UT releases Travon Landry from men's basketball letter of intent

Despite being committed to Tennessee since December 2011, Travon Landry is looking for a home to play college basketball.

UT coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed to the News Sentinel on Saturday that the Huntington (W.Va.) Prep point guard has been released from his National Letter of Intent with the Vols.

Landry reportedly was on an official recruiting visit to New Mexico State on Saturday, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Landry signed his letter of intent with Tennessee on Nov. 15, 2012.

Martin confirmed his release to the News Sentinel in a text message, but declined to comment any further.

Prior to Saturday, the Vols sat one over the NCAA-mandated scholarship limit of 13. The recent decision of UT rising junior Jarnell Stokes to return to Knoxville next season required the Vols to cut bait with either one current or incoming player.

Landry is that player.

Landry averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 assists per game and went 2-for-29 on 3-point attempts this season for a Huntington team that finished 30-3 and was ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Super 25.

On April 17, John Landry, Travon’s father, told the News Sentinel, “I talked to (Tennessee assistant) Tracy (Webster) and, as of two weeks ago, nothing had changed, other than that they had signed another point guard (Blackman High School’s Darius Thompson). I haven’t been told anything different than what we originally agreed on back at the early signing (period).”

That obviously changed.

Landry committed to UT as junior at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala., before transferring to Huntington Prep.

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

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Comments » 126

voloffaith writes:

Ah yes the numbers game has worked itself out as we all knew it would...just that some were almost in a panic not knowing who would be the one.....

VFL70 writes:

College Athletcis has become a commodity game; either produce or move on. Coaches and players alike.

CoverOrange writes:

Should have leveled with him months ago.

voloffaith writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Should have leveled with him months ago.

Making an assumption without all the necessary info aren't we?

manniesghost1903 writes:

Well NCAA, problem solved.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Making an assumption without all the necessary info aren't we?

Not really. Darius Thompson was recruited and signed in day. They knew there was the possibility if not probability that both McRae and Stokes would return. Easy enough to go to Landry and say "here's what's up." Don't have to say it is a foregone conclusion but let him know he is on the bubble.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Not really. Darius Thompson was recruited and signed in day. They knew there was the possibility if not probability that both McRae and Stokes would return. Easy enough to go to Landry and say "here's what's up." Don't have to say it is a foregone conclusion but let him know he is on the bubble.

Short between seat and the keyboard, meant Darius was NOT recruited and signed in a day.

shoelessvol#236864 writes:

With averages under 3 points and assist's per game...I'm not sure why we signed him in the first place!!

eVOLved writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Not really. Darius Thompson was recruited and signed in day. They knew there was the possibility if not probability that both McRae and Stokes would return. Easy enough to go to Landry and say "here's what's up." Don't have to say it is a foregone conclusion but let him know he is on the bubble.

i guess it's impossible that UT acted without telling you, and his dad didn't want to broadcast their business before it was certain

SevenT writes:

This Landry kid got the shaft, UT signs a better player then releases him. Martin better be very careful because this could blow up in his face.

Just Saying

Ironcity writes:

I personally hate what just happened here. Martins best asset is his integrity and in this one move he has lost it with me and made it easy to recruit against him. This is consistent with what Buzz did and we saw how that worked out. Its bad enough that you would not have room for a kid who commits to you early in the process. It worse when you let said player sign his papers and then you shove him away leaving him with very limited opportunities. If you sign him then you should accept him. What happened here is a shame. Now that coach Martin has ventured into the sewer here he may find out as many other coaches have its hard to get out.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I personally hate what just happened here. Martins best asset is his integrity and in this one move he has lost it with me and made it easy to recruit against him. This is consistent with what Buzz did and we saw how that worked out. Its bad enough that you would not have room for a kid who commits to you early in the process. It worse when you let said player sign his papers and then you shove him away leaving him with very limited opportunities. If you sign him then you should accept him. What happened here is a shame. Now that coach Martin has ventured into the sewer here he may find out as many other coaches have its hard to get out.

