Cuonzo Martin says 2013-14 Vols are ready for 'tougher breed' of basketball

Tennessee players, from left, A.J. Davis, Robert Hubbs III, D'Montre Edwards, Jarness Stokes, Jordan McRae, Armani Moore, Galen Campbell, and Quinton Chievous gather together for a group portrait during Media Day at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday, October 7, 2013. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee players, from left, A.J. Davis, Robert Hubbs III, D'Montre Edwards, Jarness Stokes, Jordan McRae, Armani Moore, Galen Campbell, and Quinton Chievous gather together for a group portrait during Media Day at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday, October 7, 2013. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Coach Cuonzo Martin was willing to talk about his third Tennessee basketball team in a new context Monday at UT’s Media Day.

Subscribe to read the full story

Current Subscribers - Activate Now

Already subscribe to the News Sentinel? Unlimited access to KnoxNews.com on the web, your smartphone, tablet, Knoxville.com and GoVolsXtra.com is included with your subscription. All you need to do is ACTIVATE now!

Activate Now

New Subscribers - Subscribe Now

Want to keep reading?
KnoxNews now offers Premium and Digital Subscriptions. Subscribe now and select how you want to keep up-to-date on local news, reader comments, photos, videos, blogs and more.

Subscribe Now

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 5

VictorKrugerII writes:

Looking forward to seeing what this new guy, "Jarness Stokes," is made of.

KNS - I'll be your basketball article proofreader for the mere fee of a yearly subscription.

underthehill writes:

I agree with Martin..this team has the possibility of being tough enough physically to compete with any college team..Barton is a huge upgrade on defense..Golden simply could not defend baseline to baseline in any situation..but he was an excellent offensive player at times..Barton is a much better all around team player..Armani Moore has athletic ability (much like Richardson) to defend the entire floor..McRae became a better defender last year..I think we are going to see a very interesting Vol team this year..I hope to see multiple defenses including pressing full court (something they could not do with Golden on the floor)..some zone when needed..and the kind of man defense they played against Ky when they beat them by 30..I have no doubt this team will do well in the big show...

bUTch__please writes:

Barton is the X-factor. Trae was out of place as a point. Poor lateral speed, playing out-of-sync with the situation and randomly blowing up under pressure. If Barton can simply provide urgency when the team needs to move-it, protect the ball when pressed and consistently feed the ball to the teammate having the hot night...that's 5 more wins. Plus, there's no telling how many times he'll just shut down a game with a well-timed heart piercing 3 as the shot clock expires or how many points he can keep off the opponents board with his wingspan and footwork. Huge upgrade. His play and attitude will elevate this team far past what his game on paper says it should.

johnlg00 writes:

All elements one could hope for in terms of talent, experience, depth, and balance seem to be in place. The only remaining question is whether or not CCM can handle the team in a way that maximizes everybody's potential while keeping a harmonious bench and locker room, and this is no mean feat with the best will in the world on everybody's part. The team itself can account in a superior manner for the 80-90% of the game that players can and must control, but it will be up to CCM to provide the extra 10-20% through expert coaching that makes the difference between champion teams and talented assemblages of also-rans.

I will be looking for improvement in making substitutions according to game situations rather than by merely counting minutes; out-of-bounds plays that produce scores rather than merely settling for getting the ball inbounds; time-outs to stop runs and change strategies when necessary; and an ability to keep opponents off-balance by changing defenses and offensive tempos. Physical and mental toughness and man-to-man defense are not as inextricably bound together as CCM often seems to think. It is just as important to keep MENTAL pressure on the other team by making them respond to a VARIETY of situations as it is to be all up in an opponent's face physically all the time, and there is no inherent reason why a zone defense can't be just as physical and active as man-to-man. Goodness knows, other teams have demonstrated that to the Vols on several past occasions!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

Barton is the X-factor. Trae was out of place as a point. Poor lateral speed, playing out-of-sync with the situation and randomly blowing up under pressure. If Barton can simply provide urgency when the team needs to move-it, protect the ball when pressed and consistently feed the ball to the teammate having the hot night...that's 5 more wins. Plus, there's no telling how many times he'll just shut down a game with a well-timed heart piercing 3 as the shot clock expires or how many points he can keep off the opponents board with his wingspan and footwork. Huge upgrade. His play and attitude will elevate this team far past what his game on paper says it should.

Very true. Barton doesn't have to be a statistical star to be arguably the most important player on the team. If he can keep at least a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio; play solid defense against dribble penetration; shoot 45% from the floor, 40% from 3-pt range, and 85% from the line; and play 30 minutes a game, I won't care what the raw numbers are. However, if the numbers are something like 9AST:3TO, his shooting percentages hold up in critical situations, and he averages 12PPG, the Vols should easily be a top-10 team or better.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features