Jordan McRae at a loss for output in final 2 games

Mercer guard Travis Smith (2) shoots over Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) in the second half during the first round of the NIT Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mercer won 75-67 over Tennessee. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Mercer guard Travis Smith (2) shoots over Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) in the second half during the first round of the NIT Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mercer won 75-67 over Tennessee. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee guard Jordan McRae, in befuddlement, searched for an answer before saying, “I mean I felt like I was taking shots I normally take. It wasn’t really going in tonight.”

The 2012-13 basketball season didn’t end how any UT player wanted. None more so than McRae.

Looking to shape a storybook trip to the NCAA tournament, the season’s final chapter was instead written in back-to-back losses to Alabama in the SEC tournament last Friday and Mercer in Wednesday night’s first round of the National Invitational Tournament.

McRae entered the Alabama game averaging 22.3 points over UT’s nine prior games. The Vols won eight of them.

Then misfortune struck McRae. March Madness brought chilly temps. The junior guard, an All-SEC first team selection by both the SEC coaches and media, could only muster 16 points in UT’s final two games combined.

He did so on 6-of-27 shooting. Four 3-pointers fell on 15 attempts and he went 0-3 from the free-throw line.

In the 75-67 loss to visiting Mercer, McRae finished with seven points on 3-for-14 shooting.

He finished the season as UT’s leading scorer at 15.7 points per game.

No Shining Moment: Given their combined 247 career games played, UT senior Skylar McBee and Kenny Hall probably deserved a better going out party. Neither will want to remember their last game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

McBee produced only three points in 29 minutes.

In just seven minutes of action, Hall scored two points and posted a plus-minus of minus-15.

The Rebound Record Books: Pulling down 13 rebounds, 12 on the offensive end, against Mercer, sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes upped his season average to 9.6 per game. That’s the highest average by a UT player since Ian Lockhart pulled down 10.9 per game in 1990.

Stokes finished with 318 rebounds. The program record by a sophomore is 357 by Gene Tormohlen in 1957. The overall single-season record is Tormohlen’s 384 in 1958.

A Terrible Tournament: The NIT is not a friendly place for Tennessee.

Not only because it amounts to a side stage for the NCAA tournament’s festival.

With the loss to Mercer, the Vols have now lost six of their last seven games of the tournament, dating back to a 25-point, second-round loss to Virginia in 1992. The other loses in that stretch were to College of Charleston (1996), Georgetown (2003), George Mason (2004) and Middle Tennessee State (2012).

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

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Comments » 50

jawbreaker writes:

Jordan, that makes two of us. One other thing: when Hall was a Freshman, I made the astute observation that he reminded me of Bernard King. Shows how dumb I am.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Jordan, watch the tape.

You got hesitant.

eb502us#225637 writes:

IMO,McRae played over his skill level in that 7-8 game stretch. He's been inconsistent throughout his career so not sure why he's "at a loss" for disappearing the last few games.

Bottom line is that while his shooting has improved, he still lacks ball handling skills and the ability to finish around the basket. And let's cease with the Pro talk as he's not NBA material.

Hopefully he works hard this summer and comes back with improved skills and some consistency to his game.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Mizzou lost.

Even though just in the SEC one season, they picked up this year's SEC basketball virus.

1vavolfan writes:

I think people expected too much of Jordan at the end of the season. He's a nice player but talk of early entry into the NBA and being SEC Player of the Year were absurd. UT just doesn't have enough offense and has to have McRae's points to win. There are usually 1-2 players on the floor that are absolute liabilities on the offensive end (moore,Cheivous,Yemi,Lopez).

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

Is there still time for Stokes to switch to Tight End over at FB pratice??

GO VOLS!!

Classof72 writes:

It is what it is. The Vols need to recruit mo' better players and hire mo' better coaches for the staff, if they really want to do better. This bunch did the best they could; notice how much better Mercer did with way less resources. I like the coaches and players, but UTAD is spending a chuteload of money to get nada results. And that's the truth.

DC82_Vol writes:

in response to Classof72:

It is what it is. The Vols need to recruit mo' better players and hire mo' better coaches for the staff, if they really want to do better. This bunch did the best they could; notice how much better Mercer did with way less resources. I like the coaches and players, but UTAD is spending a chuteload of money to get nada results. And that's the truth.

