For Tennessee men's basketball team, quest for NCAA Tournament appearance starts against Xavier in Cincinnati

Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs III (3) and forward Jeronne Maymon (34), from left, chase down the same rebound during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs III (3) and forward Jeronne Maymon (34), from left, chase down the same rebound during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Standing a few feet away from an idling bus that would take the Tennessee men’s basketball team to a Cincinnati-bound airplane, Cuonzo Martin acknowledged expectations have rightfully grown.

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Comments » 9

wigmeister writes:

Play hard boys!!! Let us not give the committee a chance to leave us out of March Madness!

bUTch__please writes:

Pumped. Looking so forward to seeing if all these strong components can come together. Could be an epic year.

Zo VOLS!

johnlg00 writes:

Young Thompson will have his hands full tonight, so I hope Barton can play enough to reduce Thompson's strain. Xavier nearly always has strong guard play. Thompson needs to concentrate ONLY on taking care of the ball and look to score only when he is open.

I think it's probably smart to limit Maymon's minutes early on. I just hope he is in for the RIGHT minutes, and in large enough chunks for him to get a rhythm, rather than running him in and out at two-minute intervals.

AJ Davis and Pops Ndiaye showed me enough in the exhibitions to think they can give some productive minutes in relief of Maymon and Stokes. Between Maymon's limited minutes and Stokes' tendency to pick up early fouls--and that was BEFORE the new rules limiting contact inside--the Vols will need some contributions from the subs to reach the level they need to get to the Big Dance this year. They can also "go small" when necessary with Reese or Edwards at high post in some alignments.

rockypop writes:

Based on the first 10 minutes of this game, UT is a MESS.

robert#1417579 writes:

Right now this basketball team is as bad as the football defense. I've never seen such poor shooting in my life. Can't hit a free throw, can't hit a layup, can't hit a jumper, can't rebound, can't guard without fouling. Silly turnovers. Can it get any worse? I hope the second half sees a big change.

robert#1417579 writes:

This team looks horrible. Xavier isn't very good at all, but we look like a middle school team at their first practice. Maymon isn't ready to play at all. Stokes should have stayed home. McRae has been ok and Barton has been good. Other than that, Chevious is the only person that has given good effort.

robert#1417579 writes:

McRae had one good stretch at the end of the first half and has been a no show since. Hubbs, not a one and done for sure. Another no show. This game will not get anyone excited about watching this team.

robert#1417579 writes:

Stokes has fouled out. Thank goodness. He was just taking up space and helping no one What are we now, 7 of 20 from the line or something like that. And many of those are the front end of a one-and-one. This team is on the same path as the last two years. Can't beat anyone good early in the year. Probably no NCAA again.

robert#1417579 writes:

You just can't wait until January to start playing basketball and that's what this team has done for two years. The next few weeks will tell if this year will be the same. After tonight it sure looks like it. Just pathetic.

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