Mike Strange: Shouldn't someone have noticed Jarnell Stokes?

Mike Strange
Missouri's Torren Jones, right, and Earnest Ross, left, try to knock the ball away from Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes, center, while Wes Clark stands near during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 75-70. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Photo by L.G. Patterson

Missouri's Torren Jones, right, and Earnest Ross, left, try to knock the ball away from Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes, center, while Wes Clark stands near during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 75-70. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A funny thing happened on the way to another crucial SEC basketball loss.

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Comments » 27

vols1002 writes:

great coaching once again!! haha

UpperDeckCurtains writes:

Barton was much better at Memphis. Jim Boeheim wanted him at Syracuse. He's regressed under Cuonzo. Troubling.

tgggovols#1425081 writes:

Who's running this show? It doesn't take Larry Brown to figure out that we needed to get Jarn... say, speaking of Larry Brown...

RoadTrip writes:

With a couple more stupid losses, and there will be several more losses, this silliness will end soon. Yawn.

OldGolfer writes:

With the way Martin has used Stokes in his "offense" there is no way that any 5* star big men will ever consider coming to UT.

tathomas5#1423452 writes:

Please Dave Hart, end the madness.

murrayvol writes:

4 for 21 from downtown vs a guard oriented team. You cannot be serious.

Embarassing.

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

Yeah...Dave...stop the madness.

pingkr62 writes:

Is it August yet?

Bandit2 writes:

I keep trying to give Martin the benefit of the doubt but geez ... even I knew Mizzou's bigs were in foul trouble so we should probably keep going at them inside. There was no excuse to lose this one.

wilk58 writes:

Whatever reason you choose they lost a road game to a team with equal talent.

Plasticman85 writes:

Even the announcers, Jimmy Dykes, kept saying we should get the ball inside to Stokes , especially once Mizzous big men both picked up 4 fouls with 15+ ,minutes to go. It's obvious Cuonzo is clueless, just like Dooley was.

NaniMom writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

Even the announcers, Jimmy Dykes, kept saying we should get the ball inside to Stokes , especially once Mizzous big men both picked up 4 fouls with 15+ ,minutes to go. It's obvious Cuonzo is clueless, just like Dooley was.

My thoughts exactly! When will Hart relieve our misery!

brokebackvol writes:

Mr.Hart, call Bruce today, and make a deal. Please. Coach Martin is a good guy and all, but UT needs it's Pearl back.

johnlg00 writes:

I have to agree with everybody else on here that Martin just doesn't seem like the man for the job at this point in his career. From at least the ten-minute mark in the second half until the end of the game, NO SHOT should have have been taken outside 15' with more than five seconds on the shot-clock. EVERYTHING should have been taken inside. Sure, there were going to be some blocked shots and some turnovers, the way they were packing the inside, but when a team is weak inside to begin with and all the guys they have are in foul trouble, you have to MAKE THEM MAKE PLAYS.

This has been my biggest beef with this team all year, indeed for all of Martin's tenure. Either the staff doesn't see what is actually going on in a game, or doesn't know what needs to be done about what they see, or doesn't have the discipline to MAKE DARNED SURE that the players DO what they have to do. With all their considerable flaws, the Vols have, IMHO, enough talent, depth, and experience to do better than they have.

What they apparently don't have, from the staff on down through the playing roster, is the mental toughness to do what they have to do when things aren't necessarily going their way. And while the execution has often left much to be desired, there have been way too many stretches where they literally did not seem to understand what they OUGHT to be doing, and that is where the coaching comes in.

I have tried to defend Martin from the time he was hired until the present, but I am no longer convinced he has what it takes. It is just too bad that he has been unable to sign, train, or motivate players to play the way HE did. I hope he has influenced them to LIVE the way he has, but for the playing...not so much.

Volsreign1 writes:

And AGAIN a momentum destroying timeout is called immediately after a huge made 3 pointer. Someone please explain this strategy to me.

cltvol writes:

I know its a different era, but if don devoe had this team we would already have 20 w's. He may not have have brought this talent together, but this guy demanded the ball be pounded in the paint.

wilk58 writes:

While ultimate responsibility is Martin's this team is playing 3 major contributors with zero confidence Maymon, Barton and Thompson.
Maymon is gun shy at rim.
Barton can't throw it in ocean.
Thompson doesn't want the ball and he is your point guard.

Good coaching = good players or vice versa. Its that chicken or egg thing I guess.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I have to agree with everybody else on here that Martin just doesn't seem like the man for the job at this point in his career. From at least the ten-minute mark in the second half until the end of the game, NO SHOT should have have been taken outside 15' with more than five seconds on the shot-clock. EVERYTHING should have been taken inside. Sure, there were going to be some blocked shots and some turnovers, the way they were packing the inside, but when a team is weak inside to begin with and all the guys they have are in foul trouble, you have to MAKE THEM MAKE PLAYS.

This has been my biggest beef with this team all year, indeed for all of Martin's tenure. Either the staff doesn't see what is actually going on in a game, or doesn't know what needs to be done about what they see, or doesn't have the discipline to MAKE DARNED SURE that the players DO what they have to do. With all their considerable flaws, the Vols have, IMHO, enough talent, depth, and experience to do better than they have.

