Josh Richardson: 'It's payback week' for Vols

Vols have chance to avenge early SEC losses

Tennessee forward Kenny Hall (20), forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) walk back onto the court after a time out in the game against Mississippi State at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Tennessee won 72-57 over Mississippi State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee forward Kenny Hall (20), forward Jarnell Stokes (5) and guard Josh Richardson (1) walk back onto the court after a time out in the game against Mississippi State at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Tennessee won 72-57 over Mississippi State. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Cuonzo Martin on playing guard at Purdue and the play of his guards

Coinciding with a Tennessee media relations representative hollering, "Last question," sophomore guard Josh Richardson succinctly summed it all up with three salient words.

"It's payback week."

Ole Miss is owed some.

Its lead guard, brash and brazen gunslinger Marshall Henderson, is owed some.

Alabama could get a taste, too.

Thanks to faltering through a 1-3 start in SEC play, Tennessee's men's basketball team has work to do and early league losses to avenge.

The road to redemption begins today at Ole Miss' Tad Smith Coliseum (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.) before running east back to Knoxville for a rematch with Alabama.

It was only 15 days ago when the Rebels walked into Thompson-Boling Arena and scorched the Vols in a 92-74 statement-making performance. Along the way, Henderson, the 2012 National Junior College Player of the Year from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, emphatically introduced himself to the SEC.

In the conference opener for each team, the 6-foot-2 junior shooting guard poured in 32 points, including 22 in the second half. He didn't do so quietly. Henderson danced, gestured and jawed as orange-clad UT fans sat red with anger.

Asked Tuesday if his Vols remembered the display, Tennessee coach Cu

onzo Martin quickly fired, "I hope so."

If there were ever a week to make Henderson and the Rebels pay, this is it. Sitting atop the SEC, No. 23 Ole Miss (15-2, 4-0) is ranked for the first time since 2010.

Henderson is as streaky as he is showy, but he backs up his look-at-me exploits with a league-best 18.9 points per game and 64 made 3-pointers. Just last week, he canned a 35-foot buzzer-beater to force overtime in an eventual win at Vanderbilt. Then he scored a team-high 16 in a victory over Arkansas.

"We feel like if we stop him from scoring the ball, we won't have to worry about his mouth or any of his antics," said UT sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes. "We just have to stop him."

That duty will fall upon Richardson, the Vols' top perimeter defender. Asked about Henderson, Richardson praised his ability to penetrate the lane as much as his long-range shooting.

When Henderson drives and draws contact, he follows it up by shooting 85.9 percent from the free-throw line, tops in the SEC.

Meanwhile, Stokes will do battle with Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner, one of the top rebounding duos in the country combining for 18.7 per game.

In the teams' Jan. 9 meeting, the Rebels drew 44 free-throw attempts, outscoring UT 38-17 from the line, and notched 25 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.

"They're very physical if you're not ready to rebound on every possessions," Stokes said.

But that's not all Holloway and Buckner offer. The former leads the team with 30 steals and averages 15.8 points per game. The latter scores 10.4 points an outing and ranks second in the SEC with 49 blocked shots.

All those offensive weapons on coach Andy Kennedy's roster are loaded by talented guards Jarvis Summers and Nick Williams. Add it together with a few serviceable role players and the Rebels average 82.4 points, third-most in the nation.

Payback won't come cheap for Tennessee.

If anything, Henderson will do all he can to assure of it.

"We expect it this time," Stokes said. "We expect him to run his mouth. He's definitely put more pressure on himself by doing a lot talking, being one of the guys people don't like in the SEC. Guys really want to defend him."

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

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Comments » 59

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I'm thinking UT needs to do and not talk.hehe

Do the talking I guess. BUT picture yourself working hard and fighting(defensively).

We can beat Ole Miss by playing hard at both ends of the court. Don't worry. The coach will let you sit if you get tired.

GO BIG ORANGE. Beat Ole Miss

underthehill writes:

The Vols are capable of winning both these games..they cannot let Ole Miss dominate them physically as they did on their home court ..and there is no excuse for letting Henderson free to shoot the three..Richardson and/or Moore should be able to handle him..the game most likely will be determined by the how the bigs handle the physical play around the basket...if Hall can't handle it..get Yemi in early..

