Mark Wiedmer: Vols' Martin can't catch a break

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin reacts as the Vols defeat Ole Miss 86-70 during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin reacts as the Vols defeat Ole Miss 86-70 during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Some college basketball coaches almost never seem to get a bad break. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski comes to mind, for instance. And, no, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim didn't just whisper that in my ear after the block/charge fiasco that sealed the Orange's road loss to Coach K's Dookies on Saturday night.

Then there's Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin, who can't seem to get anything but bad breaks. For proof, just consider Martin's Saturday, when he diagrammed a play in the final 2.6 seconds of regulation at Texas A&M that could have been the greatest coaching move of his three years in Knoxville.

Instead, it may go down as the worst moment of his Big Orange career because just after he signaled for a timeout to draw up that play, the Volunteers' Antonio Barton buried a 3-pointer that would have won the game.

Would have, that is, if Martin's timeout hadn't negated the basket. So even though the embattled coach drew up a play perfect enough to become a Jarnell Stokes dunk and force overtime, because Stokes missed the "and one" free throw that would have won the game in regulation and the Vols went on to lose to the Aggies in the extra period, the following criticisms of Martin appeared on UT message boards:

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Comments » 5

KENVOL writes:

Gotta get a new coach. If you think the last three years was bad just wait till next year. Buy him out and cut the strings.

VolFolks writes:

"Yet while Cuonzo still hasn't reached his first NCAA tournament in his third season of employment, his 55-39 record to date is vastly superior to Houston's 65-90 mark in his five seasons in Knoxville."

In another 2 years his record may not be so superior to Houston's 5 year record.

johndavid writes:

Good overall article
Strange needs a RPI lESSON FROM you before he makes more foolish statements about Vols NCAA chances.
Did not need the comment about big 3 were not highly thought of. First OF ALL , anybody Pearl recruited could play or had a chance to be a major contributor. The players Pearl was turning away his last 3 yrs were better than the players Martin has recruited. Pearl would not have recruited Mcrae and Maymon if he did not like them, he had other 4 star players wanting to come play for him. McRae and Maymon were both highly sought after by many big time programs. They didn't play because they were young and Maymon was ineligible AND BEHIND Chism, Hall Williams etc. There were great players in front of them. I think Pearl had the talent to sit Mcrae for a year and try and mold him into and even better player. I have read quotes from Mcrae regretting not listening to Pearl about several things and even apologizing to Pearl and his staff. Mcrae was 2nd in Preseason player of the year voting and on his way to 1at team ALL SEC. Maymon has better stats than most SEC big men, epecially their 2nd best one. Stokes is First team SEC and puts up numbers like a 2ND team ALL AMERICAN. Please don't try and minimize how good these 3 are to support Conzo and then say but they were alot better than Pearl thought when Pearl thought they were real good or he would not even had them on the team. Was he going to play and ineligible player over Chism? Put Tatum and Hopson ( ALL SEC) on the bench for true freshman Mcrae?

gglardon50#417841 writes:

in response to johndavid:

Good overall article
Strange needs a RPI lESSON FROM you before he makes more foolish statements about Vols NCAA chances.
Did not need the comment about big 3 were not highly thought of. First OF ALL , anybody Pearl recruited could play or had a chance to be a major contributor. The players Pearl was turning away his last 3 yrs were better than the players Martin has recruited. Pearl would not have recruited Mcrae and Maymon if he did not like them, he had other 4 star players wanting to come play for him. McRae and Maymon were both highly sought after by many big time programs. They didn't play because they were young and Maymon was ineligible AND BEHIND Chism, Hall Williams etc. There were great players in front of them. I think Pearl had the talent to sit Mcrae for a year and try and mold him into and even better player. I have read quotes from Mcrae regretting not listening to Pearl about several things and even apologizing to Pearl and his staff. Mcrae was 2nd in Preseason player of the year voting and on his way to 1at team ALL SEC. Maymon has better stats than most SEC big men, epecially their 2nd best one. Stokes is First team SEC and puts up numbers like a 2ND team ALL AMERICAN. Please don't try and minimize how good these 3 are to support Conzo and then say but they were alot better than Pearl thought when Pearl thought they were real good or he would not even had them on the team. Was he going to play and ineligible player over Chism? Put Tatum and Hopson ( ALL SEC) on the bench for true freshman Mcrae?

B Pearl is the Vols only chance. B Pearl is like a God. B Pearl although a lier and a cheater is someone people can look up to. There is NO other coach out there that can help UT other than B Pearl. B Pearl ,please Bruce come back home. Tennessee will never win again without your lieing and cheating, Well that part may be right. BUT stop people-if a new caoch is coming get on board with the guy and get off the save us Bruce oh my lord. He's not coming back and shouldnt be.

jowemedo writes:

Maymon played very little for Pearl and it was not because he was ineligible for his entire time under Pearl. Not saying that was right or wrong, just stating fact. Also the article stated that Pearl was not enamoured with 2 of the big 3 not all 3 as Stokes never played for him.

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