Antwan Space downs the Vols again, this time in overtime, 68-65

Texas A&M's Antwan Space is called for the offensive foul on Tennessee's Armani Moore during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.  (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Photo by Stuart Villanueva/ The Eagle

Texas A&M's Antwan Space is called for the offensive foul on Tennessee's Armani Moore during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Texas A&M's Antwan Space releases a shot against Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.  Space's three-pointer in overtime sealed the victory for the Aggies. (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Photo by Stuart Villanueva/ The Eagle

Texas A&M's Antwan Space releases a shot against Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Space's three-pointer in overtime sealed the victory for the Aggies. (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Texas A&M's Jamal Jones scores between Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes (L) and Jordan McRae during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.  (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Photo by Stuart Villanueva/ The Eagle

Texas A&M's Jamal Jones scores between Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes (L) and Jordan McRae during the first half of an NCAA men's basketball game at Reed Arena in College Station, TX Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (Bryan College Station Eagle/ Stuart Villanueva)

Antwan Space did it again.

The Texas A&M forward who broke the Tennessee men’s basketball team’s back with a game-winning 3-pointer in Knoxville earlier this season once again hit a game-deciding 3-pointer in Saturday’s rematch between the Aggies and the Vols at Reed Arena.

Texas A&M 68, Tennessee 65.

Space’s shot fell through the net with four seconds left in overtime. The Vols called a timeout, but failed to create a shot attempt at the other end once play resumed.

Twice at the end of regulation, UT thought it had won the game. The Vols stormed back from an eight-point deficit with 1:46 left in regulation and appeared to take a 60-59 lead when Antonio Barton hit a 3-pointer. But that shot was negated by a UT time out taken before the shot.

Out of the Vols’ time out, Stokes scored a layup and drew a fifth foul on A&M’s leading scorer, Alex Caruso. But Stokes’ potentially game winning free throw bounced off the front rim and the Vols fell in overtime.

UT fell to 16-11, 7-7 SEC with the loss. The Aggies improved to 16-11, 7-7.

Jordan McRae led the Vols with 20 points. Stokes scored 16 and pulled down 16 rebounds. Jeronne Maymon finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Caruso and Jamal Jones paced the Aggies with 14 a piece. Space scored six, none more important than his final three.

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Comments » 43

azuamaria#216297 writes:

Awful!!!!!!!!

Buttcrackhead writes:

Buzz Ball part II..Let me show you how many ways we can lose a ball game...Fire him now don't even let him on the plane and let Bruce coach out the rest of the year...Maybe we could still get in the NCAA....With this staff. No Way....

Buttcrackhead writes:

No posts. NO body cares anymore...This is pitiful..

smithm#1382509 writes:

I'm done!!!!! This team does not care. I see no chemistry... AND NO COACH!!!!!

primetimevol writes:

Good bye Gounzo! Even though Jarnell blew a chance to pull your butt out of the fire, calling a timeout with 3 seconds left as Barton launched a potential game winning three was inexcusable! Do whatever it takes and bring back Bruce! The mediocrity across all sports necessitates it!

Snapshot writes:

This loss surely doomed any chance of making the tournament.
Stick a fork in Cuonzo he is done, at least I'm done with him.

What a bone-head move to call time out with 2 seconds left in regulation...unbelievable.

Golferdocvol writes:

The Vols didn't lose the game in the last 1:45. They lost it in the first 38 minutes. Lack of intensity, defense , and CM waiting too long to put pressure on A&M was typical of this season. AGAIN --- we lose a game that we should have won. Embarrassing ! No direction in this program. Very sad.

underthehill writes:

Kermit Davis is the head coach at MTSU..Monte Towe is his assistant..UT would have been far better to have hired Kermit when they hired Martin..I doubt they have enough common sense to know this..even now...

bUTch__please writes:

The team and coaches talked all week about the "bad loss" A&M put on them at TBA. Talked about how they needed to set that loss straight. Red Flag #1 is when you have a 16-10 (7-6) team going to 15-11 (6-7) teams home floor and poor mouthing them for 4 days. Now they are both 16-11 (7-7) so it's not so bad a loss, huh? (yes I know the RPI says different, but still, you don't poor-mouth a team that has already handed you your @ss once already, RPI or not)

Who calls a time-out with 2.6 seconds to play? If you can't trust your players to make a play to win or tie on a run-out...

