Georgia had gameplan for limiting Jarnell Stokes

No room to operate for Stokes

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) shoots over Georgia guard Sherrard Brantley (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/The Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds)

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) shoots over Georgia guard Sherrard Brantley (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/The Athens Banner-Herald, AJ Reynolds)

The observation from Jarnell Stokes should be noted by upcoming foes.

“I think they had a good defensive gameplan against us,” Tennessee’s sophomore forward said.

He’d know. In Saturday’s 78-68 loss at Georgia, Stokes spent 31 frustration-filled minutes looking to make an offensive impact.

The search was fruitless.

Georgia coach Mark Fox pushed all his chips in Stokes’ direction. He sometimes sent two players to boxout UT’s big man. He other times used as many as three players to defend him. The Bulldogs were all-in on not allowing the Vols to run their four-guard motion offense through Stokes and kept him off the offensive glass, limiting him to two boards on that end.

Stokes finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting and earned only two free-throw attempts, his fewest since a late January meeting with Alabama. When Stokes did find himself with the ball, he was often 15 or 18 feet from the basket.

“Sometimes I just had to do that in order to get the ball,” he said. “Because it seems like sometimes when I’d seal (post defenders on the blocks), it was hard for them (teammates) to throw me the ball. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that just seemed like the only way I’d get it.”

The sagging, collapsing defense on Stokes was compounded by the Vols’ shooting deficiencies. Jordan McRae did his thing, scoring a career-high 35 points and hitting eight 3-pointers, but that was it. With the exception of McRae, UT’s guards combined to shoot 5-for-29 from the field.

Things only grew worse as jumpers drew iron.

“They did a good job of just packing it in the lane,” McRae said. “Every time we’d try to drive, we’d drive into a wall. There was nowhere to go. Especially for Jarnell. We were trying to get him touches, but they weren’t just sending two (players) at him — they were sending three.”

That not only limited Stokes’ touches in scoring position, but capped his offensive rebounding opportunities. In the two games prior to Saturday, he totaled 14 offensive rebounds.

“I think we have to come collectively as a group and rebound, not just me and another man,” Stokes said.

In neutralizing Stokes, Georgia outscored UT in the paint, 30-14.

Given the results, one must suspect Tennessee (17-11, 9-7 SEC) could see more of the same in its two final regular-season games at Auburn and against Missouri, as well as in next week’s SEC tournament.

Though Martin and his coaches can counter with a gameplan to free up Stokes, the onus will be on UT’s guards to reclaim their shooting touch. Running the offense through Stokes is the Vols’ starting point, not their finish line.

McRae McCooking: Coming off his blistering performance at Georgia, McRae is now averaging 29.8 points in his last four games, having made 20-of-32 3-pointers over the stretch.

Next up: Auburn is coming off a 62-55 home loss to Vanderbilt and is tied for last in the SEC at 3-13 and 9-20 overall. The Tigers average 64.3 points per game and rank 297th nationally in field-goal percentage at 40.5 percent.

What’s at stake: Saturday’s loss to Georgia added some red ink to UT’s NCAA tournament resume. It hasn’t been tossed in the trash quite yet, though.

As of Sunday, the Vols still resided in multiple mock brackets, including those from CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Palm includes Tennessee as an 11 seed, while Lunardi counts UT as one of the tournament’s “last four teams in.”

That said, the Vols know there is no wiggle room.

“We have to beat Auburn, we have to beat Missouri,” Stokes said.

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

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Comments » 40

JimmyJoe writes:

Golden... Golden is the key. If he plays like he played Saturday it doesn't matter what stokes does.

td writes:

If the Vols beat Auburn and Missouri plus win two in Nashville, they punch their ticket to the Dance. One maybe two losses buys the NIT. Three losses wins a Big Orange pumpkin and a trip to next year!

underthehill writes:

I think Martin can get this resolved..may be that Richardson and Moore need to take the open shots when the defender sags on Stokes..

