Vols 'can't be passive' against Kentucky

KNOXVILLE — Coming off a 68-65 loss at Alabama and now riding a three-game losing streak, Tennessee faces a daunting test immediately on the horizon.

The Vols (8-6, 0-2 SEC) play at Kentucky (10-5, 1-1) on Tuesday night. They are 4-33 all-time at Rupp Arena and 16-86 all-time in Lexington.

“They have a great atmosphere – a tremendous atmosphere,” UT coach Cuonzo Martin said during his weekly media luncheon on Monday. “There and here in Knoxville are two of the best in the country.”

The Vols are 0-3 on the road this season with losses at Georgetown, Virginia and Alabama and 3-11 in road games under Martin.

Tennessee lost at UK 69-44 last year.

"You have to play the way you play,” Martin said. “You can’t be passive. … If you’re passive, it’s a long night."

On the SEC weekly teleconference prior to the luncheon, Kentucky coach John Calipari commented on the Vols saying, “(Jordan) McRae is really, really talented and obviously (Jarnell) Stokes is a beast. … I imagine they’re coming in here hyped up.”

Looking at a potential rebounding mismatch, Calipari admitted, “We’re going to have trouble. That’s one of the issues we’ll have to deal with.” The Cats were outrebounded 32-27 in a home loss to Texas A&M on Saturday and gave up 20 offensive rebounds in a narrow win at Vanderbilt last week.

The Wildcats, though, rank 31st in the country in scoring at 77.4 points per game.

“You can’t let those guys get easy buckets,” Martin said, when asked about slowing down Kentucky’s attack.

At 10-5, the Cats are off to their worst start since 2007-08.

Against Kentucky, Martin said point guard Trae Golden will again come off the bench for the second straight game. As it did at Alabama, UT’s starting lineup will consist of McRae, Stokes, Skylar McBee, Josh Richardson and Kenny Hall.

More coming online and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel.

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

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Comments » 58

BrassMonkey writes:

First. Just wait. They will be. It is going to be a slaughter. This team is trash like I have said from the start. Martin cannot coach. More interested in Team USA then he ever was in the Vols.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Hmmm I wonder why no one esle is posting on this beside myself.

Oh well. I think we can beat Kentucky when we get them here in Knoxville. At Kentucky??? It's hard to see it but we whooped Florida last year 2 TIMES!

KENVOL writes:

Here comes another loss.

smokeysal22 writes:

I have been a Vol fan since the days of Dyron Nix, I always goto the TN/KY game every year in TBA. This year I will not go, our BBall program is falling apart much like our football program. I cant stand to watch my beloved Vols get their arses handed to them again so I wont be watching the TN/KY game on TV for their game tomorrow either. I am sick of how the UT athletic Dept has handled our programs and I am sick of hearing that we will be better next year when Maymon comes back or even the ever popular, "our football team will compete for an SEC championship in 3-4 years". Coaches are required to recruit, coach up and to develop their players. Conzo has not done that thus far, Stokes is a lead foot who shoots FT worse than Shaq, Golden is soft, McBee is McMiss, but I do see some improvement (except for ballhandling) in Mcrae and Richardson. No NIT this year folks and no NCAA for "3-4 years". I want to see something positive but this 3 game losing streak is due to lack of defense (thought we were to hang our hat on that one) and poor execution and brickbuilding on offense. At least the LV are starting to gel now......

Snapshot writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Hmmm I wonder why no one esle is posting on this beside myself.

Oh well. I think we can beat Kentucky when we get them here in Knoxville. At Kentucky??? It's hard to see it but we whooped Florida last year 2 TIMES!

Tx. A&M just beat the mildcats in Rupp, so there is hope! But Tn. doesn't have anyone who can score 40 like Turner did.

By the way, where are you sevenT, haven't seen your comment on ky. latest loss...we are waiting.....

UKblue02 writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Tx. A&M just beat the mildcats in Rupp, so there is hope! But Tn. doesn't have anyone who can score 40 like Turner did.

By the way, where are you sevenT, haven't seen your comment on ky. latest loss...we are waiting.....