Folks we are still having to speculate to a point here as WE don't KNOW all the facts. Yes has strange appearance no doubt, but we only know what we see and hear from media. As another interesting note on this go to the twitter section and you will see Coach Martin saying give a happy birthday to D. Thompson...then next shows Landry release confirmed....

jt45 writes:

Visited New Mexico State so im guessing he has been looking for another option for at least a few days. No matter who made the call someone had to be cut. I wish the best for Landry and hope he does well at the next level. Right now there is no way to pass any type of judgement on this decision Without Facts and with Martins job on the line he should be putting the most talent he can get on the floor or else he gets released as well. So I can understand this decision but dont necessarily think its the best way to win over recruits.

HtownVol writes:

It says Landry released...

All of these assupmtions, is it known 10% that Landry did not ask to be released, knowing he would never crack the rotation.

If it was done in a decent way this is best for the team. Landry had horrible numbers. Even if the team had talent his 3 point % was just ugly and that wont help UT.

Still do not understand the "POPS" signing though. I think Yemi was a great defender, maybe his female issues were too much to keep around though but at the rate Martin is going he will replace Pops with a more talented recruit next year.

bUTch_please writes:

This is rich, isn't it? Landry played his way out of a scholarship. Less than 3 points/assist per game and shoots under 7% on 3's. Better to call it for what it is now than waste a season. It was to the teams' favor to have too many, now it's resolved. Tough t!tty said the kitty but the milks gone dry.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I personally hate what just happened here. Martins best asset is his integrity and in this one move he has lost it with me and made it easy to recruit against him. This is consistent with what Buzz did and we saw how that worked out. Its bad enough that you would not have room for a kid who commits to you early in the process. It worse when you let said player sign his papers and then you shove him away leaving him with very limited opportunities. If you sign him then you should accept him. What happened here is a shame. Now that coach Martin has ventured into the sewer here he may find out as many other coaches have its hard to get out.

IF this unfolds the way it appears, I hate it too. Coach martin knows the Vols need to show a lot of improvement this year. While destroying Kintucky and beating Florida {again} were awesome to watch, and both look like easy wins next year, that probably won't save his job if they miss the big tourney again.

volfan2002 writes:

I think we need to know the entire story before we jump to conclusions. Landry may have asked for the release because he wasn't going to get any playing time. Regardless it has happened at every University in America that has a basketball team. Bruce Pearl did it a couple of times when he was coach. Most of the time it is better for the player and the team and I think both Tennessee and Landry will be better off for this decision.

BruisedOrange writes:

in response to VFL70:

College Athletcis has become a commodity game; either produce or move on. Coaches and players alike.

If I might humbly disagree...

College athletics is a COMPETITIVE game, in-season and out. Only difference now is it's 365 days a year.

A letter of intent does not end the competition for a spot on the roster.

Ironcity writes:

in response to volfan2002:

I think we need to know the entire story before we jump to conclusions. Landry may have asked for the release because he wasn't going to get any playing time. Regardless it has happened at every University in America that has a basketball team. Bruce Pearl did it a couple of times when he was coach. Most of the time it is better for the player and the team and I think both Tennessee and Landry will be better off for this decision.

Pearl never cut a player he signed. he did tell that Dobson kid he would never get off the bench if he stayed and suggested he go but that was a Buzz guy. This is bad anyway you look at it. The father was interviewed two weeks ago and said no one has spoken to him or his son about prep school or looking elsewhere. Additionally Huntington Prep is big time school and now we have trashed that relationship. Just an FYI here, one of our top targets just transferred there so I think its safe to say he probably doesn't go to UT.

I get why Martin did it but this stinks to high heaven.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Pearl never cut a player he signed. he did tell that Dobson kid he would never get off the bench if he stayed and suggested he go but that was a Buzz guy. This is bad anyway you look at it. The father was interviewed two weeks ago and said no one has spoken to him or his son about prep school or looking elsewhere. Additionally Huntington Prep is big time school and now we have trashed that relationship. Just an FYI here, one of our top targets just transferred there so I think its safe to say he probably doesn't go to UT.

