Cuonzo Martin expects 'lots of Lopez' in Trae Golden's absence

Tennessee guard Brandon Lopez (24) and guard Armani Moore (4) celebrate after the Vols' 58-57 win over Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Tennessee won 58-57 over Vanderbilt. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Brandon Lopez (24) and guard Armani Moore (4) celebrate after the Vols' 58-57 win over Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Tennessee won 58-57 over Vanderbilt. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

(ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)
Tennessee guard Trae Golden is helped off the court during the first half against Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena on Tuesday.

Photo by Adam Brimer

(ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL) Tennessee guard Trae Golden is helped off the court during the first half against Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena on Tuesday.

Cuonzo Martin talks about his team's personal growth

Cuonzo Martin speaks to the Big Orange Tipoff Club

Cuonzo Martin’s rain-soaked Wednesday afternoon started with a discourse, but didn’t end with a diagnosis.

After a noon speech to the Big Orange TipOff Club, the Tennessee men’s basketball coach had hoped to learn the extent of junior point guard Trae Golden’s strained right hamstring.

Instead, Golden only underwent a MRI, forcing Martin and the Vols to wait until today for results.

Golden is doubtful for Saturday’s game at Arkansas.

The injury occurred late in the first half of Tuesday’s 58-57 win over Vanderbilt. Crashing into a gathering of big men in the lane, Golden came up lame, immediately reaching for his leg. After hobbling to the bench, he was promptly ushered into the locker room.

In Golden’s absence, walk-on point guard Brandon Lopez played 10 crucial second-half minutes. The sophomore hadn’t played in five games. Unfazed, he had three assists and didn’t commit a turnover.

Martin praised him Wednesday, noting Lopez barely gets live action in practices, let alone games.

“For him to come into that game without a lot of reps under his belt was just tremendous to see,” he said.

Asked how he’ll handle Golden’s absence, Martin said “Lots of Lopez.”

Freshman Armani Moore, who has seen time at point guard, barely played in Tuesday’s second half, likely a result of him struggling defensively against Vandy’s Princeton-style offense. He’ll likely see additional playing time against Arkansas (12-7, 3-3 SEC).

During his speech to the TipOff Club, Martin focused on the Vols (11-8, 3-4) coming together as a team, his job as “a molder of young men,” and his players’ handling of their own hype.

Martin noted that a “high school basketball coach I really respect” called him Wednesday morning, sharing his thoughts on the game.

“He said it really seems like the team is developing a bond among each other,” Martin recounted. “That meant a lot to me. That’s what you want to see.”

Martin explained that the level of fan support at Tennessee — a program ranked in the top five nationally in attendance each of the last seven years — has its shades of good and bad. The support, he said, is the staple of the program. The downside, though, is when players get lost in the praise.

“Then you have some struggles and all the sudden, that Twitter account isn’t so friendly anymore,” Martin quipped.

The ill effects are hard to miss on the court.

“I see some of our guys, I don’t want to say any names, but I see some guys and they grow, their minutes grow, and all the sudden they change and become individuals,” Martin said. “Then they lose sight of who they were moving forward. Then all the sudden they have struggles, and that brings them back down.”

Before fielding 20 minutes of questions from UT fans, Martin ended his 10-minute opening statement by saying, “The thing I tell our guys, anytime I think they’re getting off-kilter is, ‘Remember, they didn’t come to see you play, they came to see the University of Tennessee.’ ”

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

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Comments » 52

CoverOrange writes:

Hammys take a long time to heal. And just when you think you are all back and good, wham, the hammy strikes again.

underthehill writes:

I would rather see Lopez play the point as Golden..win or lose..

volcycle writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Hammys take a long time to heal. And just when you think you are all back and good, wham, the hammy strikes again.

Agreed....Tennessee is still trying to recover from our Hammy... ;-)

iowavol writes:

Glad to see this. 1) team work - absolutely necessary. 2) the comments from fans matter. Positive comments help, negative comments hurt. Think about how negative comments from a report who has an audience affects them. JA needs to be silenced.

Caspian writes:

in response to underthehill:

I would rather see Lopez play the point as Golden..win or lose..

