Q&A: ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes dishes on the Vols

Analyst thinks Vols have 'fighting chance' at NCAA

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL
Jimmy Dykes, ESPN college basketball analyst and former Arkansas basketball player and coach, broadcasts from the sideline of the Tennessee-Florida game at Thompson-Boling Arena last Tuesday.

Photo by Adam Lau

ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL Jimmy Dykes, ESPN college basketball analyst and former Arkansas basketball player and coach, broadcasts from the sideline of the Tennessee-Florida game at Thompson-Boling Arena last Tuesday.

Jimmy Dykes has had courtside views of the good and the bad.

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Comments » 19

longandstraight writes:

I think in a nice way he said they are a bubble team at best. They have had several chances to prove they are deserving of a bid to the tourney and they have not done that. Time shall tell. Also, he said they could maybe win a game or two in the tourney but are lacking the dominant man inside just like all the other average teams that will get in. I guess I don't know why they would want to get in the tourney and get embarrassed. Shoot 40-50% one night and when they play a good defensive team that drops to 20-30%. Wonder why? They are not that good.

johndavid writes:

... and you guys said we could not make it with 5 SEC losses. ( we can make it with 6 maybe 7) I would say I told you so but I already said that on the other article!

fannotsheep writes:

Nobody has said UT will make the field with more than 5 losses. This guy sees a lot of basketball but he is not on the selection committee. If the Vols lose one more game that means they win six of their last seven, so you would think that would be enough. But if they lose two more they are losing to at least one team they should beat. If they go 11-7 SEC, I think they need at least one SEC Tourney win to have a chance. They would be 21-12 and that might get you a bubble spot or an NIT bid.

If they go 12-6 SEC, you'd still like to win the first round SEC Tourney game and if you lost the next one you are 22-11. No guarantees but should get in.

Yes I want to make the NCAA field even if they lose in the opening round. If you can't make the 68-team field who really cares if you beat a couple of directional schools in the Not In Tournament tournament?

Buttcrackhead writes:

Tony Jones was interviewed on the radio yesterday and basically called out the staff over their lack coaching ability. He said this team NO WAY should have lost 9 games so far. Then went on the say a lot of other critical statements. He was not being mean or gloating, he was just being honest. This staff is not very good...BBB

fannotsheep writes:

in response to Buttcrackhead:

Tony Jones was interviewed on the radio yesterday and basically called out the staff over their lack coaching ability. He said this team NO WAY should have lost 9 games so far. Then went on the say a lot of other critical statements. He was not being mean or gloating, he was just being honest. This staff is not very good...BBB

Amen to that.

Martin says he wants tougher guys who will play his brand of basketball and I like good defense as well as the next person. But you won't put butts in the seats without offense, transition and three pointers -- basically the kind of basketball on display when Lofton and Jujuan Smith were key cogs in Pearl, Jones & Co.'s entertainment machine.

Even they got a bit boring grinding it out in later seasons, but they were winning, beating Kansas and Florida. Football purists might like 6-3 games and baseball purists might like 1-0 pitcher's duels, but 54-48 basketball games are pure hell to watch.

tntuba#225866 writes:

When we score less than 65 points we are 1-6 this year. Let that sink in. You have got to "score the basketball at a very high level" if you want to win....period

I'm tired of this guys cliche coach speak, I'm tired of his boring basketball, I'm tired of losing games we shouldn't and most importantly I am sick and tired of his lack of emotion. He is not a involved in the community, he doesn't promote the team in an effective manner. The long we take to correct this Hamilton era mistake...the longer it will be before we are relevant again.

We only gave Dooley 3 years...get this guy out of here.

EVEN if by some huge stroke of luck we do make the tournament this year....have you looked at the class he has coming in next year? He is just not getting it done in any aspect of his job OTHER than not getting in trouble.