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Fox did the only thing he could do and played that sissy boy zone.. Same thing half the teams we played did but give them credit for executing to a tee..Martin knew it was coming but had no counter because McBee and Golden played their worst games of the season..Going into the game I really thought Stokes would kill them but that d%mn collapsing zone can be a killer even if their post players suck..Stokes also missed shots that had been falling..Our defense was more the problem by allowing them so many uncontested drives to the basket..They also were deadly with 12 foot pull ups..It seems every time we play them some nobody freshman comes off the bench and has a career shooting game..Last time it was Gaines; this time it was Mann..Iam sure none of the Vol fans had even heard of Mann but he's been on a 4 game hot streak. Mann is a 65% FT shooter but Saturday he got to the line more times than I can count and hit them all..Absolutely killed us

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Fox did the only thing he could do and played that sissy boy zone.. Same thing half the teams we played did but give them credit for executing to a tee..Martin knew it was coming but had no counter because McBee and Golden played their worst games of the season..Going into the game I really thought Stokes would kill them but that d%mn collapsing zone can be a killer even if their post players suck..Stokes also missed shots that had been falling..Our defense was more the problem by allowing them so many uncontested drives to the basket..They also were deadly with 12 foot pull ups..It seems every time we play them some nobody freshman comes off the bench and has a career shooting game..Last time it was Gaines; this time it was Mann..Iam sure none of the Vol fans had even heard of Mann but he's been on a 4 game hot streak. Mann is a 65% FT shooter but Saturday he got to the line more times than I can count and hit them all..Absolutely killed us

Defense against us all year is to limit Jarnell touches and give up the outside shot or penetrating ball handler. If Trae can't drive and shoot or McBee can hit, we are exposed.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Vols can still finish strong enough to go dancing. At least there's an opportunity. But the same old story is still true at times. UT's opponents beat them earlier by packing the lane, double-teaming and even triple-teaming Stokes, and daring the Vol guards to shoot. This worked for too many games. Then the unexpected happened. Tenn began filling it up from everywhere on the court, McCrae began putting on All-American performances, and Stokes began making everybody pay. It worked for six straight games, including a hammering of Kentucky, a win over Florida, and winning three straight road games. Quite impressive. Yesterday's loss was disappointing, but you had to figure the Vols had to cool off sometime.

Actually, this game may have a silver lining to it. Georgia, maybe, has brought the Vols down to earth a little bit. It's obvious that Tennessee would have been better off with a win. But I honestly think that this punch in the mouth may do the Vols some good. Hopefully the Georgia Bulldogs have provided the Big Orange with a "teachable moment". Lesson being that anybody is good enough to beat you on a given day, but also that when you bring your best game, you're going to give anybody all they can handle.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Golden... Golden is the key. If he plays like he played Saturday it doesn't matter what stokes does.

Golden was stymied because of the Stokes defense. If JS doesn't touch the ball then it can't come back out to the guards. That's why you saw more of K Hall. Need him to step up if they collapse on Stokes and become the other big man

budd#207344 writes:

in response to decades_vol:

Vols can still finish strong enough to go dancing. At least there's an opportunity. But the same old story is still true at times. UT's opponents beat them earlier by packing the lane, double-teaming and even triple-teaming Stokes, and daring the Vol guards to shoot. This worked for too many games. Then the unexpected happened. Tenn began filling it up from everywhere on the court, McCrae began putting on All-American performances, and Stokes began making everybody pay. It worked for six straight games, including a hammering of Kentucky, a win over Florida, and winning three straight road games. Quite impressive. Yesterday's loss was disappointing, but you had to figure the Vols had to cool off sometime.

Actually, this game may have a silver lining to it. Georgia, maybe, has brought the Vols down to earth a little bit. It's obvious that Tennessee would have been better off with a win. But I honestly think that this punch in the mouth may do the Vols some good. Hopefully the Georgia Bulldogs have provided the Big Orange with a "teachable moment". Lesson being that anybody is good enough to beat you on a given day, but also that when you bring your best game, you're going to give anybody all they can handle.

