Cuonzo Martin streams 'good' energy during first men's basketball practice

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin signals to his players during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin signals to his players during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

If Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s overt usage of the word “good” was any indication during Tuesday’s first practice of the season, then he was surely pleased with his 2013-14 squad’s debut.

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Comments » 4

maciste54 writes:


johnlg00 writes:

Can't say I saw Reese knocking down all that many shots, though the somewhat sketchy choices of what to show had a lot to do with that. I concur with most of Arnold's observations of the players. Some of the drills looked like they were intended to correct a few little sloppy things the Vols have tended to do in previous years. For example, the post drills seemed intended to produce much more purposeful and decisive moves than the posts showed at hardly any time last year. Ball-handling drills focused on being strong and emphatic at keeping the ball away from defenders' hands while maintaining solid triple-threat positions, forcing defenders to pay attention at all times. Defensive drills were aimed at better movement, balance, and hands mirroring the ball, though I didn't really hear that term used.

To expand slightly, in past years, Jarnell in particular seemed to have a limited repertoire of post moves and didn't really seem to have a PLAN when he got the ball in certain spots. The drills I saw yesterday should help. I will be interested to see how well they carry over into live action this year.

The Vols on the perimeter last year just seemed to stand around holding the ball without making any particular effort to MAKE opponents cover them closely. Consequently, when they did try a move, the change in intent was obvious, so opponents knew when to bear down on the defense.

On defense, in the past the Vols seemed to take strides that were too long in their defensive slides, making them vulnerable to quick crossover moves. They also had their hands down by their sides too much; yesterday's drills emphasized keeping the feet apart on slides and keeping the hands active. I still quibble somewhat with the idea of defensive "slides"; I prefer to think of it as a sort of skittering movement, keeping a wide base at all times and only moving each foot a few inches at a time, somewhat like the little jumps one uses in jumping rope.

As for the hands, one hand should always mirror the ball, wherever it is; you can never know exactly when an opponent may try to shoot, pass, or drive, so you always want to have a hand shadowing the ball--nobody's hands are quick enough to come up from below the waist to get in the way of a pass or shot all the time, and anything you can do to obscure the opponent's view of the court, especially of the post area, is all to the good.

I am heartened to see that CCM and staff seem to have identified some fundamental deficiencies and developed some drills to address them. Now they just need to follow through consistently so those fundamentals become second-nature. If they can do this and translate those skills to live action, we will all be in for a MOST enjoyable basketball season!

nanab54#1420544 writes:


FeelVol writes:

Really enjoyed the live stream,what I was able to watch of it.Looking forward excitedly to this season.Go Vols!!!

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