I, for one, am looking forward to March Madness this year on Haslam practice field...cause you can stick a fork in this squad.

brewlocal writes:

You couldn't make it up if you tried.

It was like losing 3 games in one.

Loss #1 on the time out.

Loss #2 on the missed free throw

Loss #3 on the A & M three.

robert#1417579 writes:

in response to Golferdocvol:

The Vols didn't lose the game in the last 1:45. They lost it in the first 38 minutes. Lack of intensity, defense , and CM waiting too long to put pressure on A&M was typical of this season. AGAIN --- we lose a game that we should have won. Embarrassing ! No direction in this program. Very sad.

Totally agree, Golferdocvol. This team plays sloppy, uninspired ball for most of many games, whether it be first or second half or both. Then they wait until the last 2 minutes, when they're down, to try and do something about it. This team has way too much talent to be 16-11. They should be 21-5 at worst. But, instead, we're heading to the NIT, again. A good coach would be looking to extend our NCAA streak to 9 straight seasons and probably a 4 or 5 seed. This is a wasted season with a lot of wasted talent.

OrangePride writes:

This is just par for the course....exactly according to form. Play awful for 38 minutes, try to pull it out in the last two and end up short. And why Cuonzo calls a time out with .18 on the clock thus negating the winning basket is beyond everyone. For the growing fewer numbers who were hanging on hoping for some late season magic, well.... "Nobody sees the Wizard today. No how, no way." And if we stay with CCM for next year, which I fully expect Hart to do, these will be known as "the good ole days." How sad.

tenacvol#248890 writes:

The lack of posts on here just shows how indifferent Vols Fans have become about this program. Apathy reigns. It is definitely time for a change. Bring Pearl back. Please!!

Golferdocvol writes:

It has finally occurred to me --- CM 's plan is to lose regular season games lulling our future opponents to sleep, and then winning the SEC tournament . Then going to the Final Four . How foolish of me !

rumaso writes:

Cuonzo needs do what George Costanza did on Sienfield when he realised he couldnt do anything right... just do the opposite of whatever he thought he should do. When he did that then everything went great! just do the opposite Cuonzo.

bricker865#1439238 writes:

Luckily I was on the West Coast in Oregon (riding up to Mt. Hood) when I got the text that came through, with the results (the Overlook Hotel probably wasn't half as scary as the Vols game). At least I wasn't glued to the TV I mean, and having to watch that phooey!

rockypop writes:

Before I posted, I was committed to taking a point of view that hasn't been expressed, but it's tough. Outside of Kentucky and Florida, it has been a weird year in the SEC. Somehow, before this game with A&M, UT was fourth in the standings and due a bye in the conference tournament. That in itself is a head-scratcher. Then you have UT beating LSU at home by 18, and LSU beating UK at home - then almost beating them at Rupp today.

I've concluded that Tennessee lacks confidence - for whatever reason. The players have every right to lack confidence in their coaches, because they almost never put them in a position to win in close games.

But, when you see guys miss the kind of shots that have characterized UT players all year, then you understand how they can lose confidence in their teammates as well.

This is a fragile team. They need everything to go right for them to win - at home and on the road. They don't know how to fight through adversity, nor do they believe they can win a close game. Regrettably, I predict they'll end up once again in the NIT, where they will lose in the first round based on apathy.

