Mike Strange: In a mediocre SEC, Vols should have won more

Mike Strange
Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin shouts instructions to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 75-70. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Photo by L.G. Patterson

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin shouts instructions to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 75-70. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Saturday was a nail-biter in SEC basketball. Four of seven games were decided in the closing moments, including Missouri’s 75-70 win over Tennessee.

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Comments » 19

wilk58 writes:

woulda, shoulda, coulda

atnvol#283282 writes:

Mike Strange says, "We can debate why the league is so bloated with NIT fodder. One theory is coaching." ...Michael, I think that sums it up pretty well...at least in Tennessee's case.

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

Great take on the SEC. Martin had his chance to prove his coaching abilities and even with the SEC being down he could not do it. Time to pay up hart and bring in a winner.

longandstraight writes:

It is not about the x's and o's but the Jimmy's and Joe's. Get over it Vooool fans. They cannot compete with the average and better than average teams. Wake up and smell the coffee. A coaching change will not change the results. Second rate players and team.

bricker865#1439238 writes:

in response to longandstraight:

It is not about the x's and o's but the Jimmy's and Joe's. Get over it Vooool fans. They cannot compete with the average and better than average teams. Wake up and smell the coffee. A coaching change will not change the results. Second rate players and team.

Wow, that was one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen.

robert#1417579 writes:

Tennessee has top 20 talent, but they are playing like a top 150 team. longandstraight, you're clueless if you can't see that. Tennessee should be 20-5 right now, at worst. They have only played 3 teams with equal or better talent all year. So far this season, at Tennessee, we've seen a huge waste of talent.

vols1002 writes:

in response to robert#1417579:

Tennessee has top 20 talent, but they are playing like a top 150 team. longandstraight, you're clueless if you can't see that. Tennessee should be 20-5 right now, at worst. They have only played 3 teams with equal or better talent all year. So far this season, at Tennessee, we've seen a huge waste of talent.

Exactly right!

SmokeysPup writes:

I lost interest in this years team before SEC play even started. They play with no sense of urgency

fannotsheep writes:

In Tennessee's win over Virginia we saw the potential. In SEC play we see what they have evolved into -- a talented group of individuals that do not play as a team, don't seem to care if they lose, and make no progress overcoming weaknesses.

I see no hope they will win out. No way they get in unless they make the SEC Tourney finals. No way they beat Florida if they somehow win enough tournament games to earn another shot.

So barring a miracle we are NIT bound with talent that should be Sweet 16, even with Hubbs' injury. And no one is claiming next year will be better, either on the basis of returning talent or recruiting.

What a shame that the tremendous job Pearl did in reviving a dead program at Tennessee took only three years to flatline. Here's my prediction: empty seats as far as the eye can see.

irishcoffee writes:

in response to longandstraight:

It is not about the x's and o's but the Jimmy's and Joe's. Get over it Vooool fans. They cannot compete with the average and better than average teams. Wake up and smell the coffee. A coaching change will not change the results. Second rate players and team.

odd. bruce came in, and with less talent took that team to a #2 seed in the tournament. hmmmm, something is not adding up.

johndavid writes:

If they win 6 more total (including SEC tournament) and make NCAA please dont give Conzo an extension. Let him play with his own players completely next year and if he drops off at all bring Pearl back for 1.8 mil( or whatever it takes) or pay 3-4 mil and hire somebody who can recruit like Pearl. Either way will make more $ for program.. Thats assuming ONE of the other 10 SEC schools who would love to have him doesn't hire him first.

If I were Pearl I would not want to come back to UT and I would certainly not want to coach the group Conzo has lined up for next year starting in August with no time to recruit a difference maker or get this team ready.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

In Tennessee's win over Virginia we saw the potential. In SEC play we see what they have evolved into -- a talented group of individuals that do not play as a team, don't seem to care if they lose, and make no progress overcoming weaknesses.

I see no hope they will win out. No way they get in unless they make the SEC Tourney finals. No way they beat Florida if they somehow win enough tournament games to earn another shot.

So barring a miracle we are NIT bound with talent that should be Sweet 16, even with Hubbs' injury. And no one is claiming next year will be better, either on the basis of returning talent or recruiting.

What a shame that the tremendous job Pearl did in reviving a dead program at Tennessee took only three years to flatline. Here's my prediction: empty seats as far as the eye can see.

Pearl's last two years were busts or flatlined with awfully good talent. Go look at the terrible losses and busts in the NCAA with superior talent. Don't tell me how great he did getting to the dance, the SEC had 6 teams in without really earning it. The Vols were 19-15 in Pearl's swan song debacle year.
He ain't coming back so fire Coach Martin and try again. Pearl is responsible for this mess if you want to canonize him but you have to hold him accountable.
I will agree on one thing, this team is a bunch of losers that have no passion except Maymon and find a way to walk into another loss.
I hope for the sake of all concerned Coach Martin has an opportunity in the Big 10 or MVC and takes it. I doubt he will because he will honor his contract but he could leave and watch the feeding frenzy of idiots in the shark tank.

johndavid writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Pearl's last two years were busts or flatlined with awfully good talent. Go look at the terrible losses and busts in the NCAA with superior talent. Don't tell me how great he did getting to the dance, the SEC had 6 teams in without really earning it. The Vols were 19-15 in Pearl's swan song debacle year.
He ain't coming back so fire Coach Martin and try again. Pearl is responsible for this mess if you want to canonize him but you have to hold him accountable.
I will agree on one thing, this team is a bunch of losers that have no passion except Maymon and find a way to walk into another loss.
I hope for the sake of all concerned Coach Martin has an opportunity in the Big 10 or MVC and takes it. I doubt he will because he will honor his contract but he could leave and watch the feeding frenzy of idiots in the shark tank.