He'e another Buzz/Dooley. A "likable" guy on the surface who just can't get it done.

johnlg00 writes:

I consider Jimmy Dykes to be one of the best analysts working today. He has deep knowledge of the game from the point of view of a player, a coach, and a long-time analyst. He has a way of stating key concepts simply--"hot hands", "guard your yard", etc.--which are good for players to know, and concise enough to cover a lot of ground with a few words. I think he has a pretty good handle on the kind of team the Vols are. It is only an opinion, but an informed one. It is ultimately up to the Vols to show everybody what kind of team they are.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to tntuba#225866:

When we score less than 65 points we are 1-6 this year. Let that sink in. You have got to "score the basketball at a very high level" if you want to win....period

I'm tired of this guys cliche coach speak, I'm tired of his boring basketball, I'm tired of losing games we shouldn't and most importantly I am sick and tired of his lack of emotion. He is not a involved in the community, he doesn't promote the team in an effective manner. The long we take to correct this Hamilton era mistake...the longer it will be before we are relevant again.

We only gave Dooley 3 years...get this guy out of here.

EVEN if by some huge stroke of luck we do make the tournament this year....have you looked at the class he has coming in next year? He is just not getting it done in any aspect of his job OTHER than not getting in trouble.

He'e another Buzz/Dooley. A "likable" guy on the surface who just can't get it done.

Are you going to pay for Martin's buyout? I too am disappointed in how the team played this year, and I too blame some of that on Martin. However, it would be more just for him to have to do what he can with next year's team since he will have recruited them all. If they turn out to be as bad as some think they will, it wouldn't be doing a new coach any favors to start out in that kind of hole. On the other hand, if the team does fall way short again, it would be fairly clear that the school had no choice but to let him go. Either he can mold them into the kind of team he wants--i.e., one that plays closer to its potential than this year's--and do fairly well with them, or he won't, in which case he most likely will be gone.

johnlg00 writes:

I thought it was interesting that Jimmy Dykes thought Barton would be better than he has been. I don't feel too bad now for expecting the same thing.

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I consider Jimmy Dykes to be one of the best analysts working today. He has deep knowledge of the game from the point of view of a player, a coach, and a long-time analyst. He has a way of stating key concepts simply--"hot hands", "guard your yard", etc.--which are good for players to know, and concise enough to cover a lot of ground with a few words. I think he has a pretty good handle on the kind of team the Vols are. It is only an opinion, but an informed one. It is ultimately up to the Vols to show everybody what kind of team they are.

Zo is apparently a nice guy who was given this opportunity by Hamilton the ding bat dingy previous AD.
Don't like to see anyone lose their job but coach Zo sadly isn't cut out to be a BB coach at this level of competition.

Donovan coached circles around him in the second half of the game on Sat. and the kids and the fans payed the price for his lack of coaching abilities.

Sorry Zo I don't want to be cruel but you gotta go back to a lower level school like a small high school in a rural and remote area of the country and start over..

If that don't work I understand CVS is hiring.

Don't know if Bruce can or will come back but something best be done PDQ to get someone with some fire in his butt to take that job. We are toast right now and soon to be burnt toast if Hart and the powers to be don't step up and fix the problem. See if Pat wants to finish out the year for him.You would see some emotion from her. Guaranteed.

bUTch__please writes:

I'd love to see this team make the dance, but I'm concerned the 2A sees the same things I do -

with the change of emphasis this year - eliminating charges and calling hand checks - every team that focused on increasing their scoring average, did so. We did not. This lack of taking what the rules have served up on a silver plate is stubborn and short-sighted.

our biggest liability as a team is the lack of intensity. When a team doesn't play hard to win every time it steps onto the court, every single possession being valued, you see the result that we saw the last 4 minutes against the gators. Without playing hard as a habit, when the pressure goes up, it's completely foreign territory and the wheels come off. Just a quick out on a neutral court against any 9 seed you put in front of them. Not to mention the carnage that could result in meeting a higher seed right off the bat from going in as a 12.