If i may answer your question snapshot, here it is in a nutshell, talented, but haven't accepted the fact that high school glory does not transition to college ball, Noel and Goodwin are the only two who seem to get that at this stage of the season.. There will be more lumps taken by us before the season is out...a work in progress.

underthehill writes:

I don't think starting McBee will work..hope I am wrong..also might have Yemi ready early to replace Hall..in spite of the record..Ky is talented and presented a strong challenge to highly ranked Louisville..hope Ky plays like they did against Vandy..but they were on the road for that one...don't look promising ..but it could happen..if UT plays their best and Ky don't ..would be a great win..

wigmeister writes:

Would love to see us beat Kentucky, but realty says it is not going to happen. Hope they can prove me wrong. Kentucky's semi-pro team, which masquerades as a college team, has gone down a few times already. But, I just don't think we have the horses to compete.

underthehill writes:

in response to UKblue02:

If i may answer your question snapshot, here it is in a nutshell, talented, but haven't accepted the fact that high school glory does not transition to college ball, Noel and Goodwin are the only two who seem to get that at this stage of the season.. There will be more lumps taken by us before the season is out...a work in progress.

A work in progress..but with the talent needed to make that progress..Cal is starting to get Noel and the other 7 footer on the floor at the same time..both have ability to guard all over the court and present a problem in the paint on offense and defense..I think the only chance UT has is to pressure the ball full court and create turnovers..if they can't do this ..it might be a long night...

born2ride writes:

If we can keep it under a 20 point loss we can get another moral victory for Coach Cuonzo Dooley.

tan007 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I don't think starting McBee will work..hope I am wrong..also might have Yemi ready early to replace Hall..in spite of the record..Ky is talented and presented a strong challenge to highly ranked Louisville..hope Ky plays like they did against Vandy..but they were on the road for that one...don't look promising ..but it could happen..if UT plays their best and Ky don't ..would be a great win..

I agree about McBee. He has been very disappointing this year. His shots are way off & a 3 is all he can attempt. He can't handle the ball & many times either gets trapped or get it stolen away. Usually winding up fouling. Last year I gave him credit for good defense but that is lackluster this year. I see other players that certainly should be starting over McBee.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

DOOMED! I tell you, DOOMED!!

RoadTrip writes:

This team has no identity and no instincts. Zo has been very inconsistent with his offensive sets and player substitution patterns.

Bad team, bad results.

westknoxrepub writes:

Well, Saturday we lost to a team who racked up home losses to Mercer and Tulane. . .do we really stand a chance against even a mediocre Kentucky team? Our fanbase will celebrate and NIT berth though, as evidence by last season, so we have a ways to go before this becomes a disappointing season.

UKblue02 writes:

in response to underthehill:

A work in progress..but with the talent needed to make that progress..Cal is starting to get Noel and the other 7 footer on the floor at the same time..both have ability to guard all over the court and present a problem in the paint on offense and defense..I think the only chance UT has is to pressure the ball full court and create turnovers..if they can't do this ..it might be a long night...

I honestly think it will be closer than anyone thinks, We have not put 2 halves of consistent ball together this season Vandy is a good example of that..score UK-46 Vols-42..LOL

D60 writes:

Best chance of winning......leave Clownzo at home

Lizardgrad89 writes:

You can beat Kentucky. After the narrow win at Vandy and the loss at home to TAMU, Big Blue Nation is in an ugly mood.

If you go out and take an early lead, the crowd will turn on the team. If you can get them booing their own, you will win. Their freshmen won't be able to handle it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to D60:

Best chance of winning......leave Clownzo at home

That's the best plan of attack I've heard..

Basketvol writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

First. Just wait. They will be. It is going to be a slaughter. This team is trash like I have said from the start. Martin cannot coach. More interested in Team USA then he ever was in the Vols.

This team is struggling, but they are not "trash." Also, it's "than" not "then" when you are making a comparison. Kentucky obviously has a huge home-court advantage but that doesn't make it a guaranteed "slaughter." I think it will be closer THAN you think, and UT might just pull off the upset.

Basketvol writes:

in response to underthehill:

A work in progress..but with the talent needed to make that progress..Cal is starting to get Noel and the other 7 footer on the floor at the same time..both have ability to guard all over the court and present a problem in the paint on offense and defense..I think the only chance UT has is to pressure the ball full court and create turnovers..if they can't do this ..it might be a long night...

"I think the only chance UT has is to pressure the ball full court and create turnovers."

I really wish they would do this more, especially when they are behind at the end of the game. I know this type of defensive play doesn't really meld with Coach Martin's conservative defensive philosophy, but it seems like there comes a time when full court pressure becomes necessary. I wonder how much they practice this?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Basketvol:

"I think the only chance UT has is to pressure the ball full court and create turnovers."