I get why Martin did it but this stinks to high heaven.

Wasn't Philip Juric a casualty of a Bruce Pearl numbers crunch?

Ironcity writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

Wasn't Philip Juric a casualty of a Bruce Pearl numbers crunch?

Juric was a casualty of Mary Jane he is a good example of a player that maybe Pearl should have dumped but honored the commitment. After a year of bad grades and other activities he was on his way.

allvollego writes:

I honestly just cannot agree with people saying that this move stinks. I don't mean to say this to knock high school players, but high major college basketball is indeed that, and some illustrate that they are not ready for such an opportunity. Landry is not currently ready, and his stats are not the only thing that show it. I have watched Huntington Prep play several times on television and I must say there are young guys 3 or 4 players deep who contribute more on both ends of the floor. Landry does have heart, but that can only get you so far in this world where basketball talent is expected to produce immediately. I also think its a win because Tennessee is re-establishing itself as contenders when it comes to in state recruiting.

Ironcity writes:

in response to allvollego:

I honestly just cannot agree with people saying that this move stinks. I don't mean to say this to knock high school players, but high major college basketball is indeed that, and some illustrate that they are not ready for such an opportunity. Landry is not currently ready, and his stats are not the only thing that show it. I have watched Huntington Prep play several times on television and I must say there are young guys 3 or 4 players deep who contribute more on both ends of the floor. Landry does have heart, but that can only get you so far in this world where basketball talent is expected to produce immediately. I also think its a win because Tennessee is re-establishing itself as contenders when it comes to in state recruiting.

Then why offer him two years ago and why not make this move back in the fall when he would have had ample time to get situated? It stinks and I would bet Martin would be the first to admit it to his close friends.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Juric was a casualty of Mary Jane he is a good example of a player that maybe Pearl should have dumped but honored the commitment. After a year of bad grades and other activities he was on his way.

Mary Jane huh? She's seduced a few of them.

allvollego writes:

in response to Ironcity:

Then why offer him two years ago and why not make this move back in the fall when he would have had ample time to get situated? It stinks and I would bet Martin would be the first to admit it to his close friends.

Two years ago, He was a much better prospect for Tennessee, and at the time CCM had ZERO recruiting momentum. They were still sold on him in the fall, high school season had barely begun, and I think anybody being on the low end of totem pole with the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Co. might take some weeks to adjust. Things changed.

I agree it stinks, but there is a special place for those who want to be morally correct in this situation. That place is unemployment.

thevoice writes:

in response to shoelessvol#236864:

With averages under 3 points and assist's per game...I'm not sure why we signed him in the first place!!

+1. My thoughts exactly, even beyond the story here. Continuing to wonder about Martin.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

I'll be interested to find out how the process to release him came about. Someone had to initiate the process but we may never find out. Regardless of how it started I'm a UT sports fan, always have been and always will be.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to SevenT:

This Landry kid got the shaft, UT signs a better player then releases him. Martin better be very careful because this could blow up in his face.

Just Saying

In your continuing quest to miss no opportunity to make everything connected to UT look bad, at whatever cost to your minimal credibility or even simple consistency, you now choose to act as if NO other team has or would do anything of the sort. Anyone who is offended by this clearly knows nothing about the world of big-time sports. Even Landry's dad had to know Travon was looking at this possibility as the season rolled on with apparently minimal contributions by his son, even if he WAS playing on a great team.

If you are the dedicated UK troll I think you are, you probably can name every one of the guys ALREADY ON scholarship at UK who Calapari sent packing when he was hired to make room for his first crop of mercenaries. There is not another school in America where this hasn't happened on occasion.

vol98champ writes:

I think everyone, including Landry, thought he was going to improve. Obviously, he didn't and riding the bench is not helpful. If I were him, I would rather play somewhere than sit and watch. I bet Cuanzo has been trying to help him find a new home since JS stayed.

murrayvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

This Landry kid got the shaft, UT signs a better player then releases him. Martin better be very careful because this could blow up in his face.