Exactly right!! With the resources TN has, there is no excuse for our performance. We get beaten by less talent and resources EVERY year.

ponkey writes:

simple... lack of focus and discipline

Sir_Spanky writes:

They still haven't figured out what happened. No leadership from the bench. No leadership on the court. The buck for both stops on CM's desk.

volaholic45 writes:

It was distressing to watch Mercer run such an disciplined and effective offense, while we were so befuddled on defense and haphazard on offense. That doesn't seem right. I like Zo OK, aside from his Orgeronesque interviews, but c'mon, man.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

MAYBE it's not UT. Maybe the mid's are just better and the talent levels are skewed from all the media hype telling us that these 4 and 5 star players are "all that". ESPN may be the worst of the lot at overrating players. Rvials KNS etc. can't really predict how a player or team will do by the "talent" on a team. It happens every year to many teams. Underachievement. That's what happened to UT in my opinion. We underachieved. Mercer didn't really overachieve as much as UT underachieved.

That said it was a good game and Mercer came ready to play in a game that was much better for their program than it was for UT's.

McRae's lack of offense didn't lose the game.imho The game was lost by letting their guards outplay our guards. I'm not pointing any fingers I'm just stating the obvious. AGAIN their team wanted it more or at least had it together more. Happens to many teams this time of year.

switcher76 writes:

Terrible game. It was almost too painful to watch. The entire team was at a loss and you could tell by the look on their face and the way they played that they did not want to be there. CM you stink and need to be replaced. You have no emotion on the sideline and the boys don't really listen to you. I'm sorry but it's time to move on to a new coach. We need someone with some spunk about them. Yes, Bruce lied but my gosh look what he did for UT basketball. He got people actually excited about it again and he filled the stands. He brought life back to the dull boring basketball program. BBB!! BBB!! I'm tired of watching our boys get the heck beat out of them when we all know they are capable of so much more. Did anyone see the crowd on hand the other night...really! A little over 4,000 is pretty sad when it holds as many people as it does. SO GLAD BASKETBALL IS OVER!!!! I pray that someone can get their head out of their tail and get this program up and going again!

brod writes:

i agree with mcrae being hesitant. when tourney time came around he choked up. missing free throws made that obvious. he never missed 3 consecutive free throws during the season.

Orangethrunthru writes:

McRae is a bean pole, When he gets guarded tight he can't muscle his way free. He needs to get up into some groceries this off season and fill out some. Im tired of players being rated by there vertical geez, Mercer had big thick white guys who moved their feet and got in the way. I watched several times, McBee leave one of there big men wide up under the goal to run out on a guy who was behind the 3 point line... What this shows us is that being talented is one thing and being coached well enough and smart enough to make changes in defense on the fly is another.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to ponkey:

simple... lack of focus and discipline

BINGO!!!No need to pontificate about anything else....when you're REALLY hungry and really focused the game will seem easy...thats the way we played most of the second half of the season...what's the answer? Well if I knew that I wouldnt be on here driveling with you guys...but I still think we got about as much as we could get out of it...however, I must admit I thought we did deserve an NCAA bid what with the teams we're seeing now...and I did expect us to win at least one of the NIT games...BUT LACK OF FOCUS AND DISCIPLINE GOT US!!!! Season over look forward to next year!!! Who knows what the tide (ocean tide) will bring in!!!

arkyvol writes:

sigh. men's basketball at u.t. is headed back to its historical level of significance--a mediocre team in a mediocre league. i miss bruce.

ktownorange32 writes:

I think everyone is missing the X factor in our loss to Mercer. Ill be the first to say that I didn't go but everyone needs to keep in mind these guys are still kids. Just because you reach the age of 18 doesn't mean you're a "man". They were already bummed about the NCAA and then they walk out onto the court and see that 18,000 people that were cheering them on against Missouri weren't there. Like it or not, that affects these guys heads. Prolly McRae the most. For a 10 game stretch us fans built him up like a king and had nothing but good things to say and then we don't get into the NCAA and 4400 people show up for the Mercer game????? Yes, these guys need to be coached to play better in bad situations but fans are a factor. Im 32 and like to think I have my head on pretty straight but I know I woulda been bummed to walk out on the court and see only 4400 peeps minus the Mercer fans, so less. I'm not making excuses for the loss but if we as fans, myself included, had been there making noise then they mighta played harder. I know as a vol fan, now that the frustration has simmered down, I wish I had gone instead of being disgruntled about it.

