run the offense so they just run around in circles until somebody sort of gets open.So since they have no real perimeter game (aside from chucking up 3's) then the defense's can collapse down and choke off any chance we might have off developing a baseline game. The end result is we're going to lose a lot of games because we can't score. Pretty simple math really. Compare this guys offensive schemes to Pearls. Like Pearl or not, he knew how to run an offense. Bottom line is they better develop a point guard and fast or it's going to be a long, boring season.

Ironcity writes:

in response to jt45:

Anyone know whats going on with Golden ? His last 2 games have been not on par with what he is capable of.

I don't know for sure but I think that Goldens shoulder injury is worse then is being reported. Its also clear that Mcbees injury is affecting his shot. If he can't hit the open looks or drive to the basket when its wide open then he probably should be playing a lot less. Team has a lot of injuries but the coach has done a poor job of creating an identity on offense.

GerryOP writes:

in response to ronburgundy:

Well Gerry ole' boy, I played and coached basketball for over 40 years and I can tell you they're going no where fast. Number one they don't have a team leader. There's nobody to set up and run the offense so they just run around in circles until somebody sort of gets open.So since they have no real perimeter game (aside from chucking up 3's) then the defense's can collapse down and choke off any chance we might have off developing a baseline game. The end result is we're going to lose a lot of games because we can't score. Pretty simple math really. Compare this guys offensive schemes to Pearls. Like Pearl or not, he knew how to run an offense. Bottom line is they better develop a point guard and fast or it's going to be a long, boring season.

Well Coach Burgundy, speaking from your years of experience, it does sound pretty abysmal. Guess we might as well take off the ol' jock strap and put this season to bed right now. All is hopeless. Thanks for your advice and guidance.

Based on your predictions, I guess we won't be seeing you around here much this season? Good!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Look jerk, McBee is not an "absolute idiot." He's a 4-year Vol bball player. Don't trash the kids ... idiot. And take the letters f..a..n out of your screen name. Fans don't trash the kids ... fool.

You got a problem with McBee's playing time, go see Coach 'Zo. I'm sure he can straighten out your "misunderstanding" ... dork.

Thank you Gerry..All fans see is McBee missing shots and thats not good but he worked his hind off in the off season perfecting his shot with great results but now he ends up playing injured and it's not working out..McBee goes out hurt every game and gives his all and gets bashed relentlessly by fans anyway..In 75% of his games he has played well on defense but like any other vol sometimes has to defend a faster more athletic guard and gets beat..IMO Martin is holding out hope that he can overcome what ails him..In time Reese will play more in his place but I wouldn't count on an inexperienced Reese to defend better than Skyler

Boyds_Creek_Boy writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Right on the money about Bruce Pearl. Bringing him back as soon as his time away from the game is up is EXACTLY WHAT VOL BASKETBALL NEEDS.

Martin doesn't have a clue and his days are numbered just like Dooley's were. Bring Pearl back and the turnaround of Vol Basketball will be instantaneous.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Look jerk, McBee is not an "absolute idiot." He's a 4-year Vol bball player. Don't trash the kids ... idiot. And take the letters f..a..n out of your screen name. Fans don't trash the kids ... fool.

You got a problem with McBee's playing time, go see Coach 'Zo. I'm sure he can straighten out your "misunderstanding" ... dork.

What a GREAT post.

GerryOP writes:

Thanks jt45, mocs, lickn, amy and the rest of you fans who support our Vols. My belief is you can trash the coaches, you can trash the ticket taker, you can trash the AD, and you can even trash the popcorn peddler ... but don't trash the kids. Our expectations are not their burdens to carry ... don't trash the kids.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to thevoice:

Yeah, and so did many other players. However that doesn't mean he has to play them all.

McBee got 21 minutes, McRae got 31 off the bench. What else from the guards available to Martin do you want? Do you want Moore to get more than he got? Chievous? Those two freshmen were the choices.

Lopez is a walk-on pg, not a shooting guard. As it was he got 14 minutes. Neither Reese nor Edwards was available. So, who should have gotten more of McBee's minutes?

I'll agree with you this far -It might be time to abandon Golden as the starting PG and use either Richardson or McRae there. Ideally, if Richardson is up to pg, I'd like to see him at 1, McRae at two, Reese at three, and Hall and Stokes at 4 and 5. But that still means McBee would out of necessity get significant time at 2 guard, depending upon injuries, etc.

You can criticize McBee's play all you want. I agree he is not the player I want to see out there. But you can't criticize Martin for playing the only hand he has been dealt. Martin faces two big problems right now: Maymon is out and he has no real point guard. McBee is a minor problem in comparison.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to flatrock:

please stop the bring-back-BP garbage...He was a moral midget who recruited more Brushy Mountain-types than NBA-types. Last year, Cuonzo turned in one of the best coaching jobs in Big Orange history...This year, he is playing without his best scorer, passer, rebounder- who, BTW, wasted away while BP's son took his minutes...Cuonzo has more class in his little finger than BP has in his entire body...Go Vols!