I really wish they would do this more, especially when they are behind at the end of the game. I know this type of defensive play doesn't really meld with Coach Martin's conservative defensive philosophy, but it seems like there comes a time when full court pressure becomes necessary. I wonder how much they practice this?

Who knows, the Vols may well try some pressure defense against UK. After all, they did play a few minutes of zone against Memphis, which most of us never thought we would see, so maybe CCM isn't as hide-bound as some seem to think. I don't see the Vols winning this one, but it could happen.

I was NOT pleased with UK's narrow escape against Vandy or that home-court beatdown by A&M. He hasn't had a lot of time to drive the lesson home that the Cats have to play hard and smart to win against ALL opponents, but Calapari will have those guys breathing fire Tuesday.

I agree with the other poster who said the Vols need to get out to a hot start and see how the young Cats handle it. After their poor play over the last week or so, they just might fold if they get down early. Also, bad as last year's loss at Rupp looked, Maymon had two fouls in the first two minutes and UK hit about their first ten shots. Not only is this UK team not as good as last year's, it is unlikely that UK will shoot that well out of the gate. It is, however, all too likely that Stokes will pick up two fouls in first two minutes, which will definitely not help the Vols.

As I said last week, the Vols could improve a fair amount and still lose to Bama and UK. Well, they did improve in some respects and lost narrowly to Bama. They might improve more and still lose to UK. However, there will be 15 SEC games after this one and the Vols could still win at least 10 of them. I'm not giving up on these guys yet.

KVCrockett writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

First. Just wait. They will be. It is going to be a slaughter. This team is trash like I have said from the start. Martin cannot coach. More interested in Team USA then he ever was in the Vols.

I remember a drink I used to like called BRASS MONKEY, it might leave you a little confused, but I still liked it.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

We know it'll be probably be the same ole' same ole'.

We're going into the kittie sand box so you know how that goes..........plus we have to deal with "I've got a big Mac on top of my head........Noel" and a loud mouth'Brass idiot" here serving as every Vol opponent's cheer leader. Tough odds dealing with the Big Mac plus the usual trolls here.

utvols420 writes:

negativity breeds negativity. I hate Vols fans sometimes :( Kentucky has lost 5 games. Obviously Calipari can't coach. One of our biggest and best players is out for the year. If Martin can't magically create a player just like him to take his place and pick up the slack then lets get rid of him. Idiots!!!

utvols420 writes:

in response to smokeysal22:

I have been a Vol fan since the days of Dyron Nix, I always goto the TN/KY game every year in TBA. This year I will not go, our BBall program is falling apart much like our football program. I cant stand to watch my beloved Vols get their arses handed to them again so I wont be watching the TN/KY game on TV for their game tomorrow either. I am sick of how the UT athletic Dept has handled our programs and I am sick of hearing that we will be better next year when Maymon comes back or even the ever popular, "our football team will compete for an SEC championship in 3-4 years". Coaches are required to recruit, coach up and to develop their players. Conzo has not done that thus far, Stokes is a lead foot who shoots FT worse than Shaq, Golden is soft, McBee is McMiss, but I do see some improvement (except for ballhandling) in Mcrae and Richardson. No NIT this year folks and no NCAA for "3-4 years". I want to see something positive but this 3 game losing streak is due to lack of defense (thought we were to hang our hat on that one) and poor execution and brickbuilding on offense. At least the LV are starting to gel now......

I have been a vols fan for a long time too and before Bruce Pearl we regularly got our "arses" handed to us. How did you manage before? How many times did you try to kill yourself because the vols were so horrible. Get a clue!!!

OklaVOL writes:

Coach Cal says we wil come in "hyped-up". This team? Never seen them "hyped-up" under CCM. No fire in him, no fire in his team.

utvols420 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

That's the best plan of attack I've heard..

So we should go with no coach? Is that really what you are saying? How many shots has Cuonzo missed? Idiots. Maybe leave McBrick at home. He can't guard anybody and he can't make shots. "pass it to me!! pass it to me!! ok here I'll pass it back." Both of you are idiots.

8inarow writes:

It pains me so to see Vols fans going after each other like this.....

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to utvols420:

So we should go with no coach? Is that really what you are saying? How many shots has Cuonzo missed? Idiots. Maybe leave McBrick at home. He can't guard anybody and he can't make shots. "pass it to me!! pass it to me!! ok here I'll pass it back." Both of you are idiots.