I prefer Lopez, too. Golden seems to struggle mightily, but just can't seem to improve. It's almost predictable. Golden can't find an open feed, drives into the teeth of the defense, then has the ball stripped or blocked. Or throws up an impossible shot with no chance of going in. I'll take Lopez anytime. He seems to have a better court awareness and makes better decisions.

ktownddy writes:

Lopez barely gets minutes even in practice yet he's our backup point guard. That's impressive coach...

8inarow writes:

Gators schooling SC in TitleTown.

pcorange writes:

Love Coach Zo's last line of that statement above. It would serve all athletes well to practice a little more humility.

pcorange writes:

in response to 8inarow:

Gators schooling SC in TitleTown.

Gators roundball looking really good this year. Unfortunately, you still suck.

1vavolfan writes:

At least we know what we get with Lopez, hate to say it but UT may be better without Trey until he gets his head straight. Lopez will hustle and play defense, he won't be a liability on the defensive end like Golden.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Caspian:

I prefer Lopez, too. Golden seems to struggle mightily, but just can't seem to improve. It's almost predictable. Golden can't find an open feed, drives into the teeth of the defense, then has the ball stripped or blocked. Or throws up an impossible shot with no chance of going in. I'll take Lopez anytime. He seems to have a better court awareness and makes better decisions.

You guys are funny. You are willing to throw away everything Golden has done from last year and early this year because he has had a series of bad games. I Like Lopez nice kid but if he was really decent he would be playing big time minutes with the void of ball handlers on this team. Fact is he can't score and its hard for him to defend at his height. Lets hope Goldens injury is not to serious and he is back soon.

Ironcity writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

At least we know what we get with Lopez, hate to say it but UT may be better without Trey until he gets his head straight. Lopez will hustle and play defense, he won't be a liability on the defensive end like Golden.

Are you serious? Did you see the last play last night. Lopez man blew right by him and missed a bunny. Golden is average on defense but Lopez is worse then Golden. If he wasn't he would have been playing all the time.

GR82BaTennesseeVOL writes:

in response to Ironcity:

You guys are funny. You are willing to throw away everything Golden has done from last year and early this year because he has had a series of bad games. I Like Lopez nice kid but if he was really decent he would be playing big time minutes with the void of ball handlers on this team. Fact is he can't score and its hard for him to defend at his height. Lets hope Goldens injury is not to serious and he is back soon.

Actually, it is you, sir, who is QUITE funny. If only you knew what you don't know...

Fact is, Brandon Lopez would regularly score 30+ or 40+ during his junior & senior years at Austin-East. Obviously that is against high school defenses, but that's still making the orange ball go through the orange hoop A LOT.

Also, if you have ever actually gone to a game and have watched the warm-up, he almost never misses, especially during the 3-point warmups.

What you don't know is that scoring is not what Coach Martin has asked him to do. If you REALLY watch the game, you can see that he is passing up open shots that he made a dozen times in the warm up because he's doing HIS JOB (distribute the ball to the designated play-makers).

The interesting thing to see will be this: given Lopez's soon-to-be-increased-minutes, will Coach Martin also increase his role and allow Brandon to take some shots? If so, I think you may soon find out that you were simply ignorant and incorrect in your assessment that "he can't score."

GR82BaTennesseeVOL writes:

BTW, despite my support for Brandon Lopez, I still fully support Golden & hope he recovers soon. Great player and also a great kid. I've run into him a couple of times downtown, and he's always super polite & just seems like a genuinely nice guy.

I agree with Ironcity that Golden's just had a series of bad games (prior to his own injury, I think a lot of that has had to do with the absence of his good buddy & fellow great player Maymon) and is fully capable of pulling well out of that slump.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

Something tells me you wear black dress socks and sandals at the beach.
Sheesh, get over yourself.

wilk58 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

Talk about mouthy, You got it man!

underthehill writes:

in response to GR82BaTennesseeVOL:

Actually, it is you, sir, who is QUITE funny. If only you knew what you don't know...

Fact is, Brandon Lopez would regularly score 30+ or 40+ during his junior & senior years at Austin-East. Obviously that is against high school defenses, but that's still making the orange ball go through the orange hoop A LOT.