Right on, flatrock, right on.

GerryOP writes:

in response to flatrock:

please stop the bring-back-BP garbage...He was a moral midget who recruited more Brushy Mountain-types than NBA-types. Last year, Cuonzo turned in one of the best coaching jobs in Big Orange history...This year, he is playing without his best scorer, passer, rebounder- who, BTW, wasted away while BP's son took his minutes...Cuonzo has more class in his little finger than BP has in his entire body...Go Vols!

Great post flatrock, well said!

ClintTNKnox writes:

Bruce Pearl would have won that game.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Hey Gerry Ole Pu55Y, for what I have paid for in time and money on UT sports I will criticize all I want. If McBee wants to pound the floor, beat his chest, and scream like a wildman before the game that's fine, just do something to back it up.

Hey voloafan. Maybe spend some of that money on a reading course. McBee has been hurt for the past few games. He has a bad injury in his shooting arm and it is extremely painful. He has worked hard and has earned his scholly. That he is injured is not his fault. But for you to trash a player for playing his best injured is unexcuseable. You are trash and will remain so.Regardless of your money spent.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to ClintTNKnox:

Bruce Pearl would have won that game.

Not with this current group. This team needs a point guard thats quick, athletic and can make players around him better. Memphis had it in Joe Jackson the other night, UT doesn't have that. Richardson and McCrae made great individual efforts but there was no doubt who controlled this game.I will say this there are a few players on this team Pearl probably would not have recruited.

Basketvol writes:

Good lord! Whenever this team loses a game half the people who post here act like the season is over and we'll never win another game. Heck, the same thing happens when this team wins! I don't know if any of you complainers have noticed that McBee and Golden are both playing hurt. To the person who was asking about Reese, he was injured. Do you really think if CCM had better options he would leave them sitting on the bench? I can't believe UT didn't make this site its first stop when doing a coaching search with so many knowledgeable, unemployed coaches available. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the GAME.

GerryOP writes:

in response to lguy:

Martin is clueless. I guarantee you he'll put what he considers the "best defenders" on the floor again (McBee!) and hope for a good offense, and we'll be scoring 50 again. The guy has no idea how to coach an offense. It's going to be painful to watch. It's also no fun to watch a team that can't score. Why can't he see that?

Martin is clueless? Quick 81, get your buns over to the UTAD's office and let them know. Offer all of your brilliant knowledge, get over there to help ... now!

An absolutely absurd post. Martin is clueless? Sheesh... Where do these people come from, the shallow end of the gene pool?

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Martin is clueless? Quick 81, get your buns over to the UTAD's office and let them know. Offer all of your brilliant knowledge, get over there to help ... now!

An absolutely absurd post. Martin is clueless? Sheesh... Where do these people come from, the shallow end of the gene pool?

Your a real wise@#$, you know that Gerry? I've followed that program for as long as I can remember and always will. I never trash the players or coach, but when I see what I believe a system that's not working, well I'm entitled to my opinion. I'd like nothing more than to see the Vols in the "big dance" come March, but the way things are going with their offensive play I'd say the odds are pretty slim. You can take your smart$%@ comments and stick them. I'm curious did you ever play ball or are you just a rah, rah nit wit?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A pretty dumb comment from start to finish, IMHO. I would bet your unemployment check against my Social Security check that the Vols will win more than half of their SEC games. Not many UT teams have scored 52 points in a half the way the Vols did Friday night so, no, it is not dumb to say that that performance is something the team can build on.

I was a Pearl fan for the most part throughout his time at UT, but he will likely never coach at the major-college level again, and certainly not at UT. He will be squarely on the NCAA radar for the rest of his life, and anybody who hires him would have to be prepared to have the NCAA set up shop permanently on their campus. Fair or not, there are plenty of people in college basketball who will never forgive him for his actions in the Iowa-Illinois affair back in the 80s. UT took a chance on hiring him when they did, but those NCAA guys have long memories and were just waiting for an opportunity to pounce when Pearl gave them an excuse.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to AFTiger:

Might a suggest some closed-door scrimmages with the Lady Vols might help the men perform better?

Get off this board. You got your win so just be happy and go away. The Tigers and Vols aren't finished with each other, no matter what Pastner thinks, and you won't always have the games go your way, either.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Hey Gerry Ole Pu55Y, for what I have paid for in time and money on UT sports I will criticize all I want. If McBee wants to pound the floor, beat his chest, and scream like a wildman before the game that's fine, just do something to back it up.

I think we might well see McBee's minutes decline going forward. Martin likes his energy and hustle, he no doubt practices the same way, and Martin wants to reward the guys who work hard. However, in case you hadn't heard, he has a torn ligament in his shooting elbow which has killed his confidence and his stroke. Since he isn't scoring and there are now some others who can, I don't think he will play as much going forward, which is too bad because he is a good kid who is giving his all, even if he doesn't fulfill all of your expectations.

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