This team either needs to win out the season and go couple games into the SEC tourney - OR - if they lose one more game, they'll have to get to the SEC championship game to even have a prayer. Thin ice would be an improvement right now.

underthehill writes:

The lack of intensity was never more evident than in the Vandy game..for the players sake..I would like to see them make the big show..but as for me ..I care about the same as they did the first 30 min of the Vandy game..

no1djkb#278630 writes:

You guys are partially right about Martin but I am getting tired of people talking about the good talent we have on this team. Hey face it guys, we do not have the good talent. If you can't play above the rim, then you can't win basketball games period. If you are truly basketball fans, then call it all the way just don't pile on a guy and not put all the cards on the table. Name one player on this team besides McRae will start for a really good team.

underthehill writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

You guys are partially right about Martin but I am getting tired of people talking about the good talent we have on this team. Hey face it guys, we do not have the good talent. If you can't play above the rim, then you can't win basketball games period. If you are truly basketball fans, then call it all the way just don't pile on a guy and not put all the cards on the table. Name one player on this team besides McRae will start for a really good team.

Stokes is by far the best player on this team and could start for any SEC team including Fla..he dominated Ky so much that Cal and his players gave him the credit he earned..he also dominated Fla rebounding..check the stats...it was not of his doing the the Vols lost to Fla at home..as for the total team talent..Maymon..thru no fault of his own..has not been able to return to the level he was before his injury..Barton was misjudged as a point guard and defender..I don't see anybody failing to call it like it is..McRae would be no threat to start for KY or Fla..

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

You guys are partially right about Martin but I am getting tired of people talking about the good talent we have on this team. Hey face it guys, we do not have the good talent. If you can't play above the rim, then you can't win basketball games period. If you are truly basketball fans, then call it all the way just don't pile on a guy and not put all the cards on the table. Name one player on this team besides McRae will start for a really good team.

Stokes and maybe even McRae will be playing in the NBA next season. I don't think any teams in the SEC besides KY and FL can say that about 2 of their players. Talent isn't the problem. Coaching and motivating the talent is.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johndavid:

... and you guys said we could not make it with 5 SEC losses. ( we can make it with 6 maybe 7) I would say I told you so but I already said that on the other article!

You're dreaming jd. No SEC team can get in with that many Ls (w/o winning the tourney). If the Vols don't get hot we're done.

murrayvol writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

I'd love to see this team make the dance, but I'm concerned the 2A sees the same things I do -

with the change of emphasis this year - eliminating charges and calling hand checks - every team that focused on increasing their scoring average, did so. We did not. This lack of taking what the rules have served up on a silver plate is stubborn and short-sighted.

our biggest liability as a team is the lack of intensity. When a team doesn't play hard to win every time it steps onto the court, every single possession being valued, you see the result that we saw the last 4 minutes against the gators. Without playing hard as a habit, when the pressure goes up, it's completely foreign territory and the wheels come off. Just a quick out on a neutral court against any 9 seed you put in front of them. Not to mention the carnage that could result in meeting a higher seed right off the bat from going in as a 12.

This team either needs to win out the season and go couple games into the SEC tourney - OR - if they lose one more game, they'll have to get to the SEC championship game to even have a prayer. Thin ice would be an improvement right now.

Exactly. Absent a couple of miracle runs I don't see more than 3 SEC teams making it.

johnlg00 writes:

I'm leaning toward the idea that it is the coaching at least as much as the playing. It is not easy to separate what part of the final result is due to coaching and what is due to the quality of the team's effort and execution.

I did not expect the Vols to be champions Martin's first year. Although the team was competitive most of the year, it was limited in talent and numbers and Martin was perhaps too conservative and too slow to adjust to the various realities of the SEC. The biggest reason they didn't do better that year was the absence and/or hobbling of Maymon and Golden at key points of the season.

The next year, I was willing to give Martin a bit of a break since Maymon was out all year and Golden once again was hurting to one degree or another. Stokes did not yet have the skills or temperament to be productive in crunch time in the teeth of multiple defenders.