Also, if you have ever actually gone to a game and have watched the warm-up, he almost never misses, especially during the 3-point warmups.

What you don't know is that scoring is not what Coach Martin has asked him to do. If you REALLY watch the game, you can see that he is passing up open shots that he made a dozen times in the warm up because he's doing HIS JOB (distribute the ball to the designated play-makers).

The interesting thing to see will be this: given Lopez's soon-to-be-increased-minutes, will Coach Martin also increase his role and allow Brandon to take some shots? If so, I think you may soon find out that you were simply ignorant and incorrect in your assessment that "he can't score."

Golden has proved many times he is an excellent 3 point shooter in pressure situations..he has not proven in pressure situatons he is the ball handler UT needs at point..I think both Lopez and Golden should be on the floor at crunch time..

Smokey91 writes:

Keep in mind the play that Golden got hurt on. He was going all out for a loose ball and took a hard tumble into the seats. I never had fault with his effort, but I also always thought that Lopez deserved more playing time. A few games back, even Golden said that Lopez is the unsung hero of the team. Get well Golden and Lopez, take advantage of this opportunity and show the world you belong at center stage. We need good play from the point guard position.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

You guys are funny. You are willing to throw away everything Golden has done from last year and early this year because he has had a series of bad games. I Like Lopez nice kid but if he was really decent he would be playing big time minutes with the void of ball handlers on this team. Fact is he can't score and its hard for him to defend at his height. Lets hope Goldens injury is not to serious and he is back soon.

Agree..Golden is usually good for 10PPG and still can hit a nice floater in the lane.The few times Ive seen Lopez drive to the basket he got trapped or his shot gets swatted into the seats..I might be more of a believer if Lopez ever puts an open shot in the basket..The Hogs play hard and fast on defense and we will be seeing first hand what an asset Trae is at Ford..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to GR82BaTennesseeVOL:

Actually, it is you, sir, who is QUITE funny. If only you knew what you don't know...

Fact is, Brandon Lopez would regularly score 30+ or 40+ during his junior & senior years at Austin-East. Obviously that is against high school defenses, but that's still making the orange ball go through the orange hoop A LOT.

Also, if you have ever actually gone to a game and have watched the warm-up, he almost never misses, especially during the 3-point warmups.

What you don't know is that scoring is not what Coach Martin has asked him to do. If you REALLY watch the game, you can see that he is passing up open shots that he made a dozen times in the warm up because he's doing HIS JOB (distribute the ball to the designated play-makers).

The interesting thing to see will be this: given Lopez's soon-to-be-increased-minutes, will Coach Martin also increase his role and allow Brandon to take some shots? If so, I think you may soon find out that you were simply ignorant and incorrect in your assessment that "he can't score."

Very interesting comment and I sure hope your right..We could sure use some 3 pointers..Seems to me Martin would see the same thing you are seeing and give Lopez the green light..God knows it never stopped Edwards from entering the game thinking he's Kobe and immediately launching shoots..I remember a game Edwards played 8 minutes and took 7 shoots

hikerdude writes:

in response to underthehill:

I would rather see Lopez play the point as Golden..win or lose..

You are kidding, right?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

Hate much?

keowee3718#379181 writes:

in response to GR82BaTennesseeVOL:

Actually, it is you, sir, who is QUITE funny. If only you knew what you don't know...

Fact is, Brandon Lopez would regularly score 30+ or 40+ during his junior & senior years at Austin-East. Obviously that is against high school defenses, but that's still making the orange ball go through the orange hoop A LOT.

Also, if you have ever actually gone to a game and have watched the warm-up, he almost never misses, especially during the 3-point warmups.

What you don't know is that scoring is not what Coach Martin has asked him to do. If you REALLY watch the game, you can see that he is passing up open shots that he made a dozen times in the warm up because he's doing HIS JOB (distribute the ball to the designated play-makers).

The interesting thing to see will be this: given Lopez's soon-to-be-increased-minutes, will Coach Martin also increase his role and allow Brandon to take some shots? If so, I think you may soon find out that you were simply ignorant and incorrect in your assessment that "he can't score."

