No pressure, just winning on Cuonzo Martin's mind entering SEC play

SEC play begins tonight vs. Ole Miss

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin talks with a referee during the game against Memphis at Thompson-Boling Arena, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin talks with a referee during the game against Memphis at Thompson-Boling Arena, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Jordan McRae on Jeronne Maymon's redshirt

Vols looking to leave shooting slump behind them

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin only speaks in measured tones.

Never too high, never too low.

So as his Vols enter SEC play tonight with an 8-4 record and moving forward without Jeronne Maymon for the rest of the season, Martin delivered his plainly patented circumstances earlier this week.

"I wouldn't say (there's) pressure," UT's second-year men's basketball coach said. "We just need to win ball games."

Sixty-eight days from Selection Sunday, the Vols' road through conference play begins tonight against the team that dropped the hatchet on last year's NCAA tournament hopes. Ole Miss (11-2) is coming to Thompson-Boling Arena.

The last meeting went to overtime. The Rebels survived, 77-72, and filled in the final lines of UT's lacking NCAA tournament resume with a SEC tournament quarterfinal loss.

The Vols launched 34 3-pointers over Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy's zone defense that night in New Orleans. They made 11, but were out of their element all night.

Kennedy and the Rebels will look for a repeat tonight (TV: WVLT, 8 p.m.). At 29.1 percent, Tennessee's 3-point shooting ranks 307th nationally.

"I definitely expect them to zone us (because of) our history with the zone, not being able to shoot so well," UT point guard Trae Golden said Monday.

Improved play from Golden is UT's biggest issue entering conference play, now that the weightiest question of the season was answered Sunday when the school announced Maymon (knee) is redshirting the season.

Golden is 1-for-16 from the field in his past three games. He's committed six turnovers against just a pair of assists in the last two.

After masking a 1-for-9 shooting night against Western Carolina by making eight of 10 free throws to finish with 10 points, Golden hit a brick wall in an ensuing practice. Trying to fight through a screen, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound guard ricocheted off 6-foot-8, 270-pound forward Jarnell Stokes.

The resulting bruised left shoulder has limited Golden's play and playing time. He's seen 21 and 23 minutes in the two games since. Prior to the injury, he boasted a team-high 32.8 minutes per game.

Asked about Golden on Monday, Martin said, "I don't think it's bothering him." Posed a follow-up about the junior's confidence after recent appearances, Martin responded, "He is returning as a starter. He knows what to do out there, knows the system, knows when to attack and be aggressive. It is just a matter of doing it."

Later in the day, Golden said the shoulder bruise makes it "hard to lift my arm up in that area."

Golden will wear Kinesio tape on the shoulder for the foreseeable future. The tape provides support and stability to joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion.

Missing one game with a sprained knee after debuting with seven points against Xavier, freshman forward Derek Reese, another injured question mark, will return tonight.

Healthy or not, SEC play awaits the Vols.

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

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

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

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 36

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

UT has a good chance to beat Ole Miss, and as far as their season is concerned this is a must win..GBO!

born2ride writes:

Vols - 68
Black Bears - 49

wigmeister writes:

Ole Miss gonna bring the zone! Hope the boys have finally been taught how to beat one.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I don't know about a "must win" but it would be nice to get them back a bit. I guess they're all must wins really. I'd like to see some of these injured players at their best for a change. Maybe Golden knows what to do and maybe sometimes he's a step behind but we all have seen him perform well when he's on his game.

GO BIG ORANGE

1vavolfan writes:

Hurt shoulder or not, no excuse for Golden's poor defensive play. Against Memphis he was taken out not for his poor shooting but for his bad defense.

wsmows writes:

Do they play tonight,tonight or Wed. tonight?

volfan2002 writes:

We need to win all the home SEC games if were gonna make the tourney. I hope we play a great game Wednesday night.

Lock1865 writes:

Am I the only one who realizes this game isn't tonight? Seriously GoVolsXtra?!?! Do you really pay this guy to write a sports column?

Lock1865 writes:

in response to wsmows:

Do they play tonight,tonight or Wed. tonight?

Disregard my comment making myself the only one to realize this game wasn't tonight (if they post it). I had not seen your comment. At least one other person is paying attention.

abnermc writes:

anybody know what channel it is outside of Knoxville?

VictorKruger writes:

I've disagree strongly with the beginning of this article: "Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin only speaks in measured tones. Never too high, never too low." Brendan's obviously never tried to listen to CCM on the radio while driving home after a game. No matter how much I turn up the volume or adjust the bass/treble, I can't hear him. I think that only dogs can.

CoverOrange writes:

Give the ball to McRae and Richardson and tell 'em not to wait until the second half to start playing.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to abnermc:

anybody know what channel it is outside of Knoxville?

As far as I know ESPN3, I live in the Bristol area and thats how I'm watching.

hikerdude writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Hurt shoulder or not, no excuse for Golden's poor defensive play. Against Memphis he was taken out not for his poor shooting but for his bad defense.

Trae has never been quick enough to handle the good point guards. The preseason reports said that he had become quicker since last year, but I've seen no signs of that.

Basketvol writes:

in response to Lock1865:

Disregard my comment making myself the only one to realize this game wasn't tonight (if they post it). I had not seen your comment. At least one other person is paying attention.

This article is written for tomorrow's newspaper.

redskinvol1 writes:

Twelve SEC wins are needed to make the tourney.This probably needs to be one of the twelve.Go Vols!!

