Cuonzo Martin contacts SEC on how Jarnell Stokes is officiated

Martin tells SEC to 'allow him to be big'

Mississippi's Reginald Buckner dunks against Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes (5) during their NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Oxford, Miss. Mississippi won 62-56. (AP Photo/The Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)  MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT

Photo by Bruce Newman

Mississippi's Reginald Buckner dunks against Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes (5) during their NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Oxford, Miss. Mississippi won 62-56. (AP Photo/The Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT

Walking off the court in Oxford, Miss., on Thursday night, Cuonzo Martin's orange tie gasped for breath, strangled in its owner's balled-up fist.

Normally expressionless, win or lose, the Tennessee men's basketball coach looked incensed. He had peeled off his tie in the game's final minutes, a rare outburst.

Anger festered overnight before Martin arrived back at his Thompson-Boling Arena office at 7 a.m. on Friday. He brushed off a lack of sleep after returning to Knoxville around 1 a.m.

Then he watched the film of UT's 62-56 loss to Ole Miss.

"I don't think any of the officials are going out saying, 'OK, I'm going to make bad calls on (Jarnell Stokes),' " Martin told the News Sentinel by phone Friday. "I don't think that's ever the case. I just think that as a physical presence, there's a certain way he has to be allowed to play. If it's a foul, it's a foul, on my team or the other team. Looking at those fouls last night, I don't think they were the best calls on Jarnell."

A season-long Catch-22 is now No. 1 on the agenda.

Stokes, the sophomore power forward, is a physical force. Opponents ping-pong off of him. With size, though, comes whistles. Martin thinks many have been unfairly blown this year, often times coming early in the game, neutralizing Stokes' effectiveness.

According to Martin, he addressed the issue with Gerald Boudreaux, the SEC's coordinator of men's basketball officials, following a loss to Kentucky two weeks ago. In that game, Stokes was saddled with foul trouble. He played only 15 minutes.

"In this particular case, the guy has to be allowed to play basketball," Martin said.

His point, more than anything, is that it's not Stokes' fault that he's a 6-foot-8, 270-pound fire hydrant.

"He's big, allow him to be big," Martin said.

Thursday's Ole Miss game film revealed soft calls that defused Stokes' firepower, per Martin.

He finished the game with six points and four rebounds. A fifth foul ended the night after 26 minutes played. Two of those fouls came early, forcing Stokes to "be passive because he doesn't want to foul," Martin said.

"Now he's not the player he could be and should be," he added.

Usually placid as a pond, Martin simmered in Oxford, just as he did in Lexington against Kentucky. In both games he was noticeably more vehement toward the referees than normal.

In the days following the 75-65 loss to Kentucky, he said he tried to get whistled for a technical foul.

On Friday, in regards to the Ole Miss loss, he said, "I'm sitting there thinking this is a tough deal because he's battling for position and both of these teams are physical teams and I thought three of those fouls on Jarnell were very questionable calls.

"I don't know, maybe I should have gotten a tech or two," he continued. "You know I'm sitting there saying it to the refs all night. The guy can't play. I'm not saying treat elite players differently because a foul is a foul. But he's a physical presence battling around the rim."

In 153 career games as a head coach at Missouri State and Tennessee, Martin has never received a technical foul.

Given Martin's intent to again contact Boudreaux on Friday, it will be interesting to see how the meeting between the Vols and Alabama today (TV: ESPN2, 2 p.m.) is officiated at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Regardless of the refs, Tennessee (9-8,1-4 SEC) needs a win. The Vols have dropped five of their last six games, including a narrow 68-65 loss to the Tide (12-6, 4-1) in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 12.

"None of (the officiating complaints) take away from the fact that we had 21 turnovers and missed key free throws (against Ole Miss)," Martin said. "We have to play better."

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

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Comments » 113

Munsterlander writes:

Not a good sign.

CoverOrange writes:

He singles out only the fouls on Stokes as questionable? That's a losing argument.

chaos001 writes:

It does seem that Stokes gets two quick fouls in the first few minutes of each of the last couple games. The first one he got last night was his fault because he pushed off, but the second one that happened right after it was total BS. The kid does have a target on his back for fouls.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Facts are facts...Ole Miss had 5 fouls vs 16 for TN with 14 minutes left in the game in Knoxville. It is obvious so don't complain. The KY game was just as bad if not worse.

underthehill writes:

About time..did you also question how Cal was allowed to call a foul that the official did not call until he went to the monitor as Cal instructed him to do..and this was reviewable but the basket Noel made at Vandy after the shot clock expired was not reviewable..and you are right ..touch fouls are being called on Stokes and not on opposing teams..I'd definitely like to see you get a T when the game is not being called the same both ways..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Why CCM didn't hold the refs accountable last night is beyond me?? Any coach worth his salt would get T'd up once in a while..Has he even been T'd one time while coaching at UT??