Even Jarnell admitted he needed to be more physical. This game was no different. KY tried to bully him and he didn't let it happen. GA used three guys and Hall could not bail him out. When that happened it took away the lane for Trae to drive. Plus he was not getting the foul calls on his drives that he got in other games. The key is for JS to be the bully. He can and does but didn't here and it hurt.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

What's sad to me:

All over the USA, there are shooting guards. CCM cannot recruit ONE????

1vavolfan writes:

IF Richardson could throw one in the ocean it would be helpful. His man sagged all afternoon and stayed in front of Stokes preventing him to touch the ball. The defense dared him to shoot and he didn't, same with Moore. When Moore, Chievous, and Richardson were in defense's ignored them, allowing double and triple teams on Jarnell. CCM played Hall and Jarnell together and should have done so more often.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

IF Richardson could throw one in the ocean it would be helpful. His man sagged all afternoon and stayed in front of Stokes preventing him to touch the ball. The defense dared him to shoot and he didn't, same with Moore. When Moore, Chievous, and Richardson were in defense's ignored them, allowing double and triple teams on Jarnell. CCM played Hall and Jarnell together and should have done so more often.

I think all these posts are hitting on good points. But when you can put two and three men on Stokes then someone else needs to make them pay. McRae tried but one man can't do it. MAYBE some kind of combo inside like Hall and Stokes or Stokes and Makan or Makan and Hall? OR let Richardson go to the lane more. He seems to be able to shoot in the lane. Moore has shown at times an ability to penetrate. When you sit back and wait for the lanes to open up on a zone then it probably won't. It didn't except for McRae. If McRae had not been hitting his 3s we'd have been stomped.

The key is not any one man but team work and maybe plays actually designed to open up the zone that aren't outside shots. Golden seems to be usually the only man who can handle the ball well enough to open it up. He didn't this game. We dribbled way too much and didn't have good passing inside...again except for McRae and his were forced at times. It's good to dribble penetrate at least till you can shoot or pass it off. I didn't see any good passing but mostly just bad shots.

Georgia just out-hustled us on defense. Maybe the guys just had too much going on right now. FOCUS!!

Stokes hitting the shots he took would have really helped. Golden or Richardson hitting some shots would have spread them out more.

I guess you can't always be on your game. That's when hustling makes the difference. Even McBee didn't seem to be bringing it. I can't believe that Georgia's that much more athletic than Kentucky or Florida.

chattbud writes:

Fox took away our strenghts. Our coach had no answers. Didn't even try to change our attack. Hall played 15-min played great. Richardson was to small to match up aginst ga's big men. And he played 25-min. We shot 6-three balls aginst Ky. We jacked up 25 pluss aginst dogs & get beat again. & our defense?,..we try the same lame purdue big ten defense over & over until it works or doesn't. Cuonzo got out coached & it's not the first time & won't be the last.

BruisedOrange writes:

Georgia's Coach Fox rolled the desperation dice and we (every player not named McRae) came up snake-eyes. Gets a lot of attention because of WHEN it happened, but a common occurrance in college ball.

The best teams become less susceptible only by having more shooting talent on the bench... guys who average less than 5 points a game, but produce a handfull of 20+ point games each year.

I'd bet the Charlotte Observer runs thirty stories a season headlined "_____ Scores 24 Off Bench" with the subline "Difference in 3 Point Win."

We're still a good team right now. It just took us 1 or 2 games too many this year to figure out how to win without Maymon (and for Golden to get healed). Injuries to two key players on a young team, producing an undistinguished--but still not lost--regular season record, is nothing Tennessee fans should be ashamed of.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Golden... Golden is the key. If he plays like he played Saturday it doesn't matter what stokes does.