Just Saying

And Robert Morris did blow up in Kentucky's face.

Just saying

CoverOrange writes:

in response to eVOLved:

i guess it's impossible that UT acted without telling you, and his dad didn't want to broadcast their business before it was certain

I assumed Mr. Landry didn't lie, even to the media. My bad. I'll assume the worst of everybody from now on.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I personally hate what just happened here. Martins best asset is his integrity and in this one move he has lost it with me and made it easy to recruit against him. This is consistent with what Buzz did and we saw how that worked out. Its bad enough that you would not have room for a kid who commits to you early in the process. It worse when you let said player sign his papers and then you shove him away leaving him with very limited opportunities. If you sign him then you should accept him. What happened here is a shame. Now that coach Martin has ventured into the sewer here he may find out as many other coaches have its hard to get out.

I think you are making too much of this as well. As you said, this happened with Peterson and it also happened with Pearl--remember Boomer Herndon? In fact, if you heard as much on a regular basis about most other programs as you do about UT, you would know that, regrettable as it might seem on the surface, this happens almost everywhere sometimes and somewhere all the time. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Chances are Landry will find someplace where he might actually get to play. Unless there are some freaky circumstances we don't know about to account for his apparent low level of production last season, he may have never gotten off the bench at UT anyway. It occurs to me that he might have made a mistake in transferring to that high-power program in the first place. If he wasn't good enough to get off the bench at his high school, he probably wasn't good enough to play in the SEC, no matter what he or his dad might have thought.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

It says Landry released...

All of these assupmtions, is it known 10% that Landry did not ask to be released, knowing he would never crack the rotation.

If it was done in a decent way this is best for the team. Landry had horrible numbers. Even if the team had talent his 3 point % was just ugly and that wont help UT.

Still do not understand the "POPS" signing though. I think Yemi was a great defender, maybe his female issues were too much to keep around though but at the rate Martin is going he will replace Pops with a more talented recruit next year.

For one thing, Ndiaye is a good foot taller than Landry. Even if all he can do is stand in the lane on defense and grab only the rebounds that hit him in his hands, he will contribute more than it seems Landry would have been able to do. I agree with you that it is likely that Landry and his dad were looking at other situations for just the reason you mentioned. If they had researched his possible future in basketball to the extent of getting him into that big-time HS program in the first place, they might have started to have some inkling months ago that they might need other college options as one 3-point attempt after another was clanking off the rim.

underthehill writes:

Coach Martin's call..glad it is over..

johnlg00 writes:

Look, I get why some people might see this as a distasteful situation. It IS distasteful, though none of us know ALL the facts, but it also one aspect of how the big-time sports business is conducted. There is no kind of business in which no one ever makes a mistake in linking an employee with a job. If you have a bad fit, somebody has to make a decision. No conscientious coach can possibly enjoy that part of the job. I have always wondered what happened to the last guy on the bench at the big-time HS programs like Oak Hill Academy, Word of God Prep in Raleigh, and Huntington Prep--now we know.

oldster writes:

in response to shoelessvol#236864:

With averages under 3 points and assist's per game...I'm not sure why we signed him in the first place!!

Uh, please note that he was signed before the basketball season was well underway. He had had a pretty impressive Jr. year at his old school. UT was not the only school after him.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Sorry, but this is a business and if your production is as dismal as his was this past season I have no issue with this. Good luck to the young man where ever he goes.

xanga writes:

martin: he's a standup kid, with a good head on his shoulders. we wish him the best but i'm bout to get fired and need to release this poor kid cause i'm a horrible coach.

Ironcity writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I think you are making too much of this as well. As you said, this happened with Peterson and it also happened with Pearl--remember Boomer Herndon? In fact, if you heard as much on a regular basis about most other programs as you do about UT, you would know that, regrettable as it might seem on the surface, this happens almost everywhere sometimes and somewhere all the time. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Chances are Landry will find someplace where he might actually get to play. Unless there are some freaky circumstances we don't know about to account for his apparent low level of production last season, he may have never gotten off the bench at UT anyway. It occurs to me that he might have made a mistake in transferring to that high-power program in the first place. If he wasn't good enough to get off the bench at his high school, he probably wasn't good enough to play in the SEC, no matter what he or his dad might have thought.

