Tennessee men's basketball freshmen hope to tune up defense in final exhibition game

Freshmen learning 'natural' progression

Wade Payne/Special to the News Sentinel
Tennessee guard Darius Thompson, right, drives past Florida Southern guard Frank Adams during Saturday’s game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Wade Payne, © 2013 The Knoxville News Sentinel

Wade Payne/Special to the News Sentinel Tennessee guard Darius Thompson, right, drives past Florida Southern guard Frank Adams during Saturday’s game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

A person strolling past Pratt Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon would have thought a play worthy of the highlight reel had just happened during the Tennessee men’s basketball practice taking place inside.

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Comments » 7

TNlogfire writes:

The defense against the last exhibition team was abysmal, ppl going by us right and left with no help at all..it's all about moving your feet, as I'm sure Coach Martin is drilling into them daily. Good man-to-man defense is taught in college, not so much in high school, unless you play (or played) for George Pitts.

ktownddy writes:

I suspect all fans are going to struggle watching these new rules. What looks like poor defense is simply trying not to get what we used to call a cheap foul. They've gotten even cheaper...

underthehill writes:

I hate to hear all this stuff about reducing contact..from what I read and have seen so far..it is going to be overdone..giving the refs more power to decide who wins games..I have said numerous times that when Cal had Cousins and Jones..he wanted them to be allowed to go over the backs of the opponent on rebounds with no fouls called..he got his way too many times..after his cry babies came in last year and got man handled..he wanted touch fouls called..looks like he is going to get his way..I can see football trying to reduce injuries with rules changes..and you could make a case basketball has become too physical..especially the ladies games..but to overdo it like I am seeing ..simply allows the refs to dictate who wins .. not good for the college game..it is also imperative that Martin sees what is about to happen and get his team ready to play some zone..it is far easier to reduce fouls and stay in front of your man playing zone and various switching man schemes..you may have to give up more open outside shots ..but you can have much better floor positions and angles on drives to the basket..we may not see it at UT ..but we are going to see far more zone defense with the new rules...

BenFrederickson writes:

The discussion taking place here in the comments section is one going on all over the country. My biggest concern is that there will be hardly any flow to games. For fast paced teams, that's a problem. I've heard the argument that the new calls will only make a noticeable difference early on, and that's OK, I guess, if you are a team that doesn't have any important games at the front end of the schedule. Tennessee doesn't have that luxury.

Southern Florida committed 25 personal fouls in the first exhibition game. UT committed 19. Rather than having to remind his team to scale back, Coach Martin said after the game he felt his players were too timid in the first half. He said at halftime he told them to stop worrying about fouls and just play.

bUTch__please writes:

in response to underthehill:

I hate to hear all this stuff about reducing contact..from what I read and have seen so far..it is going to be overdone..giving the refs more power to decide who wins games..I have said numerous times that when Cal had Cousins and Jones..he wanted them to be allowed to go over the backs of the opponent on rebounds with no fouls called..he got his way too many times..after his cry babies came in last year and got man handled..he wanted touch fouls called..looks like he is going to get his way..I can see football trying to reduce injuries with rules changes..and you could make a case basketball has become too physical..especially the ladies games..but to overdo it like I am seeing ..simply allows the refs to dictate who wins .. not good for the college game..it is also imperative that Martin sees what is about to happen and get his team ready to play some zone..it is far easier to reduce fouls and stay in front of your man playing zone and various switching man schemes..you may have to give up more open outside shots ..but you can have much better floor positions and angles on drives to the basket..we may not see it at UT ..but we are going to see far more zone defense with the new rules...

Ask not for whom the bell tolls....it tolls for you.

My first reaction when hearing about the new emphasis is not printable. I really think Coach Zo is a solid recruiter, relates to his players very well, has an excellent awareness of the game.....and is as stubborn as a 25 year old mule.
You are absolutely correct...to live in the new emphasis just play zone and fill the bucket. No matter how strong this team is in fundamentals..this change is straight up to keep Cheatin' Cal afloat and the TV money rolling in. Period.

johnlg00 writes:

Even under the old rules, the Vols committed, IMHO, too many cheap fouls by trying to move forward to cut off a driver as far from the basket as possible. I said at the time that they needed to drop back toward the basket with their first step, keep their hands up, and make the driver pull up for the mid-range jumper, not a favored option for most players these days. That would seem to be even more important under the new rules. Not only will players have to be better at moving their feet, they also have to keep their hands UP and moving rather than reaching OUT to bother the dribble and such. If Martin continues to shun the zone defense, the Vols will HAVE to play more of a sagging man-to-man than an aggressive, ball-denying one, IMHO.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

Ask not for whom the bell tolls....it tolls for you.

My first reaction when hearing about the new emphasis is not printable. I really think Coach Zo is a solid recruiter, relates to his players very well, has an excellent awareness of the game.....and is as stubborn as a 25 year old mule.
You are absolutely correct...to live in the new emphasis just play zone and fill the bucket. No matter how strong this team is in fundamentals..this change is straight up to keep Cheatin' Cal afloat and the TV money rolling in. Period.

While I agree with both you and underthehill about Cal's efforts to influence officiating, changes like this have been discussed for years. The average score in college games has gone down virtually every season for the last 20 or more years as the game has become more and more physical. Besides, this year UK has a big, strong team that would benefit from a more loosely-called game rather than a tighter one, so I don't think he was a major force behind this change, though your point about keeping the TV money flowing has merit. In fact, he said that his teams would play more zone than ever because of the new rules. His advice, as stated on ESPNU's preseason basketball special a couple of weeks ago, was to either block the shot or get out of the way.

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