In defending Stokes, the Dawgs were also defending Golden. If everybody is packed in the paint to keep Stokes from getting the ball, they are also packing it to prevent Golden from driving. And while McRae was lighting it up from outside and on his recently-perfected mid-range pull-up jumpers, UGA also prevented him from taking it all the way to the hoop. When he or Golden or anybody else are driving it inside, defenders have to leave Stokes, which allows him either to get short passes inside or hit the offensive glass. In short, the defensive game plan against the Vols is the same as it has always been: gang up on Stokes and close off the drives to the hoop and count on the Vols not making enough from outside to make them pay. UGA just does it better than others.

wigmeister writes:

CCM should have adjusted game plan at half time to deal with what they were doing. He didn't. The players didn't perform. We lost!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

What's sad to me:

All over the USA, there are shooting guards. CCM cannot recruit ONE????

That is only true to a certain extent. Actually, FG% is down in all of college basketball because there really AREN'T as many pure shooters in the game today as there once were. You can look around the country and say, "There's one...there's another one over there...I saw a guy last week who was lighting it up...etc." But if you go team by team in every conference, you only find a few of them here and there. The availability of games from all over the country makes it LOOK like everybody but us has such a guy, and if you see all the UT games, there have been times when it LOOKS like the Vols have them, too.

This is the same kind of phenomenon that leads TV news viewers to conclude that the country is awash in violent crime, when all available statistics show that violent crime continues on a decline that began 20 years ago. It's just that the media tells us about EVERY ONE that happens ANYWHERE, which of course amounts to a LOT, but just not as many overall as the news coverage suggests. Thankfully, the Vols would seem to have a pure shooter coming in next year, Robert Hubbs. Hopefully, McRae can continue his own hot streak.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

IF Richardson could throw one in the ocean it would be helpful. His man sagged all afternoon and stayed in front of Stokes preventing him to touch the ball. The defense dared him to shoot and he didn't, same with Moore. When Moore, Chievous, and Richardson were in defense's ignored them, allowing double and triple teams on Jarnell. CCM played Hall and Jarnell together and should have done so more often.

Kenny did make a few shots Saturday, but he is a real defensive liability. He never anticipates what his opponent MAY try to do, and position himself to stop that, which always leaves him trying to catch up when the guy actually does something, and he just doesn't have the foot speed to play that way. Also, the article said the guards combined to shoot 5-for-26. They WERE putting them up, they just weren't making them. Imagine if they had doubled their makes. The percentage still wouldn't have been great, but it might have been enough to win the game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I think all these posts are hitting on good points. But when you can put two and three men on Stokes then someone else needs to make them pay. McRae tried but one man can't do it. MAYBE some kind of combo inside like Hall and Stokes or Stokes and Makan or Makan and Hall? OR let Richardson go to the lane more. He seems to be able to shoot in the lane. Moore has shown at times an ability to penetrate. When you sit back and wait for the lanes to open up on a zone then it probably won't. It didn't except for McRae. If McRae had not been hitting his 3s we'd have been stomped.

The key is not any one man but team work and maybe plays actually designed to open up the zone that aren't outside shots. Golden seems to be usually the only man who can handle the ball well enough to open it up. He didn't this game. We dribbled way too much and didn't have good passing inside...again except for McRae and his were forced at times. It's good to dribble penetrate at least till you can shoot or pass it off. I didn't see any good passing but mostly just bad shots.

Georgia just out-hustled us on defense. Maybe the guys just had too much going on right now. FOCUS!!

Stokes hitting the shots he took would have really helped. Golden or Richardson hitting some shots would have spread them out more.

I guess you can't always be on your game. That's when hustling makes the difference. Even McBee didn't seem to be bringing it. I can't believe that Georgia's that much more athletic than Kentucky or Florida.

Great post! Agree with all. Well, except maybe for the bit about post combinations. As I said before, Kenny is just too much of a defensive liability and Makanjuola is too much of an offensive liability. I think the 4-guard set is the Vols' best chance to win right now. As you said, it surely seemed to work against UK and Florida, but the guys just weren't making the shots they had Saturday. I also agree that the Vols got outhustled a bit in that game. They just didn't play with the energy and edge they have mostly shown in their wins. As you said, they just may have been due for a bit of a letdown. They never had that much margin for error anyway.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to wigmeister:

CCM should have adjusted game plan at half time to deal with what they were doing. He didn't. The players didn't perform. We lost!