What they apparently don't have, from the staff on down through the playing roster, is the mental toughness to do what they have to do when things aren't necessarily going their way. And while the execution has often left much to be desired, there have been way too many stretches where they literally did not seem to understand what they OUGHT to be doing, and that is where the coaching comes in.

I have tried to defend Martin from the time he was hired until the present, but I am no longer convinced he has what it takes. It is just too bad that he has been unable to sign, train, or motivate players to play the way HE did. I hope he has influenced them to LIVE the way he has, but for the playing...not so much.

It seems Martin is a man of strong character and has done a good job helping his players understand it is in their best interest to stay out of trouble and get an education..that is great..but unfortunately it is only part of what a college coach is expected to do..I think you are right that at this point..UT is going to be faced with a decision as to who will be the coach next year..I agree with those who think Pearl will not be back..I also think the worst possible scenario would be for bama to hire Pearl..I never would have thought Saban would even consider hiring who he did..I prefer not to mention his name..but look how much trouble he caused UT..far more than Pearl did..I feel 100% sure Pearl will be offered several jobs..I hope one of them is not bama..

brewlocal writes:

I really can't keep watching this. And since I am not alone, the number of empty seats will keep growing. The students have already checked out. The student section is nearly empty most games now. The upper level of the gym isn't needed any more. Before the Ole Miss game, the scalpers were complaining about falling demand. During the Ole Miss game, the concession stands on my side were only 50% open. Dave Hart may not be tuned in to the actual games, but I bet he is watching a spreadsheet with trends headed in the wrong direction.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to Volsreign1:

And AGAIN a momentum destroying timeout is called immediately after a huge made 3 pointer. Someone please explain this strategy to me.

It's simple really, it goes like this:

Hit the 3 and immediately yell : "LOOK OVER THERE!.....HAHA!....MADE YOU LOOK!"

psychovol2 writes:

Butch!

psychovol2 writes:

Should have been Bruce. Got excited there.

bogey74 writes:

.... And the staff? How can an entire staff be clueless as well? Each of the staff members was a successful player. Inbounds plays, in game strategy, press offense, etc is so dismal. I just don't get it....

johnlg00 writes:

in response to wilk58:

While ultimate responsibility is Martin's this team is playing 3 major contributors with zero confidence Maymon, Barton and Thompson.
Maymon is gun shy at rim.
Barton can't throw it in ocean.
Thompson doesn't want the ball and he is your point guard.

Good coaching = good players or vice versa. Its that chicken or egg thing I guess.

Of course you are right about the subpar performances of those players. I would have loved to have been able to work with Jeronne in the offseason to teach him how to score from below the rim. I have seen countless guys of his general size and relative lack of lift who could score virtually at will around the hoop. It's not that difficult, but it does require LOTS of repetition so the moves are automatic in a given situation.

There is a way to train players, post-men in particular, in sort of a martial-arts manner--here is how you gain your balance; here is how you change your facing; here is how to pivot to gain leverage; here is how to pump fake effectively; here is where the ball should go, etc., etc. You train the reflexes to act quickly and appropriately to any situation. The only difference in this sense between martial arts and basketball is that in the former you are trying to physically disable an opponent and in the latter you are trying to "make him disappear". There IS a method, but it is truly amazing how few coaches know how to teach it anymore, though Mears and DeVoe excelled at it.

The martial-arts twist is pretty much my own. I was trying to find a way to connect with players on the importance of developing reliable skills and hit upon the analogy during a burst of popularity of martial-arts movies and heroes among young people, especially athletes. I just asked them, "Why do you think it is that these skinny little guys can kick the stuffing out of almost anybody when you would think a guy that size would be dead meat in a street fight?" Movie magic aside, there clearly are martial-artists in the real world who can defeat anybody who has not had their level of training, almost regardless of size, weight, or any other kind of physical trait. Having reliable moves at your disposal increases one's one's general confidence.

And of course PG play has been a particular Achilles' heel. I went back and forth with another poster about how much he thought the Vols missed Trae Golden. I basically said that I'm not sure it would have made much difference since you could never tell when the "real" Trae was going to show up. Unfortunately, now we know that it is unlikely that a PG will show up at any time this season. In that sense, I think the team would have been better off with Melvin Goins at PG; with Bobby Maze, this team would be in the Final Four. Well, maybe not, but they probably wouldn't be hanging by their fingernails to the hope of an NCAA bid and possibly shedding fans and support as well.

I did not intend to single you out for this oration. You just got my mind headed in that direction and, as is often the case, the words just ran away with me!

Misplaced_Vol_in_KC writes:

It was even worse being there and seeing Strokes have room to work, but he never had the ball. UNBELIEVABLE.

johnlg00 writes:

To ChesterDrawers: Thanks for your kind private message. I've just had a long time to think about some of these things and now in retirement I have more time to write some of them down. Unfortunately, my email doesn't let me respond to posts through my GVX mailbox. That is why I hope you see this. I don't recall that you have posted often, but maybe you "lurk" a lot(;-D).

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