crappieking writes:

BBBP

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to ktownorange32:

I think everyone is missing the X factor in our loss to Mercer. Ill be the first to say that I didn't go but everyone needs to keep in mind these guys are still kids. Just because you reach the age of 18 doesn't mean you're a "man". They were already bummed about the NCAA and then they walk out onto the court and see that 18,000 people that were cheering them on against Missouri weren't there. Like it or not, that affects these guys heads. Prolly McRae the most. For a 10 game stretch us fans built him up like a king and had nothing but good things to say and then we don't get into the NCAA and 4400 people show up for the Mercer game????? Yes, these guys need to be coached to play better in bad situations but fans are a factor. Im 32 and like to think I have my head on pretty straight but I know I woulda been bummed to walk out on the court and see only 4400 peeps minus the Mercer fans, so less. I'm not making excuses for the loss but if we as fans, myself included, had been there making noise then they mighta played harder. I know as a vol fan, now that the frustration has simmered down, I wish I had gone instead of being disgruntled about it.

I was there, and I can only imagine how tough it must've been to watch it on TV. I wasn't upset that there weren't more people there. Didn't really expect it. The Bears made it pretty tough on our perimeter game all night, and especially on Jordan. As a result, he began to force some things that just weren't there. Thought his 3 late in the game might've gotten him going and started a comeback. But not to be this time.

I think your comment that sometimes we have to remember they're kids is spot on. That said, I think Jordan has shown a lot of maturity by owning his poor play. He didn't blame his teammates, the coach, missing out on the NCAA tourney, lack of more fans being there, etc. Own it, learn from it, and move on. Glad to a young man like that on our side.

underthehill writes:

Didn't want to think so..but all indications are the SEC is as bad as reported..none of the bubble teams should have gone and it may be that some that did go..ain't looking too good..as for McRae ..he obviously felt the pressure to carry the offense and it was too much of a load..caused him to press instead of letting it come to him..

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to underthehill:

Didn't want to think so..but all indications are the SEC is as bad as reported..none of the bubble teams should have gone and it may be that some that did go..ain't looking too good..as for McRae ..he obviously felt the pressure to carry the offense and it was too much of a load..caused him to press instead of letting it come to him..

Speaking of bubble teams and moving on, my NCAA Bracket predictions got a little warm yesterday and not in a good way. I'm afraid that by the time the weekend is over, it's gonna spontaneously combust! Hah! Glad I don't have a gambling addiction, or I'd be broke.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

What has Teo got to do with UT bb??

Classof72 writes:

It is what it is. The Vols need to recruit mo' better players and hire mo' better coaches for the staff, if they really want to do better. This bunch did the best they could; but notice how much better Mercer did with way less resources. I like the coaches and players, but UTAD is spending a chuteload of money to get nada results. Still, Coach Martin represents well and hasn't had time to really install his program. Better luck next year.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

What has Teo got to do with UT bb??

You don't think it could mean Jordan's not been play as well because he found out he's been texting an imaginary girlfriend, do you??? Just kidding. Perish the thought.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

You don't think it could mean Jordan's not been play as well because he found out he's been texting an imaginary girlfriend, do you??? Just kidding. Perish the thought.

Good one..It does prove that KNS doesn't use spell check or proof-read their articles..Doh!

Aussievol writes:

How old were the kids on Mercer's team? Just sayin'.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to Aussievol:

How old were the kids on Mercer's team? Just sayin'.

Mercer kids were happy to still be playing somewhere.
Ut's were not.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

I will stick with McRae got hesitant.

When he was dominating he was taking shots from wherever, whenever, and making drives. He was really almost all the Vols offense at times.

Against both Bama and Mercer, he did not attack with his shot or the drive. He should have taken north of 20 shots both games.

He did not 'choke', I just think either the coaches or his teammates decided to play a different game, to spread the ball more.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Someone mentioned Stokes as a football player...yeah, I have to wonder that too.

I don't see him being suited for the NBA. On the other hand, he could be a millionaire NFL player.

carbonzip writes:

Think about what made you take a 360 spin dunk against MSU. Keep your mind on your fundamentals.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Someone mentioned Stokes as a football player...yeah, I have to wonder that too.