He did adjust. That's why you saw more of Hall. And Kenny did make some jumpers but the players didn't do as well. Josh couldn't throw it in the ocean and Moore seemed lost.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to chattbud:

Fox took away our strenghts. Our coach had no answers. Didn't even try to change our attack. Hall played 15-min played great. Richardson was to small to match up aginst ga's big men. And he played 25-min. We shot 6-three balls aginst Ky. We jacked up 25 pluss aginst dogs & get beat again. & our defense?,..we try the same lame purdue big ten defense over & over until it works or doesn't. Cuonzo got out coached & it's not the first time & won't be the last.

I disagree. The Vols DID try to attack from outside, which is the only thing you CAN do in the halfcourt offense if the defense sags everybody into the middle. The only other thing you can do is to try to ramp up the pressure defense to force some turnovers and get some easy baskets that way. However, you can't set up a pressure defense when you aren't scoring yourself. The guys had plenty of open shots, they just weren't making them. On Georgia's end, their role players made their shots and their stars played well also. For the Vols, the role players did very little while McRae was the only star who came through. As much as some people would like to reduce a poor team performance to something as simple as "coach sucks", players have to make plays. Seems to me like CCM coached pretty well when they were winning. You can't have it both ways. And yes, you might have one minor point. It wasn't the first time the team lost, and it certainly won't be the last.

alraguc#466367 writes:

Reason they lost Saturday: a combined 1 for 18 shooting by Golden and McBee. Even if they had a mediocre shooting day, they win this game.

alraguc#466367 writes:

in response to alraguc#466367:

Reason they lost Saturday: a combined 1 for 18 shooting by Golden and McBee. Even if they had a mediocre shooting day, they win this game.

Sorry, 2 for 18.

volboy81 writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Golden... Golden is the key. If he plays like he played Saturday it doesn't matter what stokes does.

I agree! If they stop Stokes, but Golden and McBee do their share, we'll still win...Not sure how you go from 27 points vs Fla to 4 vs. Ga.!

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

One player showed up for this game. Golden never got off the bus. McBee had a really bad night as well. Georgia took Stokes out of the game. It happens in basketball! Unfortunately, it couldn't come at a worse time. It is unlikely that the Vols will make the tourney with this ugly loss.

laraccoon writes:

in response to chattbud:

Fox took away our strenghts. Our coach had no answers. Didn't even try to change our attack. Hall played 15-min played great. Richardson was to small to match up aginst ga's big men. And he played 25-min. We shot 6-three balls aginst Ky. We jacked up 25 pluss aginst dogs & get beat again. & our defense?,..we try the same lame purdue big ten defense over & over until it works or doesn't. Cuonzo got out coached & it's not the first time & won't be the last.

http://espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?id=33...
i looked at this box score over and over and it doesent look a whole lot different . i think your right coaching was probably the difference in this game .

sameolvolalum writes:

Let's back up the tape and McBee hits a few of those open treys. Golden rips in a few floaters and.....all of a sudden.....packing the paint is killing the uglies. When your outside shots don't fall, which they have been doing of late, one coach looks brilliant and the other looks stupid. I say stick what got you that six game streak.....just hit the shots.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I disagree. The Vols DID try to attack from outside, which is the only thing you CAN do in the halfcourt offense if the defense sags everybody into the middle. The only other thing you can do is to try to ramp up the pressure defense to force some turnovers and get some easy baskets that way. However, you can't set up a pressure defense when you aren't scoring yourself. The guys had plenty of open shots, they just weren't making them. On Georgia's end, their role players made their shots and their stars played well also. For the Vols, the role players did very little while McRae was the only star who came through. As much as some people would like to reduce a poor team performance to something as simple as "coach sucks", players have to make plays. Seems to me like CCM coached pretty well when they were winning. You can't have it both ways. And yes, you might have one minor point. It wasn't the first time the team lost, and it certainly won't be the last.