Did you actually use high school stats in your defense?? Really, because high school basketball in Knoxville is such a hotbed. Ironcity has it correct. While Golden is struggling (seems mental), he is still THE better option over Lopez. Lopez is decent as the backup getting 10-12 minutes. They need to stop having Jordan or Josh play the point.

Golden is currently 4th in the league in assists this year and is 2nd in the SEC in career assists (active). He is also 8th in Assist/turnover ratio.

Personally, I think he just needs to run over to the Psychology Dept in between classes and get his head right. It is easily fixable. UT needs him to be a 15 pt/5 assist man. He has PROVEN he can do that.

And NO, I am not a comedian.

underthehill writes:

in response to hikerdude:

You are kidding, right?

Could be wrong but I think Pearl recruited Golden to be a Chris Loften type shooter..I think Pearl saw Golden as being an excellent 3 point shooter..I think Pearl had it right..

1vavolfan writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

So its up to you instead of coach Martin to decide who "non UT" people are and what they are supposed to look like? Sounds like you are just threatened by young black men. I have heard nothing but rave reviews from the players about Nicodemus. I am sure the players would prefer him to some middle aged nerdy white guy like you recommend.

lomas98 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

You guys are funny. You are willing to throw away everything Golden has done from last year and early this year because he has had a series of bad games. I Like Lopez nice kid but if he was really decent he would be playing big time minutes with the void of ball handlers on this team. Fact is he can't score and its hard for him to defend at his height. Lets hope Goldens injury is not to serious and he is back soon.

Agreed. There is a reason Lopez hasn't logged many minutes even when Golden was struggling. He is simply a walkon pg. Yes, he played well Tuesday and had some good assists to find the open guy. The sample size on him is not big enough to say that he is better than Trae. Trae has had almost 3 seasons here and while he drives me crazy most of the time and struggles with quick guards, he is still a better option long term than Lopez. We will certainly find out how good Lopez can handle full court pressure on Saturday. He did have some lazy passes on Tuesday he got away with. Most TN fans are quick to judge a player on a half of game whether they play good or bad.

PHAT_VOL writes:

No one wants to hear waite till next year, But next year is shaping up very well.

GO VOLS!!

ccantrell#227456 writes:

We are in trouble. Beat the worst team in conference at home by 1 point. Maybe we make the NIT, but it's been an ugly season to this point. Hard to get enthused about this team.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to volcycle:

Agreed....Tennessee is still trying to recover from our Hammy... ;-)

Hah!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to volcycle:

Agreed....Tennessee is still trying to recover from our Hammy... ;-)

We pulled a hammy and had a Hart attack.

RememberWhen writes:

yet another sign of this staff's recruiting ineptness...a walk-on point guard will start. 'nuff said....start dusting off the curtains!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Smokey91:

Keep in mind the play that Golden got hurt on. He was going all out for a loose ball and took a hard tumble into the seats. I never had fault with his effort, but I also always thought that Lopez deserved more playing time. A few games back, even Golden said that Lopez is the unsung hero of the team. Get well Golden and Lopez, take advantage of this opportunity and show the world you belong at center stage. We need good play from the point guard position.

That wasn't the play he got hurt on. He went up for a rebound in traffic and came down lame.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

yet another sign of this staff's recruiting ineptness...a walk-on point guard will start. 'nuff said....start dusting off the curtains!

Where does it say Lopez will start? I'll bet that Lopez plays no more than 10 minutes, unless he is lighting it up then it might be as much as but no more than 15.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to Ironcity:

You guys are funny. You are willing to throw away everything Golden has done from last year and early this year because he has had a series of bad games. I Like Lopez nice kid but if he was really decent he would be playing big time minutes with the void of ball handlers on this team. Fact is he can't score and its hard for him to defend at his height. Lets hope Goldens injury is not to serious and he is back soon.

From the sound of you, Lopez shouldn't even be on the team. Give him a chance to play. According to CCM, he hasn't even gotten much time in practice.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

yet another sign of this staff's recruiting ineptness...a walk-on point guard will start. 'nuff said....start dusting off the curtains!