Who's decision is it to play McBee?? Just sayin'

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

This team has no identity and no instincts. Zo has been very inconsistent with his offensive sets and player substitution patterns.

Bad team, bad results.

His substituting is similar to Pearls in the early part of the game..Some of it seems to have no reasoning but Iam beginning to understand the subbing more. There is not one consistent player on this team except for Richardson..Martin is forced to look for 3 players with a hot hand and playing hard on defense..So we end up with a lot of guys shuffling in and out.He also doesn't have a problem pulling Stokes if he playing bad

SevenT writes:

It really doesn't matter, the average Tennessee Fan does not understand a skill game like Basketball. This is not a good Kentucky team and they will probably lose a lot more games this season but certainly not to this dump Vol program.

buzz29 writes:

You can't be passive, and you can't concentrate only on playing defense. If/when your defense breaks down, you've got to be able to ultimately outscore the other team. If that means matching and exceeding their style of offensive play, then so be it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

It really doesn't matter, the average Tennessee Fan does not understand a skill game like Basketball. This is not a good Kentucky team and they will probably lose a lot more games this season but certainly not to this dump Vol program.

Uhhh, bb is too complicated to understand??..You freakin' shoot a ball through a hoop and get 2 or 3 points for each shot made..Real difficult stuff there, DA!

maciste54 writes:

I'll be surprised if the Vols score more than 50.

Scoon writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

We know it'll be probably be the same ole' same ole'.

We're going into the kittie sand box so you know how that goes..........plus we have to deal with "I've got a big Mac on top of my head........Noel" and a loud mouth'Brass idiot" here serving as every Vol opponent's cheer leader. Tough odds dealing with the Big Mac plus the usual trolls here.

orange, deep within the kitty sand box is more pleasurable than you know ... "come on get happy" as Keith Partridge would say .. It's gonna be fun!! Rompin in Rupp! Be there!

Scoon writes:

in response to underthehill:

I don't think starting McBee will work..hope I am wrong..also might have Yemi ready early to replace Hall..in spite of the record..Ky is talented and presented a strong challenge to highly ranked Louisville..hope Ky plays like they did against Vandy..but they were on the road for that one...don't look promising ..but it could happen..if UT plays their best and Ky don't ..would be a great win..

uh... 'could' be .. not 'would' be

Cats could have another 'not their best' night (which we don't know what that is, yet); however, still doesn't mean your vols would win.

All I know is it is colder here than it is there, so maybe the increased chill factor will keep that fireball team of your's under rap in Rupp, tomorrow night.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to OrangeAndBlueWaffles88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's funny, weren't you just defending UF losses in the regular season as being meaningless..Just sayin'

Scoon writes:

in response to OrangeAndBlueWaffles88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Uh, I wouldn't be awavin my waffles to awfully high in the wind there, trollbait, as any of the three or more may just end up cleaning your clock there. Your gators haven't exactly been doing the greatest in the nation, themselves, either!! Know what I mean??

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Uhhh, bb is too complicated to understand??..You freakin' shoot a ball through a hoop and get 2 or 3 points for each shot made..Real difficult stuff there, DA!

Scoon writes:

in response to Lizardgrad89:

You can beat Kentucky. After the narrow win at Vandy and the loss at home to TAMU, Big Blue Nation is in an ugly mood.

If you go out and take an early lead, the crowd will turn on the team. If you can get them booing their own, you will win. Their freshmen won't be able to handle it.

Talking out your butt again as usual, I see. Listen lizardback. BBN don't turn on their own ... and the one that I'm am going to be seeing ugly here is how there's gonna be orange goop smeared all over shinny hardware inside of Rupp, tomorrow night.

rockypop writes:

Kentucky can be had. When was the last time they had to "get up" for Tennessee? Couple that with the fact that Tennessee is overdue for a breakout game. And, if they can't get pumped for UK, then they really are what everybody on this site says they are. I look for an unexpected close game - maybe not a win, but uncomfortably close for Kentucky, because right now, UK is playing at Alabama's level.

rbwtn writes:

AFTER 30 YEARS I DON'T CARE ANYMORE OH I'LL STICK WITH THE VOLS I WILL ALSO PULL FOR VANDY AND MEMPHIS. I'M TIRED OF FIRING THE COACH WHEN WE HAVE OUR FIRST #1 TEAM IN DECADES INSTEAD OF RIDING IT OUT. NOW LOOK WHERE WE ARE. KENTUCKY BY 25 AND IF THEY DON'T SHOW UP AND WE WIN GREAT!