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor not pointing to just one situation or one team or even one player but the SEC refs are inconsistent both sides of the ball. Witch Doctor say they need to go back to school and a couple released. Witch Doctor say THIS is what hurts all the SEC teams in the tourney.
Bones never lie.

underthehill writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Why CCM didn't hold the refs accountable last night is beyond me?? Any coach worth his salt would get T'd up once in a while..Has he even been T'd one time while coaching at UT??

The article says he has never had a T as head coach at Mo State and/or UT..UT once had a player named A W Davis who told a story about the only T he ever had..the official in the game was a guy whose last name was Deal..and folks called him Dirty Deal..A W was too respectful for that and called him Mr. Deal..Mr. Deal T'd him up..A W asked why..Mr. Deal replied..my name is Dirty Deal don't ever call me Mr. Deal again...

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Why CCM didn't hold the refs accountable last night is beyond me?? Any coach worth his salt would get T'd up once in a while..Has he even been T'd one time while coaching at UT??

Witch Doctor agree, its not about character, its about changing or controlling the tempo OR calling out a ref consistently making bad calls...they are human too, sometime you got to get into their heads. Witch Doctor say its strategy.
Bones never lie.

Ironcity writes:

The problem doesn't lie with the refs they lie with the coach. He has shown that he is a patsy. By saying nothing when all coaches scream bloody murder indicates he agrees with the refs. Thus they look for the next foul from the big bully (Stokes). The season for all purposes is over. Its to late to change the dynamics. The refs already have a bulls eye on Stokes and that wont come off until next season. It didn't have to be that way but coach let it be that way. Its a shame it has taken this long for Martin to see what everyone in the world has seen. The irony here is because of the way they are calling Stokes they are laying off of Hall. Suddenly he non longer gets the ticky tack calls he always got before. I hope Martin has learned his lesson, if you want to play in a big boys league you better make sure the refs respect you or your going to get abused. Right now coach Martin is getting abused. Lets hope that changes soon for UT and coach Martins sake.

thevoice writes:

Same ole story. Get a point guard and practice free throws, then we'll talk.

knoxbr27 writes:

it was the worst officiated game so far this season...however UT still had opportunity after opportunity to win

thevoice writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Why CCM didn't hold the refs accountable last night is beyond me?? Any coach worth his salt would get T'd up once in a while..Has he even been T'd one time while coaching at UT??

Are you reading these articles before posting? It said Martin hasn't received a TF in 153 games.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Ironcity:

The problem doesn't lie with the refs they lie with the coach. He has shown that he is a patsy. By saying nothing when all coaches scream bloody murder indicates he agrees with the refs. Thus they look for the next foul from the big bully (Stokes). The season for all purposes is over. Its to late to change the dynamics. The refs already have a bulls eye on Stokes and that wont come off until next season. It didn't have to be that way but coach let it be that way. Its a shame it has taken this long for Martin to see what everyone in the world has seen. The irony here is because of the way they are calling Stokes they are laying off of Hall. Suddenly he non longer gets the ticky tack calls he always got before. I hope Martin has learned his lesson, if you want to play in a big boys league you better make sure the refs respect you or your going to get abused. Right now coach Martin is getting abused. Lets hope that changes soon for UT and coach Martins sake.

Exactly, do you think Pat Summitt would have 8 NCAA championships if she didn't get in the refs face once in a while? He is allowing the refs (by sitting idly by) to dictate tempo and force teams to dial back aggressive defensive schemes to avoid foul trouble.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor not pointing to just one situation or one team or even one player but the SEC refs are inconsistent both sides of the ball. Witch Doctor say they need to go back to school and a couple released. Witch Doctor say THIS is what hurts all the SEC teams in the tourney.
Bones never lie.

You are wise...refs are inconsistent. I had an uncle who was a ref for high school football. We were playing a team where his kids went to school and he through 15 flags and called back 2 TD's in one game. He is not my uncle anymore.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to thevoice:

Are you reading these articles before posting? It said Martin hasn't received a TF in 153 games.

Actually I read the headline and posted my disgust with CCM's wimpy coaching style..Is that a problem ??