If Pearl were here we would be 1st or 2nd in SEC right now and going to the Dance for the 9th straight yr. This talented team would have even more talent ( a couple of good PG s ) the one at Lville would be here not to mention other players to mix in with Stokes, Mcrae and Maymon. Any doubt where they would be with Pearl and his PG (Jones I think is his name) Of course Golden would probably be here too. 9 in a row and counting and that includes some serious runs from a couple of teams who were a shot away from Final 4 or more. They could play with anyone anytime! . Every team has a bad game or two, that does not trump the overall results. Just compare job offers next year between Conzo and Pearl. The ADs around the country will speak loud and clear!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bricker865#1439238:

Wow, that was one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen.

Yep, he sensed that there has been a relative lack of outright trolls on here since it became a pay site, so he generously stepped in to fill the void. Such a move naturally appeals to one whose brain pan is already void.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to johndavid:

If Pearl were here we would be 1st or 2nd in SEC right now and going to the Dance for the 9th straight yr. This talented team would have even more talent ( a couple of good PG s ) the one at Lville would be here not to mention other players to mix in with Stokes, Mcrae and Maymon. Any doubt where they would be with Pearl and his PG (Jones I think is his name) Of course Golden would probably be here too. 9 in a row and counting and that includes some serious runs from a couple of teams who were a shot away from Final 4 or more. They could play with anyone anytime! . Every team has a bad game or two, that does not trump the overall results. Just compare job offers next year between Conzo and Pearl. The ADs around the country will speak loud and clear!

I don't think Martin had any choice but to let Trae go. If what I have heard about his situation is true, it would have taken some kind of major intervention from above Martin's level to smooth out the ethical and possibly legal kinks in Golden's case. I could maybe see such a thing at some "outlaw" program, but not on a UT team these days. Hard to argue with much of the rest of this.

Chris_L75 writes:

I keep reading here about Pearl's "last two years" being so mediocre. The next-to-last year was 2009-10, in which UT beat two No. 1 seeds in TBA and went on to the Elite Eight. That's a "bust"?? And the last season was doomed from the start by distractions - of his own making, you can say, but not a reflection of his coaching ability.

All that aside, I do think Pearl is not the only coach capable of winning at this school. It's a matter of how determined and discerning the hiring committee will be.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to johndavid:

If Pearl were here we would be 1st or 2nd in SEC right now and going to the Dance for the 9th straight yr. This talented team would have even more talent ( a couple of good PG s ) the one at Lville would be here not to mention other players to mix in with Stokes, Mcrae and Maymon. Any doubt where they would be with Pearl and his PG (Jones I think is his name) Of course Golden would probably be here too. 9 in a row and counting and that includes some serious runs from a couple of teams who were a shot away from Final 4 or more. They could play with anyone anytime! . Every team has a bad game or two, that does not trump the overall results. Just compare job offers next year between Conzo and Pearl. The ADs around the country will speak loud and clear!

The problem many of the delusional Pearl sycophants cannot seem to grasp is he would be here still if he had not cheated and lied. He did it to himself taking the program down the tubes and getting his coaches fired.
It didn't help he had a well known history as a snitch making him a hypocrite.
And that is what you know. Amazingly, there are those of you that would welcome him back after he screwed so many out of avarice and narcissism.
I am also interested in the changes in coaching careers after the dance. Hope your Pearl bubble doesn't get burst cause he isn't coming back to UT.

fannotsheep writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

The problem many of the delusional Pearl sycophants cannot seem to grasp is he would be here still if he had not cheated and lied. He did it to himself taking the program down the tubes and getting his coaches fired.
It didn't help he had a well known history as a snitch making him a hypocrite.
And that is what you know. Amazingly, there are those of you that would welcome him back after he screwed so many out of avarice and narcissism.
I am also interested in the changes in coaching careers after the dance. Hope your Pearl bubble doesn't get burst cause he isn't coming back to UT.

What an interesting take. Gosh I had not heard that one. Have you ever lied? Of course not. Not you.

Pearl screwed up, but he was punished so harshly it would be like sending someone to prison for 10 years for trying to talk their way out of a ticket.

The basketball world has it in for Pearl and they got their revenge. But if you are a UT football game, Mr. Waituntilnextyear, consider that Fulmer ratted out Alabama. And I'll bet you there are not a dozen top basketball coaches in NCAA history that did not mislead the NCAA intentionally at one time or another. I am fully aware that it's extremely unlikely Pearl will coach again at UT. That is why, after being a Vol basketball fan since 1966 when I was first old enough to listen and read about them, I have become so apathetic about the situation that I no longer get excited when they jump out to a lead or get upset when they fold. I've seen the movie so many times.

Funny, the idiots in charge at UT thought so highly of Martin for losing a close game to Pearl's Vols. They were right, the man has a talent for losing close games. Just not always to superior teams.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johndavid:

If Pearl were here we would be 1st or 2nd in SEC right now and going to the Dance for the 9th straight yr. This talented team would have even more talent ( a couple of good PG s ) the one at Lville would be here not to mention other players to mix in with Stokes, Mcrae and Maymon. Any doubt where they would be with Pearl and his PG (Jones I think is his name) Of course Golden would probably be here too. 9 in a row and counting and that includes some serious runs from a couple of teams who were a shot away from Final 4 or more. They could play with anyone anytime! . Every team has a bad game or two, that does not trump the overall results. Just compare job offers next year between Conzo and Pearl. The ADs around the country will speak loud and clear!

We might be 2nd in the SEC (remember Florida?) but we sure as hell wouldn't be "going to the Dance". The NCAA would've seen to that.

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