Consequently, THIS was going to be the year if it was ever going to happen for Martin. Even if we accept the fact that the PG spot wasn't settled--and again, I don't think Martin had any choice but to let Trae go--they had All-SEC players at three positions. Richardson showed the potential for elevating his game to All-SEC quality. True, there was only sporadic help from the bench, but there have been a lot of teams in tough leagues who have exceeded expectations with way less talent, experience, or depth than the Vols have.

I know that the calls will be loud and unceasing to get rid of Martin if the team doesn't at least make the Big Dance. It will be up to the administration to make a big, costly decision. I think the school will lose a lot if Martin is let go, and we all know that it is not certain that the administration will get the "right" guy.

They may decide for any of several reasons not to make a change after this season even if the team falls short of the tourney again. As new as he is to the head coach role, Martin's basketball learning curve may steepen. Much will depend on the internal situation on the team. If it appears that Martin still has the team's loyalty and they continue to work hard and behave themselves, it might be worth it to the powers-that-be to give him at least one more shot.

bUTch__please writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm leaning toward the idea that it is the coaching at least as much as the playing. It is not easy to separate what part of the final result is due to coaching and what is due to the quality of the team's effort and execution.

I did not expect the Vols to be champions Martin's first year. Although the team was competitive most of the year, it was limited in talent and numbers and Martin was perhaps too conservative and too slow to adjust to the various realities of the SEC. The biggest reason they didn't do better that year was the absence and/or hobbling of Maymon and Golden at key points of the season.

The next year, I was willing to give Martin a bit of a break since Maymon was out all year and Golden once again was hurting to one degree or another. Stokes did not yet have the skills or temperament to be productive in crunch time in the teeth of multiple defenders.

Consequently, THIS was going to be the year if it was ever going to happen for Martin. Even if we accept the fact that the PG spot wasn't settled--and again, I don't think Martin had any choice but to let Trae go--they had All-SEC players at three positions. Richardson showed the potential for elevating his game to All-SEC quality. True, there was only sporadic help from the bench, but there have been a lot of teams in tough leagues who have exceeded expectations with way less talent, experience, or depth than the Vols have.

I know that the calls will be loud and unceasing to get rid of Martin if the team doesn't at least make the Big Dance. It will be up to the administration to make a big, costly decision. I think the school will lose a lot if Martin is let go, and we all know that it is not certain that the administration will get the "right" guy.

They may decide for any of several reasons not to make a change after this season even if the team falls short of the tourney again. As new as he is to the head coach role, Martin's basketball learning curve may steepen. Much will depend on the internal situation on the team. If it appears that Martin still has the team's loyalty and they continue to work hard and behave themselves, it might be worth it to the powers-that-be to give him at least one more shot.

Agree 1st and 2nd year.

This year, can't give a pass. Maybe Coach Zo is in over his head, maybe he's not getting the support/challenge from his assistants that he needs or maybe he is just stubborn. In any case, the result is the same.

I don't think the team has been hampered because the bench has given sporatic help, I think the bench has been benched in favor of poor player management.

Take the case of Maymon. I love him and his floor presence as much as any fan...but..isn't it glaringly obvious the man has lost shooting touch and hops. Am I wrong? I don't think I was the only one who witnessed Davis blow up anyone foolish enough to try to shoot over him for the first 8 games. Lots of hops, quick, 6'9" of great timing. But Coach Zo couldn't pull the trigger on the fact we needed AJ's speed and hops because he felt a need to prop Maymon or use Maymon to prop the teams floor focus. Where has Ndiaye been? Sure, his offense is lacking but he can defend as good as any of them plus we have McRae and Richardson and Stokes for offense. Let them have the ball and let Rawane rebound.

We were all thinking Barton would slide into Trae's spot but it was also painfully obvious by SEC play that Thompson, Freshman mistakes and all, was putting the distance between them at the point. But Coach Zo can't stand a defensive lapse so...

Slow to put a 1-3-1 zone in this year even though the team has used it well. Slow to attack the rim with quick players and new rules that opened up the dribble drive. Bad time-out management. No intensity on the floor and no desire to win.

Concerned this year has been a wasted opportunity. After 3 years the buy-out is probably not that high.

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