I don't see him being suited for the NBA. On the other hand, he could be a millionaire NFL player.

He reminds me of Big Baby Davis that played at LSU. He's not a great NBA talent, but he's a serviceable pro that gets a lot of minutes resting starters.

VFL70 writes:

Somehow, someway, it's gonna be Martin's fault.

gillblog writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

He reminds me of Big Baby Davis that played at LSU. He's not a great NBA talent, but he's a serviceable pro that gets a lot of minutes resting starters.

Some ESPN commentator once observed; 'Stokes can not play above the rim. Some big guys can, but he is not one of them.' There is a need for a big man like Stokes in a lot of offensive schemes, but out of necessity, CCM tried to use him as a true center who could play above the rim and it simply wont work. Hopefully, Maymon can fill the role next year. Hopefully.

BTW, all this talk about firing CCM now is senseless. Too expensive. And its hard to see the UTAD coming into windfall amounts of money next year either. Thus we can see; Martin will be our coach for a while. Calling for his dismissal is a waste of breath.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to gillblog:

Some ESPN commentator once observed; 'Stokes can not play above the rim. Some big guys can, but he is not one of them.' There is a need for a big man like Stokes in a lot of offensive schemes, but out of necessity, CCM tried to use him as a true center who could play above the rim and it simply wont work. Hopefully, Maymon can fill the role next year. Hopefully.

BTW, all this talk about firing CCM now is senseless. Too expensive. And its hard to see the UTAD coming into windfall amounts of money next year either. Thus we can see; Martin will be our coach for a while. Calling for his dismissal is a waste of breath.

Good point, UT has no need to add more debt in a payoff..At the very least CCM will be coaching through the extent of his current contract. But what if CCM is terminated?? UT is famous for being cheapskates and no great bb coach will come cheap..So, look for UT to hire Bird or some other mid-major coach to avoid a huge contract negotiation.

samvol writes:

in response to jawbreaker:

Jordan, that makes two of us. One other thing: when Hall was a Freshman, I made the astute observation that he reminded me of Bernard King. Shows how dumb I am.

Dumb describes you perfect. Lose some weight and buy another wheelchair loser.

PennVol writes:

I really hope CCM figures out why his teams get off to such a slow start. He needs to do something different to get the team playing at a high level in NOVEMBER, not middle of March. Stay off the bubble!

Question - Do coaches at this level even try to get better at coaching or do they just keep doing what they do??

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

More proof that McRae certainly wasn't POY in SEC like many thought he should be. He just isn't consistent enough. Borderline first team All SEC. Real players produce when the game is on the line. We don't see that from any of our players (even Stokes at this point).

movol53 writes:

Ok so they were disappointed that they did not make the big dance - - cry me a river. They were invited to the NIT and they accepted the invitation. Now show some PRIDE and defend your home court!!! Want to PROVE you were snubbed by the NCAA? Then go out and win the NIT; show everyone the selection committee made a mistake. Over the years lots of big time BB programs have ended up in the NIT; so do something with that chance. Watching the game I noticed a couple of things. Seems as through the starting line up was different than during the "run" at the end of the season; so why change it? Why did Chevios start?? And there was another player (forget his name) that took Richardson's place. Strokes looks so awkward when he dribbles the ball two - three times and then he seemingly has only one move to the right and then a little hook. Seems he can't get off the ground when he is around the basket; he's not above the rim much like most big guys. He needs to work on his vertical. Team loses two seniors and hopefully they gain two incoming players that can immediately take the offense to another level; McRae can't do it alone; as he got help from others inconsistently. And then he is inconsistent as well. Some have stated that Martin shows no emotion on the side line. That is NOT his personality. He has learned from his life experiences to be even keeled. He does have passion for basketball and UT. Some keep comparing Martin to (I could have a heart attack at anytime)Bruce. They are simply different personalities. I've been watching Vol sports since the 60's and I love to win but this NOT playing because you got your feelings hurt is NOT acceptable. I love my Vols but somethings got to get better.

rb4346 writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

They still haven't figured out what happened. No leadership from the bench. No leadership on the court. The buck for both stops on CM's desk.