With that said, CCM will still get another year.

broleb44#1437447 writes:

Can you believe this B S? Cuonzo, has ruined this team, from the get go, three years ago. So damn boring. I urge all fans to stay home for the remainder of the season, maybe UT will fire his sorry -ss then. Any idiot except Martin knows, you can not put one player above the TEAM, ie stokes. I bet you the dumb idiot called the timeout, with 2.5 seconds because the ball was not going through stokes. I posted a very lengthy article, on this stupid, phooey of every thing going through stokes, and the slow boring pace, with UT trying to run everything through stokes, granted it works if the team is running the ball, with crisp passes, and stokes passes the ball back out when he gets double teamed. But like today no pass back out and turnover city strikes again. How many good shots were passed up by other players, with martins BS play calling. Since UT is in a pinch for money, I hope Hart does not allow the team, to accept a NIT bid, flush this season, and martin with it. ONCE AGAIN STAY AWAY, FORCE UT'S HAND ON THIS AND FIRE THE DUD. you can not tell me COACH BIRD at Belmont could not have put this team in the big dance.

Plasticman85 writes:

Either fire Martin and bring back Pearl or just do away with the men's basketball program. If Hart isn't willing to hire an experienced coach that has NCAA tournament experience then I am not willing to purchase season tickets anymore. Bruce Pearl is going to be available and I don't care if it's not until August. He is the one proven coach that can bring excitement back to this flailing program.

handydan1#1425890 writes:

Probably the best collective talent, 1-6 deep TN has ever had! Can you imagine BP coaching this much talent....Zo, you are a great recruiter, a good man...but you have NO concept of what an offense should look like in basketball....Hart will likely keep you another year because UT probably too tight to pay another buyout and sure as heck ain't gonna pay big $$ for a name coach! Lost 2 of last 3 that we coulda, shoulda beat with no major problems....I am done! Will not attend another BB game until this program is turned around and the talent works as hard as their expectations and we have.....sorry my $$ staying home!

willphill#241787 writes:

You can't blame the players. They have a coach who plays the only game A&M can play and win. Walk the ball up and play a half court game. I'm sure the A&M coach would like to thank Cuonzo for playing his game. A waste of talent and a waste of three years. Millions of dollars lost by a bad hire. It's time to stop the bleeding and rehire Bruce Pearl.

fannotsheep writes:

So where is the prediction now that we are in the NCAA? What a sad time for Vol fans. Even the Lady Vols don't look like they'll get to the Elite 8.

Black curtains anyone?

oldster writes:

Martin cannot do the job. UT still owes him for two years on the contract and, given how much they have paid out for lousy coaches and stupid contract negotiations, they cannot afford to fire him. If they do, they are going to need some rich donors to pay him off and provide enough money to hire a decent coach. A decent coach who is NOT Bruce Pearl who, despite what some think, turned out teams with less and less success as he stayed here and brought in players who ended up causing more embarrassment off the court than good vibes on it.

BubbaJ writes:

Very disappointing season! Nothing left to play for at this point, as this team is incapable of putting together any kind of streak, and it will take that in the SEC Tourney to advance to March Madness. Not going to happen! That said, new coach or not, the 2014-15 team will probably be much worse! Hey, maybe this years Baseball team will surprise us all.

UT4prez writes:

Unfortunately my prediction of 4-3 the last 7 is off to a bad start. No doubt we are NIT bound. I don't mind calling a time out at the end of the game. However, you either call it as soon as you cross half court or you let them play it out. This team will lose at auburn as well. Missouri is very possible as well. Wasted season.

willphill#241787 writes:

in response to oldster:

Martin cannot do the job. UT still owes him for two years on the contract and, given how much they have paid out for lousy coaches and stupid contract negotiations, they cannot afford to fire him. If they do, they are going to need some rich donors to pay him off and provide enough money to hire a decent coach. A decent coach who is NOT Bruce Pearl who, despite what some think, turned out teams with less and less success as he stayed here and brought in players who ended up causing more embarrassment off the court than good vibes on it.