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor agree, its not about character, its about changing or controlling the tempo OR calling out a ref consistently making bad calls...they are human too, sometime you got to get into their heads. Witch Doctor say its strategy.
Bones never lie.

I can't imagine what coach Knight would have done to those officials..

northfan writes:

Stokes getting ticky/tack fouls is the least of the problems. Assist's 9 to 15, 3 PTS 3 @20 % to 7@ 35 %, and steals 3 to 11. Let's learn how to pass, shoot, and play "full court" D.

thevoice writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Actually I read the headline and posted my disgust with CCM's wimpy coaching style..Is that a problem ??

No, it's not. I'm disappointed too!! It's Friday, and I've already had a couple. Sorry for flying off. Getting tired of Martin's coaching style too.

elbtenn#502977 writes:

Bruce is still living in Knoxvegas---right?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to golfman1975:

You are wise...refs are inconsistent. I had an uncle who was a ref for high school football. We were playing a team where his kids went to school and he through 15 flags and called back 2 TD's in one game. He is not my uncle anymore.

Witch Doctor say Death and sports tear apart more families..lol. Witch Doctor say the SEC always has and still does has the rep of whomever is ahead in the polls gets the calls for exposure and revenue.
Bones never lie.
*Bipolarbear..even Knight was getting a little angst at the inconsistency BOTH ways and HE is a PRO at spotting it. lol

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

in response to Ironcity:

The problem doesn't lie with the refs they lie with the coach. He has shown that he is a patsy. By saying nothing when all coaches scream bloody murder indicates he agrees with the refs. Thus they look for the next foul from the big bully (Stokes). The season for all purposes is over. Its to late to change the dynamics. The refs already have a bulls eye on Stokes and that wont come off until next season. It didn't have to be that way but coach let it be that way. Its a shame it has taken this long for Martin to see what everyone in the world has seen. The irony here is because of the way they are calling Stokes they are laying off of Hall. Suddenly he non longer gets the ticky tack calls he always got before. I hope Martin has learned his lesson, if you want to play in a big boys league you better make sure the refs respect you or your going to get abused. Right now coach Martin is getting abused. Lets hope that changes soon for UT and coach Martins sake.

I tend to agree. His passive attitude has set the standard for how the guys in stripes make alot of these ticky tak calls. How many charging calls went against Tennessee to start the 2nd half? And they just weren't there. I kept waiting for him to go nuts- but nothing. Just walk up and down in front of the bench and straighten the tie. Nobody likes a whiney coach but show a little emotion just to let the guys know your heads in the game.

SEC__Headgear writes:

Slive is in the house

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Actually I read the headline and posted my disgust with CCM's wimpy coaching style..Is that a problem ??

Not a problem sir...but if you are going to ask a question it might serve you well to read the article and see your answer and not have your intelligence called in question. I find it safer to read then comment.

1vavolfan writes:

Never seen Martin "work" an official before. Sounds like much of the criticism that has been on these boards, the guy doesn't even know how to get a technical. You have to stay on officials at any level of basketball, as John Ward used to say there are often "makeup calls" that coaches get but it takes more than staring at them or taking off your tie.

notorange writes:

Tried to get a tech called on him but couldn't??? Never heard that said before..

SEC__Headgear writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Not a problem sir...but if you are going to ask a question it might serve you well to read the article and see your answer and not have your intelligence called in question. I find it safer to read then comment.

Agree with vol4gzus. How can one comment on an issue without at least knowing the content of the rendering everyone else read? Don't waste our time with your stupidity. This a forum for intolectials! Didnt you go to coledge?

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Facts are facts...Ole Miss had 5 fouls vs 16 for TN with 14 minutes left in the game in Knoxville. It is obvious so don't complain. The KY game was just as bad if not worse.

Tray got called for a foul for just running beside an old Miss player.... watch the play on DVR in slow motion he never touched and never tried to touch the player
the official should be suspended for at least 5 games without pay.... and maybe his checking account should be checked for large deposit a money from nowhere

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Not a problem sir...but if you are going to ask a question it might serve you well to read the article and see your answer and not have your intelligence called in question. I find it safer to read then comment.

I was responding to voice, not you..Thx for the advice, NOT!