Players are NEVER cut before they even get to campus unless they do something stupid. Herndon Had spent two years at UT before he left. You are right that players are asked to move on all the time and if Edwards had been asked to move on I would have gotten it but in this case you sign a kid in November and cut him in April well that just doesn't work for me. By the way had Landry asked for his release and UT said no he would have had to sit two years to get back into D1.

LSG410EC83 writes:

It is amazing how everyone wants UT to be a consistent force to be reckoned with in the NCAA, but are against Martin when a situation such as this happens, even though we do not know anything about the situation. It is far from the first and will not be the last here or anywhere else. No different than signing a bunch of one and done players and then having to make some hasty decisions when they decide not to go pro after one. Hate it for Landry, but, it may be a blessing in disguise for him. How much playing time would he have gotten? His STATS don't look all that good. Skylar McBee had abetter 3 point average(finished with 34% career whereas this young man shot a little over 6% last year) and I seem to remember many on here spewing out hate toward a young man that was true Tennessee through and through. As mentioned by many, we have no idea the whole story and probably never will. Hope the best for this young man. If he is as good as many have said, he will land in a school with a full ride and will be successful. Still GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE. Class of 83

SevenT writes:

in response to johnlg00:

In your continuing quest to miss no opportunity to make everything connected to UT look bad, at whatever cost to your minimal credibility or even simple consistency, you now choose to act as if NO other team has or would do anything of the sort. Anyone who is offended by this clearly knows nothing about the world of big-time sports. Even Landry's dad had to know Travon was looking at this possibility as the season rolled on with apparently minimal contributions by his son, even if he WAS playing on a great team.

If you are the dedicated UK troll I think you are, you probably can name every one of the guys ALREADY ON scholarship at UK who Calapari sent packing when he was hired to make room for his first crop of mercenaries. There is not another school in America where this hasn't happened on occasion.

00

I hate to admit it, but I agree with you on this one. Several Kentucky players were in fact released when Calipari took the Kentucky job. I thought it was not right and I spoke out against it.

But your post says a lot about your personal character and integrity. You seem to see this as a good thing because UT will have a stronger team with better players and after all as you say people who are opposed to this "know nothing about the world of big-time sports". I am pretty sure you are the type of person who lies and twists the truth then stabs people in the back to gain some advantage in life.

Just Saying

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to allvollego:

I honestly just cannot agree with people saying that this move stinks. I don't mean to say this to knock high school players, but high major college basketball is indeed that, and some illustrate that they are not ready for such an opportunity. Landry is not currently ready, and his stats are not the only thing that show it. I have watched Huntington Prep play several times on television and I must say there are young guys 3 or 4 players deep who contribute more on both ends of the floor. Landry does have heart, but that can only get you so far in this world where basketball talent is expected to produce immediately. I also think its a win because Tennessee is re-establishing itself as contenders when it comes to in state recruiting.

The point that most fans are making is that Coach Martin and UT have possibly lost lot of integrity IF this decision proves to be a Cut. Everything we have read and seen indicates that Coach Martin told the Landrys it would be in their best interest to explore other schools. While it is true we dont have all of the facts, anyone with half brain can conclude it is highly likely that the Vols released him. IF this is in fact the case it does make UT look bad.

OwensboroVol writes:

This is an insult to the University of Tennessee and what it stands for. If Martin wants to pull this phooey I suggest he find another school to do so. I don't like the fact he runs around handing out scholarships like candy to players who aren't ready for the big time (reference the recent signing of a Community College Player who averaged 2.5 PPG and 3 RPG) and then delivers a blackeye to the reputation of this great University. He needs to be fired now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FWBVol writes:

There are positives and negatives with the early signing period and this is kind of situation is definitely one of the negative things.