Revisionism. Bruce had 6 straight NCAA appearances. A number one ranking. An elite 8 result. The only team that did not perform as expected was the last one when we were under the cloud of suspicion created by our own administration.

Plasticman85 writes:

So when is the announcement the Bruce Pearl is coming back? Can't happen soon enough!

IndianOutlaw writes:

I swear that Cunzo is Wade Huston in a different body. He has done the least with the most. He is even beating Jerry Green and Buzz Petterson in the wasting talent. He is a good man but we need someone who will win and be competitive.

Chris_L75 writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

Either fire Martin and bring back Pearl or just do away with the men's basketball program. If Hart isn't willing to hire an experienced coach that has NCAA tournament experience then I am not willing to purchase season tickets anymore. Bruce Pearl is going to be available and I don't care if it's not until August. He is the one proven coach that can bring excitement back to this flailing program.

Doing away with the program might not be as outlandish as some would think. Why not, when the powers that be place such low importance on its success? At some point, you have to say we've all suffered enough - through about six incompetent coaches, with one good one whom we stumbled onto, and that regime had to implode in disaster-movie fashion.

At the very least, I fully agree with the other commenter about declining the NIT bid. Last year, McRae pretty much told us they were going to tank that one, and so they did. Give that spot to a smaller school that would be collectively giddy at the chance to be on national TV. (Like, for example, Mercer was.)

It's difficult to proceed when you know your season's over and yet, technically, it continues. Good seats will most definitely be available.

murrayvol writes:

I was looking ahead to the Mizzou visit as an elimination game. Worng again.

keowee3718#379181 writes:

Thank God it's softball season! This team is awful.

oldster writes:

in response to willphill#241787:

Revisionism. Bruce had 6 straight NCAA appearances. A number one ranking. An elite 8 result. The only team that did not perform as expected was the last one when we were under the cloud of suspicion created by our own administration.

I am not a revisionist, but a pragmatist. I am aware of what his teams accomplished. I also recognize that once Lofton left, his style changed to a half court grind it out offense and a slow 'em down defense and that his team's record grew, gradually, worse. In his last year, while the team made the tournament, it was as bad a team that made it. He left the cupboard bare for Martin.

I am also aware of the police blotter, drug issues, and other morally suspect decisions that his players made. Therefore, when he got caught being dishonest, it merely demonstrated why he was not particularly concerned with the character of his players - his own is suspect. I would bet his ex would agree with my assessment.

UT4prez writes:

in response to oldster:

I am not a revisionist, but a pragmatist. I am aware of what his teams accomplished. I also recognize that once Lofton left, his style changed to a half court grind it out offense and a slow 'em down defense and that his team's record grew, gradually, worse. In his last year, while the team made the tournament, it was as bad a team that made it. He left the cupboard bare for Martin.

I am also aware of the police blotter, drug issues, and other morally suspect decisions that his players made. Therefore, when he got caught being dishonest, it merely demonstrated why he was not particularly concerned with the character of his players - his own is suspect. I would bet his ex would agree with my assessment.

Part of the reason the BBB crowd calls you revisionist is because you say Pearl's record grew gradually worse. His next to last team had 28 wins, his second most. That next to last team also made the deepest tournament run of any Pearl team. I get why it seems his teams gradually got worse as 2010-11 was his worst year, and his last of course, followed by 2008-09. So his two worst records came in his last 3 years.

fannotsheep writes:

I'd take any of Pearl's teams over the product on the court now. Every coach has struggles. Pearl had to learn to deal with different types of athletes and egos than he did at a small college. He beat Kansas people. He dominated Florida even in their championship seasons. He had us within a play of the Final Four.

If you want to hate on Bruce go ahead -- it's a free country. But if you can't see how fast we went from one of the most talked about programs in the college game (in a good way) to utter irrelevance in less than three years you have ulterior motives. Or you're stupid.

oldster writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Part of the reason the BBB crowd calls you revisionist is because you say Pearl's record grew gradually worse. His next to last team had 28 wins, his second most. That next to last team also made the deepest tournament run of any Pearl team. I get why it seems his teams gradually got worse as 2010-11 was his worst year, and his last of course, followed by 2008-09. So his two worst records came in his last 3 years.