VolInIndy writes:

If henderson escapes Richardson and drives the lane, Yemi needs to greet him with a clean "hard" foul to the mouth. It is obvious that his mouth spoils his value by the lack of offers he had despite the talent. Rebel fans better hope him and Kennedy don't take any cabs together. Don't bother to give me any bear mascot or grammer corrections either

8inarow writes:

in response to VolInIndy:

If henderson escapes Richardson and drives the lane, Yemi needs to greet him with a clean "hard" foul to the mouth. It is obvious that his mouth spoils his value by the lack of offers he had despite the talent. Rebel fans better hope him and Kennedy don't take any cabs together. Don't bother to give me any bear mascot or grammer corrections either

I think you mean "grammar". That was not a "grammar" error, it was a spelling error.

born2ride writes:

You never know what to expect from Martin & the Vols. We could win both games or get blown out.

Go Big Orange.

Beat the Black Bears at the Tad Pad,

VolInIndy writes:

in response to 8inarow:

I think you mean "grammar". That was not a "grammar" error, it was a spelling error.

Thanks for the correction. While my spelling is somewhat lacking, I knew grammar was correct but my grandmother died 40 years ago today and I must have had her on my mind. Grammer is what I called her as a toddler.

VolGrad writes:

Just beat the Rebels! Go Vols!!!

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I'm thinking UT needs to do and not talk.hehe

Do the talking I guess. BUT picture yourself working hard and fighting(defensively).

We can beat Ole Miss by playing hard at both ends of the court. Don't worry. The coach will let you sit if you get tired.

GO BIG ORANGE. Beat Ole Miss

Well said.

Telling people who beat the stuffing out of you---outclassed you in some areas, not just beat you---that this is "PAYBACK" time, is the same kind of mouthiness that Ole Miss used here, except on a smaller scale.

jumboliyah writes:

Blah blah blah....heard it all before...a guy who shot an airball free throw with the game in reach...AT HOME...shouldn't be running his mouth! PERIOD!

Sir_Spanky writes:

Not a good time to be flappin. Defense, boxing out and not playing out of control seems like a better idea.

bigdisbig writes:

Talk is cheap. You couldn't handle Ole Miss at home with an embarassing loss? What makes you think you can stop them at their place?

Ole Miss will school the under achieving under coached Vols once again with a packed house taunting the Vols.

It might have been a close game had the Vols kept their mouth shut but.......

Ole Miss by 30.

brod writes:

the way this team shoots i wouldn't be talking smack to anybody, much less the second best team in the league.

eduardo writes:

ole mess by 25!

arkyvol writes:

payback? or take it and like it?

HazardKYVol writes:

It's usually a bad sign when these guys talk.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to underthehill:

The Vols are capable of winning both these games..they cannot let Ole Miss dominate them physically as they did on their home court ..and there is no excuse for letting Henderson free to shoot the three..Richardson and/or Moore should be able to handle him..the game most likely will be determined by the how the bigs handle the physical play around the basket...if Hall can't handle it..get Yemi in early..

totally agree..Buckner and Holloway put 28 points on us last time..Hall has been pretty bad on defense lately while Yemi has been very solid..Martin can be somewhat hard headed on these things though

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

There have been upsets all over the place this week!! Ole Miss is due to have a bad game; happens all the time. The conf. schedule has done us no favors so far..We play the #2 and #3 twice so far while the Gators are busy beating up on GA and LSU followed by MSU

albert63 writes:

not gonna happen

albert63 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

There have been upsets all over the place this week!! Ole Miss is due to have a bad game; happens all the time. The conf. schedule has done us no favors so far..We play the #2 and #3 twice so far while the Gators are busy beating up on GA and LSU followed by MSU

Gators beat A&M on the raod, and stomped Missouri on the road. Thay are scary good!

albert63 writes:

in response to albert63:

Gators beat A&M on the raod, and stomped Missouri on the road. Thay are scary good!

Hope they are healthy end of February.

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

There have been upsets all over the place this week!! Ole Miss is due to have a bad game; happens all the time. The conf. schedule has done us no favors so far..We play the #2 and #3 twice so far while the Gators are busy beating up on GA and LSU followed by MSU

UF still has Mizzou on the road, UK twice, then a showdown with Ole Miss....

voloffaith writes:

in response to albert63:

Hope they are healthy end of February.

A & M ? chomper fan stating desirable outcome wished for huh? Of course none of what you spoke of was ON TOPIC.......don't worry dream police care on a case by case basis.

On topic, Vols will not win unless they are on 100% and Black Bears are off 99.9%

hikerdude writes:

Boy, I'd love to win this one. It is going to be tough though. We can't defend good guards and Jarnell can't score against guys taller than he is.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to notfunanymore:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say this is the reason not to eat donuts as you can see how grumpy you people are in the morning!
Bwhahaha
Bones never lie.

underthehill writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

There have been upsets all over the place this week!! Ole Miss is due to have a bad game; happens all the time. The conf. schedule has done us no favors so far..We play the #2 and #3 twice so far while the Gators are busy beating up on GA and LSU followed by MSU

Ole Miss was very fortunate to beat Vandy in OT..UT is capable of winning this game..