Scoon writes:

in response to rockypop:

Kentucky can be had. When was the last time they had to "get up" for Tennessee? Couple that with the fact that Tennessee is overdue for a breakout game. And, if they can't get pumped for UK, then they really are what everybody on this site says they are. I look for an unexpected close game - maybe not a win, but uncomfortably close for Kentucky, because right now, UK is playing at Alabama's level.

"Kentucky can be had"? Hmm. All depends upon who's doing the "hadding", popyortop. And, Kentucky is not the one that has to do the getting up, either. You say Tee is overdue for a breakout game, well KY is the place for games and fun. And, "if they can't get pumped for UK" as you say ... nah ... impossible cause once they get around UK, they will get pumped! Adrenaline rushing like 'never' before to all parts of mind and body. But, if they really just couldn't get pumped for UK, then they just can't get pumped at all. And, Tee doesn't scare UK in the least, either, as UK just loves unexpected close-call games. Now, you got any other pearls of wisdom there, ole rockyhead??

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Scoon:

"Kentucky can be had"? Hmm. All depends upon who's doing the "hadding", popyortop. And, Kentucky is not the one that has to do the getting up, either. You say Tee is overdue for a breakout game, well KY is the place for games and fun. And, "if they can't get pumped for UK" as you say ... nah ... impossible cause once they get around UK, they will get pumped! Adrenaline rushing like 'never' before to all parts of mind and body. But, if they really just couldn't get pumped for UK, then they just can't get pumped at all. And, Tee doesn't scare UK in the least, either, as UK just loves unexpected close-call games. Now, you got any other pearls of wisdom there, ole rockyhead??

Ohhhh Wise one.

UT 56
UK 55 or so.

rockypop writes:

in response to Scoon:

"Kentucky can be had"? Hmm. All depends upon who's doing the "hadding", popyortop. And, Kentucky is not the one that has to do the getting up, either. You say Tee is overdue for a breakout game, well KY is the place for games and fun. And, "if they can't get pumped for UK" as you say ... nah ... impossible cause once they get around UK, they will get pumped! Adrenaline rushing like 'never' before to all parts of mind and body. But, if they really just couldn't get pumped for UK, then they just can't get pumped at all. And, Tee doesn't scare UK in the least, either, as UK just loves unexpected close-call games. Now, you got any other pearls of wisdom there, ole rockyhead??

Actually, I would love to respond, but your post is the most convoluted, unintelligible one I've seen here in quite a while. And, that's saying a lot. So, basically, I have no idea what you said, so I have no idea how to respond. Maybe, if you laid off the juice and tried again in the am, it would make more sense.

underthehill writes:

in response to Scoon:

uh... 'could' be .. not 'would' be

Cats could have another 'not their best' night (which we don't know what that is, yet); however, still doesn't mean your vols would win.

All I know is it is colder here than it is there, so maybe the increased chill factor will keep that fireball team of your's under rap in Rupp, tomorrow night.

It also smells worse up there..all the horse phooey is a health hazard ..look what it has done to you..the increased odor should not keep UT's fireball team under wraps (not rap)..

Basketvol writes:

in response to OrangeAndBlueWaffles88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We can only hope (and help by kicking some gator tail).

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to OrangeAndBlueWaffles88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was referring to the sweep at the hands of the Vols last season..You my friend said: Regular season means nothing, it's what happens in the NCAA tourney that matters..Starting to jar your memory??

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Look, UT's problem is that they are short on players, and some of these are playing hurt. Maymon is out and Golden and McBee have injuries. But, you have to play with what you have. The Vols have no margin for error now. Turnovers, free throws, 3-pointers, rebounds, everything, and I mean everything, has to go Tennessee's way, for them to beat a decent team. Turnovers and poor free-throw shooting beat them against Alabama. Again, no margin for error. Tomorrow night, they will have to be much better in all of these areas if they expect to play with the Cats.

Scoon writes:

in response to rockypop:

Actually, I would love to respond, but your post is the most convoluted, unintelligible one I've seen here in quite a while. And, that's saying a lot. So, basically, I have no idea what you said, so I have no idea how to respond. Maybe, if you laid off the juice and tried again in the am, it would make more sense.

Good, because it was probably too risqué for your tender, delicate ears, anyways ... uh, not 'pointy' ears ... just ears! Ciao.

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