Excellent point considering CCM has had several recruiting classes brought in. Seriously? Do the math. Even Pearl didn't address the point guard position before being dismissed. CCM has only so many schollies to hand out.The incoming class this fall is only his second. The point guard position urgently needs to be addressed. He knows this.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

No one wants to hear waite till next year, But next year is shaping up very well.

GO VOLS!!

I'm excited about next year.(lord willing)

We'll be good. But I'm also excited about the next game. I love this year's team and how it's growing. Sitting out will probably give Golden some time to think out his problems some. It'll maybe help Lopez earn a scholly. I hope. I hope he's good enough. He seems to handle the ball well but we also need the point defense...all this enemy encroachment on our territory in the lane.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

At least we know what we get with Lopez, hate to say it but UT may be better without Trey until he gets his head straight. Lopez will hustle and play defense, he won't be a liability on the defensive end like Golden.

It's all about players understanding roles and playing within themselves. Golden has always been torn between his instincts to score and his role as a facilitator. He has done both well at times, but it's hard for him to know at a given moment which role to emphasize. Lopez knows he's not a scorer, so if he isn't taking care of the ball and getting it where it needs to be, he doesn't HAVE a role. As you suggest, he is also quick enough to stay in front of most opposing PGs on the defensive end. Being short, there is always a risk of taller guards shooting over him or taking him into the post, but I once heard a great coach at a clinic say that it is harder for a taller player to score over a smaller one who is in good position than it is to score against a taller one who can't stay in front of you. Make no mistake, losing Golden for however long is NOT a good thing, but Lopez can minimize the effects of that loss if he does what he goes out there to do and doesn't try to do too much.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Are you serious? Did you see the last play last night. Lopez man blew right by him and missed a bunny. Golden is average on defense but Lopez is worse then Golden. If he wasn't he would have been playing all the time.

Well, it looked to me like Lopez got screened on that play. Vandy was right to set up the last play for Johnson, so they set screens to get him open. The Vol defending the screener should have stepped out to make Johnson at least change direction. The screener could have then rolled toward the basket for a pass from Johnson, but any time you can make a man do something different than what he wants to do, there is always a chance for a mistake.

It is hard for a walk-on to crack a lineup in any role. Even if Lopez had torn up everybody in practice, there is an ingrained tendency in coaches to play the scholarship guys over the walk-ons unless they simply have no alternative. Well, now they have no alternative. It does no good NOW to say that they SHOULD have had an alternative, they can only make the best of what they've got. I think Lopez can stay in front of anybody one-on-one, but everybody needs help if they are getting screened, and if he can just take care of the ball himself, they can get through this.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

It's all about players understanding roles and playing within themselves. Golden has always been torn between his instincts to score and his role as a facilitator. He has done both well at times, but it's hard for him to know at a given moment which role to emphasize. Lopez knows he's not a scorer, so if he isn't taking care of the ball and getting it where it needs to be, he doesn't HAVE a role. As you suggest, he is also quick enough to stay in front of most opposing PGs on the defensive end. Being short, there is always a risk of taller guards shooting over him or taking him into the post, but I once heard a great coach at a clinic say that it is harder for a taller player to score over a smaller one who is in good position than it is to score against a taller one who can't stay in front of you. Make no mistake, losing Golden for however long is NOT a good thing, but Lopez can minimize the effects of that loss if he does what he goes out there to do and doesn't try to do too much.

Losing Golden is not a good thing..to put Golden in a position where he struggles is not a good thing when he may be the outstanding 3 point shooter this team needs..

dcap8424 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Are you serious? Did you see the last play last night. Lopez man blew right by him and missed a bunny. Golden is average on defense but Lopez is worse then Golden. If he wasn't he would have been playing all the time.

Incorrect sir. Lopez is better on defense than Golden. His height limits him, but he is MUCH quicker than Golden. Golden plays because he can score. If he's not scoring, I don't see any reason for him to be out there. 4 pts and 2 assists stat lines for a supposed starting SEC point guard? No thank you.

Not saying Lopez is the answer, but maybe he's the better alternative while Golden struggles bum hamstring or not. Not sure Lopez can play with some of the better league teams, but he'll be fine until we run into Kentucky.

Ironcity writes:

in response to GR82BaTennesseeVOL:

Actually, it is you, sir, who is QUITE funny. If only you knew what you don't know...