Role players sometimes have to alter their roles to win ball games..Richardson and Moore are both better on defense than offense..but with Ga sagging and not guarding them..they have to take some shots..both looked like they wanted to ..but for some reason they wouldn't put it up..

dcap8424 writes:

in response to Bark_at_the_Moon:

One player showed up for this game. Golden never got off the bus. McBee had a really bad night as well. Georgia took Stokes out of the game. It happens in basketball! Unfortunately, it couldn't come at a worse time. It is unlikely that the Vols will make the tourney with this ugly loss.

Yeah, you would think that, but we went from last 4 out to last 4 in with this loss. A lot of other bubble teams must have lost as well.

dcap8424 writes:

in response to dcap8424:

Yeah, you would think that, but we went from last 4 out to last 4 in with this loss. A lot of other bubble teams must have lost as well.

First 4 out to last 4 in... sorry

wilk58 writes:

Fox's gameplan was beat me from the outaide. A little help for Macrae we are talking different outcome. I don't believe that coaching had a lot to do with missing some open
looks Ga gave Tn.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

http://espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?id=33...
i looked at this box score over and over and it doesent look a whole lot different . i think your right coaching was probably the difference in this game .

Well, I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong, too. If you looked at the box score, you would have noticed that, aside from McRae, the shooting stats were simply abysmal. If you don't make the shots you have, there really isn't a whole lot the coach can do about it. I guess you think Martin didn't TELL them to make shots or told them NOT to. Sheesh!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Role players sometimes have to alter their roles to win ball games..Richardson and Moore are both better on defense than offense..but with Ga sagging and not guarding them..they have to take some shots..both looked like they wanted to ..but for some reason they wouldn't put it up..

Yeah, I think it's a confidence thing with those guys. Role players generally play better at home than they do on the road. At home, they are relaxed and just let them fly; on the road, they are tight and second-guessing themselves. They could all benefit by being a little tighter with their dribble; they dribble too high and wide and need too big a gap to try to drive it inside. Also, I remember one play on Saturday where Josh had the ball on the right wing and Jarnell had his man sealed on that side of the lane with the help defender on the other side. Josh just looked and looked at him, didn't pass it and didn't take a dribble to the side to get a better angle to throw the pass, nor did he seem to be seriously thinking about a move himself. After what seemed to be about five seconds of Josh and Jarnell staring at each other, Josh finally passed it out to the point. That was not the first time this year that has happened.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Yeah, I think it's a confidence thing with those guys. Role players generally play better at home than they do on the road. At home, they are relaxed and just let them fly; on the road, they are tight and second-guessing themselves. They could all benefit by being a little tighter with their dribble; they dribble too high and wide and need too big a gap to try to drive it inside. Also, I remember one play on Saturday where Josh had the ball on the right wing and Jarnell had his man sealed on that side of the lane with the help defender on the other side. Josh just looked and looked at him, didn't pass it and didn't take a dribble to the side to get a better angle to throw the pass, nor did he seem to be seriously thinking about a move himself. After what seemed to be about five seconds of Josh and Jarnell staring at each other, Josh finally passed it out to the point. That was not the first time this year that has happened.

John,

You know far more about basketball than I. I have however noticed a lot of the more successful teams keep players in motion, moving around creating passes, passing lanes, etc. This was even evident in the women's game.

After a while when up against the clock, which we've seen too often, the guy ( or girl ) with the ball has to force the pass, or throw up a desperation shot.

In other words, to me good ball movement is a big plus if we want to score. If players are standing still a lot, it really hurts the chances a good pass, or shot is going to be made.

Basketvol writes:

in response to sameolvolalum:

Let's back up the tape and McBee hits a few of those open treys. Golden rips in a few floaters and.....all of a sudden.....packing the paint is killing the uglies. When your outside shots don't fall, which they have been doing of late, one coach looks brilliant and the other looks stupid. I say stick what got you that six game streak.....just hit the shots.

