GVX Audio: Cuonzo Martin says he likes what he's seen from Robert Hubbs, other new arrivals

Head coach Cuonzo Martin chats with players during the men's basketball team's practice at University of Tennessee's Pratt Pavillion in Knoxville on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.  (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Head coach Cuonzo Martin chats with players during the men's basketball team's practice at University of Tennessee's Pratt Pavillion in Knoxville on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin said he's been pleased by what he's seen out of the Vols' new arrivals, including highly recruited freshman guard Robert Hubbs.

"He has a good feel for the game for a high school guy," Martin sad. "He's a great athlete. He's a fluid basketball player. The biggest key for Robert coming out of high school was his growth in the in-between game -- the ball-handling, the pull-up in the lane. Around the rim, the 3-point area, he was solid."

The Vols open the season with an exhibition game against Florida Southern on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena.

For today's full GVX audio interview, click the SoundCloud button above.

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Comments » 6

johnlg00 writes:

Glad to hear that Hubbs is coming along nicely, but it is telling that his mid-range game is not as strong as his 3-point shooting and driving game. I guess I'm just old-school, but it has always been my belief that a decent shooter should make as high a percentage of relatively open 12'-18' jumpers as he does free throws. That would be a higher percentage than anybody makes over the long haul from the arc and most likely higher than they would make taking the ball into the teeth of the defense.

It is also easier to get that kind of shot off since nobody really expects it these days. They will try to cover you up on the arc and build a wall to keep you away from the hoop, but you catch them in the transition when you can throw that hard stop and go straight up after a dribble or two. Anybody willing to put in the time to perfect the fake-dribble-launch sequence should be able to get a free look for that shot darned near any time he wants it.

That truly IS the shot that can propel an otherwise decent player into a long, successful pro career. It is the move ALL the greats from Jerry West to Larry Bird to Michael Jordan to LeBron James have perfected to make themselves essentially unguardable. I will just never understand why more kids don't do that and why more coaches don't teach it!

underthehill writes:

I have had a real good feeling about Hubbs since hearing that Duke wanted him..and I like hearing Martin talk about the pull up shot in the lane..what I don't get is why Armani Moore and Josh Richardson have not been effective scoring with this shot ..both jump so high it is almost impossible for the defender to stop..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I have had a real good feeling about Hubbs since hearing that Duke wanted him..and I like hearing Martin talk about the pull up shot in the lane..what I don't get is why Armani Moore and Josh Richardson have not been effective scoring with this shot ..both jump so high it is almost impossible for the defender to stop..

From what I saw in the streamed practice a couple of weeks ago and have read elsewhere, both Moore and Richardson have greatly improved their shooting for this year. I saw more of Richardson than I did of Moore, but Josh's shot is much more fluid with a vastly improved ball position and wrist cup. I agree that both of those guys ought to be able to take any college wing into the paint and shoot over them. It's not always as easy as we might think to take practice shots and moves into games, but if their improvement is real and permanent, they could really help this team soar this year.

BenFrederickson writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BenFrederickson writes:

Martin heaped more praise on Moore (no pun intended) again before Thursday's practice. I'm planning on writing a bigger piece later on, but here's the quote:

"He's always played hard. He's always been a tough kid. When I watched him on the high school and AAU circuit, I thought his skills were better than when he came in as a freshman. And he got better and better. Now you can see his ball handling, his cutting, is really improved ... The way he drives the ball now, with the rule the way it is, he should have many opportunities to get to the free throw line. It's tough for a small guy to box him out and keep him off the rim. He's a physical guy, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds."

Martin sees Moore playing in the paint and on the perimeter. He is less of a liability on the perimeter now because his defense has improved to the point where Martin feels comfortable asking him to man up with a guard.

I also asked Richardson about his improved 3-point shooting. He said he spent this offseason speeding up his release. He also said he is trying to no longer shoot from the side of his head. Instead, he is determined to bring the ball up square in front of his face.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BenFrederickson:

Martin heaped more praise on Moore (no pun intended) again before Thursday's practice. I'm planning on writing a bigger piece later on, but here's the quote:

"He's always played hard. He's always been a tough kid. When I watched him on the high school and AAU circuit, I thought his skills were better than when he came in as a freshman. And he got better and better. Now you can see his ball handling, his cutting, is really improved ... The way he drives the ball now, with the rule the way it is, he should have many opportunities to get to the free throw line. It's tough for a small guy to box him out and keep him off the rim. He's a physical guy, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds."

Martin sees Moore playing in the paint and on the perimeter. He is less of a liability on the perimeter now because his defense has improved to the point where Martin feels comfortable asking him to man up with a guard.

I also asked Richardson about his improved 3-point shooting. He said he spent this offseason speeding up his release. He also said he is trying to no longer shoot from the side of his head. Instead, he is determined to bring the ball up square in front of his face.

Good stuff, Ben. Keep up the good work! Most Vol opponents will be so focused on stopping McRae, Maymon, Stokes, and maybe even Hubbs that guys like Moore and Richardson will largely be afterthoughts to them. They may well come to regret that!

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