Fact is, Brandon Lopez would regularly score 30+ or 40+ during his junior & senior years at Austin-East. Obviously that is against high school defenses, but that's still making the orange ball go through the orange hoop A LOT.

Also, if you have ever actually gone to a game and have watched the warm-up, he almost never misses, especially during the 3-point warmups.

What you don't know is that scoring is not what Coach Martin has asked him to do. If you REALLY watch the game, you can see that he is passing up open shots that he made a dozen times in the warm up because he's doing HIS JOB (distribute the ball to the designated play-makers).

The interesting thing to see will be this: given Lopez's soon-to-be-increased-minutes, will Coach Martin also increase his role and allow Brandon to take some shots? If so, I think you may soon find out that you were simply ignorant and incorrect in your assessment that "he can't score."

Lopez average mid 20s in high school like almost every other player. He hits wide open looks in practice like most other players. Don't get me wrong, I like the kid wish he would have played more up to this point. Though I often disagree with Martins rotation, I would have to think he sees something every day in practice that tells him this kid should not play.

I saw Vandy seek him out at crunch time and take it to the rim on him with ease and success. I am not willing to give up on Golden for a kid that hasn't received playing time on a team starving for average PG play.

Lets see how he does against Arky, god chance they are going to press from beginning to the end. It will be a good opportunity to see how he does.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to underthehill:

Could be wrong but I think Pearl recruited Golden to be a Chris Loften type shooter..I think Pearl saw Golden as being an excellent 3 point shooter..I think Pearl had it right..

If only Pearl had let him play.

CoverOrange writes:

Why does everyone keep saying Lopez is short? He is listed as 6-1, okay, yeah, they always stretch the tape on every player, so maybe he is 5-11. But Golden is listed as 6-1, so even with no stretch of the tape he is no more than 2 inches taller. The bigger deal is the 25-30 lbs Lopez gives up.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

With all due respect, madam, I don't think that many on this site care much about the coaches' appearance. If the head coach and his assistants can help this team win, they can wear mohawks or mullets, have toenail fungus, or have Howard Hughes' fingernails, for that matter.

Basketvol writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

yet another sign of this staff's recruiting ineptness...a walk-on point guard will start. 'nuff said....start dusting off the curtains!

That won't be necessary. Pretty good crowd at the Vandy game with plenty of people sitting in the upper deck. I don't think they would have been able to see the game with a curtain in the way.

mikkim writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Nobody wants to hear a bunch of mouthy 19-or-20-somethings mouth off about "payback" in the SEC,

even when the mouthy guy's team can really issue payback. Clearly this Vol team cannot issue payback to anybody but losers at this point.

UT basketball needs help to find its way, at this point. Martin is obviously a man of great compassion and an overcomer, personally; but leading a nationally successful athletics program takes much, much more than that.

Certainly, for instance, his assistant coaches leave a lot to be desired, including his strength coach who desses like he is going to a bar in a seedy part of town...and who has a hair-do that clearly is at odds with the type of image that Universities need to project.

Big$$$ donors do not give to fund glow-in-the-dark dressers or haircuts that look like they were done with a weed eater. Professional attire and appearance standards need to be shown to Martin and his people.

A guy who never should have been hired in the first place---an individual who reportedly posed nude on his own website and was of work when hired---needs help choosing clothes and hairstyles that provide the kind of image needed by UT.

Martin's had fired a top, nationally respected, Strength and Conditioning coach to hire this replacemenet. Reports are that the S&C coach thought some of Martin's ideas were not up to SEC level training, and showed disrespect because of it. (Martin is another who had come from a directional school to national power UT, like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and new football coach Butch Jones.)

So lack of a base of high level contacts is a problem that frames part of Martin's difficulties at UT. The SouthEast Missouris of the world do not turn out many Elite-8 level graduates, coaches and alumni---unless, of course, Jimmy Cheek is Chancellor and Mike Hamilton or Dave Hart are making decisions.

Historically UT wants and seeks to maintain a look and atmosphere of classic (classy?) appearance, progressive but solidly anchored values and atletics teams that are consistent winners.