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

Good grief, just stfu and win, and don't lose 3-4 more in a row before you win another one. Payback my arse.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

Talk is cheap. You couldn't handle Ole Miss at home with an embarassing loss? What makes you think you can stop them at their place?

Ole Miss will school the under achieving under coached Vols once again with a packed house taunting the Vols.

It might have been a close game had the Vols kept their mouth shut but.......

Ole Miss by 30.

We think the Vols will do better if only because there have been very few consistent teams in college bball this season. Ole Miss played about as well as they can play against the Vols while the Vols played about as bad as they can play. I don't expect either team to play the same way they did last time. One thing to keep in mind is that it has been a LONG time since Ole Miss was nationally ranked. They aren't used to being the hunted instead of the underdog hunters. That kind of sudden prominence is a burden some teams can't handle at first. If Ole Miss comes out overconfident and the Vols don't wilt in the early minutes, this game can and should be much closer than many think.

johnlg00 writes:

I do agree with the posters who said that the Vols need to play more and talk less. All of Henderson's yapping wouldn't have meant a thing if he hadn't put up 32 on the Vols. Richardson can talk all he wants, but if he can't both slow Henderson down a bit and make some plays on offense himself, it won't matter. This would be a GREAT time for Stokes to remind everybody what the fuss was about when he first came to UT.

usafvol writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you and 8inarow have waaaay too much in common. I'm thinking you guys share a toothbrush and lots more! ;)

dcap8424 writes:

in response to jumboliyah:

Blah blah blah....heard it all before...a guy who shot an airball free throw with the game in reach...AT HOME...shouldn't be running his mouth! PERIOD!

No, he airballed a free throw in Kentucky. You might be thinking about the dunk he missed against Memphis.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

...says the little chickenshart troll as he hides behind his keyboard, safely tucked under his moms wing in her basement. PATHETIC juvenile.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

Whatever.

Teams can't win on the road in the SEC without capable point guard play. UT proved it against Bama, KY, and will probably do it tonight against Ole Miss.

Martin is catching up with Dooley in a hurry on being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

I'm confused...
with 142 teams in the SEC why is UT playing home and homes with Ole Miss and Bama??

UK I can see...VU.....UF.

vol98champ writes:

Four straight turnovers. I told my wife at the half that the final score would be 65-50 Ole Miss. I sure hope I'm wrong.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

do the refs know they're allowed to call a foul on somebody wearing a white uniform?

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

unbelievable the BS foul calls against UT...oh, wait, UT is an unranked team in the SEC playing a ranked team...

never changes.

lomas98 writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

do the refs know they're allowed to call a foul on somebody wearing a white uniform?

Things usually have a way of evening out. My biggest question has been do the guys in orange know they only get 2 steps. More traveling violations than at a little league game.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

WOW...Can't believe what I'm seeing. C'mon VOLS!!

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

They might just win this thing!

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

It's done. Games over. 7 straight Rebel points.

Trae Golden....is terrible.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

WTF!! Will this team EVER learn how to shoot ?

VolGrad writes:

Fail.

tgiles1944#654264 writes:

Once again no inside game - no big man - no defense - no victory - Learn how to recruit 6'10" - 6' 11" or 7'

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

WCS Vols lose again.

(woulda coulda shoulda).

CoverOrange writes:

Two words regarding Henderson - Moving Pick

They call that and half his points come off the board.

JonGrudensAgent writes:

It's been pushing a decade since we have seen a team that is this inept and mentally soft.

Three games in a row on the road they have choked and squandered away with turnovers, missed free throws and looking completely lost in the final minutes on offense.

The entire team, including Cuonzo, gets the deer in the headlights look when any game is close and it is crunch time.

Folded like a house of cards again. And people thought this team could have an NCAA tournament run in them.

What a joke.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to lomas98:

Things usually have a way of evening out. My biggest question has been do the guys in orange know they only get 2 steps. More traveling violations than at a little league game.

Do the refs know they are allowed two steps? McRae gets a lot travel calls because his feet are quicker than his brain.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Two words regarding Henderson - Moving Pick

They call that and half his points come off the board.

He also travels.

Add that many of the screens for him are WAY illegal.

murrayvol writes:

Guess that payback will have to wait.

JimmyJoe writes:

I think Henderson question Josh Richardsons manhood... After those to missed free throws at the end there...I'd say it's a legitimate question. Josh I believe I'd just keep my mouth shut little man...you haven't earned the right to talk.

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