When a school signs a kid early it takes a chance that he might have a less than stellar senior season and then are stuck with the player or forced to release him from his scholarship as happened with Landry.

The kid doesn't have the numbers that indicate he would be successful against Southeastern Conference competition. Cuonzo Martin is in a no-win situation here. If he honors Landry's scholarship some fans are going to be crying about wasting a roster spot. And by cutting him loose other fans are saying Martin isn't showing any class.

This is the very type of situation that could create similar problems, only worse, if there was an early signing period in football.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to senatorgip#470888:

The point that most fans are making is that Coach Martin and UT have possibly lost lot of integrity IF this decision proves to be a Cut. Everything we have read and seen indicates that Coach Martin told the Landrys it would be in their best interest to explore other schools. While it is true we dont have all of the facts, anyone with half brain can conclude it is highly likely that the Vols released him. IF this is in fact the case it does make UT look bad.

And you and every other a**hole who is complaining will be calling for CCM's head after the first loss. College athletics have things like this happen because of trash like you. So CCM decides that he is going to do what will be best for him and his team. But stop acting like you are so embarrassed and ashamed. You and fans like you caused this. Deal with it.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

This is an insult to the University of Tennessee and what it stands for. If Martin wants to pull this phooey I suggest he find another school to do so. I don't like the fact he runs around handing out scholarships like candy to players who aren't ready for the big time (reference the recent signing of a Community College Player who averaged 2.5 PPG and 3 RPG) and then delivers a blackeye to the reputation of this great University. He needs to be fired now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've been after CCM's scalp for quite some time, so please don't pump out the righteous indignation now.

It's unfortunate, but it had to be done.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

This is an insult to the University of Tennessee and what it stands for. If Martin wants to pull this phooey I suggest he find another school to do so. I don't like the fact he runs around handing out scholarships like candy to players who aren't ready for the big time (reference the recent signing of a Community College Player who averaged 2.5 PPG and 3 RPG) and then delivers a blackeye to the reputation of this great University. He needs to be fired now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's not an indictment of UT?? It's a mistake in judgement by CCM, and I can't say I blame him for not covering his roster if Stokes or McRae had bolted for the pros. Landry is a good kid, but he would of ridden the pine next year. I wish him well in the future, and am sorry things didn't work out.

LiveFaith writes:

Nothing much to see here but the icing on the cake. This was as sure as the collapse of "undamaged" WTC Building #7 on 9-1-1, when reported 20 MINUTES ahead of time as breaking news by BBC ... with it visually standing in the background!

Not sure how all the inner workings and expectations w these situations go, but this seems good for UT. Not sure @ LL.

BolivrBob writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I personally hate what just happened here. Martins best asset is his integrity and in this one move he has lost it with me and made it easy to recruit against him. This is consistent with what Buzz did and we saw how that worked out. Its bad enough that you would not have room for a kid who commits to you early in the process. It worse when you let said player sign his papers and then you shove him away leaving him with very limited opportunities. If you sign him then you should accept him. What happened here is a shame. Now that coach Martin has ventured into the sewer here he may find out as many other coaches have its hard to get out.

I agree. Low own and dirty. Landry should've never been offered, just like this new 6-11 JC kid. Not honoring our word does not make me proud.

lstbodeanvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

00

I hate to admit it, but I agree with you on this one. Several Kentucky players were in fact released when Calipari took the Kentucky job. I thought it was not right and I spoke out against it.

But your post says a lot about your personal character and integrity. You seem to see this as a good thing because UT will have a stronger team with better players and after all as you say people who are opposed to this "know nothing about the world of big-time sports". I am pretty sure you are the type of person who lies and twists the truth then stabs people in the back to gain some advantage in life.

Just Saying

you should be worried about Calipari instead of the website of a team that beat you by 30. Eventually he will do to you what he did at UMASS and Memphis state....I look forward to that day while the best basketball in Kentucky remains in Louisville .....GO VOLS

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