IBleedOrange444 writes:

It is much worse than just questionable calls on Jarnell. The refs stick it to the Vols just about every game. I don't know what it is, but it seemed to start sometime around the second to last season for Bruce Pearl and it has gotten worse ever since. SEC officials allow UT's opponents to play much more physically than UT. I can't even count how many times a UT player has been blatently hacked in the lane and there's no whistle only to go down to the other end of the court and immediately get called for a b.s. touch foul. I really do believe that college basketball has become a very dirty sport in which the power brokers control which teams will have success and which one won't.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to ronburgundy:

I tend to agree. His passive attitude has set the standard for how the guys in stripes make alot of these ticky tak calls. How many charging calls went against Tennessee to start the 2nd half? And they just weren't there. I kept waiting for him to go nuts- but nothing. Just walk up and down in front of the bench and straighten the tie. Nobody likes a whiney coach but show a little emotion just to let the guys know your heads in the game.

agreed

and you right Counzo , maybe you should earn a vocal T occationally with a ref rather than writing a written whine to the league

Stokes is slow and a bit clumbsy and often referred to as a crashing "bull in a china shop" and generally is getting what he deserves ie fouls------but voice your objection to the refs Counzo if you think that hes getting bad calls--------we all getting annoyed with the passivity cause his visual low expectation and non-vocalness translated to low standards on the floor cause hes too easy to please

I for once want to hear him complaining about all the deficiencies rather talkin it up after every game as if to think we are blind and that talk will change the perception of this with the fans-------I dont want to hear him act like we deserve a medal for "giving ourselfs a chance to win" cause thats still an L with that chance or without

And Counso, sorry but Stokes has not shown anything to warrant the "elite player" tag

kyvol98 writes:

Based on how some of these crews control the game, it makes me wonder if they have $$$ on it.

But, as for the article, CCM is 100% correct, on the officiating and the TO / FT's

mtnbikrtn writes:

in response to golfman1975:

You are wise...refs are inconsistent. I had an uncle who was a ref for high school football. We were playing a team where his kids went to school and he through 15 flags and called back 2 TD's in one game. He is not my uncle anymore.

Was it the cheater Gary Darden?

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Oh and by the way, Martin is wrong when he says, "None of (the officiating complaints) take away from the fact that we had 21 turnovers". I bet UT has lead the league for a few years now in ref induced turnovers, i.e. phantom travels, 3 second "violations", errant block/charge calls, other bogus offensive fouls, steals or blocks that were the direct result of egregiously bad no-calls, etc...

Those all go down as turnovers. Very few come off clean steals or balls thrown into the seats.

FanNotSheep writes:

I don't think it's a problem that Martin is a class act. Hopefully his players will emulate his style. He is calling the situation to the league's attention and that is the way it should be handled. The SEC is not known for its basketball and needs to learn how to allow its star players to shine. Stokes has not had a great season but it is hard to make an impact when you spend so much time on the bench (or timid on the court) due to foul trouble.

I don't always agree with Martin but I am proud of the way he represents the University. Kentucky fans can say what they want to, but their coach -- as good as he is at recruiting and X's and O's -- has no class at all.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a really good point, but I also think that with no other inside scoring threat Stokes is usually sandwiched when he gets the ball. He could also benefit from a Dane Bradshaw type point forward to dish the ball to him in exactly the right spot to set him up for a quick shot.

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I was responding to voice, not you..Thx for the advice, NOT!

Touchy aren't we all when semi-called on the carpet. You said,"Is that a problem?" Yes, to voice ,but your response was couched in statement of read title for article then posted. Of course, I'm sure you have NEVER responded to a comment POSTED between two other posters(if never then I sit corrected). The sarcasm at the end sometimes further defines those we post to. The ability to be humble and corrected speaks volumes as to the state of our pride level. Is it(pride) so demanding that everything is a win or lose proposition? Or more controlled where we don't feel violated or on the defensive if someone disagrees or calls into question a stance or position we have taken. Back To Coach Martin in a technical sense, if you will...

CoverOrange writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Touchy aren't we all when semi-called on the carpet. You said,"Is that a problem?" Yes, to voice ,but your response was couched in statement of read title for article then posted. Of course, I'm sure you have NEVER responded to a comment POSTED between two other posters(if never then I sit corrected). The sarcasm at the end sometimes further defines those we post to. The ability to be humble and corrected speaks volumes as to the state of our pride level. Is it(pride) so demanding that everything is a win or lose proposition? Or more controlled where we don't feel violated or on the defensive if someone disagrees or calls into question a stance or position we have taken. Back To Coach Martin in a technical sense, if you will...

How often do you fall off your high horse?

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, one good thing about Stokes having sophomore struggles: If Maymon's knee allows him to be as good next season as he was last year, and with the new guy coming in and Stokes gaining strength and experience, we could have a heck of a team in 2013-14.