I had forgotten about his next to last year. I guess it was the change in his team's style (from exciting to boring) and overall decline in efficiency and record in his past few years more than the absolute numbers. However, boring or not, Pearl can coach basketball. The question is can he do it without cheating and with players who are not as morally bankrupt as he appears to be.

Perhaps I should join the legion of people who want to win games at any and all cost. Perhaps I am being a Polly Anna, but I continue to believe that one can win while maintaining and demanding good character and conduct. I.e. I do not think that all winners are insufferable jerks.

johnlg00 writes:

Several posters have noted the Vols' lack of confidence in clutch situations in big games. I guess I will never understand why, when the Vols have come out flat to start games time after time, Martin hasn't done anything that I can see to change that. Some of this has to be on the players as well, but sometimes any team needs a kick in the butt to get themselves going.

I'm not claiming this is THE answer, but why in the WORLD wouldn't you try something like starting the game in a press to get these guys' hearts pumping. There just don't seem to be any traditional leader types on this team, so it is clear that you can't rely on the team to bring their own energy. Tell them before the game that they are going to play a full-court press at least until the first media timeout. I guess it is possible that the opponents might get some easy buckets, but when they prefer to play a slow style themselves as most of their opponents this year do, it just might give the Vols a chance to get the lead and make the opponents fight from behind.

Maybe this isn't the best idea, but--DANG IT!--when you have a recurring problem, you need to do something DIFFERENT to turn that around. The old definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. At least such a move might show the fans, and more importantly the team, that the coaches are doing everything they can to turn things around. Maybe the lack of confidence of the staff to act boldly has trickled down to the players. If you are in a bad spot, which Martin is right now, you have to show that you are at least TRYING to turn things around.

Yes, it can be a sign of panic to try a whole bunch of different things, switching back and forth from one style or lineup to another, but doing NOTHING different in such situations looks like paralysis and lack of nerve.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to oldster:

I had forgotten about his next to last year. I guess it was the change in his team's style (from exciting to boring) and overall decline in efficiency and record in his past few years more than the absolute numbers. However, boring or not, Pearl can coach basketball. The question is can he do it without cheating and with players who are not as morally bankrupt as he appears to be.

Perhaps I should join the legion of people who want to win games at any and all cost. Perhaps I am being a Polly Anna, but I continue to believe that one can win while maintaining and demanding good character and conduct. I.e. I do not think that all winners are insufferable jerks.

Yes Polly, the guy had an illegal BBQ and lied about it. If you consider that corrupt, your head is in the sand when it comes to college basketball recruiting, one of the sleaziest businesses there is. There isn't one successful coach that doesn't push the envelope in recruiting. Most just do not get caught.

johnlg00 writes:

The real problem for the Vols all year has been the poor production from the PG position. The combined line for Barton and Thompson was, two points, two assists, two turnovers, and 0-8 on FGs. Not too many teams can win with so little from that vital position. Unfortunately, those numbers have been typical this year. Perhaps they would have been better off with Golden after all, though, again, I'm not sure there was any option to letting him go. I'm also not sure any other coach could have gotten any more out of Barton and Thompson. Thompson is too young and tentative and Barton just didn't turn out to be as good as some of us thought he would be.

johnlg00 writes:

And while we're all nitpicking, I have become concerned lately about Jordan McRae's shooting form. He has always had that off-kilter right elbow, but lately, especially on free throws, it seems further off-line than ever. Also, he seems to duck his head down and to the right and move his right shoulder toward the basket, giving him a couple more non-standard motions to compensate for. Of course, it is hard to say too much about McRae's awkward form when you see that Mizzou sub who nailed about three 3-pointers with absolutely THE WORST shooting form I think I have ever seen in a college player!