I agree. If Golden and McBee hit a few shots each, then we are talking about a 7-game winning streak and how Cuonzo Martin is turning out to be a good coach after all. They missed those shots, and now the same coach--who just had a 6-game win streak with wins over Kentucky and Florida--is a terrible coach and doesn't know how to adjust the game plan. It's a lose-lose situation for Coach Martin with some people. If they win a game, then it was a fluke, against a bad team, players injured,biased refs, blah, blah, blah. If they lose a game, he's a terrible coach.

Let's hope they stick to what they know and hit their shots against Auburn and Missouri.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

We have no prayer if McBee, Richardson, Golden all shoot like they did on Sat. Pack 4 in on Jarnell and then we score our 55 pts.

We have to figure out a way to get Hall involved or get golden to play more one on one with penetration drives.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

John,

You know far more about basketball than I. I have however noticed a lot of the more successful teams keep players in motion, moving around creating passes, passing lanes, etc. This was even evident in the women's game.

After a while when up against the clock, which we've seen too often, the guy ( or girl ) with the ball has to force the pass, or throw up a desperation shot.

In other words, to me good ball movement is a big plus if we want to score. If players are standing still a lot, it really hurts the chances a good pass, or shot is going to be made.

That's a good observation and I agree. I think the Vols need a number of things to improve the offense, but I can think of several right off that might help. One thing is to have better plays coming off timeouts and from out of bounds. Those situations come up ALL THE TIME and, if properly executed, can give a team chances to score even when the regular half-court offense isn't working. It is worth taking however much practice time it TAKES to get these situations right.

The other thing may be more of a long-term objective, but the motion offense is INTENDED to have constant screening, cutting, and passing. The Vols may start doing that for the first 10 or 15 seconds of the shot clock but then they just seem to stop. One simple rule that could help right away is to tell players on the side away from the ball to LOOK to set backside screens that free a teammate for a strong cut toward the basket. If the cutter doesn't get the pass, he should just continue on to the other side and set a screen for somebody on that side. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's not rocket science, but it DOES require constant reinforcement and practice.

I have been among the first to say that while I like MANY things about CCM as a coach, he still does have a lot to learn. I'm not saying my way is the only way; I'm just an old has-been with no team to coach. I think we will see some considerable growth in his strategies next year. It will help that he will have a veteran squad who know better all the time what he expects.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

We have no prayer if McBee, Richardson, Golden all shoot like they did on Sat. Pack 4 in on Jarnell and then we score our 55 pts.

We have to figure out a way to get Hall involved or get golden to play more one on one with penetration drives.

Golden would likely have had a better game if he ever had the chance to GO one-on-one. For one thing, UGA constantly overplayed him to his right hand which is the way he prefers to go. Then whenever it looked like he MIGHT turn a corner, a guy was waiting on him because they weren't guarding the other perimeter players. McRae made them pay but the others didn't. Even when THAT didn't happen, the lane was so clogged with guys covering Stokes that Golden had no place to go.

murrayvol writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Golden... Golden is the key. If he plays like he played Saturday it doesn't matter what stokes does.

Or McRae, or McBee, or anybody else.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

In defending Stokes, the Dawgs were also defending Golden. If everybody is packed in the paint to keep Stokes from getting the ball, they are also packing it to prevent Golden from driving. And while McRae was lighting it up from outside and on his recently-perfected mid-range pull-up jumpers, UGA also prevented him from taking it all the way to the hoop. When he or Golden or anybody else are driving it inside, defenders have to leave Stokes, which allows him either to get short passes inside or hit the offensive glass. In short, the defensive game plan against the Vols is the same as it has always been: gang up on Stokes and close off the drives to the hoop and count on the Vols not making enough from outside to make them pay. UGA just does it better than others.

And none of this would work if Maymon were healthy....but he isn't and it does.

orangecountyvols writes:

John,

Thanks for your observations. It's clear you've both played and coached the game.

That's nice to see on this site........when people point out the finer points of sports !

As has been mentioned about McRae.........there is a little more conversation from folks about the NBA for him and not necessarily Stokes, which has been the popular theory for a while.

Go Vols and get back on track !

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