Problem was CM stayed at his desk pouting over not being invited to the big dance. He should have had the Vols playing so well that Mercer was sorry they ever accepted the NIT bid to play the Vols. IMO.

movol53 writes:

in response to rb4346:

Problem was CM stayed at his desk pouting over not being invited to the big dance. He should have had the Vols playing so well that Mercer was sorry they ever accepted the NIT bid to play the Vols. IMO.

EXACTLY!!!!!!

FeelVol writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

More proof that McRae certainly wasn't POY in SEC like many thought he should be. He just isn't consistent enough. Borderline first team All SEC. Real players produce when the game is on the line. We don't see that from any of our players (even Stokes at this point).

My logic exactly Mr.Hayes.I've seen Improvement in McRaes' game but I think he sometimes forces his game and tries to do to much.He doesn't seem to be a "money" player when the game is on the line.With that said I look forward to next years team but first I'd like to see Coach Jones and his staff do well in the upcoming football season.Go Vols!

Tennfan4075 writes:

LOSERS

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

MAYBE it's not UT. Maybe the mid's are just better and the talent levels are skewed from all the media hype telling us that these 4 and 5 star players are "all that". ESPN may be the worst of the lot at overrating players. Rvials KNS etc. can't really predict how a player or team will do by the "talent" on a team. It happens every year to many teams. Underachievement. That's what happened to UT in my opinion. We underachieved. Mercer didn't really overachieve as much as UT underachieved.

That said it was a good game and Mercer came ready to play in a game that was much better for their program than it was for UT's.

McRae's lack of offense didn't lose the game.imho The game was lost by letting their guards outplay our guards. I'm not pointing any fingers I'm just stating the obvious. AGAIN their team wanted it more or at least had it together more. Happens to many teams this time of year.

Excellent comment. This year's NCAA tournament shows both that talent is widely distributed in college basketball today and that a more-motivated and team-oriented team can beat a collection of over-hyped stars WAY more often than "star-worshippers" might imagine.

I am reminded of a statement by TNT analyst Kenny Smith when he said that the most important quality of a good basketball player is the ability to make good decisions on the court. Without that ability, all the "talent" in the world is not only useless, the belief that one has "it" reduces the player's desire and ability to really study and learn the basics of the game and execute them reliably when the pressure is on.

If the game was merely a track and field meet, i.e., running and jumping, the superior athletes would win every time. Since it is much more than that, the team with better fundamentals and better teamwork, as long as the talent aspects are remotely equal, ALWAYS has a chance to win, and in fact WILL win if the talent levels are comparable.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

Speaking of bubble teams and moving on, my NCAA Bracket predictions got a little warm yesterday and not in a good way. I'm afraid that by the time the weekend is over, it's gonna spontaneously combust! Hah! Glad I don't have a gambling addiction, or I'd be broke.

I heard today on ESPN that as of the end of Friday's play there were NO perfect brackets entered in their "pick-'em" contest out of millions! Which only shows me that if the Vols HAD made the field, they would have had an excellent chance of winning a game or three. If for no other reason, they would have been much more motivated to play their best. I am as bummed as anybody else that the season didn't turn out the way we all hoped. There is PLENTY of room for improvement for everybody involved, players and coaches alike, and LOTS of examples currently on display of what can happen when coaches and players are on the same page--or AREN'T. Since I never bet actual money on my brackets, I can take delight in all the crazy goings-on. Let's all hope the Vols do what they need to do to get in the middle of all that next year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

I will stick with McRae got hesitant.

When he was dominating he was taking shots from wherever, whenever, and making drives. He was really almost all the Vols offense at times.

Against both Bama and Mercer, he did not attack with his shot or the drive. He should have taken north of 20 shots both games.

He did not 'choke', I just think either the coaches or his teammates decided to play a different game, to spread the ball more.

It may be that the later opponents schemed harder to stop him than was done earlier when he seemed to have come out of nowhere to tear it up. I did get the feeling that the other Vols seemed to be waiting for him to take over and lead them again. If they had played better themselves earlier, things might have opened up for Jordan as well. This is where the lack of much purposeful movement and structure in the offense really came back to bite them. They didn't have the right tactical and strategic things they could do to keep them in the game while waiting for the talent to assert itself.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to gillblog:

Some ESPN commentator once observed; 'Stokes can not play above the rim. Some big guys can, but he is not one of them.' There is a need for a big man like Stokes in a lot of offensive schemes, but out of necessity, CCM tried to use him as a true center who could play above the rim and it simply wont work. Hopefully, Maymon can fill the role next year. Hopefully.