Obviously Martin needs help in saying "no" to non-UT type people, since his choice for coaching S&C had worked previously, before losing his job, at Martin's alma mater, Purdue.
Maybe Martin had no other contacts to call to identify a S&C contact that could win at big-time levels. But there is a reason that the guy was not working---maybe more than one reason.

He needs to shape up his appearance or ship out to some other websit than UT's.

And for a coach whose predecessor took multiple-teams in a row to the Sweet-16, to tell a booster group that he was getting advice form a high school coach shows how far UT Sports have fallen.

And the fact that nobody in that booster group questioned it publicly shows how numb UT boosters have become, after more than one-half a decade of failures and incredibly wretched leadership in most sports and overall.

If you took the sheet off your head you may be able to think more clearly.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Why does everyone keep saying Lopez is short? He is listed as 6-1, okay, yeah, they always stretch the tape on every player, so maybe he is 5-11. But Golden is listed as 6-1, so even with no stretch of the tape he is no more than 2 inches taller. The bigger deal is the 25-30 lbs Lopez gives up.

Exactly. Golden looks as much like a football running back or safety as he does a basketball player. That is why it is such a mystery to me that he has always seemed to want to glide through the air instead of bulling his way into the lane using the main advantage he has over most other guards, even or perhaps especially the taller ones.

RememberWhen writes:

in response to sly_stone99#434111:

Excellent point considering CCM has had several recruiting classes brought in. Seriously? Do the math. Even Pearl didn't address the point guard position before being dismissed. CCM has only so many schollies to hand out.The incoming class this fall is only his second. The point guard position urgently needs to be addressed. He knows this.

are you really that ignorant? Pearl went and got Bobby Maze and then went to an Elite Eight finishing 1 bucket from a Final Four. He had no more "schollies to hand out" than Martin, yet he found a way to make the tourney EVERY year including his first when he took over a sub-.500 team. This will be Martin's THIRD class and it's not like the cupboard was bare when he got here. All an intelligent fan has to do is compare the pedigree's of Martin's recruits so far to those Pearl brought in the first two years and it's no surprise at all that this team is pitiful! Basketball turnarounds do NOT take time if the guy running the show knows what he's doing. TN fans may not like BP any more, and I definitely don't like what he did to get fired, but the simple fact is he spun this program around in ONE year and Martin has it heading the wrong way just as fast. Hart's hands are a bit tied given the money situation but he'd better not wait too long or he'll be hanging curtains and watching old videos of what TN basketball really can be with the right guy!

Basketvol writes:

in response to RememberWhen:

are you really that ignorant? Pearl went and got Bobby Maze and then went to an Elite Eight finishing 1 bucket from a Final Four. He had no more "schollies to hand out" than Martin, yet he found a way to make the tourney EVERY year including his first when he took over a sub-.500 team. This will be Martin's THIRD class and it's not like the cupboard was bare when he got here. All an intelligent fan has to do is compare the pedigree's of Martin's recruits so far to those Pearl brought in the first two years and it's no surprise at all that this team is pitiful! Basketball turnarounds do NOT take time if the guy running the show knows what he's doing. TN fans may not like BP any more, and I definitely don't like what he did to get fired, but the simple fact is he spun this program around in ONE year and Martin has it heading the wrong way just as fast. Hart's hands are a bit tied given the money situation but he'd better not wait too long or he'll be hanging curtains and watching old videos of what TN basketball really can be with the right guy!

"All an intelligent fan has to do is compare the pedigree's of Martin's recruits so far to those Pearl brought in the first two years"

The problem with this argument is it's not a fair comparison. It also underestimates the potential of the current players and recruits.

Cuonzo Martin came to UT after we had just been slapped around by the NCAA and our coach had just been fired. During EVERY game played the prior season, the infamous BBQ timeline was discussed in-depth by commentators, and often in a way that was harmful to the reputation of the university. It was constant negative publicity for the university and especially the basketball program. Under these conditions, how is it fair to compare the recruiting of these two coaches this early?

Bruce Pearl did some great things for Tennessee basketball. I enjoyed watching him coach and I didn't like the way he was fired. He's gone. Time to stop looking back and start looking forward. And no, curtains won't be necessary.

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