If Stokes had progressed as much as I thought he would this season we might be losing him to the NBA. Martin needs to get Stokes into something this offseason that allows him to develop his skills. If we want to continue getting players of this caliber, we can't afford for him not to be successful -- here or at the next level.

born2ride writes:

Has Cuonzo Martin ever had a technical foul called on him?

I did not read the article or read the comments.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to chaos001:

It does seem that Stokes gets two quick fouls in the first few minutes of each of the last couple games. The first one he got last night was his fault because he pushed off, but the second one that happened right after it was total BS. The kid does have a target on his back for fouls.

You are on target but it was the first foul that was a true fantom foul. Stokes was clearly playing in front of the offensive player, had come around him and clearly established his position in front of him. The offensive player used his forearm ( and not in a way that should have been called a foul either) but the referee called a foul on Stokes. The entire two games against Ole Miss have been very poorly officiated from allowing the Miss players to body up on our guards in the open court to failing to call any charges on one end when the same play on the other end results in an offensive foul (charge) being called on the Vols, or calling the same play a charge on one end and a block on the other end. Yes make the free throws and much of this will go away maybe. Knowing some of the SEC officials, I can tell you that they like to make the call of least resistance. Right now we are not very good. When you are playing as poorly as we are you get few if any calls. The least resistant call favors the team favored to win. Watch games and see that when the game is finally decided the officials will then make calls favorable to the poor losing team that they have refused to make for the previous portion of the game. I hope Gerald Boudrex is man enought to be truthful with Martin, but more than likely he will take the company's position and really not give a rat's posterior about Martin, Stokes or UT. If you watch games closely you will often see the favored coach stand and talk with the officials, mostly complaining about something that is happening on both ends and causing the official to then begin to give him the benefit of calls. You really have to kiss arses to rise up the officiating ranks and I always believed that if you were an arse kisser you could not be a good official.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Touchy aren't we all when semi-called on the carpet. You said,"Is that a problem?" Yes, to voice ,but your response was couched in statement of read title for article then posted. Of course, I'm sure you have NEVER responded to a comment POSTED between two other posters(if never then I sit corrected). The sarcasm at the end sometimes further defines those we post to. The ability to be humble and corrected speaks volumes as to the state of our pride level. Is it(pride) so demanding that everything is a win or lose proposition? Or more controlled where we don't feel violated or on the defensive if someone disagrees or calls into question a stance or position we have taken. Back To Coach Martin in a technical sense, if you will...

So, where's the grace, hypocrite??

voloffaith writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

How often do you fall off your high horse?

Humbly speaking(notice I said WE in my post..so speaking to bivolar as well as myself and any others it might apply to )my Lil Pony is pint sized and yet even falling(OFTEN) off it is still humbling. The size of the horse doesn't determine the pride level...that is based on the heart.... However, I will apologize, since to you it came off as high & mighty, for my words being misunderstood. Anytime I type back to others I ask myself if I'm just as guilty of the same. Thus many/most times there is a we if broad brush is called for and I'm included. BTW The GREAT teacher THE HOLY SPIRIT is more than capable of taking me down and will as many notches as needed and whenever necessary...

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

So, where's the grace, hypocrite??

Your comment brings up a question...If I am a hypocrite for one to make that judgement don't they have to know my heart to really know that to call one that? Read my last post preceding this one and see I'm questioning myself which is obviously hard for one to discern in a posting....sorry for raining on the parade...moreso for causing angst...

pcorange writes:

Stokes needs to play under the basket without fouling. They can't change the rules for him alone. I hope these guys to turn it around and finish out strong, but the way they collapsed in the game last night doesn't bode well.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Your comment brings up a question...If I am a hypocrite for one to make that judgement don't they have to know my heart to really know that to call one that? Read my last post preceding this one and see I'm questioning myself which is obviously hard for one to discern in a posting....sorry for raining on the parade...moreso for causing angst...

I think you dishonor Jesus by using his name, also your opinions displayed are largely a public display of your true feelings.

8inarow writes:

I think Stokes needs to get rid of his lead-shoes. That is more his problem than the refs.

voloffaith writes:

never mind responding back...apologies to all offended who took my post as high ,holy roller...holier than thou....

:(:(

voloffaith writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think you dishonor Jesus by using his name, also your opinions displayed are largely a public display of your true feelings.

Thank you for honest assessment and calling out....

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Thank you for honest assessment and calling out....

Anytime..

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