BTW, all this talk about firing CCM now is senseless. Too expensive. And its hard to see the UTAD coming into windfall amounts of money next year either. Thus we can see; Martin will be our coach for a while. Calling for his dismissal is a waste of breath.

Well, Maymon is not an "above the rim" player either. However, merely having hops is overrated at every level of basketball. The vast majority of rebounds are taken below the rim even in the NBA. On offense, the ability to jump over guys to score counts WAY less than the ability to find the proper angles and leverage to get them up. The list of guys who have excelled as inside players in the NBA without great leaping ability would be tiresomely long, as is the list of guys who could jump out of the gym but never really scratched as productive players. Having both Maymon and Stokes playing together means that the Vols should be able to carve out LOTS of room around the hoop.

I agree completely that there should be no question of firing Martin now, economic issues aside. His contract is up at the end of next season. His team should be loaded. If we are in this position this time next year, not even Martin could reasonably complain if he were let go.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to samvol:

Dumb describes you perfect. Lose some weight and buy another wheelchair loser.

Posts like this are one reason why nobody on here ever wants to admit when they were wrong. But then, I guess you never have been wrong, so admitting error is out of the question. You would seem to be the kind of person who learns nothing and forgets nothing.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to PennVol:

I really hope CCM figures out why his teams get off to such a slow start. He needs to do something different to get the team playing at a high level in NOVEMBER, not middle of March. Stay off the bubble!

Question - Do coaches at this level even try to get better at coaching or do they just keep doing what they do??

The really good coaches never stop learning and experimenting if what they are doing at a particular time isn't working. Two good examples of this are Roy Williams at UNC and Coach K at Duke. CCM showed a bit of flexibility in going to the smaller lineup that helped them overcome their slow start, though it could be argued that he took too long to do it. I hope he is secure enough in himself to look honestly at what the team did well and what it did poorly to get them playing better and more consistently than they did much of this year. It will help that he will have a very experienced squad next year. Looking at the NCAAs so far, some are surprised at all the "upsets", but the fact is that many of these "underdog" teams that have knocked off the prestige programs are mostly made up of upperclassmen who know how to play together and have outgrown their youthful mistakes.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to movol53:

Ok so they were disappointed that they did not make the big dance - - cry me a river. They were invited to the NIT and they accepted the invitation. Now show some PRIDE and defend your home court!!! Want to PROVE you were snubbed by the NCAA? Then go out and win the NIT; show everyone the selection committee made a mistake. Over the years lots of big time BB programs have ended up in the NIT; so do something with that chance. Watching the game I noticed a couple of things. Seems as through the starting line up was different than during the "run" at the end of the season; so why change it? Why did Chevios start?? And there was another player (forget his name) that took Richardson's place. Strokes looks so awkward when he dribbles the ball two - three times and then he seemingly has only one move to the right and then a little hook. Seems he can't get off the ground when he is around the basket; he's not above the rim much like most big guys. He needs to work on his vertical. Team loses two seniors and hopefully they gain two incoming players that can immediately take the offense to another level; McRae can't do it alone; as he got help from others inconsistently. And then he is inconsistent as well. Some have stated that Martin shows no emotion on the side line. That is NOT his personality. He has learned from his life experiences to be even keeled. He does have passion for basketball and UT. Some keep comparing Martin to (I could have a heart attack at anytime)Bruce. They are simply different personalities. I've been watching Vol sports since the 60's and I love to win but this NOT playing because you got your feelings hurt is NOT acceptable. I love my Vols but somethings got to get better.

Good post. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but much of it was on point. I actually think Martin's demeanor is good for this team. Some of the players just seem to play the game in their own heads too much. They get down on themselves when things aren't going well and seem to think it is all about them. I'm not saying they are egotistical, though basketball players generally are, but they let their emotions overrule their heads. However, it is not easy to implant proper mental attitudes in young men generally, let alone guys who think of themselves as talented basketball players. Hopefully, the overall game experience of next year's team will develop them into a group that has more disciplined and consistent effort and performance under pressure.

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