Brentwoodvol writes:

channel 30 WUXP in nashville market

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

I've disagree strongly with the beginning of this article: "Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin only speaks in measured tones. Never too high, never too low." Brendan's obviously never tried to listen to CCM on the radio while driving home after a game. No matter how much I turn up the volume or adjust the bass/treble, I can't hear him. I think that only dogs can.

True

jt45 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

Twelve SEC wins are needed to make the tourney.This probably needs to be one of the twelve.Go Vols!!

There is no set number of wins for making the tournament, these days RPI counts for alot more than just wins. Used to be 20 wins was a sure thing. Not anymore. At any rate 12 more wins will be a stretch unless they get better on the offense. I hope so, but I wouldnt bet on it with Maymon out.

wayne.kearney#1414428 writes:

Coach if you read any of this,just let them play ball. Keep on them about the Defense,but just let them RUN AND GUN ON THE OFFENSE END. Try to create your on version of 40 minutes of HELL.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

UT has a good chance to beat Ole Miss, and as far as their season is concerned this is a must win..GBO!

Agree..Got to win at home.Ole Miss has really played a soft schedule but they have some shooters for sure. Henderson shoots 40% on 3's. They have not seen a defense like ours this year and this is a team we need to be as physical as possible with.They play a lot with 3 guards and when they do they are small..Need this game bad cause Bama's on a losing streak with much better players than Ole miss and they will be fired up at home!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Agree..Got to win at home.Ole Miss has really played a soft schedule but they have some shooters for sure. Henderson shoots 40% on 3's. They have not seen a defense like ours this year and this is a team we need to be as physical as possible with.They play a lot with 3 guards and when they do they are small..Need this game bad cause Bama's on a losing streak with much better players than Ole miss and they will be fired up at home!

No doubt, bammer will be ready for UT when they arrive down South..They have underachieved so far this season, but will be a handful at home..Ut can't afford to go into the bammer game game 0&1 in SEC play..

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to abnermc:

anybody know what channel it is outside of Knoxville?

on EPB in Chattanooga, the game is on #306--The CW

dcap8424 writes:

in response to wayne.kearney#1414428:

Coach if you read any of this,just let them play ball. Keep on them about the Defense,but just let them RUN AND GUN ON THE OFFENSE END. Try to create your on version of 40 minutes of HELL.

Yeah, this is where the coach gets his best advice....

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Hurt shoulder or not, no excuse for Golden's poor defensive play. Against Memphis he was taken out not for his poor shooting but for his bad defense.

Keeping up with Joe Jackson is no easy task.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to abnermc:

anybody know what channel it is outside of Knoxville?

On the SEC Network

http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-rel...

Hope that helps

johnlg00 writes:

in response to wsmows:

Do they play tonight,tonight or Wed. tonight?

These articles are written for the next day's paper. We just get to see them early. Look at the time stamp under the writer's name at the top of the article. If it has an afternoon or evening time, since KNS is a morning paper, then you know it is for the NEXT day's paper.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jt45:

There is no set number of wins for making the tournament, these days RPI counts for alot more than just wins. Used to be 20 wins was a sure thing. Not anymore. At any rate 12 more wins will be a stretch unless they get better on the offense. I hope so, but I wouldnt bet on it with Maymon out.

Well, they did score 52 points in the second half against Memphis, so that shows they CAN score when the right guys are shooting and their shots are falling. Ole Miss has a couple of real swatters inside and they play a tough zone, but I still hope the Vols don't settle for too many threes. I hope they try to push the pace a little more so they can score before the defense gets set up. I don't like the matchups in this game for the Vols. They will need to be on their game to win this one. Good thing it is at home.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So, are you saying they should just quit now and save themselves the embarrassment? Don't be such a turkey...Oops! Too late!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Agree..Got to win at home.Ole Miss has really played a soft schedule but they have some shooters for sure. Henderson shoots 40% on 3's. They have not seen a defense like ours this year and this is a team we need to be as physical as possible with.They play a lot with 3 guards and when they do they are small..Need this game bad cause Bama's on a losing streak with much better players than Ole miss and they will be fired up at home!

Bama hung in there pretty good most of the game against Mizzou last night. They could beat the Vols. So could Ole Miss. This team has very little margin for error, and I am more worried about them because Trey is not his old self these days. Need Jordan and Josh to stay hot, need to own the boards, and take care of the ball. Those things are necessary no matter who they are playing.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

How 'bout NOW, coach...feeling any pressure now??????

claiborneh writes:

Boring, boring, boring brand of basketball. Bad shooting. Poor ball handling and passing. Quiet crowds. Stands empty. Cuonzo is boring personality. Negative stirs will start. This team is no where close to a tourney team.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Please bring Bruce back.

CCM would be a great assistant....I want Bruce back.

claiborneh writes:

August 23, 2014. This is the date Bruce Pearl's show cause ends. This season will year two off Bruce's probation. Bruce Pearl will be needing his pool man again the summer of 2014 when he hits the recruiting trail for the Tennessee and fires up the fanbase again

VolGrad writes:

OK, there IS officially "pressure" now. At least there should be after tonight's performance.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolGrad:

OK, there IS officially "pressure" now. At least there should be after tonight's performance.

Yep, the Vols put themselves in a deep hole last night. As the old saying goes, pressure creates diamonds and bursts pipes; we should see pretty soon whether the Vols are proto-diamonds or rusty pipes.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features