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

The real problem for the Vols all year has been the poor production from the PG position. The combined line for Barton and Thompson was, two points, two assists, two turnovers, and 0-8 on FGs. Not too many teams can win with so little from that vital position. Unfortunately, those numbers have been typical this year. Perhaps they would have been better off with Golden after all, though, again, I'm not sure there was any option to letting him go. I'm also not sure any other coach could have gotten any more out of Barton and Thompson. Thompson is too young and tentative and Barton just didn't turn out to be as good as some of us thought he would be.

It appears Martin and his staff should have been recruiting a Jr College point guard player..Middle Tenn had one when he wore out Trae Golden in the NIT..

oldster writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

Yes Polly, the guy had an illegal BBQ and lied about it. If you consider that corrupt, your head is in the sand when it comes to college basketball recruiting, one of the sleaziest businesses there is. There isn't one successful coach that doesn't push the envelope in recruiting. Most just do not get caught.

I do consider that corrupt. The NCAA found it corrupt. Breaking laws is corrupt. Is it okay to break a rule or law because others do it? I do not think so.

There is a difference between pushing the envelope and consciously breaking a rule and/or telling a bald faced lie.

Like I said, if you want to condone it, you are with the majority - and I do not just mean Vol fans or even sports fans. This win at any cost has become another bad aspect of the moral decay of our country.

UT4prez writes:

in response to johnlg00:

And while we're all nitpicking, I have become concerned lately about Jordan McRae's shooting form. He has always had that off-kilter right elbow, but lately, especially on free throws, it seems further off-line than ever. Also, he seems to duck his head down and to the right and move his right shoulder toward the basket, giving him a couple more non-standard motions to compensate for. Of course, it is hard to say too much about McRae's awkward form when you see that Mizzou sub who nailed about three 3-pointers with absolutely THE WORST shooting form I think I have ever seen in a college player!

McRae does not play smart ball at all. He turns it over and gets out of control the way you would expect a freshman would. However, I get the feeling he is the type of player that if you try to reign that in then you take him out of his game and he becomes useless.

Regarding your other post, I agree. PG has killed us. Martin has brought some good things to the table this year but the lack of fire in this team and the poor basketball IQ with which they play have to come back to him. The teacher has to motivate the students and teach them how to best utilize their talents. It's a shame though. I swear this team has improved from last year in a lot of ways. They pass the ball better and with more intent. They move better. They attack a zone better. It just hasn't shown up in the record. I really wish they would go on a tear now and make the tournament. It's just not going to happen though.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to UT4prez:

McRae does not play smart ball at all. He turns it over and gets out of control the way you would expect a freshman would. However, I get the feeling he is the type of player that if you try to reign that in then you take him out of his game and he becomes useless.

Regarding your other post, I agree. PG has killed us. Martin has brought some good things to the table this year but the lack of fire in this team and the poor basketball IQ with which they play have to come back to him. The teacher has to motivate the students and teach them how to best utilize their talents. It's a shame though. I swear this team has improved from last year in a lot of ways. They pass the ball better and with more intent. They move better. They attack a zone better. It just hasn't shown up in the record. I really wish they would go on a tear now and make the tournament. It's just not going to happen though.

It is hard to say with McRae whether he thinks he has to have a big night for the Vols to win--which may well be true--or that he thinks showing off his creativity makes him a better NBA prospect. In either case, he seems to press too much at times, trying to do things that clearly aren't there. He has been better about those things most of the year, but in pressure situations he reverts to that bad habit of just trying to go straight to the basket regardless of the defense or dribbles it himself for 15-20 seconds before just flinging one up there.

Also, with reference to his bad shooting form, he seemed earlier in the season to be making a conscious effort to keep his right elbow under the ball, but again, under pressure, he reverts to his old faulty style. Of course, he has had some very efficient scoring games, but when you have as many moving parts to your shot as he does, you can easily forget to make all the necessary compensations when you are under game pressure.

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