Cuonzo Martin encourages Vols to play with a chip on shoulder

Martin says players can hold a grudge

Dave Martin/Associated Press
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin pours himself a cup of coffee during SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday.

Photo by Dave Martin

Dave Martin/Associated Press Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin pours himself a cup of coffee during SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Basketball teams don’t wear shoulder pads. But there’s always room for a chip.

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Comments » 7

bUTch__please writes:

I'd prefer Coach Zo coach like he has a chip on his shoulder as well. As John has well-documented on here, time to put this team in better positions to have success on every available opportunity to do so. A Tougher Breed on both ends of the bench would be highly appreciated.

Zo VOLS!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

I'd prefer Coach Zo coach like he has a chip on his shoulder as well. As John has well-documented on here, time to put this team in better positions to have success on every available opportunity to do so. A Tougher Breed on both ends of the bench would be highly appreciated.

Zo VOLS!

Thanks for the shout-out--if it was meant for me, that is(;-P)! If CCM can provide just a little extra value-added in terms of use of timeouts, substitutions, special-situation plays, etc., the talent, experience, depth, and balance of the team should make this a memorable season for all concerned. I rather suspected some of the guys might take exception to the relatively short shrift the media are giving them right now. That should go some way toward getting them out of the gate with energy.

underthehill writes:

I do not like to read about rules taking away the physical play..why..the Vols have the advantage this year with physical play..back when Ky had Cousins ..Cal wanted few..if any ..fouls called ..then when the Kittens started getting kicked around..he wanted touch fouls called..the VOls have the depth to play physical and they will have to do so to be successful..I think they will..as for Martin and his staff..I hope to see them use multiple defenses when it is to their advantage to do so...I had a former college coach tell me ..I loved it when the opponent let us know the defense they would play..what I hated was the guys who had so many defensive schemes we couldn't tell what they were going to do..

GerryOP writes:

If our Vols can get through November and December without stumbling, they should do well.

johnlg00 writes:

I don't know what 25 teams the "coaches"--read, "SIDs"--were looking at, but if there are 25 teams in the country better than the Vols, this will be one heck of a season! Talk about chips on the shoulder--the Vols should be toting 2X4s! And if the new rules are going to cut down on bodying up on people, I look for Stokes and Maymon to have really great years.

On defense, if the Vols can't play as physical as they might like, I want to see those hands up and mirroring the ball ALL THE TIME. With the long arms the Vol wing players have, NOBODY should be able to get a good look at the basket or the passing lanes.

All of you who worried about the Vols' somewhat deliberate pace in recent years should be encouraged by their decisive upgrade at PG, with not only a proven starter in Barton who thrives on a fast pace but also a backup in Thompson who might be better now as a pure PG than Golden ever was. That enhanced capability should pay dividends in the half-court game as well.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I do not like to read about rules taking away the physical play..why..the Vols have the advantage this year with physical play..back when Ky had Cousins ..Cal wanted few..if any ..fouls called ..then when the Kittens started getting kicked around..he wanted touch fouls called..the VOls have the depth to play physical and they will have to do so to be successful..I think they will..as for Martin and his staff..I hope to see them use multiple defenses when it is to their advantage to do so...I had a former college coach tell me ..I loved it when the opponent let us know the defense they would play..what I hated was the guys who had so many defensive schemes we couldn't tell what they were going to do..

We've been on the same page all along with this idea of mixing defenses. The new emphasis on cutting down on physical defense makes the idea of putting MENTAL pressure on the opponent by forcing them to adjust to a variety of possible defensive looks more important than ever.

OF COURSE you want your players to be as physically tough on the man they are guarding as the rules allow. Some coaches seem to think man-to-man defense is the ONLY way to do that, that playing zones is "passive". I say that a good, active zone says, "You aren't home free if you beat me; you've got to beat ALL of us!" It is if anything EASIER to trap the ball out of a zone than it is in the man-to-man. You can play up tighter on a perimeter ball-handler when you know teammates have got your back.

And of course, all great man-to-man defense relies on a good sense of how to help out, but if you are MAINLY concerned with chasing a guy all over the court through screens and such, it's easy to be out of position to help somebody else. There is a different trick involved in blocking people out to rebound defensively from a zone, but it isn't rocket science--always know who is in your area, put a body into them, and then go for the ball.

Perhaps the most important reason to vary defenses is that then you are PRACTICING how to play against different defenses--if you only practice man-to-man all the time, then the only time you see GOOD different defenses is in games, and that is usually too late. And if you ARE going to practice enough to be good against them, USE THEM YOURSELF. If CCM shows the flexibility to embrace some of these concepts, he will make the next step toward becoming a GREAT coach instead of just a pretty good one. IMHO.

johnlg00 writes:

Sorry to be one of the few posters who care about basketball yet, but I would like to add a few more words about the new defensive rules. I heard a great deal of discussion about them on ESPNU's "Midnight Madness" program Friday night. The consensus seemed to be that the fine old art of drawing charges will basically disappear. Almost any contact between a driving player and a defender will be called as a defensive foul. John Calapari said he is telling his players either to block a shot or get out of the way.

It will also be all but illegal to put a hand on a ball-handler anywhere on the perimeter and the use of hands and arms on defense in the post will also be severely restricted. The upshot will be a much more fluid, higher-scoring game than we have seen in recent years. It is essentially the reversal of a 30-year trend toward more and more physical play. It will become ever more important to play passing lanes and try to force deflected passes and dribbles.

Early games will likely be "foul-fests"--surely an unintended consequence--while players and coaches try to adjust tendencies and habits they have relied on all their lives. It should be interesting to see what kinds of adjustments will be made by refs, players, and coaches alike.

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